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Medicinal Herb Information  

Cayenne Pepper
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      Cayenne pepper:


Cayenne is traditionally used by herbalists for cure stomach aches, cramping, gas, varicose veins, allergies, constipation, metabolism, sore throat, anti-flu, shingles, arthritis, rheumatism, simple backache, strains, sprains, detoxification, kidney, varicose veins worms [Vermifuge] and to relieve Heart attacks. Cayenne can help with Prostate cancer, and Lung cancer. Cayenne also is being studied for a possible drug abuse deterrent. It may also help with heavy menstrual flow. This is a wonderful site for information on Cayenne pepper Earth Clinic.


     Warning: cayenne is a natural blood thinner – do not take before surgery! Test before using cayenne on skin.  Can damage contact lens and the eye. Cayenne pepper is a control agent in pepper spray. When the spray comes in contact with skin, especially eyes or mucous membranes, it is very painful.


       This is a clear statement from the book:

Herbal Medicine – The Natural way to Get Well and Stay Well” by – Dian Dincin Buchman, PhD

Copyright 1979, 1996

ISBN: 0-517-14767-x

Page 9 – 14


This information came from Swinburne Clymer, in “The Medicines of Nature”—Capsicum increases the power of all other agents, helps the digestion when taken with meals, and arouses all the secreting organs.  Whenever a stimulant is indicated, Capsicum may be given with the utmost safety, and should have first consideration.   It is indicated in low fevers and prostrating diseases.  Capsicum is non-poisonous, and there is no reaction to its use.   It is the only natural stimulant worthwhile considering in diarrhea or dysentery with bloody mucus, stools and offensive breath.


       Botanical name: Capsicum annuum – Capsaicin, a red colouring matter, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids. This is a wonderful site for information on Capsicum annuum A Modern Herbal.


       Chinese Botanical name:


 ---Description---Cayenne or Capsicum derives its name from the Greek, 'to bite,' in allusion to the hot pungent properties of the fruits and seeds. Cayenne pepper was introduced into Britain from India in 1548, and Gerard mentioned it as being cultivated in his time. The plant was described by Linnaeus under the name of C. frutescens proper. This species appeared in Miller's Garden Dictionary in 1771. It is a shrubby perennial plant 2 to 6 feet high. Branches angular, usually enlarged and slightly purple at the nodes; petioles medium; peduncles slender, often in pairs, and longer than the fruit; calyx cup-shaped, clasping base of fruit which is red, ovate, and long; seeds small and flat, from ten to twenty-nine. The cuticle of the pericarp is uniformly striated and in this particular is distinct from other species. Taste very pungent and smell characteristic. It is difficult to determine the source of true powdered Capsicum, as the colour is affected by light, so that it should always be kept in dark receptacles. African pepper is generally light brownish-yellow colour and very pungent; its pungency appears to depend on a principle called Capsicin. Cayenne is sometimes adulterated with oxide of red lead, which may be detected by digesting in dilute nitric acid. Other adulterants are coloured sawdust which can be found by the aid of the microscope. The British Pharmacopceia requires that capsicum should yield not more than 6 per cent of ash, and this test detects the presence of most adulterants.

---Constituents---Capsaicin, a red colouring matter, oleic, palmitic and stearic acids.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---A powerful local stimulant, with no narcotic effect largely used in hot climates as a condiment, and most useful in any of the intestines and stomach affliction. It should not be used in ordinary gastric catarrh. For persons addicted to drink it seems to be useful possibly by reducing the dilated blood-vessels and thus relieving chronic congestion. It is often added to tonics and is said to be unequalled for warding off diseases. Herbalists use it largely in pill form and powdered. Externally it is a strong rubefacient and acts gently with no danger of vesication; is applied as a cataplasm or as a liniment; it can be mixed with 10 to 20 per cent of cotton-seed oil. The powder or the tincture is beneficial for relaxed uvula. A preparation in use in the West Indies called Mandram, for weak digestion and loss of appetite, is made of thinly sliced and unskinned cucumbers, shallots, chives, or onions, lemon or lime juice, Madeira, and a few pods of bird pepper well mashed up in the liquids. It can be used as a chutney. Capsaicin is being explored as a cure for diabetes by researchers in Toronto, Canada. The American Association for Cancer Research reports studies suggesting capsaicin is able to kill prostate cancer cells by causing them to undergo apoptosis. [1] The studies were performed on tumors formed by human prostate cancer cell cultures grown in mouse models, and showed tumors treated with capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of the untreated tumors. This is a medical article on Cayenne Pepper component hot enough to trigger suicide in prostate cancer cells.

