Originally from South America, the cayenne plant has spread across the globe both as a food and as a medicine. Cayenne is very closely related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and other similar peppers.
In what conditions might cayenne be supportive?
Bursitis, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis,
shingles (herpes zoster), postherpetic neuralgia.
Historical or traditional use: The potent, hot
fruit of cayenne has been used as medicine for centuries. It was considered
helpful for various conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including
stomachaches, cramping pains, and gas. Cayenne was frequently used to treat
diseases of the circulatory system. It is still traditionally used in herbal
medicine as a circulatory tonic (a substance believed to improve circulation).
Rubbed on the skin, cayenne is a traditional, as well as modern, remedy for
rheumatic pains and arthritis due to what is termed a counterirritant effect. A
counterirritant is something which causes irritation to a tissue to which it is
applied, thus distracting from the original irritation (such as joint pain in
the case of arthritis). The fruit is used.
Active constituents: Cayenne contains a resinous
and pungent substance known as capsaicin. This chemical relieves pain and
itching by acting on sensory nerves. Capsaicin temporarily stimulates release of
various neurotransmitters from these nerves, leading to their depletion. Without
the neurotransmitters, pain signals can no longer be sent.1 The effect is
temporary. Capsaicin and other constituents in cayenne have been shown to have
several other actions, including reducing platelet stickiness and acting as
How much should I take? Creams containing
0.025-0.075% capsaicin are generally used. There may be a burning sensation for
the first several times the cream is applied, but this should gradually decrease
with each use. The hands must be carefully and thoroughly washed after use, or
gloves should be worn, to prevent the cream from accidentally reaching the eyes,
nose, or mouth, which would cause a burning sensation. Do not apply the cream to
areas of broken skin. A cayenne tincture can be used in the amount of 0.3-1 ml
three times daily. Are there any side effects or interactions? Besides causing a
mild burning for the first few applications (or severe burning if accidentally
placed in sensitive areas, such as the eyes), there are no side effects from use
of the capsaicin cream. Very high intake of cayenne internally may cause ulcers,
but the necessary amount is rarely achieved with sensible intake.
As with anything applied to the skin, some people
may have an allergic reaction to the cream, so the first application should be
to a very small area of skin.
Thanks to Paul Wheeler for this compilation of other information on Cayenne
BY DR. JOHN R. CHRISTOPHER
FAMILY: SOLANACEAE (‘Solamen’ in Latin means
“quieting”); these are nightshades, which include: tomato, potato, red/green
bell peppers; eggplant; and the deadly nightshade, henbane, Jimson weed, the
petunia, and tobacco. There are 75 genera and over 2000 species; most are herbs,
some are small shrubs, and a few are small trees. The leaves show great
variation in size and shape but are always arranged in an alternate fashion on
the stems. It is the flowers, however, as is true of most plant families, that
offer the best characteristics for the recognition of the family. Both sepals
and petals are present. The five united or partially united petals usually form
a symmetrical corolla, which is wheel or bell shaped. The stamens, usually five
in number, attached near the base of the corolla. The superior ovary contains
two cavities. At maturity, the ovary becomes a fleshy or dry fruit containing
many seeds. The fleshy type of fruit is called a berry and is the more common
type in the family; the dry fruit is known as a capsule. Presumably all members
of the family developed from one common ancestor in the remote geological past.
The name “Cayenne” is derived from the river
Cayenne in French Guiana. Pepper is a misnomer when applied to Cayenne; Cayenne
is commonly called Guinea Pepper in England and Europe.
As an herb for health our attention is concerned
with CAPSICUM ANNUM AND CAPSICUM FRUTESCENS; AKA “bird pepper’ or ‘guinea
COMMON NAMES: African pepper; African red pepper;
American red pepper; bird pepper, capsicum, cayenne, cayenne pepper, Spanish
pepper, Casique or Poivre de Cayenne (French); Spanisher Pfeffer or
IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS: The most pungent is
the yellowish red fruit of Sierra Leone; the African birdseye Cayenne (Capsicum
fastigiatum) are small, pungent, bright pods and retain the heat in the body
longer than any other variety. Zanzibar chilies often have the stalks attached.
The African varieties grow on shrub-size plants and the fruit is small and
pungent, while the American varieties are herb-size plants with the fruit being
larger and heart shaped.
PART USED—FRUIT (the oil is in the seeds).
THERAPEUTIC ACTION: Stimulant, tonic,
carminative, sialogogue (stimulates the secretion of saliva), stomachic,
rubefacient, pungent, alterative, astringent, antispasmodic, sudorific, emetic,
antiseptic, condiment, anti-rheumatic.
• Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb; it is the purest and most
certain stimulant. There can be little doubt that Cayenne furnishes one of the
purest and strongest stimulants, which can be introduced into the stomach; while
at the same time it has nothing of the narcotic effects of ardent spritis. It is
said to have been used with success in curing some cases or disease that had
resisted all other remedies. It is no doubt the most powerful stimulant known;
its power is entirely congenial t nature, being powerful only in raising and
maintaining the heat on which life depends. It is extremely pungent, and when
taken, sets the mouth as it were on fire; this last, however, but a few minutes,
and I consider it essentially a benefit, for its effects on the glands causes
the saliva to flow freely, and leaves the mouth clean and moist.
• Practice has proved Cayenne to be a PURE STIMULANT; one that may be safely
administered and efficaciously applied, under every disease, whenever anything
in the form of a stimulant is required by the system; in fact, no other medicine
can as easily restore and retain the vital heat of the body. It also excites and
promotes profuse perspiration, and in all cases in perfect harmony with the
animal economy. It imparts a pungent heat to the throat and mouth, but this may
be considered as indicative of its good qualities, for it is thus made to act
powerfully on the salivary glands without injuring them and preserves a good
tone to the digestive organs. The warmth that it imparts to the stomach causes
an equal distribution of the fluids, without which health cannot possibly be
retained in a animal economy. When taken into the stomach, it retains its heat
longer than any other stimulant; at times it imparts a powerful sense of heat to
the bowels, occasioned by the sudden expansion of the parts which have
previously been cramped and contracted with pain. The active stimulus of the
pepper thus operating upon the parts affected, produces a speedy reaction in the
system, removing the obstructions by natural evacuations and profuse
• Cayenne as a nutritional herb: start with a small amount of 40 thousand
Skoville unit Cayenne, take approximately a level ¼ teaspoon, or one ‘0’
capsule full. Stir into a small amount of water and drink. Do this twice a day.
