For many centuries Cayenne pepper has been prized for its amazing powers of healing. Recent studies have supported the fact that this little wonder fruit has many healing properties for a number of the common health problems such as angina, arthritis, asthma, bruises and strains, clogged arteries, cold and flu, constipation, headache, neuralgia, obesity, pain, sinusitis, sore throat, toothache, ulcers, and many more.
It is said that there are only a handful of “super herbs” on earth that can match cayenne for versatility, taste, therapeutic value and safety. The amazing and puzzling thing about this fruit is that it cools and warms you at the same time. It feels like its burning but in fact it actually reduces the pain from burns. It hurts when the amateur eats it, yet it helps the body to generate an internal form of morphine-like pleasure. It is selectively good for your body cells and yet at the same time it is lethal to intestinal bacteria and parasite cells.
The sting or bite in cayenne is from a compound called “capsaicin” found in hot peppers throughout the world. Capsaicin has a chemical structure very similar to the active ingredient in ginger, both of which have a pungent bite and many therapeutic uses. So the question is; what does cayenne do to the body or how does it affect our bodies? Hundreds of studies have been done on capsaicin and cayenne which suggest the following: It thins the blood, blocks pain, enhances nerve conduction, increases mucus flow, changes fat metabolism, it has many antioxidants which slows oxidation and aging, it releases endorphins, inhibits cancer, it protects the stomach from alcohol and aspirin, it has nutritional value and it kills microorganisms. It is not really possible to discuss all the health benefits of cayenne in this limited medium, but here are a few to consider:
Allergies: Our body’s reactions to respiratory allergies are usually sneezing, itchy eyes, runny and plugged up noses, coughing and wheezing. To treat this with cayenne, take two powdered capsules of 40,000 heat units with lunch or dinner and you should start seeing results in about a week.
Angina: Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. It is a symptom of coronary artery disease. Signs of heart problems must be treated with immediate medical attention. If you are experiencing any type of angina you should definitely speak to your doctor. As you work with your doctor, add cayenne to your diet, preferably one to two capsules at lunch or dinner. The capsaicin in cayenne triggers the release of a substance called “calcitonin gene related peptide” which is a potent dilator of the blood vessels that surround the heart. Cayenne will not reduce or change the effectiveness of any heart medication but may begin to change the real causes of the angina, which drugs never do.
Arthritis: Millions of people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. In some cases it is so severe that it requires medical attention. Rheumatoid arthritis involves inflammation, and erosion of the bone ending connective tissue. Osteoarthritis involves the dissolving of the spongy cartilage that cushions the pounding between bone endings. Using cayenne as an ointment can relieve some symptoms of both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. One study showed that more than 80% of patients using capsaicin ointment felt relief in morning stiffness and other related arthritic symptoms.
Asthma: Poor diet, air pollution, stress, over exertion in exercise, pollen, ragweed and food allergies can trigger an asthma attack in those with this condition. The capsaicin in cayenne seems to be very helpful in relieving an asthma attack. Taking cayenne supplements once or twice daily will help to open the bronchial passages of asthma sufferers.
Baldness: Although baldness is mostly a genetic condition, those with poor circulation of the scalp, can use the cayenne pepper to slow progression. One recommendation to help increase the blood supply to the scalp is to mix ½ teaspoon in the gel from the aloes plant and apply at bed time, then rinse off in the morning.
Bruises and Sprains: Using cayenne on the skin of mild bruises and simple sprains can reduce pain without the use of dangerous drugs like Tylenol, or addictive drugs like codeine.
Cancer Prevention: Although controversial, it has been shown that the regular use of cayenne in moderation can protect you from cancer. Over use of chili can have the opposite effect, by causing stomach cancer as seen in one study of Mexicans. Research has shown that capsaicin helps prevent the cancers caused by chemicals found in over cooked foods, moldy grains or legumes, and even nicotine from cigarette. Just remember that a little is great, too much is harmful.
Colds and Flu: Cayenne increases the flow of mucus which will wash away invading viruses. Cayenne also dilates blood vessels which speeds the delivery of healing immune factors to the site of the infection. Making a hot tea and gargling two to three times a day will help sore throats and eating it daily will help in the prevention of catching colds.
Constipation: Low fiber and fluid diets often result in constipation. There is no substitute for adequate hydration of our body cells so we should always drink adequate amounts of water throughout each day. Cayenne helps to prevent constipation by increasing the flow of juices in the intestinal tract. Moderate intake will encourage regularity but too much can cause diarrhea.
Cooling Effect: Cayenne is good at opening up our blood vessels. It opens up the blood vessels near the surface and causes sweating. It increases an initial warming sensation but is actually bringing the body’s internal heat to the surface to be dissipated. Research shows that cayenne triggers the hypothalamus to cool the body.