Another study carried out at the University of Nottingham suggests capsaicin is able to trigger apoptosis in human lung cancer cells as well.[2]

Capsaicin is also used in certain medical studies as a measure of a person’s tolerability to pain before that person is tested with a new drug, a painkiller for example.


---Doses---For a gargle: 1/2 drachm of powder to 1 pint of boiling water, or 1/2 fluid ounce of the tincture to 8 fluid ounces of rose water. If the throat is very sensitive it can be given in pill form - generally made with 1 to 10 grains powder. The infusion is made with 2 drachms to 1/2 pint boiling water taken in 1/2 fluid ounce doses. The tincture is used as a paint for chilblains. The treatment typically involves the application of a topical anesthetic until the area is numb.

---Nutrient Source---The herb is a source of vitamin C.

---Side Effects or Negative Effects--- No Narcotic effect, no know side affects even over long term use.

---Deterrent--- Clifford Woolf, the Richard J. Kitz Professor of Anesthesia Research at Harvard Medical School, has suggested using capsaicin to deter abuse of certain extended-release drugs such as OxyContin and Ritalin. And in the past it was used to deter pests.



2.        Swinburne Clymer, in “The Medicines of Nature

3.        Earth Clinic

4.        A Modern Herbal

5.        Herbal Medicine – The Natural way to Get Well and Stay Well” by – Dian Dincin Buchman, PhD; Copyright 1979, 1996, ISBN: 0-517-14767-x, Page 9 – 14

6.        Harvard Medical School

7.         American Association for Cancer Research


       Reduce weight: 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a 1/2 cup of hot water, 3 times a day. It speeds up the metabolism."


       Anti-flu Preparation: 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon seal salt, 1 cup hot (strong) chamomile tea or boiling water, 1 cup apple cider vinegar.  Grind together the cayenne pepper and slat to form a paste. Add strong hot chamomile tea.  Steep and cool.  Add the vinegar to the water.  Most adults can take between a teaspoon to a tablespoon every half hour.  If it seems too strong, dilute it.


       Liniment: Use either apple cider vinegar [ACV] or alcohol as a base for the liniment, and greatly dilute with rose water [distilled or filter water can be used]. Add a few peppermint leaves, wormwood, rosemary leaves a few dashes of cayenne pepper to ACV and letting this steep in the sunk, turning it everyday, for a week or so.  Strain off the herbs before using.


       Ointment: This is used often to stop the nerve pain of shingles, and pain of arthritis.


       Bleeding: A few grains of cayenne will stop bleeding almost immediately externally, as for internally bleeding [start with small amount of cayenne] add cayenne to hot water and drink, this will also staunch bleeding ulcers.  Always consult your physician about internal bleeding.


       Toothache: Cayenne pepper will smart on the gum and in a cavity, but it will temporary alleviate the pain.


       Cold Feet: Cayenne will stain your soak and shoes, but it will warm your feet use a light dusting.


       Sore Throat: The United States Dispensatory notes the most important uses for cayenne is during a malignant sore throat, and in scarlet fever where it is used internally and as a gargle.


       Detoxification: Use a pinch of cayenne pepper, a glass of water, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, to eliminate the smell of chlorine after swimming in a pool.


       Varicose Veins: Add a few grains of cayenne pepper to every drink during the day, and work up to 1/8 of a teaspoon as a dietetic supplement.


       Worms: Mexican-Americans utilize cayenne pepper to eliminate various worms.  The cayenne can be rolled in cream cheese “pills.”





Generated on April 29th, 2007
Updated on July 9th, 2007

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