Cayenne pepper is a chili pepper that is from the plant genus and species Capsicum annuum. It comes from a long, tapered red type of chili pepper that has a curved tip and rippled skin.
Here are ten benefits of taking cayenne pepper for your health, and the best ways to take it internally or externally.
1. Relieves Joint & Nerve Pain
Perhaps one of the most common uses for topical application of cayenne pepper is in relieving joint and nerve pain. Many pain ointments contain capsaicin‚ extracted from cayenne pepper—which is beneficial as a natural treatment for pain. This is because the body releases a P-chemical or pain message that heads to the brain where is pain felt.
The cayenne pepper helps to detour these messages. The P-chemical can no longer reach the brain, and you’ll feel relief at the pain site.
There have been many studies done to prove that cayenne pepper can also relieve pain after surgery. It can also help ease nerve damage pain that has been caused by diabetes, fibromyalgia, or arthritis.
2. Treats and Calms Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an auto-immune skin disorder that causes pain, itchiness, and disfiguration. It’s a condition that occurs when skin cells replicate too quickly. It results in swollen patches of skin, with white scales on top that become incredibly unsightly.
Studies have shown that a topical cream containing capsaicin will significantly decrease swelling and scaliness when treated over six weeks. It’s also a much safer treatment than having to apply steroidal ointments, as this condition often needs extended treatment over several weeks.
3. Aids in Effective Digestion
It seems surprising that something so spicy can help the digestive system, but cayenne pepper does. This is because it encourages the production of saliva, which is the first stage of the digestive process. Saliva is essential in starting the digestive process, and also for preventing bad breath.
The pepper works to stimulate our saliva glands. The saliva then helps the food to pass down the esophagus to our stomachs. Once there, the cayenne will stimulate the flow of enzyme production, which is required to help the body break down the food and be absorbed. It also stimulates gastric juices that help the body to metabolize food and harmful toxins.
Cayenne pepper can also work at eliminating acidity in the stomach, which can lead to excessive stomach acid and heartburn. This is done by helping the body to remove toxins too.
4. Fights Cold and Flu Bugs
Cayenne pepper contains many compounds, including beta carotene and antioxidants, that help to boost the immune system. These help the body in fighting off foreign invaders.
If you already have a cold, the cayenne pepper can help to break up and move congested mucus from your nose, sinuses, and respiratory passages.
The pepper also works another way. Since it naturally raises your body temperature, it will help your immune system to kill the viruses or bacteria that have caused you to get sick.
5. Contains a Significant Source of Vitamins A, C & E
The body better utilizes vitamins that are naturally sourced from food. Cayenne pepper contains several vitamins, including A, C, and E.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the right eye and nerve function and healthy skin. It’s also considered an antioxidant that fights off free radicals that can lead to cancer.
Vitamin C is beneficial for helping to ward off colds or get rid of them faster if you already have one.
Vitamin E is required for your body’s organs to function correctly. It will also help to slow the aging process and help to balance cholesterol.
6. Helps to Prevent Allergies
Cayenne pepper works naturally as an anti-inflammatory, so it can also help to stop the overactive immune response in the body that occurs for people who suffer from allergies and food intolerances.
It can also help to prevent the leaky gut syndrome, which is when food and protein particles slip through the intestines into the body and cause an inflammatory response.
7. Relieves a Bad Migraine
Most people have heard of hot peppers being a suitable pain reliever when applied externally, but it can also be taken internally to relieve a terrible migraine headache.
After ingesting cayenne pepper, it can stimulate a pain response in a different part of the body. When this happens, the brain then focusses on that pain, rather than the originating site of the migraine.
The body’s nerve fibers then have a depleted substance of P, one of the pain chemicals.
Basically, what happens is that you’re tricking your body to feel pain at a different site than the originating one. This means the head is no longer the focus of the pain chemicals in your body.
Our ancestors have often used this technique by placing cold packs on the body in different spots than the ones that have the original issue. Taking cayenne pepper internally works a similar way.
8. Excellent Cancer Preventative
Since cayenne pepper contains vitamin A and other antioxidants, it can also be useful when used to prevent cancer. It’s particularly beneficial if you have a history of cancer in your family and are doing your best to look after yourself.
It’s the capsaicin that acts as a substance to prevent the formation of tumors and inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
9. Prevents Blood Clots
Some people are more prone to blood clots than others, which can lead to blockages in your circulatory system that can cause strokes. Your circulatory system is a vast network of arteries and blood vessels that control the blood flow throughout your body.
If you consume cayenne pepper, it can help to prevent heart disease and strokes. This is because the capsaicin compound in the pepper can help to clear out lipid deposits from your body and dilate arteries. These actions help your blood vessels to clear away clots.
10. Possesses Anti-Fungal Properties
While there is an extensive collection of organisms on our skin that generally live in harmony, occasionally, the colonies of fungus can get out of control.
This leads to redness and itchiness in the regions of your feet, groin, and scalp. Yeast infections can also affect the digestive system inside the body.
When Candida takes over in the body, it can also lead to hormonal imbalances, join paint, a weakened immune system, and digestive problems.
A study has been done to prove that cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is useful in killing 16 different fungal strains. It helps to combat Candida, which is one of the most common fungi inside and outside the human body.
How to Use Cayenne Pepper to Benefit Your Health
If you’re ready to try using cayenne pepper to help improve your health or to stay healthy, there are three main ways to use it.
- In cooking.
- In capsule form.
- As a cream.
While adding cayenne pepper to your meals can provide flavor, often, you may require more significant amounts to aid in the treatment of a skin or body condition.
Taking one or two capsules a day filled with only cayenne pepper is the easiest way to get your daily dosage of vitamins and capsaicin.
The third method is to use a cream that contains capsaicin. This is to be used for topical or skin surface use only.
Depending on your particular health issue, you should either use it in cooking, as a cream, or in capsule form to suit your needs.
Can Cayenne Pepper Help with Weight Loss?
Cayenne pepper works in a variety of different ways to aid in weight loss. You can take it first thing in the morning. It will cause decreased appetite so that you consume fewer calories in the morning.
Bodies that are under a high amount of stress burn fewer calories. Since cayenne pepper is considered an anti-inflammatory food, once your body has a decreased immune response, it will return to a regular metabolic rate.
Cayenne pepper naturally increases your metabolism so that calories are burned faster in your body. It burns excess fat at a faster pace.
Cayenne pepper can also soothe inflammation and bloating that comes from people who suffer from food sensitivities and allergies, which can also lead to weight gain.
Cayenne Pepper Side Effects
Almost everything you put in your body or on your skin can give a small percentage of the population an adverse reaction. Take a bit of care when using cayenne pepper in one of its three forms, and you should be fine.
- If you find cayenne pepper upsets your stomach when eaten, try it in a capsule form. This allows it to digest deeper into your digestive tract, avoiding problems with your esophagus, which is typical for heartburn or stomach upsets.
- Avoid touching your eyes after using cayenne pepper. It can make your eyes burn.
- Do read the ingredients list before purchasing products. If your cayenne pepper from the spice shelf isn’t working for its purpose, likely it has other types of pepper in it that aren’t suitable for personal care.
- Stick to your treatment plan every day so you can experience the full benefits.
- Don’t take cayenne pepper every single day of the year. Try one week to six weeks, then take a break of 3 months in between.