What is Cayenne Pepper?
Also known as the African red pepper, American red pepper, Spanish pepper, bird pepper, or Guinea pepper – It is a red pepper that grows as a perennial in tropical areas. It is well known in in a ground up form as a powdered spice used with many foods.
What Cayenne Pepper is Not:
It is not chili powder, red chile powder, paprika, or red pepper flakes. Cayenne pepper is different from those spices and has many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Turns out that cayenne pepper has many health benefits, but use it in moderation and with caution. The seeds of a cayenne pepper can be toxic and excess amounts can lead to serious problems. If you are on regular medication or supplements make sure to talk to your doctor before using cayenne.
It is very high in vitamins A, the B vitamin complex, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, niaicin, iron, and the minerals potassium and manganese. Cayenne pepper has been used for heartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, hemorrhoids, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria. It can help heal ulcers, remove plaque from arteries, stop migraines, rebuild the flesh harmed by frostbite and warm the entire body. It is also a catalyst used in other herbal formulas.
The high amount of potassium is very beneficial for heart health. Dr. John Christopher, a famous herbalist, said that he could stop a heart attack if he could get the patient to drink a glass of warm cayenne pepper water because the cayenne immediately equalizes the blood pressure and feeds the heart with the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Oxford Polytechnic Institute in England did experiments that showed by adding 1 tsp of red pepper sauce and 1 tsp of mustard to meals you can increase your metabolism by as much as 25% . Increased metabolism can help reduce weight.
You don’t even have to ingest cayenne pepper to get benefits from it. Its active component is capsaicin, which gives the pepper its heat. By putting it on topically the capsaicin helps release more neurotransmitters which inhibit the pain nerves for a little while. This can help with rheumatoid arthritis pain, muscle pain from fibromyalgia, and nerve pain from shingles.
The capsaicin in cayenne peppers helps clear mucus and congested lungs. But be careful because it is also the main ingredient in pepper spray. A hot cayenne pepper tea during cold and flu season works faster than many cold remedies in relieving congestion and stuffiness. Gargling with cayenne pepper in the water can help sore throats and strep throat. it can also helps prevent tooth and gum diseases. The Loma Linda University in CA showed that cayenne might help prevent lung cancer in smokers.
Here are some other ways to add a bit of cayenne to your diet.
- Cayenne goes well with vegetable sautes and canned vegetables.
- Keep some handy with your black pepper so you can add a bit to any meal.
- Try a pinch in hot cocoa
- Add it with lemon juice to collards, kale, mustard green and other bitter greens.
Prepper Tip: Don’t put cayenne pepper in freezer meals until you are ready to serve them. The cayenne will become too spicy and overpower the food if it is in the dish for a while.