the Miracle Herb?
By CJ Puotinen
from "Country Sun" magazine
for heart health
Chili peppers, aka cayenne, are full of contradictions. They’re
hot enough to hurt, yet they can relieve pain, improve circulation,
stimulate the appetite, and actually cool you down in hot weather.
If that’s not good enough, they’re both tasty and
in the Americas for at least 9,000 years, cayenne spread quickly
around the world. Chili peppers are now widely used in the cuisines
of Southeast Asia, china, and Southern Italy, as well as their
native Mexico. Traditional Ayurvedic, Chinese, Japanese and Korean
medicines use cayenne as a remedy for digestive problems, muscle
pain, and frostbite. In Europe and the U.S., cayenne is used topically
to relieve the pain of arthritis, shingles (Herpes zoster), and
cancer. But you don’t want to breathe this hot spice or
get it in your eyes: Capsaicin, cayenne’s active ingredient,
irritates mucous membranes, making it a potent chemical in personal
How does cayenne relieve pain? Capsaicin eases pain by destroying
“substance P,” a chemical messenger that transmits
pain signals to the brain. With substance P incapacitated, pain
disappears. Conditions that respond to the capsaicin in topical
creams or capsules include the following:
Joint and muscle pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis,
and other causes.
Post-surgical pain from mastectomies or amputations.
Cluster headaches and chronic headaches (the cream is applied
inside the nose).
Diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage in the feet or legs caused
Itching and inflammation of psoriasis.
cayenne may even help heal stomach ulcers, whose sufferers in
the past have been told to avoid hot peppers and spices. Cayenne
may also thin mucus and help remove it from the lungs, as well
as strengthen lung tissue to help prevent or treat emphysema,
a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Now, scientists are exploring the possibility that cayenne improves
blood flow to the heart when atherosclerosis or plaque blocks
the arteries. Cayenne and capsaicin stimulate the cardiovascular
system, improve circulation, lower blood cholesterol, reduce triglyceride
levels, and help prevent clotting and hardening of the arteries.
Cayenne also helps the body dissolve fibrin, a substance involved
in the formation of blood clots. Cultures in which hot peppers
spice up the local cuisine have a much lower rate of heart attack,
stroke, and pulmonary embolism than do other societies.
is a friend to the heart because it feeds the cells, improves
capillary strength, and strengthens arteries and veins. This spicy
herb regulates the flow of blood from head to toe and strengthens
the pulse without increasing the frequency of heartbeats or raising
hot to handle?
Cayenne isn’t for everyone, and its heat-producing capsaicin
can cause problems even for its fans. Capsaicin, the chemical
that makes peppers hot, comes in different concentrations depending
on the variety of chili pepper. Habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers
are at the top of the heat scale, followed by jalapenos, which
are followed by milder varieties such as Spanish pimientos, Anaheim
chilies, and Hungarian cherry peppers.
you hands very well after cutting fresh cayenne or handling cayenne
powder, and keep your hands away from your eyes! The
burning, itching sensation that cayenne produces on the skin should
quickly subside, but you can chase it away faster by applying
any vegetable oil and wiping it away. Capsaicin is oil soluble,
not water soluble. Cayenne, like other peppers, is a member of
the nightshade family, which includes all green, yellow, and red
peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and tobacco. Someone who
is sensitive to nightshade chemicals may not be able to use cayenne
internally or capsaicin creams topically.
"Alternative Treatments for Weight Loss" By D.B. Allison
"Clinical Applications of Capsaicinoids" By w. Robbins.
"Natural Relief from Aches and Pains" By Cj Puotinen
"Other herbs for your heart" By Roy Kiss