When adjusted to this level of Cayenne then increase the daily amount gradually
over a period of time, I suggest 12-18 months, until one teaspoon is being
consumed three times a day. To begin with it is best to use Cayenne just before
a meal. Over time Cayenne can be taken on an empty stomach, again start out with
small amounts and increase gradually over time.
• This herb is a great food for the circulatory system in that it feeds the
necessary elements into the cell structure of the arteries, veins and
capillaries so that these regain the elasticity of youth again, and the blood
pressure adjusts itself to normal. It rebuilds the tissue in the stomach and
heals the stomach and intestinal ulcers; in equalizing the blood circulation,
Cayenne produces natural warmth; and in stimulating the peristaltic motion of
the intestines, it aids in assimilation and elimination.
• When the venous structure becomes loaded with sticky mucus, the blood has a
harder time circulating; therefore, higher pressure forces the liquid through.
Cayenne regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet so that the
pressure is equalized; it influences the heart immediately, then gradually
extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and nerves (the frequency of
the pulse is not increased, but is given more vigor).
• CIRCULATION—Warming; dilating; specific for varicose veins; equalizes the
blood pressure in the arterial and venous system; equalizes;
• FOR: allergies; muscle cramps; improved digestion; more pep and energy;
wound healing with minimal scar tissue.
• Cayenne is a counter-irritant; brings blood to the surface to take toxins
• Capsicum supports the natural beat (rhythm) of the viscera and interior
actions of the glandular, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive systems. It has
been used with great success as a cure for spotted fever (?); the most active
stimulant to support and re-animate feeble or exhausted powers. (p. 66)
• This is a medicine of great value in the practice, and may be safely used in
all cases of disease, to raise and retain the internal vital heat of the system,
cause a free perspiration, and keep the determining powers to the surface. The
only preparation is to have it reduced to a fine powder. For a dose, take from
half to a teaspoonful in hot water or tea sweetened with honey.
• Dr. Coffin includes Cayenne pepper in his composition powder to restore the
normal function of the body in the various stages of pregnancy and childbirth.
For morning sickness he recommends a combination of ‘White poplar bark,
agrimony, centaury, raspberry leaves, yarrow and rhubarb, each a quarter of an
ounce, steep in two quarts of water, strain, and add while hot two teaspoons of
powdered cinnamon, half a teaspoonful of Cayenne pepper, and let the patient
take one tablespoonful every three hours until the symptoms are removed if this
should not relieve, give an emetic and repeat if necessary.
o For heartburn, Dr. Coffin recommended four ounces of white poplar bark to one
quart of water to which was added ½ ounce of powdered myrrh and ½ teaspoon of
o Cayenne is included n various formulas by Dr. Coffin for the relief of
difficulty in passing urine, swelling of the legs, pains in the back, colic,
cramps, convulsions, and flooding preceding miscarriage.
• Capsicum is a powerful rubefacient.
• Capsicum is a general nervous stimulant; a specific for delirium tremens.
• For atonic gout, in paralysis, in dropsy, in tympanitis, and in the
debilitated stages of fever.
• For Scrofulous; dyspepsia; flatulence; an excellent carminative.
• For sore throat—gargle (prepare the gargle with honey); for spasmodic and
irritating coughs; heartburn and diarrhea;
• Enables feeble stomachs to digest food; for atonic dyspepsia; specific for
hemorrhoids; cures intermittent fever; Capsicum has the power to control
menorrhagia; relieves sea-sickness;
• In delirium tremens it is beneficial by enabling the patient to retain and
• Capsicum is particularly efficient in tonsillitis, and the sore throat of
scarlet fever and in diphtheria no application is so efficient as a strong
gargle or wash make with Capsicum.
• Promote digestion; relieves pains of the womb; removes obstructed
menstruation; for quinsy; for all diseases of the throat; use as a plaster with
honey for rheumatic pains, pains of the joints, gout, swellings &c; Use
outwardly as a liniment, apply it warm or hot for arthritis and rheumatism;
gargle for scarlet fever; use an infusion for ulcers in the mouth, strep throat
or tonsillitis. (p.103)
• Cayenne is an excellent remedy for a cold; mix infusion with slippery elm
and molasses or honey, and take in doses throughout the day; also excellent for
sore throat and coughs.
• Cayenne mixed with pennyroyal taken for three days will expel the deadbirth
from a miscarriage.
• Eases toothache; preserves the teeth from rotting, and when rubbed on the
gums, stimulates them enough to prevent pyorrhea.
• Excellent for any type of internal hemorrhage, (create an infusion with
bethroot or star root);
• Capsicum is an important remedy in cholera; Capsicum stops vomiting (combine
with equal parts of Capsicum and common table salt, one half ounce of each, one
pint of good vinegar, give in tablespoon doses for cholera, vomiting cholera
• In chronic lumbago a plaster of Capsicum with garlic, pepper and liquid
amber (silarasa) or storax is an efficient stimulant and rubefacient
• When made in to a lozenge with sugar and tragacanth it is a remedy for
• For a carminative make pills of equal parts of Capsicum, rhubarb and ginger
• Combine Capsicum with cinchona for intermittent and lethargic affections and
for atonic gout and in advanced stages of rheumatism.
• Combine with asafoetida and sweet flag root or camphor in the form of pills
in cases of cholera.
• Capsicum has a powerful action on the mucous membrane, and in hoarseness and
sore throat, and in putrid throat a gargle made of Capsicum is particularly
• By pouring hot vinegar upon the fruits of Capsicum all the essential
qualities are preserved. This vinegar is an excellent stomachic.
• The whole plant steeped in milk is successfully applied to reduce swellings
and hardened tumors.
• An infusion with cinnamon and sugar is a valuable drink for patients
suffering from delirium tremens as it satisfies the craving in dipsomaniacs. A
dose of ten grains of finely powdered capsicum seed, given with an ounce of hot
water, two or three times a day, sometimes shows wonderful effects in cases of
• Capsicum can be used in snake bite.
• As well as the fruit being used as a spice, the leaves were applied to
ulcers and headaches. (p.111)
• Capsicum is given internally in atonic dyspepsia and flatulence. It is used
externally as a counter-irritant in the form of ointment, plaster, medicated
wool, &c. for the relief of rheumatism and lumbago.
