Cayenne pepper has been used for a variety of diseases and ailments including heartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, atonic dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in women, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria.
1. Anti-Irritant Properties
Cayenne has the ability to ease stomach upset, ulcers, soar throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs as well as diarrhea.
2. Anti-Cold & Flu Agent
When you have a cold or flu, cayenne pepper helps break up congested mucus and gets it moving. Once the mucus starts to leave your body, you will get some relief from many of the flu symptoms you may be experiencing.
3. Anti-Fungal Properties
The results of one study indicated that cayenne pepper could effectively prevent the formation of the fungal pathogens phomopsis and collectotrichum.
4. Migraine Headache Prevention
Many naturopaths have known of the health benefits of cayenne pepper, especially for migraine symptoms. This may be related to the pepper’s ability to stimulate a pain response in a different area of the body, thus reverting the brain’s attention to the new site. Following this initial pain reaction, the nerve fibers have a depleted substance P (the nerve’s pain chemical), and the perception of pain is lessened.
Cayenne is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent and may even help relieve allergies.
6. Digestive Aid
This spice is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This, in turn, aids the body’s ability to metabolize the food (and toxins) we take into the system. Cayenne pepper is also a wonderful medicinal herb for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a great herb for arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis and herpes-related nerve damage.
8. Helps Produce Saliva
Cayenne stimulates the production of saliva, an important key to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health.
9. Prevents & Treats Blood Clots
Cayenne pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
10. Detox Support
Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.
11. Join-Pain Reliever
Extremely high in a substance called capsaicin, cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which in turn sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.
12. Anti-Bacterial Properties
Cayenne is an excellent food-preserver and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria.
13. Possible Anti-Cancer Agent
Studies done at the Loma Linda University in California found that cayenne pepper can prevent lung cancer in smokers. This may be again related to cayenne’s high quantity of capsaicin, a substance that can stop the formation of tobacco-induced lung tumors. Other studies have also shown a similar reaction in cayenne’s ability to inhibit liver tumors.
14. Supports Weight Loss
Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec found that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
15. Improves Heart-Health
Cayenne helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also rids the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
16. Remedy for Toothache
Cayenne is an excellent agent against tooth and gum diseases.
Cayenne Pepper Side Effects
Cayenne Pepper and Food Allergies
People who are allergic to kiwis, bananas and avocados also may be allergic to cayenne pepper. Doctors can test for the specific allergy.
Cayenne Pepper and Medications
Cayenne pepper can adversely interact with blood thinners, antacids and aspirin. It is best to consult with a doctor to make sure there is no risk for such an encounter.
In its powdered form, cayenne pepper causes irritation to the mucus membranes and produces burning and stinging in and around the eyes, nose and mouth. When applied topically to the skin as an ointment, which would be used to ease the pain of arthritis, the treated area often experiences burning sensations.
Cayenne pepper should not be used on children under the age of two years old. As with all chemicals or potential food hazards, keep cayenne peppers, in any form away from children. Although there is no evidence of any side effects with use during pregnancy, it is best to consult with a physician or trained medical person who can provide insight to any possible trouble.
With proper research and professional consultation, it is easy to prevent any harmful interactions. Cayenne pepper can be a beneficial herbal treatment as long as care and consideration are practiced.