- Cayenne Pepper is a herb. The fruit of the capsicum plant is used to make medicine.
- Capsicum is used for various problems with digestion including upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramps. It is also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including poor circulation, excessive blood clotting, high cholesterol, and preventing heart disease.
- Other uses include relief of toothache, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria, and fever. It is also used to help people who have difficulty swallowing.
- Some people apply capsicum to the skin for pain caused by shingles, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. It is also used topically for nerve pain (neuropathy) associated with diabetes and HIV, other types of nerve pain (neuralgia), and back pain.
- Capsicum is also used on the skin to relieve muscle spasms, as a gargle for laryngitis, and to discourage thumb-sucking or nail-biting.
- Some people put capsicum inside the nose to treat hay fever, migraine headache, cluster headache, and sinus infections (sinusitis).
- One form of capsicum is currently being studied as a drug for migraine, osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions.
- A particular form of capsicum causes intense eye pain and other unpleasant effects when it comes in contact with the face. This form is used in self-defense pepper sprays.
- Although inherently hot and intolerable even in small amounts, cayennes are one of the health-benefiting spice items packed with minerals, vitamins and certain phyto-nutrients. It is no wonder this wonderful spice has been found a place in modern as well as in traditional medicines for its disease preventing and health promoting properties.
- Cayenne contains health benefiting alkaloid compound, capsaicin which gives them strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
- Fresh cayenne peppers, red or green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 76.4 mg or about 127% of RDA of this vitamin. Vitamin-C is a potent water soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein inside the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.
- Cayenne chili peppers are perhaps the richest source of vitamin A among spices. Just 100 g of cayenne has 41,610 IU or astoundingly 1387% of vitamin A. Additionally, this prized spice is also home for anti-oxidant flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, zea xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these antioxidants in cayenne help to protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, and disease conditions.
- The spice contains very high levels of essential minerals. Even if consumed in small quantities regularly would provide sufficient levels of iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Selenium is an anti-oxidant trace element required by the human body for smooth heart and liver functions.
- 100 g of cayenne peppers provides 2014 mg or 47% of a daily-required amount of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte in the cells and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It thus, counters the bad effects of sodium.
- Cayenne peppers are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism through various enzymatic functions.
- This is a homeopathic remedy. Please consult your doctor before administering homeopathic remedies and proceed with caution.
- Medicinal lotions and creams that contain capsicum extract are LIKELY SAFE for most adults when applied to the skin. The active chemical in capsicum, capsaicin, is approved by the FDA as an over-the-counter product. That is, it can be sold without a prescription.
- Side effects can include skin irritation, burning, and itching. Capsicum can also be extremely irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat. Don’t use capsicum on sensitive skin or around the eyes.
- Capsicum extract is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth, short-term and in amounts typically found in food. Side effects can include stomach irritation and upset, sweating, flushing, and runny nose. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take capsicum by mouth in large doses or for long periods of time. In rare cases, this can lead to more serious side effects like liver or kidney damage.
- Capsicum extract is POSSIBLY SAFE when used in the nose. No serious side effects have been reported, but application in the nose can be very painful. Nasal application can cause burning pain, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. These side effects tend to decrease and go away after 5 or more days of repeated use.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Capsicum is LIKELY SAFE when applied to the skin during pregnancy. But not enough is known about its safety when taken by mouth. Stay on the safe side and don’t use capsicum if you are pregnant.
- If you are breast-feeding, using capsicum on your skin is LIKELY SAFE. But it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for your baby if you take capsicum by mouth. Skin problems (dermatitis) have been reported in breast-fed infants when mothers eat foods heavily spiced with capsicum peppers.
- Children: Applying capsicum to the skin of children under two years of age is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Not enough is known about the safety of giving capsicum to children by mouth. Don’t do it.
- Damaged or broken skin: Don’t use capsicum on damaged or broken skin.
- Surgery: Capsicum might increase bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using capsicum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination:
- Cocaine interacts with CAPSICUM: Cocaine has many dangerous side effects. Using capsicum along with cocaine might increase the side effects of cocaine including heart attack and death.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with CAPSICUM:Capsicum might slow blood clotting. Taking capsicum along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
- Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Theophylline interacts with CAPSICUM: Capsicum can increase how much theophylline the body can absorb. Taking capsicum along with theophylline might increase the effects and side effects of theophylline.
Minor Interaction Be watchful with this combination:
- Medications for high blood pressure (ACE inhibitors) interacts with CAPSICUM: Some medications for high blood pressure might cause a cough. There is one report of someone whose cough worsened when using a cream with capsicum along with these medications for high blood pressure. But is it not clear if this interaction is a big concern.
- Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), ramipril (Altace), and others.
African Bird Pepper, African Chillies, African Pepper, Aji, Bird Pepper, Capsaicin, Capsaïcine, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum Fruit, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum minimum, Capsicum Oleoresin, Capsicum pubescens, Cayenne, Cayenne Fruit, Cayenne Pepper, Chili, Chili Pepper, Chilli, Chillies, Cis-capsaicin, Civamide, Garden Pepper, Goat’s Pod, Grains of Paradise, Green Chili Pepper, Green Pepper, Hot Pepper, Hungarian Pepper, Ici Fructus, Katuvira, Lal Mirchi, Louisiana Long Pepper, Louisiana Sport Pepper, Mexican Chilies, Mirchi, Oleoresin capsicum, Paprika, Paprika de Hongrie, Pili-pili, Piment de Cayenne, Piment Enragé, Piment Fort, Piment-oiseau, Pimento, Poivre de Cayenne, Poivre de Zanzibar, Poivre Rouge, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Tabasco Pepper, Trans-capsaicin, Zanzibar Pepper, Zucapsaicin, Zucapsaïcine.
- Source: WebMD, “Capsisum” , www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/
- Source: healinghomeo.blogspot.com/2013/06/capsicum-annuum.html
- Source: Nutrition and you, http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cayenne-pepper.html