It turns out that you’ve had a powerful home remedy in your spice cupboard for years. You know, the one that takes your breath away, makes your mouth turn into an inferno and your brow bead with sweat. Yup, it’s cayenne pepper!
In small amounts, this exotic spice
can make food taste delicious. Cayenne pepper has been recognized and
valued for thousands of years by many cultures for its ability to add an
amazing dimension to curries and stir fries, and for its wide array of
medicinal uses. Capsaicin,
the unique compound in cayenne pepper which gives it that
characteristic heat, is also responsible for imparting many of the
health benefits of this spice. Read on to find out how cayenne pepper
can help to heal your aches and pains, relieve digestive issues and
1. Cayenne pepper for relief from colds and flu
Cayenne can be added to your favorite curry or hot dish. It can also
be taken in the form of a “health shot” when combined with lime juice
and water. Cayenne is also available in supplement form. The spice helps
to stimulate blood circulation to the peripheral areas of the body. It
can help to warm up your hands and feet when you’re sick so that they
stay nice and toasty.
More importantly, when your body
breaks down capsaicin, it promotes an elevated body temperature and the
release of mucus from your respiratory passages. Elevating your body
temperature when you’ve got a nasty bacterial infection or virus (i.e.
cold or flu) helps your immune system to kill off the infection or virus
faster, meaning your cold or flu symptoms recede in less time. What’s
more, by alleviating the inflammation and mucus in your respiratory
passages, cayenne helps you to breathe easier at night and get a good night’s sleep, which is a rare thing when you’re sick.
2. Cayenne pepper for toothaches
This home remedy is an oldie but
goodie, but requires some serious forethought and preparation. Add a
tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder to a pint of strong whisky, and stir
well. Allow the mixture to steep for two weeks, giving it a good stir
or shake every day. When the two weeks are up, strain the liquid through
a cheesecloth into a glass bottle, cap it, and store in a cool, dark
Capsaicin tricks the brain into thinking that it is experiencing pain and thereby exhausts pain receptors (more on that here). This old-school whisky concoction can dull a painful toothache
and make you smile again. Added to that, the whisky sterilizes and
disinfects any open cuts or abscesses, avoiding infection, while the
cayenne pepper encourages blood flow and healing. The mixture can be
used by either sipping a very small amount and swilling it around in
your mouth for 30 seconds, or just by dapping a few drops of the mixture
directly onto the affected tooth with the aid of a cotton ball.
3. Cayenne pepper for healing
If you get a minor cut or scrape, the
wound is often more annoying than worrying. It gets in the way, you
have to wrap it in bandages all the time, and clean it regularly — you
always end up hitting it on something no matter how careful you are. If a
wound is not well cared for, it can become infected, which can make the
matter more serious.
Well, we have just the remedy to
solve both problems: our good friend cayenne! People have been using
cayenne pepper for many years due to its ability to reduce bleeding and
speed up the healing process. With this in mind, simply mix one
tablespoon of cayenne pepper into one tablespoon of room temperature
coconut oil (i.e. in its liquid form). Let the mixture cool in the
refrigerator to slightly below room temperature so that it thickens,
then use a clean finger to apply it directly to your wound. If
warranted, place a clean bandage around the area, and reapply the
mixture once a day until you’re satisfied that it has healed
Keep in mind that this mixture is for minor cuts and scrapes. For serious injuries, consult a doctor immediately.
4. Cayenne pepper for digestion
Got a sore tummy? Stomach ulcers?
Indigestion? Cayenne can help! When taken orally, cayenne pepper
stimulates the digestive tract and encourages increased production of
digestive enzymes and gastric juices. It can also lower your stomach’s
production of acid, alleviate local pain and kill bad bacteria, meaning
it can resolve nasty stomach conditions such as ulcers.
This remedy is an easy one, but
they’re often the best, right? Stir a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
into a small glass of warm water and add a dash of lime or lemon juice.
Once the cayenne is sufficiently mixed into the water, tilt back your
head and knock back the solution in one mighty gulp. It’s not overly
pleasant, but it isn’t as bad as you think, either. Make sure you eat
some food before or immediately afterwards, otherwise the cayenne could
irritate your stomach or throat a little bit. Bon Appétit!