Cayenne Pepper is an easily available, inexpensive herb that is commonly used in many cultures daily as a food. Cayenne pepper, used as a natural remedy, benefits the digestive system and circulatory system. It is a natural pain reliever and is also used as an emergency remedy for bleeding problems and heart issues. For centuries, midwives have used cayenne to stop hemorrhaging after childbirth and saved many lives.
Cayenne Pepper contains important nutrients, including vitamin B6, potassium, molybdenum, vitamin c, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and beta-carotene.
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
- Sore Throat
- Sinus Infection
- Dry Mouth
- Blood Pressure
- Poor Circulation
- Cold Feet
Internal Use of Cayenne Pepper
As with most natural remedies, it is best to start with a smaller dose and increase as needed. Even 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper is helpful in some cases. Some people just keep a cayenne pepper shaker on the table for seasoning food. Many find that mixing cayenne pepper in some orange juice will help it to go down easier. Cayenne pepper taken in capsules is more likely to cause digestive surprise and upset when the capsule opens in the stomach. If the tongue has already tasted the cayenne, the stomach has had advanced warning! Some cayenne pepper capsules include ginger to help the stomach to adjust more easily.
All Cayenne Pepper is not created equal. Health food stores are more likely to have a higher quality and stronger cayenne pepper than the average grocery store. Cayenne Pepper can have a wide range in heat. Some Cayenne Pepper has a heat rating of 30,000, which will still be quite spicy. Others will have as much as 190,000 heat units. Only those used to strong spice will be able to tolerate higher amounts! Your body does adjust to the power in cayenne pepper. If you start with a small amount and use it regularly, you will find that you can tolerate larger amounts.
Topical Use of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper is used topically to decrease pain and increase circulation.
Capsaicin affects substance P (which relays pain) in your body. A salve with cayenne applied to arthritic joints or painful muscles relieves pain. At the same time, circulation is increased. The extra blood flow promotes healing. As with any pain reliever, natural or otherwise, it is best to not use the reduction in pain as a way to push yourself further. Pain is a signal to your body to rest. Ignoring pain or masking it and continuing on can make the situation worse in the long run.
A topical cayenne salve can also relieve shingles pain and warm up cold and hands and feet.
How to Make a Cayenne Salve
- 1 T. cayenne pepper powder
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup castor oil
- 3 T. beeswax
Put cayenne pepper, olive oil and castor oil into a glass jar. Allow it to sit for 1 – 2 weeks. Using a clean piece of t shirt, strain out the cayenne pepper powder. Heat your red colored oil in a double boiler with the beeswax until the wax melts. Pour into a jar or tin. Allow to cool.
You can use 1 cup of olive oil if you do not have castor oil, however, castor oil also has pain relieving properties. If you want a harder salve, use 4 T. of beeswax.
Cayenne Pepper Gargle
Cayenne pepper fights viruses and bacteria. For that reason it makes an excellent gargle. It will be spicy and perhaps not the most pleasant feeling at first. However, after you gargle and your throat gets over the initial sting, the pain will be less and the infection will begin to wane. Using a cayenne pepper gargle several times daily for a few days will even fight stubborn infections like strep throat. Simply add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to ¼ cup of warm water. Before you gargle put on some lip balm so you don’t burn your lips.
This video will show you exactly how to use cayenne pepper as a gargle and give you the courage to try it!
Cayenne Pepper Tooth Powder
Cayenne pepper can fight infection and increase circulation in your mouth. You can make a tooth powder to use instead of toothpaste. It may taste very spicy at first, but you mouth will get accustomed to it over time.
Spicy Tooth Powder:
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sprinkle the powder onto your toothbrush and brush your teeth gently as needed.
Cayenne Pepper for Emergencies
Cayenne pepper will stop bleeding from a cut. Simply sprinkle cayenne into a clean wound and apply pressure with a clean cloth or gauze pad. The cayenne will mix with blood to form a scab. Don’t remove this scab, allow it to fall off naturally, or you may begin bleeding again.
In his book Herbal Home Health Care, herbalist Dr. John Christopher writes about using cayenne pepper in case of heart attack – 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water. Many midwives use the same formula for mothers who birth at home and experience hemorrhage.
Capsaicin in Cayenne Pepper as a Cardioprotective
Research has found that capsaicin (the heat producing component in cayenne pepper), when applied topically during a heart attack, can significantly decrease cardiac cell death while further treatment is being pursued.1 Capsaicin is sometimes found in topical pain relief formulas.
Please read on to see what benefits Earth Clinic readers have experienced with Cayenne Pepper. And be sure to share your experiences with cayenne pepper!