• Oral administration of Capsicum may stimulate the gal bladder reflex.
• Capsicum either contains a cholagogue, or acts as a powerful stimulus upon
the mucous membrane of the duodenum.
• In “The Antibacterial Effects of Spices,” “?nine of the spices were
found to be active. Garlic, particularly, and onions were active against all
organisms (streptococci, Escherichia coli, Bacillus prodigiosis, B. proteus, B.
subtilis, Shigella paradysenteriae Flexner, Ebertherla typhsa, Salmonella
enteriditis, and Vibrio cholerae). The seven other spices (clove mustard,
radish, horseradish, marjoram sage, paprika) were weaker and to attack some of
the microorganisms. The action of garlic was by far the strongest. The most
active spices come from members of the Liliaceae, then follow the Cruciferae,
Myrtaceae and finally Libiatae. In mustard seeds, radish and horseradish, the
antibacterial action was proportional to their content of mustard oils. Spices
containing essential amounts of tannic substances or alkaloids were also
effective. Garlic and onions were more effective when crushed then when
segmented. Garlic was also active at a distance through the air but not onions,
while both showed a diffusive inhibiting activity in agar. Bacteria could not be
made resistant to spices. From this it seems apparent that a combination of
garlic and cayenne would be very effective bestowing an immunity to unwanted
bacteria upon the human system.
• Red Pepper, a too much forgotten therapeutic agent against anorexia, liver
congestion, and vascular troubles. Capsicum is highly effective in causing
hemorrhoids to regress; and these fruits have the same action on varicose veins.
The results are attributed to alkaloids or glucosides in the peppers.
• Excessive amounts of Capsicum (above 20 grams, thus, nearly an ounce) may
induce frequent bowel movements.
• Capsicum stimulates the appetite, more especially as a hot climate tends to
produce anorexia. We have always held the saliva is the key that unlocks the
door to digestion. Capsicum, a sialogogue, will stimulate the flow of saliva and
will be very helpful to people who have become accustomed to ‘inhaling’
their food and thus robbing themselves of the benefits of saliva in the
digestive process. Capsicum would stimulate their flow of saliva as they return
to a healthier attitude toward eating.
• Capsicum may be valuable in the prevention and treatment of blood clots.
• Capsicum is very soothing; it is effective as a poultice for rheumatism,
inflammation, pleurisy, and helpful also if taken internally for these. For
sores and wounds it makes a good poultice. It is a stimulant when taken
internally as well as being antispasmodic. Good for kidneys, spleen and
pancreas; wonderful for lockjaw; will heal a sore ulcerated stomach; Capsicum is
a specific and very effective remedy for yellow fever, as well as other fevers
and may be taken in capsules followed by a glass of water. (p.119).
• It is part of a liniment, which may be made as follows:
o 2 ounces of gum myrrh.
o One ounce of golden seal
o On half ounce of Capsicum, 90K or stronger.
o Put this into a quart of rubbing alcohol, or take a pint of raspberry vinegar
and a pint of water. Add the alcohol or vinegar to the powder. Let it stand for
a week or ten days, shaking every day. This can be used where ever liniment is
used or needed. It is very healing to wounds, bruises, sprains, scalds, burns,
and sunburns, and should be applied freely. Wonderful results are obtained in
pyorrhea by rinsing the mouth with the liniment or applying the liniment on both
sides of the gums with a little cotton or gauze.
• Capsicum is an almost certain remedy for yellow fever, and almost every
other form of human malady. There is, perhaps, no other article which produces
so powerful an impression on the animal frame that is so destitute of all
injurious properties. It seems almost incapable of abuse. Thus it is jot only
stimulant, but antispasmodic, sudorific, febrile, anti-inflammatory, depurating,
and restorative. It is powerful to arrest hemorrhage from the mucous membranes.
When the stomach is soul, a strong dose of the powder will excite vomiting and
an enema of it and lobelia and slippery elm will relieve the most obstinate
constipation. Taken in powder in cold water it is sure to move not only the
internal canal, but al the splanchnic (Greek, of or relating to viscera)
viscera, as the liver, the kidneys, the spleen and the pancreas, the mesentery
(tissue that connects the intestines with the wall of the abdominal cavity),
o Capsicum along with lobelia, some good astringent, such as bayberry or sumac
leaves, a good bitter, a mucilage, a good sudorific and the vapor bath, must
ever constitute the basis of the most effective medication. (p.120)
• There are several species of Capsicum, but the most prominent are the
Capsicum Annum and the Capsicum Fastigiatum-Guinea or African Bird’s Eye
Pepper. Capsicum, strange though it may seem, is not a true pepper. The popular
but erroneous idea is that anything that is hot is a pepper, and that therefore
Capsicum must belong to the pepper family. Capsicum contains a resin and an oil,
both of which are very acrid, sharp and biting. Its properties are completely
extracted by 98% alcohol, and to a considerable extent by vinegar or boiling
o One of the best Liniments in use is prepared as follows:
? Boil gently for ten minutes one tablespoonful of V in one pint of cider
vinegar. Bottle that hot, unstrained. This makes a powerfully stimulating
external application for deep-seated congestions, sprains, &c.
• Capsicum is a pure stimulant, permanent in its action, and ultimately
reaching every organ in the body. It creates at first a sensation of warmth,
which afterwards becomes intense, and in large does strongly excites the
stomach, which influence can be utilized in the administration of emetics, when
the emesis is delayed and needs to be accelerated. For this purpose give a
quarter of a teaspoonful in syrup.
o Capsicum by its sudden and intense stimulation of the stomach, will produce
o It acts mainly upon the circulation, but also on the nervous structures. Its
influence, which is immediate on the heart, finally extends to the capillaries,
giving tone to the circulation, but not increasing the frequency of the pulse so
much as giving power to it. In prostrating fevers and putrescent tendencies it
may be used in full quantities combined with other suitable agents. It is a good
addition to relaxant cathartics, to prevent griping and facilitates their
operation when the tissues are in a sluggish condition. In cases of
constipation, Capsicum is efficacious in stimulating the peristaltic motion of
the bowels. For this effect, give small doses daily. Of course, constipation
never can be cured by physic alone. Temporary relief may be obtained from
cathartics, but any medicinal efforts must be combined with proper diet in order
to effect a permanent cure.
