Updated: Jan 27
Cayenne Pepper is a common garden plant that is member of the nightshade family. It produces hot, fiery, red fruits used to flavor dishes and for medicinal purposes. The hotness produced by cayenne is caused by its high concentration of a substance called capsaicin. The word Capsaicin is believed to have been derived from Greek, meaning “to bite.”
This common spice herb has earned a reputation as a kind of “cure-all”. If you have ever cut yourself with a knife in the kitchen, next time think about trying cayenne powder from your cupboard to quickly and effectively stop the bleeding. Cayenne’s anti-microbial properties can also prevent infections.
This is one herb I would not be without in both my kitchen cupboard and my medicine cabinet. For foods, I love to add just a touch of Cayenne to add a little zip to the food. It is also one of the herbs I think of when it comes to pain relief. Applying the extract or tincture to the skin encourages circulation to that part of the body. Looking at the list of medicinal benefits below will convince you, too, to add it to your commonly used herbs.
Cayenne and other spicy peppers were once falsely blamed for causing ulcers, but now are accepted as a natural treatment for ulcers. Cayenne supports the health of the lining of the stomach, promotes tissue healing by bringing blood to the area, and addresses secondary infections such as H. pylori that are often common along with ulcers. It also blocks substance P, a pain receptor neurotransmitter, causing pain relief associated with ulcers.
Note: When using topical capsaicin products be sure to avoid touching eyes or other sensitive areas. It is best to start in very small doses and build up tolerance due to its irritating nature that some people may react to.
Latin Name:Capsium annuum
Key Elements – Warming & stimulating
Taste: Hot and acrid.
Parts used: Fruit (ripe peppers) and seeds.
Plant Preparations: Food, tincture, infusion, liniment, oil, salve.
It can be used both internally and externally. Here are some well known uses for Cayenne.
Opens and strongly stimulates circulatory
Known as a heart tonic because it normalizes and strengthens cardiovascular system
Regulates blood flow in the body
Considered a blood pressure equalizer – both hypertension (high) and hypotension (low)
Reduces blood clots due to simulative circulatory properties
Traditional asthma remedy
Promotes secretions from the mucous membranes (helps push out mucus)
May help pneumonia
Useful for bronchitis
Good general remedy for colds because it fights viral infections
Gargle with a tea for sore throats or tonsillitis
Warms cold hands and feet
Used for rheumatism
Commonly used for arthritis
Will stop bleeding (hemostat) and nosebleeds
Known to stimulate digestion – People with cold and stagnant digestion have a difficult time transforming food into nutrients. This condition is indicated when tongue is swollen, wet, with possible heavy white coating. There is likely bloating, gas, belching, loss of appetite and loose stools with undigested food.
Increases appetite due to digestive stimulating properties
Used to relieve constipation
For expelling worms and parasites
Heavy menstrual bleeding
May be useful for Parkinson’s disease, convulsions, and paralysis
Useful for diabetics because it regulates blood sugar levels
Used externally on weak nerve force or painful area and muscle weakness
For frostbite, sprinkle a small amount of powder on socks to prevent frostbite
For shock, heart attack or trauma use 1 dropper full of the tincture under the tongue. For heart attacks it works by opening the peripheral capillaries and increasing circulation to the extremities of the body while reducing the pressure of the heart.
For wounds and sores, especially old ones
May help with weight loss because the body’s thermal burn is increased
Systems Supported: Brain, Cardiovascular, Circulatory, Digestion, Nerves, Respiratory, Skin.
Minerals/Vitamins: Potassium, manganese, vitamin A, B2, B6, C and E.
Plant Properties: Analgesic, Antiseptic (anti-microbial), Anti-fungal, Antioxidant, Carminative, Coagulant, Diaphoretic, Expectorant, Hemostat, Hypotensive, Rubefacient, Stimulant, Styptic, Tonic, Vulnerary
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.