Cayenne Pepper

Other Names of Cayenne Pepper:

  • Guinea spice
  • Cow-horn pepper
  • Aleva
  • Bird pepper
  • Capsicum Annuum

Useful Parts of the Plant: The fruit (pod) and seeds

Cayenne pepper is one of the world's favorite spices. It is used to add pungency and heat to a variety of dishes. The cayenne pepper belongs to the capsicum family. It was originally cultivated in a town called Cayenne in South America and was given the same name.

Cayenne pepper has been used down the ages for its health benefits. Traditional medicine in countries such as India, China, Japan, and Korea use cayenne pepper to treat a variety of ailments and health problems. Cayenne contains a compound called capsaicin that is used as an ingredient in creams and lotions even today.

Nutritional Information and Properties of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Even small amounts of the spice provide significant levels of zinc, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. The compound capsaicin found in cayenne pepper is responsible for it strong pungent flavor and possesses anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial, and analgesic properties. Green or red cayenne peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C. Just hundred grams of fresh peppers provide about 127% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Cayenne peppers also contain high levels of vitamin A with an surprising 1387% of the RDA in 100grams of fresh peppers. This popular spice is high in antioxidants such as carotenes and lutein that help fight free radicals in the body.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Cayenne Pepper

  • Cayenne pepper has an amazing effect on the circulatory system. It can adjust blood pressure to healthy levels, increase metabolism, clean arteries and prevent clogging and lower bad or LDL cholesterol levels in the body. This makes cayenne pepper an excellent cure for heart problems and stroke. It is believed that a teaspoon of cayenne pepper can stop a heart attack if had in time.
  • Cayenne pepper benefits the digestive system by stimulating the intestines and encouraging elimination of waste. Inspite of its pungency, cayenne peppers in fact help restore and rebuild stomach tissue and heal ulcers.
  • Cayenne pepper powder drunk with milk can improve healing of wounds and minimize scarring.
  • It aids in detoxification and boosts energy levels. Drink a glass of hot water with a little cayenne pepper powder first thing every morning for the best results.
  • Research shows that the capsaicin in cayenne pepper may prevent the development of prostate cancer cells.
  • You can also have it with hot water and honey to make it more palatable. Gargling with this mixture can treat sore throats, chronic coughs, diarrhea and heartburn.
  • Rubbing cayenne pepper into the gums prevents tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Cayenne pepper can stop internal hemorrhaging.
  • Cayenne pepper is an important part of cholera treatment as it can stop vomiting.
  • Apply a blend of cayenne pepper steeped in milk to the skin to reduce hardened swellings and tumors.
  • Varicose veins and hemorrhoids regress with cayenne pepper.
  • Cayenne pepper is an excellent home remedy for migraine headaches.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an ideal herb for treating diabetes, arthritis and psoriasis.
  • Cayenne pepper boosts the metabolism and helps to burn fat faster making it a good tool for weight loss.
  • Cayenne pepper is used to treat snakebites.

Other Uses

  • The capsaicin from cayenne pepper is used as an ingredient in personal defense sprays.
  • Cayenne pepper is used as a preservative for food.