• Capsicum is valuable in all forms of ague (fever marked by paroxysms of
chills and sweating that occur at regular intervals, as in Malaria) by
sustaining the portal circulation. In cases of chill, give large doses of
Capsicum. By a large dose is meant is 10 to 15 grains, or a No. 0 capsule (10
grains) to a No. 00 capsule (15 grains).
• In coughs where there is an abundant secretion of mucus in the respiratory
passages, Capsicum increases the power of expectoration, and thus facilitates
its removal. In connection with Capsicum may be mentioned the slippery elm
compound, which is excellent for coughs.
o Cut obliquely into small pieces about the thickness of a match, one ounce or
more, of slippery elm bark; add a pinch of Capsicum, flavour with a slice of
lemon, sweeten with sugar, and infuse one pint of boiling water. Take this in
small doses, frequently repeated. Let a consumptive patient drink a pint of this
each day. It is one of the grandest remedies and demulcent properties. As
slippery elm is mucilaginous it will roll up the mucus material troubling the
patient, and pass it down through the intestines. It is also very nourishing,
and possesses wonderful healing properties.
o For an infant’s food mix (slippery elm) with an equal quantity of milk, and
leave out the lemon and cayenne.
• Capsicum is good in coughs, torpor of the kidneys and to arrest
mortification. It is good in all forms of low disease.
• The key to success in medicine is stimulation and Capsicum is the great
stimulant. There are many languid people who need something to make the fire of
life burn more brightly.
• It is excellent in yellow fever, black vomit, putrefaction or decay, given
frequently in small does. It is good, also, in asthmatical asphyxia (i.e., when
a person cannot get their breath), combined with lobelia in what would be called
the Lobelia Compound. It is good in profound shock. For local application it is
effective as the base of a stimulating liniment. It is not injurious to the
• Capsicum tincture may be made as follows:
o Take two ounces of Cayenne and macerate for ten to fourteen days in one quart
of alcohol. Then strain and bottle. Keep in a warm place while macerating during
• A Capsicum Liniment is made as follows:
~ Tincture of Cayenne, one quart.
~ Castille Soap, two ounces.
~ Oil of Hemlock Spruce, one half ounce.
~ Oil of Origanum, one half ounce.
~ Oil of Cedar, one half ounce.
~ Oil of Peppermint, one half ounce.
Shave or scrape the soap very fine, and dissolve in one pint of water. Stir
the oils into the tincture and mix with the soapy solution. A little additional
oil of peppermint will greatly increase its efficacy. In a four-ounce bottle put
one ounce of the lobelia compound (without gum of myrrh) and fill the bottle up
with the stimulating liniment. Shake this well, and after application cover the
affected part with a piece of warmed flannel.
• OIL OF CAPSICUM—The oil of capsicum represents the stimulating property of
the plant in highly concentrated form. It is exceedingly strong, and the dose
must be not more than one drop given on sugar.
o For the relief of toothache, first clean out the cavity of the tooth, then
make a small plug of cotton wool saturated with oil of Capsicum, which press
into the cavity, and it will, in most cases, cure the toothache by its
stimulating and antiseptic qualities. The beneficial effect will last for
• MYRICA COMPOUND--
o Bayberry Bark eight ounces.
o African Ginger four ounces.
o Prickly Ash Berries one ounce.
o Canada Snake Root three ounces.
o Capsicum 2 drachms.
? Powder the above; then pass the powder through a softer, and they will be
mixed to perfection.
? For emetic teas, make three pints of composition, two pints of lobelia
infusion, and three pints of catnip or peppermint infusion.
? Having considered the various ingredients in the Myrica compound
(‘composition powder’) we will now pass it under review.
• The Bayberry is astringent and stimulant.
• The ginger root is a diffusive stimulant and antispasmodic, and warming,
prompt but kindly in action.
• The Canada snake root has an influence similar to that of ginger, but is
more aromatic, and corrects the acridness of the other ingredients.
• The Prickly Ash berry constitutes the peripheral stimulant.
• The Capsicum is the great arterial stimulant, and imparts energy to the
action of the whole compound. Capsicum cannot be equaled by any known agent when
a powerful and prolonged stimulant is needed, as in congestive chills, heart
failure, and other conditions calling for quick action. The entire circulation
is affected by this agent and there is no reaction.
In congested, ulcerated or infectious sore
throat it is an excellent agent, but should be combined with myrrh to relieve
and remove morbidity.
• Capsicum is antiseptic and therefore a most valuable agent as a gargle in
ordinary sore throat or in diphtheria (an acute febrile contagious disease
marked by the formation of a false membrane esp., in the throat and caused by a
bacterium [corynebacterium diphtheriae] that produces a toxin causing
inflammation of the heart and nervous system).
• In uterine hemorrhages it is ideal combined with bayberry and will do more
than any other remedy could.
• Capsicum has the power to arouse the action of the secreting organs and
always follows the use of Lobelia.
• When there is inactivity of the entire system, as in ‘spring fever’
Capsicum is indicated. In fact, whenever there is disinclination of activity it
is an ideal stimulant, arousing the sluggish organism to action.
• In indigestion where gas is present, it should be given in conjunction with
small does (1 to 5 grains) of lobelia, as Capsicum increases the glandular
activity of both stomach and intestines.
• In so-called ‘low’ fevers, where the temperature is below normal,
Capsicum is indicated and should be prescribed consistently.
• On the outset of a cold, when there are chills, cold and clammy feelings,
the feet damp and cold, Capsicum should be taken in full dose (5 to 10 grains).
• Even in cholera morbus and atonic diarrhea, where stimulants are usually
contra-indicated, Capsicum is valuable in that it ‘tones’ the organs and
establishes natural activity.
• In all disease prostrating in their nature, whether pneumonia, pleurisy or
typhoid fever, is invaluable in the prescription as the toning agent which
helps the system t throw off the disease and reestablish equilibrium.
• In all acute conditions where Capsicum is indicated, the call is for the
maximum dose—from three to ten grains, preferably in tablet form, followed by
a large drink of hot water. In chronic and sluggish conditions, the small dose
frequently given is 1 to 3 grains with either hot or cold water.
• Capsicum plasters are valuable in pneumonia, pleurisy and other forms of
acute congestion. Combine with lobelia and bran or hops. One hour is the maximum
time to keep them applied. (p.124)
• It is the only natural stimulant worth while considering in diarrhea and
dysentery with bloody mucus, stools and offensive breath.
