Cayenne pepper, a member of the nightshade family, is alternately known around the world as red hot chili pepper, bird pepper, aleva, guinea spice, and cow-horn pepper. Related to many other peppers, the cayenne pepper shares the property of capsicum with its relatives. Cayenne is actually the name of a city in French Guiana, which is where the spice got its name.
The peppers that grow from the plant, technically a fruit, are most often used as a flavoring in cuisines that are cooked around the world. While most of the world is familiar with the plant’s fruit as a spice, it has been used as a homeopathic remedy for centuries.
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
The capsaicin, stearic acid, oleic, and palmitic acids found within the fruits of the plant are used throughout the globe to assist with a myriad of ailments. Most commonly, cayenne pepper is used to fight:
- Digestive issues
- Migraine headaches
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Nervous system issues
- Body pain
Additional uses can include psoriasis treatment and the speeding of a healthy metabolism. With so many health and holistic uses, it is no wonder that the cayenne pepper is found in most homes and nutritional supplement stores around the world.
Using Cayenne Pepper
The fruit of the cayenne pepper can be used for healing purposes in almost any form. It is usually ingested with food, while being used as a flavoring ingredient. Those who are interested in adding additional cayenne pepper to their diets may wish to add the powder to their teas, it works very well in combination with other extracts and supplements, or take the capsules. In every pharmacy open today, patients can find liniments and analgesic ointments that contain capsicum.
Everyone who chooses to handle the fruit at home should take great care to keep cayenne pepper away from the eyes and face. The resulting burn from eye interaction is unpleasant at best. Patients with known bowel problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, should take this supplement in moderation.