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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bonnie Verhunce

Cayenne Peppers – Not Just Hot and Spicy - 6/26/2020

“Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever.” - Erma Bombeck

People have used cayenne peppers (Capsicum Annum) in both cooking and medicine for over 9,000 years. The name Cayenne was taken from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. The fruit is consumed raw or prepared or is dried, as well as powdered into the seasoning that has been in use for centuries.


The very hot condition of cayenne pepper is mostly due to an ingredient recognized as capsaicin. Although it tastes hot, capsaicin really stimulates an area of the mind that decreases physical body temperature. Other ingredients consist of carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, E and C as well as flavonoids.

The appeal of cayenne pepper has actually spread out throughout the globe and it has actually ended up being an important seasoning, particularly in Cajun and Creole cooking and also in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, China, Southern Italy and also Mexico. Many individuals in subtropical and also exotic environments consume cayenne pepper routinely considering that it helps them tolerate the heat.

Pain Management:

In addition to being an essential spice in many cuisines, cayenne has likewise been made use of in traditional Indian Ayurvedic, Chinese, Japanese, and other medications as a remedy for digestive troubles, cravings, muscle pain, and colds.

Today, capsaicin is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays (Sinol-M), to treat persistent or cluster headaches and dermal patches primarily to alleviate pain linked with specific conditions such as arthritis, backache, strains, and sprains. Research studies have discovered that capsaicin soothes pain by destroying a chemical understood as compound P that generally brings pain messages to the brain, especially when used for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid joint inflammation, and other joint or muscle pain.

Topically applied capsaicin is useful in alleviating the pain associated with diabetic neuropathy, shingles, psoriasis, and other skin problems.

Capsaicin is likewise a vital substance in lots of personal defense sprays.

Weight Loss:

Capsaicin is also thought to be a thermogenic substance (heat-producing high-fat), which implies that it allows you to melt even more calories from food, particularly when eating a high-fat meal. Some weight management supplements have capsaicin as an ingredient.

Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin, which studies have shown, boosts the metabolism, and in turn causes weight loss. Capsaicin may support a healthy energy balance while suppressing appetite. The studies showed capsaicin treatment sustained fat oxidation during weight maintenance but did not affect weight regain after modest weight loss.

Cayenne pepper has also been shown to regulate blood pressure, promote healthy liver function and tissue production, help regulate the digestive system, and promote healthy mucus production in the membranes that line internal organs.

Preventative Measures:

As in all herbs and chemicals found in food, some may cause adverse effects in conjunction with other herbs, supplements, or medicines. For this reason, natural substances should be used with care and in most cases under the direction of a specialist educated in the area of botanical medication.

After preparing cayenne peppers, wash your hands well after usage and avoid touching the eyes. Cayenne does not liquefy quickly in water, so vinegar should be used to remove this substance from the skin. Capsaicin pain cream could trigger itching, burning sensations on the skin, but these symptoms have the tendency to decrease rapidly.

It is best to test capsaicin pain cream on a tiny section of the skin prior to prolonged use. If it triggers irritation or if the pain does not go away after 2 to 4 weeks, stop using the cream.

Do not use capsaicin creams with a hot pad and do not apply capsaicin cream shortly before or after very hot showers. Individuals who are allergic to latex, bananas, kiwi, chestnuts, and avocado may have an allergic reaction to peppers.

It appears to be risk-free for use while pregnant, yet it is unknown whether the spicy compounds are transferred with breastfeeding. Because of this, nursing moms must be very cautious about using cayenne.

When capsaicin is ingested, cold milk is an effective way to relieve the burning sensation and a room-temperature sugar solution (10%) at 68 °F (20°C) is almost as effective. The burning sensation will slowly fade away over several hours if no actions are taken.

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