• Capsicum is indicated in all low fevers and prostrating disease. It
increases the power of all other agents, and helps the digestion when taken with
meals, and arouses all the secreting organs.
• Capsicum, Cayenne (red pepper) is not a pepper; no more than water pepper or
peppermint is a pepper; Peppermint will known all over the civilized world is
very heating, will stimulate like a drink of whiskey, but there is no reaction
from it, no bad after effects. It permanently strengthens the whole system. Red
pepper does the same.
• The African bird pepper is the purest and best stimulant known. It has a
pungent taste, and is the most persistent heart stimulant ever known. It is
exceedingly prompt in its effects. Through the circulation, its influence is
manifest through the whole body. The heart first, next the arteries, then the
capillaries, and the nerves. We have known in cases of apoplexy a bath of hot
water and mustard with half a teaspoon of Capsicum added and the feet thrust in
to give good results, the pressure being removed from the brain by equalizing
• The Negroes of the West Indies soak the pods in water, add sugar and the
juice of sour oranges, and drink freely in fevers. Capsicum has a wonderful
place in inflammation.
• Capsicum is useful in cramps, pains in the stomach and bowels, and sometimes
in constipation will crate a heat in the bowels, causing peristaltic action of
parts previously contracted. In these later cases it would be well to give it in
small doses in the form of warm infusion, from half to one teaspoonful to a cup
of boiling water. In typhoid fever, in combination with hepatics and a little
golden seal, it will sustain the portal circulation and give much more power to
the hepatics used.
• In colds, relaxed throat, cold condition of the stomach, dyspepsia, spasm,
palpitation, particularly in the acute stages, give a warm infusion of Capsicum
in small repeat doses, about two teaspoonfuls every half hour or more frequently
• A little Capsicum sprinkled in the shoes will greatly assist in cold feet.
• In hemorrhage from the lungs place your patient in the vapor bath and give
an infusion of Capsicum. The pressure will be taken from the ruptured vessels
and good results obtained.
• In quinsy and diphtheria, apply the tincture of cayenne around the neck.
Then place a flannel around the neck wet with the infusion of cayenne, and
freely use the infusion orally at the same time.
• Surgeons of the French army have been in the habit of giving Capsicum to the
soldiers who were exhausted by fatigue.
• For Scarlet Fever: Powdered Capsicum made into pills with crumbs of bread
and given four times a day, three or four each time, is a most valuable
stimulant in the last stages of the disease, and is also good in all cases of
debility, from whatever cause it may arise. Capsicum given in half teaspoonful
does, mixed with treacle and slippery elm, at night, is a valuable remedy for a
cough. Bleeding of the lungs is easily checked by the use of Capsicum and the
• Cayenne is a food as well as a medicinal herb. It is unequalled for warding
off diseases (see also garlic).
• A preparation in use in the West Indies called Mandram, for weak digestion
and loss of appetite, is made of thinly sliced and unskinned cucumber, shallots,
chives or onions, lemon or lime juice, Madeira, and a few pods of bird pepper
will mashed up in the liquids. It can be used as a chutney.
• For asthma, combine Capsicum with lobelia.
• Wonderful for lock-jaw, combine Capsicum with lobelia.
• Capsicum arouses all the secreting organs, and will ultimately reach every
organ of the body.
• Capsicum is believed to be wholesome for persons of phlegmatic temperament,
being considered stimulating.
• Mexican Indians, who use Cayenne pepper as an internal disinfectant, to
overcome the dangers of impure food.
PREPARATION: Cayenne is prepared into decoctions,
infusions, ointments, powder, paste and tinctures.
• Cayenne is seldom used in the vagina as in Boluses; it could be, but it is
• Very seldom is a decoction used because some of the value of the Cayenne is
lost when it is simmered for any length of time.
• The most common form of preparation is the INFUSION. This is made by pouring
hot water over the Cayenne and letting it set. The infusion can be used with
• Cayenne can be used as a liniment—use 1/8 or 1/6 part to other oils or
salves. Use very little at a time, as it is very potent. With ointments, Cayenne
is used in approximately 1/8 proportion to other herbs.
• Cayenne is used in nearly all fomentations, plaster, and poultices where
speed is necessary, or where quick relief (as in arthritis, rheumatism,
bursitis, sore muscles &c.) is necessary.
• It is used dry on wounds, and it is used in prescriptions and formulas mixed
with many other types of herbs. In using the powder in poultices, plasters,
suppositories, enemas, etc., the Cayenne used should be 1/8 part in proportion
to the other herbs that are used, according to the individual case.
• In the liquid extract or in the tincture, Cayenne is easily kept and very
valuable to have on hand. Use this moderately, as it is many times stronger than
• The only preparation necessary, it to have it ground or pounded to a fine
powder. For a dose, from half to a full teaspoon full may be taken in hot water
sweetened with honey. It will produce a free perspiration, which should be kept
up by repeating the dose, until the disease is removed.
• One spoonful of this preparation may be taken to good advantage, and will
remove faint, sinking feelings which some are subject to, especially in the
spring of the year.
• INFUSION—Steep the Cayenne in hot water for a few minutes, allow to cool
and drink; it is OK to drink the Cayenne along with the water, but not
necessary. Start with about a level ¼ teaspoon three times daily;
o Then after three days, increase the dose to ½ teaspoon three times a day;
o Then add ¼ teaspoon each day thereafter until the minimum recommended dosage
of one teaspoonful three times daily is reached.
• For Heart Palpitation—In the acute stage, repeated dosages of one to two
teaspoonfuls every half-hour (or more frequently when required).
• Hemorrhage—One Teaspoonful of powder in a cup of hot water. Let cool and
drink the water; drink the cayenne as well if possible.
• LINIMENTS— A good liniment fro sprains, bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia
may be made as follows:
o Tincture of Capsicum Two Fluid Ounces.
o Fluid Extract of Lobelia Two Fluid Ounces.
o Oil of Wormwood One Fluid Drachm.
o Oil of Rosemary One Fluid Drachm.
o Oil of Spearmint One Fluid Drachm.
o Use for sprains, bruises, rheumatism and neuralgia.
