If you are from a place like Mexico, you already know of the benefits of Cayenne pepper. Native Americans too used it liberally. Columbus first tasted it when he reached America and he took it with him to Europe. Cayenne pepper is also an important component in traditional medicinal practices of America, China, Korea and India. This overwhelming popularity may be attributed to the beneficial nutrients in it.
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin which is what makes the pepper ‘hot’. It is ironic then that this very substance harbors a wide variety of health benefits.
Capsaicin is anti-inflammatory in nature. It is also an effective pain killer. Thus, capsaicin may be beneficial in curing the pain and swelling associated with conditions like arthritis and osteoarthritis. Interestingly, topical application of capsaicin ointments acts as an effective painkiller.
Capsaicin boosts blood circulation as it raises the temperature of the body and thins the blood. Thus, it is an effective treatment for ailments of the circulatory system.
Cayenne pepper is known to alleviate ailments of the digestive tract like acidity, flatulence and stomach cramps. In fact, cayenne capsules are recommended for problems related to indigestion.
The bright red color of cayenne pepper is indicative of Vitamin A. This nutrient is useful for defending the body against pathogens.
It is believed that this food has certain components that help rebuild the tissue in the stomach. Thus, it has been used for healing intestinal ulcers.
The healing properties of cayenne pepper are so potent that it can even fight certain kinds of cancers. In generic medicine, it has been used for a multitude of painful conditions like migraines, muscle cramps and sprains.
One of the most important benefits of cayenne pepper is that it facilitates the quick absorption of other nutrients into the body. It also ensures the uniform distribution of nutrients to various parts of the body. In fact, some doctors even call cayenne the ‘carrier’ herb because of this property.
Cayenne pepper has a beneficial effect on the metabolism. It also helps to adjust the blood pressure level in the body. Along with these benefits, cayenne rids the body of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides, some of the most harmful components of cholesterol that directly lead to heart attacks. Thus, cayenne pepper is good for the heart.
Cayenne acts as a powerful coagulant that can staunch heavy bleeding instantly. It is also a strong disinfectant that can stop potential infection.
When mixed with water, cayenne pepper makes an effective gargle for sore throats. The heat generated by the pepper enables the secretion of mucus and thus clears up stuffy nose and lungs.
How to cook and eat
Cayenne may be used to spice up any food item. It is particularly good in soupsand sauces. It may be sprinkled on foods to make them spicy.
The pepper may be added to hot chocolate to give the drink a typical Mexican twist.
Cayenne and lime juice may be added to cooked bitter green vegetables.
Cayenne pepper holds the promise of being highly beneficial for health. Although the full spectrum of its benefits is yet to be explored, there is no doubting the fact that these are good for you. Spice up your foods and add a dash of good health by adding a pinch of cayenne. For more such foods read about the following Fat burning spices