Cayenne pepper is also called the Guinea spice, bird pepper, cow-horn pepper or aleva. In its powdered form, it is called red pepper. It is used to make spicy dishes, or is used in its powdered form, or even eaten whole in Asian dishes. It may also be used in a vinegar-based, thin sauce.
Due to its beneficial properties, it has been used as a herbal supplement. It has been used as a part of cleansing and detoxifying regimes such as Master Cleanse. Cayenne pepper has been used topically as creams for arthritis pain. It is taken internally as a tincture to improve the circulation of blood.
Cayenne pepper contains a substance called capsaicin that gives it is spiciness. It also contains potassium, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, and beta-carotene. Cayenne pepper has both crude fiber as well as dietary fiber.
Benefits for skin and health
1. It keeps skin rejuvenated
Cayenne pepper can draw out toxins from the skin and reduce irritation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help reduce the appearance of blemishes and spots. Make a face pack by mixing together cold and raw milk, pure honey, powdered ginger root, and a pinch of cayenne powder. Apply it on the face and neck for 15-20 minutes and wash off with cold water.
2. It helps maintain a healthy heart
Cayenne pepper causes thinning of blood that improves its circulation in the body. It prevents the deposition of plaque on the walls of the arteries. Cayenne pepper also provides nutrients to the heart and removes toxins from the blood. It regulates blood pressure and reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis. Thus, it lowers the risk of hypertension. In addition, it reduces the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body.
A cup of cayenne tea can stop a heart attack. One teaspoon of cayenne powder should be mixed in hot water and given to the person suffering from a heart attack.
3. It has anti-cancer properties
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper is the ingredient that inhibits cancer cells. Researchers at the UCLA School of Medicine have found that capsaicin suppresses the growth of breast cancer cells and promotes cell death. It has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Additionally, capsaicin can treat leukemia, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
4. It treats stomach disorders
Cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive tract and the secretion of gastric juices. It boosts the production of digestive enzymes. Thus, it helps digest food faster and better. Although it is spicy, it helps treat stomach and intestinal ulcers. It also treats acidity, gas, and abdominal cramps. Cayenne pepper also helps in the excretion of feces and urine.
5. It treats headaches and migraine attacks
The capsaicin treats migraine attacks and headache by numbing nerve endings and depleting them of the pain-inducing substance called “substance P“. Capsaicin also reduces platelet aggression factor (PAF) that constricts blood circulation in the head and contributes to the start of a migraine attack.
Cayenne pepper can also provide relief from pain due to rheumatism and arthritis, using the same mechanism of action.
6. It aids in detoxification of the body
Cayenne pepper stimulates the circulation of blood and increases the rhythms of digestive tract and the lymphatic tract. It warms the body and causes sweating, which helps remove toxic substances. A good detoxifying morning drink is cayenne tea along with lemon juice and honey. For this reason, including cayenne pepper in your daily diet helps you lose weight safely.
Cayenne pepper can protect from frostbite due to its thermogenic properties. A little powdered cayenne pepper can be sprinkled in socks and shoes during the bitter winter months.
7. It treats fungal and bacterial infections
Cayenne pepper has been shown to prevent the growth of fungal pathogens phomopsis and colletotrichum. It can treat respiratory infections such as sore throats caused by scarlet fever as well. Cayenne pepper can stop a bleeding wound when applied directly to it and can help in faster healing. It can also reduce the appearance of scars during healing.
Cayenne pepper is also known to relieve nasal congestion. According to Sinusitis Relief Secrets, it should be taken as a capsaicin nasal spray for maximum effectiveness.