Cayenne Pepper is an herb made from the dried pods of chili peppers. Besides being a very popular spice in cooking, cayenne has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. High in Vitamins A, C, B complex, calcium and potassium, cayenne is a wonderful healing aid for the digestive system since it acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other foods and herbs when used with them. It is also very healing for the heart and circulatory system. Studies have shown that Cayenne can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines.
Cayenne is traditionally used by herbalists to cure stomach aches, cramping, gas, varicose veins, allergies, and constipation. One of the most amazing healing properties of cayenne is that it has been used successfully time and time again to relieve heart attacks
The health benefits of cayenne pepper revolve around this substance-p depletion affect. Cayenne pepper and heart health are related to this as well. Cayenne aids in promoting cardiovascular health and has an all around tonic effect on the circulatory system.
One of the most dramatic health benefits of cayenne pepper is its reported ability to stop a heart attack in its tracks! This effect comes from the ability of cayenne to act as a vasodilator and open arteries allowing critical blood flow to the heart to resume.
Cayenne helps prevent blood clots from forming due to it’s effect on blood platelet aggregation (stickiness). This anticoagulant effect is part of the relationship between cayenne pepper and heart health, and cayenne does it naturally with no toxic side effects.
In the case of heart attacks, cayenne is best given orally as a tincture or hot tea to speed its entry into the bloodstream. According to the famous herbalist Dr. John Christopher this amounts to a teaspoon of cayenne powder in a cup of hot water, about 500mg dosage.
Dr. Christopher claims that he has used this preparation a number of times to save the life of a patient who was having a heart attack. The cayenne tea was able to dilate the arteries and restore critical circulation and blood flow to the heart.
This is perhaps one of the most dramatic health benefits of cayenne pepper!
Health benefits of cayenne pepper extend to diabetic conditions as well. Recent research in which type I diabetes was cured in mice used capsicum extracted from cayenne pepper.The capsicum was used to deplete substance-p in the pancreas of the mice and allow the islet cells to begin working again and producing insulin.
This new development is interesting in light of the fact that cayenne has been used for many years as a “folk remedy” for diabetes. It would appear that science is finally confirming what centuries old folk medicine knew about cayenne pepper herbs.
There are now a host of topical pain relief creams based on capsaicin from cayenne peppers. These creams work by depleting substance-p from the sensory nerves in the affected area and preventing transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Capsicum based creams and lotions have become quite popular for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis as well as other painful conditions of the muscles and joints. These creams are also extensively used in veterinary medicine on racing horses and dogs. The health benefits of cayenne also extend to animals as well as humans.
Capsicum based preparations used on horses can also be used safely on humans as they are formulated to be used on a horses skin which is more sensitive to irritation than human skin.
When using capsicum based creams avoid getting any on your hands and subsequently touching your eyes. You should also be aware that when it is on your skin and you shower or bathe soon after, you will likely experience a burning sensation.
Water seems to intensify the effects of oleo-resin capsicum so you will want to avoid getting the area that you applied it to wet. Eventually you will become used to the effects and the uncomfortable sensations will lessen.
Cayenne is used in several forms:
An infusion of cayenne tea would be made by combining one cup of hot water with ½ to 1 teaspoon full of cayenne powder. Let it set for ten minutes. You would then combine a teaspoon of this infusion in water and take up to three times per day.
Capsules can be taken up to three times per day before meals, and topical capsicum creams should be used 3-4 times per day until the pain subsides.
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