• HOMEOPATHIC RUBRICS: Amaurosis; asthma; brain irritation; delirium tremens;
cough; diarrhea; diphtheria; dysentery; ear affections; glandular swellings;
hemorrhoids; headache; heartburn; hernia; homesickness; intermittent fevers;
affections of the lungs; measles; mouth ulcers; neuralgia; affections of the
nose; obesity; esophagus stricture; paralysis; pleuro-pneumonia; pregnancy
disorders; disease of the rectum; rheumatic gout; rheumatism; sciatica;
scrofula; sea-sickness; stomatitis; sore throat; tongue paralysis; trachea
tickling; disorders of urinary system; whooping cough; yellow fever.
o For a gargle—one half drachm of powder to one pint of boiling water.
o One half ounce of the tincture to eight ounces of water.
o If the throat is very sensitive it can be given in pill form—generally made
with one to ten grains of powder. The infusion is made with two drachms to one
half pint boiling water taken in one half fluid ounce doses. The tincture is
used as a paint for chilblains (inflammatory swelling or soreness caused by
exposure to the cold).
• To make Chilli vinegar: pour hot vinegar over Capsicum powder, steep for
twenty minutes or so, and drink for stomach problems.
• COMPOSITION POWDER—
o Bayberry Bark (powdered) one ounce.
o Wild Ginger one half ounce.
o Capsicum one drachm.
? A teaspoonful of the mixture to a teacupful of boiling water is taken warm at
bed-time to ward off the effects of chill, and as a general stimulant.
• SOLVENTS—98% alcohol; hot or cold vinegar
or boiling water.
• MEDICINAL PART—the fruit.
• BODILY INFLUENCE—Stimulant; Tonic; Carminative; Diaphoretic; Rubefacient;
o USES—The all supporting, stimulating effect of Capsicum is the infallible
action of internal success. Capsicum taken with burdock, golden seal, ginger,
slippery elm, &c., will soon diffuse itself throughout the whole system,
equalizing the circulation in all diseases that depend upon an increase of
blood, and unlike most of the stimulants of allopathy, it is not narcotic.
HOW CAYENNE IS USED.
• ACCENTUATOR—Cayenne, used as an accentuator,
will increase the value and the healing properties of other herbs. Cayenne and
other stimulants give activation when used with herbs such as yarrow. Cayenne
will accentuate the therapeutic action of the yarrow and the yarrow will be felt
in the lungs and the respiratory system faster.
• ANTISEPTICS—For sore and infectious throat, combine Cayenne with Lobelia
and slippery elm.
• CARRIER—Cayenne is can be used to carry other herbal agents more quickly
to any specific area (it does this by stimulation and dilation of the
• CATHARTICS—Cayenne is used with cathartics for the bowels. It is a good
addition to relaxant cathartics, as Cayenne prevents griping.
• DIAPHORETIC—Cayenne is used with bayberry or pleurisy root to increase
perspiration, and with tonics to reduce perspiration.
• EMMENAGOGUES—Cayenne will take uterine agents such as holy thistle
directly to the uterus. Cayenne is employed when the treatment is intended for
the entire body, however, Ginger will carry the herb to the reproductive organs
and the abdominal area faster than Cayenne.
• EMETICS—A strong dose of Cayenne powder will bring on vomiting and in
combination with other emetics their effect is accelerated.
• EXPECTORANTS—Cayenne is used in compounds for coughs where expectorants
clear the respiratory passages of mucus. Cayenne increases the power and process
• CONDIMENT—When used as a condiment Cayenne pepper acts chiefly by
stimulating the salivary and gastric glands and promoting the peristaltic action
of the alimentary canal.
• Use as a supreme and harmless internal disinfectant. To expel worms; a tonic
for all organs of the body, including the heart.
• Use to increase fertility and defer senility.
• For treatment of seriously infected wounds.
• For fumigation. In ancient times, such fumigation was considered a
protection against vampires and werewolves.
• Use externally for severe wounds and old sores, disinfect by covering the
place with the powdered pepper. It will burn and smart for a brief time in the
way that lemon juice does when applied to wounds, but likewise is harmless and
• For fumigation, sprinkle several tablespoonfuls of the powdered pepper on a
tin lid, place it over a slow flame, seal up all the room and allow the pepper
to fume until all is burnt up. Renew several times if necessary. Capsicum is a
pungent fumigator detested by vermin, but it is not poisonous in any way, and
any place treated with Capsicum can be used very soon after fumigation.
A combination of Chocolate and Cayenne was a
drink/dish reserved for Aztec royalty. Next to maize, the pepper (capsicum) was
the foremost plant grown in Central America at the time of the Aztec Empire; of
all the species of plant none was so widely used or held in greater esteem.
Smoke from burning peppers was used as a gas in
Warfare by the S. American Indians against the Spanish invaders.
Capsicum is of a phenolics nature—in capsicum
there is a volatile phenolics compound related to vanillin in structure.
The pepper pod is technically a berry.
Capsicum is eliminated, in part, in the urine.
In the early 19th Century DR. SAMUEL THOMSON used
Capsicum effectively against all manner of disease. Thomson/Thomsonian School of
Botanic Medicine. Samuel Thomson: Lobelia the ‘Emetic’ herb never failed
him?and became the cornerstone of his healing system; he also used enemas, plus
Cayenne, hot sweat baths?, Thomson’s Cayenne stimulated the system, while his
emetic and purge produced cleanliness akin to godliness; also he used steam and
sweat bath to allay fevers, these also quieted nerves and made for peaceful
• Capsicum—It has been long a subject of deep importance to physicians, to
find a stimulant at once powerful and not narcotic; bark and spirits both fail
in this respect; and laudanum destroys sensibility and deadens the vital powers;
the system is partially destroyed by their action; for it is hostile to life,
subverts the natural functions, and it is itself an obstruction of the offices
of life. Capsicum supplies this grand desideratum. It is a stimulus, powerful
and permanent; not narcotic, nor destructive of the vital functions. It is said
to have been found effectual in curing diseases which have resisted all other
medicines. It supports the natural beat of the viscera and interior action,
beyond anything heretofore known; and has been used with great success in the
cure of spotted fever. Like the former medicine (Lobelia), it seems to be safe
and salutary, perfectly in harmony with nature, and the most active stimulant to
support and re-animate her feeble or exhausted powers.
