Diet and Nutrition

The Many Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

The Many Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Key Takeaways

  • Cayenne pepper contains several different nutrients including vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Niacin, calcium, potassium, zinc, sodium, phosphorous, iron, copper, manganese and selenium.
  • Cayenne pepper has been shown to be effective in a variety of health conditions including heart burn, paralysis, fever, flatulence, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, sore throat, and diphtheria.
  • Cayenne pepper has the ability to stimulate circulation as well as to get rid of the acidity in your body.

What is cayenne pepper?

Cayenne pepper, more commonly known as red hot chili pepper, is used to spice our dishes and add more taste to the food we eat. Some of other names that are used to refer to it include Guinea spice, cow horn pepper, aleva and bird pepper. The word Cayenne comes from the city Cayenne, which is the capital of French Guiana. Cayenne pepper fruits are dried, ground and sifted to produce its powder form which is known as red pepper.

Cayenne can be used as it is or its powder form can be used. Both add a hot spice to the dishes.

Where can you grow cayenne pepper?

You can cultivate this beautiful red capsicum in several locations in both tropical and temperate zones. However, it takes about 100 days for the capsicum to mature fully. These plants mostly prefer to grow on warm, moist soil which is rich in nutrients within a warm climate. The plant can grow up to about 0.5 m to 1 m in height. You can also grow cayenne pepper directly in your garden bed, but ensure that you leave a gap of at least one feet between two plants or you could also grow them in large pots.

Is red pepper the same as cayenne?

Yes, although red pepper and cayenne pepper are in two different forms, they are similar as they are produced from the same source. However, the preparation of each form may differ, so do not get into this misunderstanding that you can replace one form with the other. To produce either kind of spice, manufacturers may use different varieties of peppers. To increase the flavor of these spices, they might also add further ingredients.

If you are not sure of which type of spice to add to your dish, the best way is to do a side by side comparison and find out which type of spice suits the dish the most.

What place does cayenne pepper serve in your diet?

Cayenne pepper is a handy spice that can be added to many of the common meals we prepare varying from fish to eggs and pasta. Cayenne pepper not only adds a spicy flavor to the food, but it also serves a very nutritious diet.

Cayenne pepper contains several different nutrients including vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Niacin, calcium, potassium, zinc, sodium, phosphorous, iron, copper, manganese and selenium. Cayenne pepper is also highly rich in several flavonoids and carotenoids, which are responsible for its red color.  

What health conditions does cayenne pepper help?

Cayenne pepper has been shown to be beneficial and effective in a variety of health conditions including heart burn, tremors, gout, delirium, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, sore throat, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in females and diphtheria.

Here are some of these conditions for which the use of cayenne pepper is said to prove beneficial:

