CAYENNE PEPPER (Capsicum)
Capsicum (Cayenne) is used for various problems with digestion including upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramps. It is also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including poor circulation, excessive blood clotting, high cholesterol, and preventing heart disease.
Other uses include relief of toothache, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria, and fever. It is also used to help people who have difficulty swallowing.
Some people apply capsicum to the skin for pain caused by shingles, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. It is also used topically for nerve pain (neuropathy) associated with diabetes and HIV, other types of nerve pain (neuralgia), and back pain.
Capsicum is also used on the skin to relieve muscle spasms, as a gargle for laryngitis, and to discourage thumb-sucking or nail-biting.
Some people put capsicum inside the nose to treat hay fever, migraine headache, cluster headache, and sinus infections (sinusitis).
One form of capsicum is currently being studied as a drug for migraine, osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions.
A particular form of capsicum causes intense eye pain and other unpleasant effects when it comes in contact with the face. This form is used in self-defense pepper sprays.
How does it work?
The fruit of the capsicum plant contains a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin seems to reduce pain sensations when applied to the skin.
The burning sensation of hot peppers is a reaction of the central nervous system to capsaicin; unlike horseradish, wasabi, garlic, ginger, and mustard, capsaicin only causes the sensation of damage, not real damage to tissues. This sensation of pain, however, depletes a chemical called substance P, and when substance P is used up, the ongoing tissue damage of arthritis, shingles, cluster headaches, fibromyalgia, or lower back injury does not result in pain. Eating hot peppers can also deplete pain chemicals in the stomach. Peppers do not actually cause heartburn or ulcers. They merely cause the sensation of pain, depleting substance P, so other conditions cannot cause pain. Eating foods seasoned with cayenne or chile may even protect the stomach against damage by aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAID pain relief medications. Capsaicin creams can also reduce itching in psoriasis. Precautions: Pepper in any of its form may be a irritant to the mucous membranes and caution should be exercised when handling. Don't touch your eyes with your hands after you have handled capsaicin in any form as painful burning may occur. Excessive use internally may result in gastro-intestinal upset.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Disclaimer: Apple Tree makes no medical claims that the herbs, herbal products or suggested uses on this website are intended to diagnose, prevent, cure or treat any health problem or disease. Content herein is provided for informational purposes only. Please do further research on your own.