people use cayenne pepper to add a little spice into their lives,
sprinkling it gingerly or generously onto their favorite exotic dish to
add some heat and earthy flavor. But the benefits of cayenne pepper
don’t just stop at flavor and spice — ancient civilizations have
recognized its health-giving abilities for thousands of years, but the
alternative health world is only just waking up to the benefits it can
bring into our lives.
A powerful substance with a wide
range of therapeutic uses, cayenne pepper is slowly but surely whipping
up a health-storm for its ability to cleanse, detoxify, balance and
improve circulation, among a host of other things. It can be consumed or
applied topically, and for these reasons it is now once again being
utilized to treat a broad spectrum of ailments and conditions, including
toothache, alcoholism, malaria, shingles, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Here are 6 reasons why cayenne pepper should take a prominent position inside your household medicine cabinet.
Scientists believe that the intense
heat created by consumption of cayenne and it’s active ingredient,
capsaicin, can create a distraction for the brain and in this way take
the brain’s attention away from migraine headaches.
For this reason, when you eat or supplement with cayenne pepper, it can
cause the brain to focus all its energy on the nerve fibers surrounding
the cayenne (presumably in your stomach or digestive system). This
means that your head gets a welcome reprieve, and your migraine
- Cayenne pepper relieves headaches
The same mechanism by which cayenne
relieves pain in your head also works on other areas of your body,
particularly joints where inflammation and friction between damaged
membranes is causing localized pain. The capsaicin contained in cayenne
pepper does this by overloading the brain’s pain receptors and thereby
reducing the amount of substance P, a compound that carries pain
messages back to the brain. Less substance P means less joint pain.
- Cayenne pepper reduces joint pain
While supplementing with cayenne pepper or capsaicin can help to
alleviate joint pain and any other aches you might be suffering from,
the best way to banish localized pain is to find a topical cream which
has the active ingredient capsaicin. Rubbing this cream onto the
affected area can allow the capsaicin to work directly on that region
and quickly reduce the amount of substance P being produced there. Just
make sure you give your hands a darn good wash afterward.
Feel a cold
or flu coming on, or surrounded by sick people at the office or at
home? Cayenne pepper can help with that! This powerful spice is packed
full of beta-carotene and antioxidants that bolster your immune system
and help defend against bacterial and viral attack. If you’ve already
succumbed to the seasonal plague, cayenne pepper can help relieve
congestion by breaking up the great globs of mucus riddling your air
passages, and it also raises your body temperature, which means bad news
for any pathogenic invaders. Finally, cayenne seals the deal by
providing a hit of vitamin C, which is a cold or flu’s worst enemy.
- Cayenne pepper fights seasonal sickness
We could all do with a more efficient
digestive system, and cayenne pepper provides the means by which this
can happen. This sassy spice increases saliva production, which promotes
healthy digestion and also helps to keep bad breath to a minimum. Not
only this, cayenne gets your digestive enzymes energized and ready to
go, meaning your stomach is ready to receive and more efficiently break
down the food you eat.
- Cayenne pepper helps you digest food more efficiently
Allergies are simply inflammatory
responses to certain environmental inputs into our body. Because cayenne
pepper is a potent anti-inflammatory spice, it can help to prevent or
minimize foodborne or seasonal allergies.
- Cayenne pepper prevents allergies
- Cayenne pepper is an antifungal
Generally speaking, fungus means bad news for our bodies and health.
Exposure to certain strains of fungus can allow them to enter our bodies
and take up residence in certain regions, most notably an unbalanced
gut biome. Luckily, the capsaicin contained in cayenne pepper has the
ability to kill fungal invasions and prevent their formation in the
One study found that cayenne pepper was effective against 16 different fungal strains, including the highly problematic Candida albicans, while another found that capsaicin, in synergy with a certain Lactobacillus
strain, stopped the growth of two kinds of fungi and reduced their
biomass by over 50 percent. That’s some potent stuff you’re sprinkling
on your curry.
Want to really step things up a notch? Try combining two of the most powerful weapons nature has to offer — lemon and cayenne — in a glass of water and you’ve got yourself a seriously potent health elixir.
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