Many societies, especially those of the Americas and China, have a history of using cayenne pepper therapeutically. A powerful anti-inflammatory, cayenne pepper is currently gaining buzz for cleansing and detoxifying regimes such as the Master Cleanse, which uses the spice to stimulate circulation and neutralize acidity.
Cayenne pepper has been used for a variety of ailments including heartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, atonic dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in women, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria.
The Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
1. Anti-Irritant Properties
Cayenne has the ability to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhea.
2. Anti-Cold and Flu Agent
Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, relief from flu symptoms generally follows.
3. Anti-Fungal Properties
The results of one study indicated that cayenne pepper could effectively prevent the formation of the fungal pathogens phomopsis and collectotrichum .
4. Migraine Headache Prevention
This may be related to the pepper’s ability to stimulate a pain response in a different area of the body, thus reverting the brain’s attention to the new site. Following this initial pain reaction, the nerve fibers have a depleted substance P (the nerve’s pain chemical), and the perception of pain is lessened.
Cayenne is an anti-inflammatory agent and may even help relieve allergies.
6. Digestive Aid
Cayenne is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This aids the body’s ability to metabolize food (and toxins). Cayenne pepper is also helpful for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
7. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties makes it a great herb for arthritis, diabetes, psoriasis and herpes-related nerve damage.
8. Helps Produce Saliva
Cayenne stimulates the production of saliva, an important key to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health.
9. Useful for Blood Clots
Cayenne pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents factors that lead to the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.
10. Detox Support
Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also increases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.
11. Joint-Pain Reliever
Extremely high in a substance called capsaicin, cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.
12. Anti-Bacterial Properties
Cayenne is an excellent preservative and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria.
13. Possible Anti-Cancer Agent
Studies done at the Loma Linda University in California found that cayenne pepper may help prevent lung cancer in smokers . This may be again related to cayenne’s high quantity of capsaicin, a substance that might help stop the formation of tobacco-induced lung tumors. Other studies have also shown a similar reaction in cayenne’s ability to inhibit liver tumors.
14. Supports Weight Loss
Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec found that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
15. Improves Heart-Health
Cayenne helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also rids the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
16. Remedy for Toothache
Cayenne is an excellent agent against tooth and gum diseases.
17. Topical Remedy
As a poultice, cayenne has been used to treat snake bites, rheumatism, inflammation, sores, wounds and lumbago.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
- P.C. Agarwal, Usha Dev, Baleshwar Singh, Indra Rani, Dinesh Chand, R.K. Khetarpal. Seed-borne fungi identified from exotic pepper (Capsicum spp.) germplasm samples introduced during 1976–2005. PGR Newsletter – Bioversity. issue. 149, pp.39-42.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094. Epub 2010 Mar 10.