Cayenne pepper, also known as chili pepper, has many benefits. Not only is it good for your taste buds, but it is good for the rest of your body. The belief in the medicinal qualities of cayenne pepper can be seen in cultures all around the world. Some have claimed that it can heal all types of ailments. It has even been said that it has been used to treat snake bites.
What is it?
Cayenne pepper is so called because the peppers were first discovered on a shrub in a town of that name in French Guyana, South America. It’s a hot red chili pepper, and the fruits are usually dried and ground for use. Cayenne was mentioned as a herbal remedy by Nicholas Culpeper in his 17th century book, ‘Complete Herbal,’ and it has many health benefits.
The scientific name for this herb is capsicum annuum. It is in the same family of the bell pepper. The cayenne is hot because of the capsaicin that is found in it. The more capsaicin the hotter the pepper. More capsaicin also gives you a better health benefit.
What are Benefits?
For all the benefits of cayenne pepper claimed, there are a few that could make your everyday life a little better. Or they could make your life a lot better.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is known to reduce inflammation. It can help in the treatment of pain associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions, and it’s a natural analgesic. It can also be used as a topical treatment in a poultice to reduce inflammation and pain.
Antioxidant support is given by cayenne. Cayenne contains vitamins A, C, and the B complex vitamins. It also has calcium and potassium. These vitamins are antioxidants known for their cell rejuvenating properties.
Good for the Heart
Cayenne can help reduce blood pressure and levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides. It can also prevent the formation of blood clots by inhibiting the adhesion of platelets. In cultures where cayenne features strongly in the diet, rates of heart disease, stroke and pulmonary embolism are significantly reduced.
It also improves circulation, which means the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood around the body. This means less strain on the heart, and a reduced risk of heart failure. It’s fast acting, too, and can improve circulation within seconds of ingestion.
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is similar to compounds found in proprietary cold relief remedies, but it works more quickly. The heat of the pepper stimulates secretions which clear blocked noses and ease lung and chest congestion. It’s most effective when made into a tea with hot water.
Boosts the Immune System
Like all red vegetables, cayenne is high in vitamin A. This is essential for fighting off infections and keeping the nasal passages and digestive tracts healthy and free from harmful bacteria.
Good for the digestion
- Cayenne helps the digestion process. It helps the body produce hydrochloric acid which is key in proper digestion. It also helps the intestinal tract by stimulating movement of the intestines.
- Cayenne kills harmful bacteria in the digestive system and helps prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. It also stimulates the secretion of saliva and stomach juices, which helps in the digestive process.
Good for Weight Loss
Cayenne boosts the metabolism, and helps the body to burn off excess fat. It also has appetite suppressant properties, so it’s a great aid to weight loss.
Since cayenne is a natural stimulant, it is used to help aid in weight loss. The stimulative effects of cayenne also help liver function through increased blood flow. When the liver functions properly you lose weight. It can also give you more energy throughout the day without the side effects that caffeine can bring.
Good for Detoxification
The heat of cayenne causes an increase in sweating, and it also has diuretic properties. These effects help to eliminate waste from the system more quickly and thus detoxify the body.
Last but not least is the main benefit that most people receive from cayenne on a daily basis. Spicing up a meal with cayenne is a must in a lot of foods. From Asia to America, cayenne is used by many different cultures all over the world.
These are just a few of the benefits. There are many other uses for this wonderful herb. Tests are constantly being conducted to find more uses for cayenne.