Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper comes from dried chiles. The pods are dried and ground to make the familiar spice. Cayenne contains many vitamins (A, B complex, C, and K), plus niacin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. It contains capsaican which increases blood flow to all parts of the body. Capsaicin is what gives the spice its heat (it’s also used in self defense pepper sprays).
Cayenne has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. It may actually help prevent stomach ulcers by killing bacteria that you have ingested. It also causes the cells lining the stomach to secrete buffering juices that prevent ulcers from forming.
Cayenne pepper is high in vitamin A, which helps boost immunity and fight inflammation. Red chili peppers help to reduce cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and aid in preventing the formation of blood clots.
Cayenne powder can be sprinkled on cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding.
Topical capsaicin has been shown to reduce pain from headaches, arthritis, muscle pains and strains, and shingles. The main side effect reported is a burning sensation in the area where applied.
A tea made of cayenne will quickly loosen the mucus in your nasal passages when you have a cold, relieving that stuffy feeling.
Chili peppers originated in Central and South America. It is believed they have been cultivated for about 7,000 years. Chili peppers were introduced to the rest of the world in the 15th and 16th centuries. Cayenne peppers are now grown around the world.
Most cayenne in supermarkets is found in the powdered form or as the red pepper flakes. It is also popular in making chili sauces. In some parts of the world the whole peppers are popular in many recipes.
Whenever possible try to get organic cayenne pepper so that it will not have been irradiated. Store in a sealed glass container out of direct sunlight.
Cayenne can be purchased in capsules. Taking the capsules can cause sweating, flushing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. Some people should use caution when taking cayenne supplements. People with heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, or existing stomach ulcers should speak to their doctor before taking cayenne supplements. Those with kidney and liver problems should not take the capsules. Breast-feeding mothers should avoid all use of cayenne.
Some people may be allergic to cayenne, especially those who are allergic to avocados, bananas, kiwis, chestnuts, or latex. If you experience an allergic reaction after taking cayenne capsules seek medical help immediately.