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What are the Medicinal Properties of Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum Annuum)?

Cayenne Pepper

Introduction

Cayenne Pepper is commonly known as chili pepper and usually used to add flavor to the dishes. It is a type of capsicum which grows 10-25cm in length. This herb is mostly red in color, skinny and has a curved tip. Its skin is rippled and hangs down from the bush. These chilies are plucked, dried and grounded into powdered form in order to use it in cooking. It is used to give the spicy flavor to the dishes while cooking. Cayenne pepper is also a renowned herbal supplement which is full of medicinal properties and used for therapeutic purposes. Although, it is called as pepper but does not come under piper genus like black pepper. Capsicum word has come from a Greek word which means "to bite".

General Description

Cayenne is a small shrub or plant which grows usually in a tropical environment. This herb can live for decades as it is a biennial or annual shrub. This herb is cultivated in northern climates like annuals. Its bright red fruit is often mistaken for the vegetable, but it's a fruit. It has an acrid and hot taste/potency. The biting and spicy taste of Cayenne pepper come from its constituent called Capsaicin. Its amount varies in every species of the herb. This fruit has a bright red color which attracts the birds that is not affected by its hot and spicy taste. Distribution of its seeds also takes place by these birds. Cayenne is very strong spice but just like other food like spice its energy is also balanced and it can be taken for a long time as food. Capsaicin present in it has analgesic property that helps to relieve the pain and treats various problems like joint pains, muscle ache and head ache. Its topical application can lead to alittle burning sensation. In cold and cough, soups containing cayenne pepper should be consumed. It helps to relieve the ailments. Its powder can help to remove toxins from the body and treats the bite of snakes and insects. Applying it on the wounded area helps to heal the injury.

  • Common Name- Cayenne, Capsicum, Hot pepper, Chili pepper, Chili, Tobasco and Spur pepper
  • Botanical Name- Capsicum annuum
  • Family- Solanaceae
  • Parts Used- Usually fruits and seeds
  • Potency- Hot and acrid

Preparations of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is mostly used as a spice in culinary dishes to add a spicy flavor to them. It can also be used as a fomentation, oil, liniment or salve.

Medicinal Properties of Cayenne Pepper

  • Antimicrobial
  • Stimulant
  • Analgesic
  • Immunomodulator
  • Carminative
  • Expectoration Inducer
  • Antioxidant
  • Diaphoretic
  • Antifungal
  • Rubefacient
  • Maintains blood circulation
  • Digestive
  • Metabolic stimulant
  • Anti-irritant

Therapeutic Uses of Cayenne Pepper

  • Cayenne pepper might be hot and biting but for the surprise, it relieves any kind of irritation in the body. Its anti-irritant property helps to treat irritation due to illness, diet or environmental toxins causing stomach upset, cough, sore throat and diarrhea.
  • Owing to its expectorant property this herb lose out the congested mucus which is formed during the catarrhal condition and releases it out of the body. It can be used in various allergies and stuffed up sinuses.
  • It acts as an amazing natural resistance against various harmful organisms and prevents diseases and infections. Chemical constituents present in it suppress the functioning of the harmful organisms.
  • Cayenne helps to relieve the headache by acting as an analgesic. Research shows that this is due to initial pain-inducing ability of this herb which diverts the attention ofthe brain tothe new site of pain. Pain chemical of the nerve depletes, hence relieving the pain.
  • This spice is well known digestive which stimulates the digestive tract and increases the flow of digestive juices and enzymes. This phenomenon helps in improving digestion.
  • It helps in relieving the gas in the intestines by increasing the peristaltic movements of the intestines and also helps in assimilation and elimination of the food.
  • Anti- inflammatory properties present in it treat the inflammation and its associated symptoms like redness, pain and swelling of the affected area. Cayenne is a great herb to relieve systemic cellular distress.
  • This herb stimulates the salivary gland and increases the release of saliva which is very important for digestion and oral health.
  • It possesses cardiovascular protective properties which help to treat and prevent various conditions like atherosclerosis, thrombosis, embolism (due to fibrinolytic activity). All these lead to decrease in the risk of heart diseases.
  • Cayenne is a natural detoxifier which eliminates the harmful substances and free radicals from the body, preventing oxidative damage in the body. Due to its hot action it increases sweating that is one of the methods of body detoxification.
  • Due to the presence of a natural chemical compound called Capsaicin, it sends the chemical messengers to the joints which reduce the pain and provide temporary relief to the joints. Hence it is used in many pain relieving creams and lotions.
  • Cayenne can be used as a natural preservative for food as it prevents contamination of bacteria in the food.
  • Studies suggest that eating this fruit for a long time increases longevity as compared to the one who did not have it. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer and other serious health ailments.
  • Taking Cayenne in the breakfast leads to decreased appetite leading to less intake of calories, causing healthy weight loss. It also burns the extra fat from the body.
  • It increases the blood circulation to the heart preventing many heart diseases.
  • Applying Cayenne at the site of the tooth which is aching helps to relieve the pain naturally.
  • It can also be used as a topical remedy in many cases like rheumatism, snake bites, wounds, sores, lower back pain and lumbago.
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