Cayenne pepper is so called because the peppers were first discovered on a shrub in a town of that name in French Guyana, South America. It’s a hot red chilli pepper, and the fruits are usually dried and ground for use. Cayenne was mentioned as a herbal remedy by Nicholas Culpeper in his 17th century book, ‘Complete Herbal,’ and it has many health benefits.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is known to reduce inflammation. It can help in the treatment of pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and it’s a natural analgesic. It can also be used as a topical treatment in a poultice to reduce inflammation and pain.
Good for the heart
Cayenne can help reduce blood pressure and levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides.It can also prevent the formation of blood clots by inhibiting the adhesion of platelets. In cultures where cayenne features strongly in the diet, rates of heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism are significantly reduced.
Cayenne also improves circulation, which means the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood around the body. This means less strain on the heart, and a reduced risk of heart failure. It’s fast acting, too, and can improve circulation within seconds of ingestion.
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is similar to compounds found in proprietary cold relief remedies, but it works more quickly. The heat of the pepper stimulates secretions which clear blocked noses and ease lung and chest congestion. It’s most effective when made into a tea with hot water.
Boosts the immune system
Like all red vegetables, cayenne is high in vitamin A. This is essential for fighting off infections and keeping the nasal passages and digestive tracts healthy and free from harmful bacteria.
Good for the digestion
Cayenne kills harmful bacteria in the digestive system and helps prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. Cayenne also stimulates the secretion of saliva and stomach juices, which helps in the digestive process.
Good for weight loss
Cayenne boosts the metabolism, and helps the body to burn off excess fat. It also has appetite suppressant properties, so it’s a great aid to weight loss.
Good for detoxification
The heat of cayenne causes an increase in sweating, and it also has diuretic properties. These effects help to eliminate waste from the system more quickly and thus detoxify the body.
The cayenne pepper may be small, but it’s mighty in health benefits. Shouldn’t you be including more cayenne in your diet?