Learn More About Cayenne

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cayenne

What is cayenne?

One of the best known spices in the world, cayeene, or Capsicum annuum, is a hot, red chili pepper used not only to flavor dishes but also for medicinal purposes. Named for the city of Cayenne in French Guiana, it is a nightshade, related to bell peppers and jalapeños.

What is cayenne used for?

Some herbalists regard cayenne as the most versatile and useful of all herbs, and anyone who has ever suffered from dyspepsia, also known as indigestion or upset stomach, might be inclined to agree. Studies and anecdotal evidence both support the notion that cayenne can help to rebuild tissue in the stomach and promote peristaltic action in the intestines. Cayenne appears to aid in both elimination of waste matter and in the assimilation of nutrients from food. This spice also seems to help the body up-regulate production of hydrochloric acid, which is so necessary for good digestion and assimilation of proteins. A number of researchers suspect that cayenne might help to kill H. Pylori, the bacteria that causes many ulcers.

Cayenne, or capsicum, is held in high regard by herbalists and alternative practitioners for its apparent ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. In fact, cayenne possibly exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire cardiovascular system. Scientific research indicates that cayenne has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure, particularly when combined with the herb hawthorn.

Cayenne seems to possess an energizing effect on the entire system, and has traditionally been used for overcoming fatigue and restoring stamina and vigor. Many people use it as a natural energy enhancer without the threatening side effects (palpitations, hyper-activity or rise in blood pressure) of most other stimulating agents. Just as some cardiologists contend that use of aspirin during a heart attack may improve survival rates, others believe that prompt ingestion of cayenne during a health emergency might also be of considerable benefit. The research on this is lacking, but some first-hand accounts provide intriguing anecdotal evidence. This may be because of cayenne’s action as a natural blood thinner.

Many people find that cayenne offers relief from common circulatory issues such as cold hands and feet, possibly because of its thermogenic properties. For this same reason, some dieters find cayenne a useful aid in increasing the metabolic rate, thereby making it of potential use in weight loss.

Cayenne also has useful pain-relieving properties. Millions of arthritis sufferers apply topical cayenne preparations to aching joints for fast, non-drug relief, possibly due to cayenne’s ability to temporarily shut down pain receptors. Others ingest cayenne for relief from migraine attacks, sometimes in the form of cayenne capsules or tea, or even as a nasal spray for fast action. Cayenne’s migraine effects may be related to its blood-pressure equalizing effects, although once again more research is needed to answer this question.

How is cayenne taken?

Other than as a culinary spice, the most common way—and easiest—way to ingest cayenne is as a capsule. The potency of cayenne is usually measured in heat units rather than milligrams, unlike most supplements, and many newcomers to this herb find it prudent to begin with a lower dose, such as 40,000 units, gradually working their way up to higher amounts. Only take this supplement immediately after a meal. Otherwise a certain amount of temporary gastric discomfort may result.

Is cayenne safe?

Those who take prescription blood thinners or have other pre-existing health conditions should see their doctor before taking this potent herb. Otherwise, cayenne appears to be safe for most people.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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