Capsicum is the botanical name for the red pepper
group; there are three major categories:
1. Any ‘red pepper’ that has 1 BTU heat rating or under 1 BTU. This
pepper is commonly called ‘paprika’.
2. Any ‘red pepper’ above 1 BTU but less than 25 BTU’s. These are called
3. Any ‘red pepper’ with 25 BTU, or more, can be labeled as Cayenne.
Thus, Capsicum has three categories based on its
BTU heat factor, but any of these can be called Capsicum; Cayenne is the
strongest of the Capsicum family.
Cayenne was one of the major foods of the
Hunza’s. They eat sparingly, and generally a mono-diet of Apricots.
Cayenne is a rich source of Vitamin A and C.
Cayenne is the purest and most certain
stimulant—Cayenne increases the power of the pulse, and carries blood to all
parts of the body.
Cayenne goes into the blood stream immediately
(via the tongue and the stomach), and adjusts the blood pressure, equalizing it
over the entire body.
ARTHRITIS; RHEUMATISM; BURSITIS; SORE MUSCLES;
ALLERGIES; MUSCLE CRAMPS; POOR DIGESTION; WOUND HEALING WITH MINIMAL SCAR
CIRCULATION—warming, dilating; specific for
Varicose veins; equalizes the blood pressure in arterial and venous systems;
Cayenne is a Stimulant and an Equalizer.
HEMORRHAGE—OF THE LUNGS (use a vapor bath with
HEMORRHAGE—EXTERNAL (put Cayenne directly on
the wound, or take internally).
COUNTER-IRRITANT—BRINGS BLOOD TO THE SURFACE TO
TAKE AWAY TOXINS.
DIPHTHERIA AND QUINSY--
FOR INCREASED PEP AND ENERGY—
IT WILL CURE THE AGUE IN THE FACE—
Cayenne is very advantageously given in
chronic gout, paralysis, fevers, and other cases; in the coma and delirium
attendant on tropical fever, cataplasms of capsicum are said to have a speedy
and happy effect. A weak infusion of Capsicum has been found a useful
application to scrofulous and other languid ulcerations, and the diluted juice
is esteemed of great efficacy in chronic opthalmia; a gargle of it is commonly
used to cure malignant sore throats.
• For cholera the Mormons and other early
settlers preferred a tea made of Capsicum.
• A wart on the finger can be driven away, it is believed, by wrapping a fresh
chilli around the finger every day.
• Capsicum seeds and veins are sometimes burned as a fumigant to get rid of
• May be used in all cases of debility,
indigestion, costiveness, chills, heart failure. Capsicum acts mainly upon the
circulation. Its influence is immediate on the heart.
HISTORY AND LORE—
• The Church of the Latter Day Saints did not
subscribe to the ‘regular’ Medicos, and called them “poison” doctors.
• Priddy Meeks (excerpts from his journal, p. 74): A remedy for diphtheria I
never knew to fail: Give a good thorough emetic of lobelia and bathe the throat
from ear to ear, and gargle also with a liquid make by putting two teaspoonfuls
of finely pulverized lobelia seeds and the same amount of Cayenne pepper into
one quart of good keen vinegar, and go though the operation of bathing and
gargling as often as the emergency of the case may require. This course will
meet the poison inside and out, and destroy its power, lobelia being the most
powerful anti-poison that is known. You need not be afraid of it. It is
perfectly harmless and operates exactly with the laws of life and health.
• In Mexico the people are very fond of Capsicum and their bodies get
thoroughly saturated with it, and if one of them happens to die on the prairie
the vultures will not touch the body on account of its being so impregnated with
FROM: “THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAYENNE”
BY JOHN HEINERMAN, PH.D.
MAY 18, 2003
Capsiacinoids are the naturally occurring
compounds that give cayenne pepper its pungency; they have no odor or flavor,
they act directly on pain receptors located in the mouth and throat; the smaller
the chili, the hotter its going to be, because smaller chilies have a larger
amount of seeds and vein (internal rib) relative to the larger chilies, and
these are the parts that contain up to 80 percent of the capsaicin.
The natives of central America called the cayenne
pepper “axi”; this translated into “aji” in Spanish; in Mexico City the
chili was called “chiltli” in about 1615 the word “chili” was derived
from this Aztec name for “aji.”
Cayenne pepper’s common name comes fro the city
of Cayenne, located on the Cayenne Island at the mouth of the Cayenne river. It
is currently the capital of French Guiana.
Both ancient and modern used cayenne
• For public intoxication—boil a concoction of water, corn, and pinches of
cayenne pepper, and drink this brew when cool. Within a very short time the
intoxicated individual will regain sobriety.
Themes of Punishment—
• Children were punished for various misbehaviors, but especially verbal
transgressions, by having a pinch of cayenne placed on their tongue or on their
• If corporal punishment was necessary cayenne was rubbed into the
• Cayenne was used to punish such crimes as treason, rebellion, homicide,
adultery and homosexuality, all of which were punishable by death. If the
criminal were a nobleman of some high stature in Aztec society, he would be
given a strong drink mixed with adequate cayenne pepper. This fermented and
fiery “pulque” would work as an anesthesia prior to scheduled execution and
help to minimize pain and suffering.
• The Maya would discipline unruly children by rubbing cayenne on the
child’s bare skin.
Themes of Poison—
• Cayenne is an effective antidote for reversing the immediate blindness
induced by eye contact with the sap of the poisonwood tree. A tiny amount of
cayenne pepper was placed under each eyelid and kept there for a number of hours
until vision was fully restored.
• The “Tupi” an Amazonian tribe used the cayenne pepper, crushed together
with salt and eaten with a meal to prevent any indigestion.
Themes of opposites—
• The Guatemalan Maya used the leaves of the capsicum plant as a remedy for
heatstroke and inflammation. Both the leaves and the pepper fruit of capsicum
were applied externally for boils, abscesses, and open sores to promote quicker
• Cayenne was used for upset stomach; and lower back pain.
The ‘Trumai’ and ‘Nambicuara’ ate cayenne
pepper whole for dysentery and malaria. The ‘Paressi” mixed cayenne pepper
with their curare to make an efficient arrow or dart poison.
Witch doctors of the ‘Choco’ tribe sometimes
discretely administered ‘pakuru-neara’ (a cardiac poison) to their enemies,
and then fed the victim cayenne pepper to speed the work of the poison.