  • Anti-congestion properties 
    Are you suffering from a cold, flu or allergies causing a blocked nose? Try some cayenne pepper. It will help to break up that blocked mucus and move them away helping you breathe better.
  • Anti-irritant properties
    Cayenne peppers are known to reduce the irritation caused by ulcers, sore throat, stomach acidity, irritating coughs and diarrhea. But you might wonder, how can that happen? The general thought is that consuming a lot of cayenne pepper causes the production of gastric ulcers owing to its irritant effect and acid secreting nature. Most patients with gastric ulcers are advised to cut down spicy food from their diet.However, a lot of research was carried out regarding this and it was found found that Capsaicin (an active substance found in cayenne pepper) is not responsible for the formation of the gastric ulcers. Infact, it has a beneficial factor as Capsaicin is the substance that possesses the anti-irritant properties and therefore will help to reduce the irritation caused by ulcers.
  • Anti-bacterial properties
    Cayenne pepper has excellent anti-bacterial properties that have been traditionally used to prevent the contamination of food by certain types of bacteria. So if you have your spices added in, there is nothing to worry about bacterial infections.
  • Anti-fungal properties
    Research have found out that cayenne pepper has a CAY-1 compound, which is a compound that effectively controls the growth of 16 different fungal strains. By the ability to suppress the growth of these fungal strains, cayenne peppers help to avoid fungal infections.
  • Relief of dyspeptic symptoms
    Cayenne pepper is a well-known digestive aid. It has the ability to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, thus increasing the flow of gastric juices and the enzymes produced. Because of this function, the food you eat will be well digested and absorbed. Not just that, cayenne pepper also increases the peristalsis movements of the digestive tract, thus helping the food you eat to be well absorbed as well as the excess to be eliminated from the body.
  • Helps to maintain good oral health
    Cayenne pepper stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, thus helping to keep your oral health at an optimum level. You know that saliva plays a major role in the digestive process as well as maintaining good oral health.
  • Pain relief for tooth aches
    Cayenne pepper can be used as a topical application and can be directly applied over a sore tooth. You will not believe how effectively it can reduce the tooth ache.
  • Reduces atherosclerosis by inhibiting the development of blood clots in your body
    Atherosclerosis is a major process that will increase the chance of formation of blood clots in your body. Cayenne peppers help to reduce atherosclerosis in your body. How does cayenne pepper reduce atherosclerosis? Cayenne pepper does this by reducing the level of cholesterol in your body. So if you have hypercholesterolemia, then add cayenne spice to your meals and bring down those cholesterol levels.It also encourages the fibrinolytic activity in the body. This means that the part of your coagulation system which helps to break down the already formed clots is enhanced by cayenne pepper. Therefore, the chance of formation of blood clots is reduced through these 2 ways, thus lessening the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Helps to reduce joint pain
    Cayenne pepper is highly rich in a substance known as capsaicin. Capsaicin has been studied and was found to have the ability to reduce the pain sensations when applied directly over the skin. This substance helps to relieve joint pains by sending chemical messengers to your joint.Applying cayenne pepper topically to your joints will help you reduce the joint pain caused by osteoarthritis as well as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a useful natural remedy for the fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a medical condition that causes pain all over the body.
  • Useful in heart problems
    Cayenne pepper has also been found to reduce the chance of arrhythmias. It also improves the blood supply to the heart, reducing the incidence of a whole lot of other cardiac problems.
  • Cayenne pepper can be used to reduce your migraine headache
    The main mechanism behind this is that cayenne pepper has the ability to divert your attention to a new site in your body, thus making you forget all about your migraine. Cayenne pepper basically stimulates a pain response somewhere else in your body. So now, you will focus on this pain and not on the migraine you have been having.
  • Cayenne pepper is helpful in the treatment of psoriasis
    Psoriasis is a skin condition that results when the skin cells divide too quickly which leads to the formation of swollen patches under the skin. These lesions have a white scaly roof on top.It has been found that a small percentage, 0.025% to be exact, of Capsaicin(a substance found in cayenne pepper) cream applied topically on the psoriatic lesions, reported a considerable reduction in the scaling and redness. In another trial, Capsaicin cream was applied four times everyday topically for a period of six weeks to treat psoriasis and a drastic reduction of all the symptoms like scaling, thickness, redness and itching was observed.
  • Cayenne pepper also helps to relieve intestinal gas, making it a good remedy to help you from bloating.
  • Cayenne pepper also helps to cure diarrhea and can also be used as a natural remedy to relieve abdominal cramps.
  • Cayenne pepper has been used in the treatment of snake bites, rheumatism, sores and wounds. However, its effectiveness is not known yet and more research in to this area needs to be done.

Is a cayenne pepper detox safe?

Most of us add cayenne pepper just to spice up and add some flavor to the dishes we make, but did you know that cayenne pepper does so much more than that? Although cayenne pepper is well known for its ability to spice up dishes, it has several other health benefits as well. Out of the many benefits provided by cayenne pepper, detoxifying properties of cayenne peppers is one of its major functions.

Cayenne pepper has the ability to stimulate circulation as well as to get rid of the acidity in your body. They open up the capillaries and restore the circulatory system. Not only that, it also regulates the blood sugar level and aids in the elimination of bacteria and toxins from the body through the digestive tract.

How does cayenne pepper do that? Cayenne pepper works well as a circulatory stimulant helping in the circulation of the blood to and from tissues and organs. It increases the pulsing rhythm of the lymphatics as well as the gastrointestinal tract. It also boosts the body metabolism and keeps the temperature increased. Heating the body helps to streamline the detoxification process.