Diabetes: This is a common sickness of abnormal blood glucose regulation. Inadequate insulin production, or insulin resistance are common problems and sufferers often end up with high amounts of sugar in their urine. Here are three ways that cayenne can help diabetics:
1) Cayenne can increase circulation to tissue on the outside or surface. This area often gets starved opening up the possibility of poor circulation and even gangrene
2) It can lower blood glucose levels
3) If applied on the surface in an ointment form it can help in reducing the pain that sometimes is related to diabetes.
Gas: Most people at some point in their lives –from the President to the Pope –will experience this. Intestinal gas is more likely to be produced when we eat foods that we do not digest well. As we age our bodies lose the ability to properly digest certain types of foods. Reducing these kinds of foods and encouraging aerobic bacteria in the intestines is one solution to the problem. More vegetables, less sugar and fat in the diet along with frequent moderate exercise can also help. Cayenne can help in the prevention and elimination of gas. Here are three ways:
1) As a stimulant it encourages the flow of secretions from the intestines, including the digestive enzymes which help to prevent fermentation of carbohydrates
2) Cayenne moves food through our digestive system more quickly to reduce the chance of fermentation
3) Cayenne helps to kill the unfriendly bacteria in the gut that cause gas through putrefaction.
High Blood Pressure: Today, millions suffer from hypertension. Otherwise known as the “silent killer” hypertension slowly wears out the vascular network and the organs that are connected. It is a serious disease because in many cases the first symptom a person might have is that of a stroke or a heart attack. Cayenne may help in some cases. High blood pressure can be caused by many factors including stress, obesity, too much salt or alcohol, insufficient calcium, magnesium, potassium or other reasons. Constriction of blood vessels over time can lead to hypertension which increases the pressure in the narrow tubes. Cayenne can effectively reduce blood pressure in this kind of hypertension by expanding the diameter of the blood vessels thereby creating more room for blood flow and reduction of pressure. Lowering the pressure also means sparing the tiny delicate capillaries in the kidneys, heart and brain from the constant pounding of high blood pressure.
High Cholesterol: For high cholesterol sufferers, let me just say that studies indicate that countries that eat more hot peppers have a lower incidence of heart disease. One study suggested that animals that were fed a high fat and high sugar diet when given capsaicin were able to lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol. Capsaicin reduces the absorption of fats and cholesterol in the intestines, and slows down the making of excess cholesterol in the liver.
Nausea: If you experience nausea due to motion sickness here is a simple remedy to consider. Before beginning the trip take a teaspoon of cayenne powder mixed in a tablespoon of olive oil. Another solution for motion sickness is to take an equal blend of cayenne, ginger and licorice. For morning sickness in pregnancy take ginger and cayenne mixed together.
Sore Throat: Cayenne has been found to relieve the severity and duration of a sore throat. Mix one to two capsules of the powder in a cup of warm water and gargle; the symptoms should subside.
Toothache: Capsaicin dissolves easily in alcohol, therefore, a simple way to make a toothache tincture is to blend a half to one teaspoon of cayenne powder in about 4 ounces gin and let it sit for a day. Strain and apply a few drops of this tincture to the toothache area when necessary.
Toxin Protection: Our skin is the largest organ in the human body with over 2000 pores per square inch. The main function of the skin is to eliminate waste products. Cayenne encourages sweating and detoxification.
Ulcers: Eating hot cayenne pepper when someone is developing or has an ulcer is definitely not what comes to mind for most people, however scientific studies since 1937 suggest that people who eat more hot peppers get fewer stomach problems, including ulcers. It is very important to mention here that eating too much hot pepper will produce irritation and eventually ulcers but on the other hand, just the right amount can prevent and even cure ulcers. Scientists have found that the capsaicin in the cayenne pepper helps healing of ulcers by dilating blood vessels in the stomach which promotes healing, increasing the flow of protective mucus over the ulcer and killing the bacteria that in many cases causes peptic ulcers.
Worms: We all know that for many animals and humans the colon is infested with worms and parasites. These worms and parasites sap our energy, change the environment in our intestines and lower our immune system. Cayenne can help. A Louisiana State University study showed that hot sauce killed microorganisms including the ones found in oysters. It also killed the bacteria that can cause common intestinal infections (shigella, E. coli and salmonella) in one minute flat.
Cayenne is not a cure for every ailment or sickness, but it definitely has a place among the few “super herbs” known to us. It is one of nature’s most healing and therapeutic foods and if applied topically or taken internally it is a great natural remedy.
Our God provided these plants for us knowing well the health benefits mankind would receive from studying and using them for the enhancement of health, vigor and vitality.
(Source: Restoration Ministry)