5 Healing Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
We all know about Cayenne pepper, how spicy hot it is, but do you also know it has many uses for health and healing? Native American culture has used this fruit and herb for many centuries as part of their diet and most importantly as part of their medicinal knowledge.
Practitioners of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines also use some forms of Cayenne in their practices.
Cayenne is derived from the red chili pepper and is in the Capsicum family of peppers. The health benefits come from the Capsaicin found in the flesh of the pepper. It has a host of vitamins and minerals as well as other healing properties.
What is Cayenne Pepper?
It’s a versatile little spice that can be used in any dish as an extra bang or as a flavor enhancer when added to many recipes, but be warned… too much can burn your mouth and especially your tongue.
Red chili peppers are closely related to jalapeño peppers and in turn; bell peppers and are a staple in Southwestern American and Creole cuisine, as well as Chinese and Korean cooking in their whole form. Have you ever had Szechwan or Jambalaya?
The thin, red pepper can be dried and put through your blender or Cuisinart. Once pulverized, separate the seeds from the powdered pulp (which is what we know as Cayenne), set the seeds aside in a clean container and use as red pepper flakes on pizza!
Grow Your Own or Buy Fresh in Your Local Produce Department
I take a clean needle and white thread to “sew” them into a chain then hang them to dry. It takes about a week or two for them to dry sufficiently but its worth it to me since I use it in a lot of my recipes, the fresh flavor is better than store bought because you really don’t know how long the little bottles have been sitting on the shelf or hanging around a dusty old warehouse.
5 Benefits of Cayenne Pepper or Capsaicin
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in the lovely red pepper is where the spiciness in the powder comes from and is reported to have a wide range of health benefits.
This powder is used in many herbal remedies to treat aches or pains in muscles and joints. In Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine it’s used to treat circulatory issues and to increase appetite. As a Thermogenic it can help speed up metabolism to aid in burning fat and calories. Some practitioners use it with lemon and water as a detox drink. Try adding some to your smoothies or juices. Personally, I like it in “The Naked” brand Green Machine juice.
1. Relieving pain
Capsaicin may have pain-relieving properties. PubMed Research into cayenne pepper’s ability to reduce pain, concluded that it may have benefits as a long-term analgesic, without bringing about other sensory changes.
Creams or ointments containing 0.025–0.075 percent purified capsaicin have been shown to relieve pain and tenderness from osteoarthritis, nerve pain from shingles, pain after surgery, diabetic neuropathy, and lower back pain. Think BENGAY.
Dr. Christopher's Cayenne ointment is very similar to some other ointments or creams but does a far better job as it brings blood flow to the affected area quicker.
2. Burning calories and suppressing appetite
There are many products containing cayenne pepper that claim to boost metabolism and promote weight loss. Researchers at Purdue University found that cayenne pepper consumption increased core body temperature slightly, which could, in turn, burn calories.
The results of the research revealed that those who mixed cayenne pepper with their food burned an additional 10 calories for up to 4 hours after eating their meal as compared to those who did not add cayenne.
I use Cayenne on a baked potato sprinkled over sour cream or butter and on corn-on-the-cob after I slather mayo on it.
3. Relieving congestion
Cayenne pepper is often used as a home remedy for coughs, colds, and congestion. There are no studies to support this use, and I haven’t investigated it myself, but cayenne may help to temporarily relieve congestion by shrinking the blood vessels in the nose and throat.
At any rate, it makes your nose run which of course relieves some congestion.
A popular home remedy includes combining the below ingredients
· 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
· 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
· 1 tablespoon of honey
· 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
· 2 tablespoons of water
· Take a teaspoonful as needed
Another popular remedy is to mix cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar into hot water to make a tea to clear the sinuses. Hmm, as long as you’re at it, maybe add some raw honey to sooth a sore or irritated throat.
4. Curing Acid Reflux (heartburn) and Stomach Ulcers
Cayenne is a very useful healing herb. Not only can it alleviate pain when used in an ointment, but it can also cure some maladies that formal medicine just puts a band aid on.
According to Dr. Christopher; It rebuilds the tissue in the stomach to heal ulcers in both the stomach and intestinal tract. Cayenne equalizes circulation by warming the blood. Aids in assimilation and elimination by stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines
Dr. Christopher's’ son David has carried on the family tradition of Herbal Medicine and is now the Master Herbologist at the School of Natural Healing. During one of our classes David told a story about complaining to his dad about his bleeding ulcer. His father scolded him and reminded him of all that he has learned. David probably smacked his forehead and set about curing himself with cayenne in a glass of warm water that he drank 2 or 3 times a day for about 3 weeks. He said he never had another issue again. The below note is from Dr. Christopher himself:
To acclimate your system to this powerful herb use the process below:
Start gradually with ¼ teaspoonful in a 4 oz glass of cold water followed by a glass of cold water. Add ¼ teaspoonful to this dosage every 3 days until you are taking a full teaspoonful 3 times a day.
I myself have a remedy that I learned from my studies at the School of Natural Healing, I keep it handy in my purse and in the bathroom cabinet. It’s a very simple mixture of 1 teaspoon of Cayenne in a pint bottle of Vodka, the bottle has to be glass. Shake it for a minute every couple of days and always before taking a dose of it.
Now, I know some people don’t drink alcohol but believe me, you won’t start after trying this tincture. It’s rough to swallow but it sure relieves heartburn fast.
5. As a Liquid AED for Sudden Chest Pain
Cayenne as a stimulant is an activator, carrier and Accentuator. It can be added to warm water and consumed as a “tea” or it can be made into a tincture (simple recipe above) for heart burn or palpitations or even a mild heart attack.
Dr. Christopher told his students the story of the time he came upon a man slumped over in his car and his face was blue. He administered the cayenne tincture and it revived the man. Probably saved his life as he had just had a heart attack.
I made a bottle for my sister after she was in what looked to me like agonizing pain one day during a move. I handed her my bottle and she took a couple of droppers of the tincture and after 2 minutes the pain was gone.
Additional Health Benefits
We’ve all heard that antioxidants offer many health benefits and they help our bodies remove free radicals which are toxic substances that can cause way too much damage if too many build up. Removing these invaders may help prevent health problems in the long run such as cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s.
Common Sense Suggestions
Use gloves when applying any capsaicin cream or be sure to wash your hands with soap and very warm water after use because you will “feel the burn” where the cream is applied and on your hands. Definitely avoid contact with your eyes and the rest of your face. NEVER use any Capsaicin cream with a heating pad or before or after a hot shower as it could cause severe burns or discomfort.