Cayenne pepper is more than just another spice since it has been providing many medicinal benefits for thousands of years. The healing properties come from an active component of the chili pepper called capsaicin, which provides the hot taste. The level of spice corresponds to the amount of capsaicin it contains, therefore being healthier if more capsaicin is present.
However, cayenne pepper is moderately hot in general. Introduced to European continent by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, it was grown originally in Central and South America. Nowadays, you can grow cayenne pepper seedlings in your balcony or garden.
Cayenne peppers can be eaten in natural, powdered, cream and capsule form. It has a rich nutritional profile with one tablespoon or 5 grams of pepper containing 17 calories, 44 percent of the required daily intake (RDI) of vitamin A, 8 percent of vitamin E, 7 percent of vitamin C and 6 percent of the vitamin B6. Here are some of the major health benefits of incorporating cayenne peppers into your meals.
Capsaicin is the ingredient that helps reduce the risk of cancers such as lung, pancreatic, prostate and skin cancer. It attacks the cancer cells’ growth process from all of its pathways. A study conducted by the University of California proved this. So far, the findings are limited to animal and laboratory studies. More studies based on human beings are required for further verification.
Brings Down Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation on the skin due to excessive skin production. It manifests in the form of scaly skin with white itchy patches. According to Dr.Axe.com, two trials involving the topical application of capsaicin cream of just 0.025 percent was successful in healing some psoriasis wounds. During a six weeks period, 44 patients had shown a decrease of psoriasis symptoms such as scaling and redness.
The next study consisted of 197 patients who were similarly treated topically with capsaicin cream four times every day for six week showed a similar reduction in skin destruction. Capsaicin also helped in bringing down the amount of substance P, a small peptide, that is involved in the formation of psoriasis.
Relieves Joint and Nerve Pain
Substance P is released in abnormal amounts in people with fibromyalgia. It is a neurotransmitter that signals pain to the brain. When there are fewer signals, small amounts of substance P is produced, which means there is less pain experienced. Cayenne pepper has the power to alleviate pain when applied on the skin to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, nerve damage and lower back injuries.
Supports Weight Loss and Aids Digestion
Cayenne pepper reduces appetite and helps promote weight loss if consumed for breakfast. It also burns fat by increasing the heat generated by the body internally, which eventually leads to an increase in the metabolic rate.
Cayenne pepper increases the production of saliva in the salivary glands, which is the first crucial step in the digestive process. It also helps generate gastric juices that aid the digestive process too. The peppers help flush out toxins out of the body and produce a detoxifying effect.
Helps Overcome Cold and Flu
Cayenne pepper is a source of vitamin C, which could help reduce the cold accompanying a flu. It is also a natural remedy for the flu because it helps in decongesting the mucus and helps it exit the body. Also, its antioxidants could boost your immune system.