How To Guide to Herbal Remedies - Cayenne Pepper

Anyone who likes spicy food should know this! Capsicum annum, or more commonly known to laymen as cayenne pepper, has been a popular spice used in Mexican salsas or traditional Indian dishes. But when this sizzling plant is dried and converted to powder form, it can also be used to soothe myriads of symptoms and treat a lot of minor diseases. 

Cayenne pepper stimulates proper blood distribution to both central and peripheral body. As such, it is helpful for patients with circulatory deficits such as those manifesting with Raynaud’s phenomenon and have cold hands and feet.  

Cayenne pepper increases mean body temperature and directly induces healthy sweating. Because of this, it helps minimize fever by helping the body release heat.  

Cayenne pepper generally stimulates mucus production, be it in the nasal passageways or in the gastrointestinal organs. Thus, cayenne pepper has mucus releasing effect on the sinuses that helps alleviates congestion from colds and promotes clearance of sinus blockage. On the other hand, its actions in the gastrointestinal tracts allow it to prevent stomach ulcer formation by allowing its copious secretion of mucus to coat the stomach surface.

Cayenne pepper has a blood-thinning effect much like that of aspirin. This is especially good news for hypertensives and people with hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol levels. It prevents clumping of platelets that could be a possible source of blood clots leading to ischemia or infarcts.  Studies have shown that using it has lowered incidences of cardiovascular accidents in the form of strokes or heart attacks.

Cayenne pepper is a very potent form of anti-inflammatory and pain relieving substance due to capsaicin, the phenolic resin that has the unique ability of desensitizing the nerve endings. What cayenne pepper does is to make the nerves release all its stored substance P. When all substance P have flowed out of the nerve cell, there will be no pain signal that will be sent to the brain. Thus, the use of cayenne pepper as pain reliever is helpful for people with various pain syndromes. This includes cluster headaches, dental aches, elderly with both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for patients suffering from skin psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, painful herpes zoster, uncontrollable neuralgia and even cancer-induced pain. Cayenne pepper is available in the market as rubs or liniments, aside from the oral form. Take note though that cayenne pepper works best for chronic conditions and not acute. So do not expect pain to rapidly disappear upon intake or topical administration.

Cayenne pepper has also become a popular addition to weight-loss diets. This is NOT because it helps you directly lose weight but because firstly, it aids in timely and proper digestion as well as adequate release of digestive secretions, thus allowing for better nutrient assimilation. As a result, you will not manifest what is commonly seen in overweight people - excessive appetite secondary to malabsorption. Secondly, ingestion of cayenne pepper increases body temperature, allowing you to use up more calories.

Lastly, cayenne pepper is enriched with vitamin A, which aids in fighting off infections. Thus this ferocious herb is also an immune booster!


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