The cayenne is a red, hot chili pepper mostly known for its use in spicy dishes, however, there are also a great many associated health benefits. Used in the west since the 17th century, it has been found to treat such things as fever, cold, diarrhea; it relieves constipation, headache, and sinus congestion. Applied externally (to tired feet, sore muscles, strains and sprains) it acts as a pain reliever through a little known numbing effect. The active ingredient, capsaicin, from which cayenne’s genus name, capsicum, is derived, is responsible for both cayenne’s heat as well as its medicinal function.
Capsicum can temporarily deaden nerve endings, making it helpful in the treatment of nerve pain associated with toothaches, shingles, and diabetes. Taken in connection with stomach ailments, it has been shown to encourage the production of mucous, which in turn protects the stomach lining. By bolstering the clotting factor of blood, it helps control both external and internal bleeding and actively works to heal stomach ulcers. Small amounts of cayenne pepper taken daily aids in digestion by increasing both the flow of saliva as well as stomach secretions. Its role in the formation of hydrochloric acid is particularly useful in the breakdown of food.
One of the most impressive properties of cayenne pepper is its quick absorption and consequent fast action. A pinch in each nostril starts working immediately to remove excess mucous and relieve sinus congestion. A dab of capsaicin extract placed in the nose has been said to relieve headaches. Cayenne pepper, when taken orally, leads to an immediate increase in salivation. At the same time the nerve endings in your tongue signal the central nervous system to increase blood flow throughout the body. Improved circulation helps with such conditions as high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, restless leg syndrome, and varicose veins.
For those looking to lose a few pounds, the use of cayenne pepper is an excellent addition to your diet. Taken in the morning, it has been shown to depress appetite, decreasing the amount of food you eat during the day. A stimulant, it is also responsible for speeding up the metabolism, resulting in more fat being burned. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper aids in elimination by promoting healthy peristaltic activity in the intestines. The better your ability to digest and void food, the better your dietary efforts will be, and, consequently, the better you’ll feel.
Another little known fact about cayenne pepper is that it’s effective in stopping a heart attack. CPR should be done if a person has stopped breathing. After resuscitation, a teaspoon of capsaicin or cayenne pepper mixed with warm water can be administered every fifteen minutes. This will stimulate the central nervous system, improving heart function by calling for increased blood flow. Cayenne pepper and its derivative, capsaicin extract, also strengthen the heart over time and keeps the blood thin, reducing the possibility of blood clots forming.
A kitchen cabinet cannot be considered well stocked without a store of cayenne pepper and/or capsaicin extract. It may literally be the difference between life and death. It’s also high desirable to have a side-effect free alternative to many of the medicines currently in your household.