The ‘Cawahib’ used cayenne to remove leeches
In Amazonian shamanism cayenne pepper has always
occupied a unique position. Capsicums animate the spirit with man by
invigorating his body. Through such reanimation, the natives believe, there can
come a heightened spiritual awareness of the surrounding invisible world.
The capsicums have been mixed with any number of
different plant hallucinogens to induce a “vision quest” by which a shaman
can communicate more easily with the astral realm. One shaman is quoted, “it
[cayenne pepper] makes my spirituality so much easier and less laborious.”
USES OF CAYENNE PEPPER FOR VARIOUS HEALTH
• Cayenne reduces or even cures severe chronic allergic and nonallergic
conditions that make people’s noses run constantly.
• Herbalist John R. Christopher suggests this formula for making a cayenne
o Put one ounce of dried capsicum in a glass jar.
o Add one pint of alcohol such as 150 proof.
o Close the jar tightly and shake it four times daily.
o Keep mixture in the jar for only two weeks and no longer.
o Strain the liquid through a double-layered cheesecloth.
o Begin this process at the start of a full moon (this should be new moon) for
o Store in an amber glass bottle. Seal tightly.
o To use, place six drops of the tincture under the tongue twice daily or else
dilute the same amount in six ounces of water or juice. Take on an empty stomach
or between meals.
Note: if you are taking nitroglycerin for angina, do not discontinue
medication or use this remedy without your physician’s permission.
• The anti-inflammatory action of cayenne is attributed to the effect of
capsaicin on substance P. Substance P is a nervous system-derived chemical (a
peptide), released in the spinal cord as well as from the peripheral nerve
endings. This neuropeptide has multiple pro-inflammatory properties and is
released in greater quantities from pain transmission nerves (the sensory
afferent nerve fiber terminals) located in knee and ankle joints, where a great
deal of arthritic swelling usually occurs. Excess substance P isn’t good
because it breaks down the cartilage cushions in joints, contributes to
osteoarthritis. It also serves as a pain neurotransmitter in both osteoarthritis
and rheumatoid arthritis. In other words, overproduction of substance P in your
system means you’ll be feeling a great deal of pain.
• Capsaicin inhibits the activity of substance P.
• Asthma, like arthritis, might be caused by an overproduction of substance P,
and that excess receptors for it were in the lungs. A cayenne pepper tincture
similar to the one given for angina might help to relieve the belabored
breathing common the asthma.
ATHEROSCLEROSIS or ARTERIOSCLEROSIS
• Cayenne softens the arteries, dilates the circulatory system, strengthens
the heart, and cleans the inner walls of the circulatory system.
• Cayenne protects against blood clot formation by causing an increase in
fibrinolytic (clot-dissolving) activity of the red blood cells.
• The neurotransmitter called substance P is released from the peripheral
neurons (those outside the brain and spinal cord) that transmit pain signals to
the brain; this, in turn, helps regulate the response of the immune system to
damaged tissue. People with chronic inflammatory bowel diseases have high
numbers of receptors for substance P in their intestinal tissue. With too many
substance P receptors in the intestinal tract, the immune system is apt to
overreact, inducing enough inflammation to trigger the sensory neurons to send
more pain signals and release more substance P. This viscous cycle eventually
leads to autoimmune bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s
• Nerve endings that release substance P are also present in the urinary
bladder; when any inflammation occurs there, greater amounts of substance P are
automatically released, thus exacerbating inflammation.
• Substance P content “was strongly reduced by 80 percent following
pretreatment with a high dose of capsaicin” injected beneath the skin.
Capsicum’s properties can also substantially reduce the release of substance P
in those suffering from various bowel diseases.
• An ointment made by combining one part of cayenne pepper powder with five
parts of melted Vaseline. The mixture was thoroughly blended and then allowed to
cool until in congealed again. Apply this salve topically to injured skin or
muscle tissue once a day for about a week.
• Capsicum can protect the body against some known food and beverage chemicals
that can cause cancer and induce cell mutations. (When capsaicin is taken with
plant chlorophyll its mutagenic properties are suppressed.)
• At the onset of symptoms take one teaspoon of cayenne powder in a glass of
warm water with the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of honey; stir thoroughly
and drink slowly. The cayenne helps to flush out the bacteria and viruses
responsible for the cold or flu by causing eyes to water, skin to sweat, nose to
run, and lungs to discharge. This rush of fluids from the body carries out the
invisible microbes responsible for such infections.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE
• Cayenne strengthens and relaxes the heart, dilates the circulatory system,
and clears accumulated debris. Over the long run, a seriously diseased heart can
return to near normal with the regular use of Cayenne pepper.
• Certain medicinal herbs are known for their strong hypoglycemic actions:
garlic and onion, goldenseal and pau d’arco. Another equally potent
hypoglycemic agent is cayenne pepper.
o For diabetes mellitus the recommended dose of cayenne is two to four capsules
daily with means. The ‘hypoglycemic effect” means that the cayenne lowered
blood sugar which is what insulin does because diabetics have high blood sugar.
But for those already suffering from low blood sugar, cayenne is best avoided.
• The topical application of capsaicin cream is quite safe and very effective
in the treatment of pain ordinarily observed in patients experiencing diabetic
neuropathy and diabetic polyneuropathy.
• When capsaicin was given regularly it increased the flow of protective mucus
within the gut, thereby helping to heal duodenal ulcers.
• The cholesterol-reducing properties of capsaicin have been studied by
various biochemists and reported in the scientific literature. Capsaicin has
been shown to help prevent cholesterol associated heart diseases such as
arteriosclerosis and its more advanced for of atherosclerosis.
• Medical researchers are also looking at the role of triglycerides in
coronary artery disease and finding that these, more than cholesterol itself,
may be to blame. (Triglycerides are neutral fats synthesized from carbohydrates
for storage in body fat cells. When broken up by enzymatic action, they release
free fatty acids in the blood.)
• For general and chronic fatigue; capsaicin, by itself, can be very
hypoglycemic, but when used in combination with equal amounts of ginseng and
gotu kola, capsaicin can increase biochemical endurance during periods of
emotional and physical stress.
FREE RADICAL ACTIVITY
• Compounds known as antioxidants effectively check the free-roaming and
ravaging behavior of free radicals. Capsorubin, a carotenoid associated with
capsaicin in cayenne pepper, functions as an excellent antioxidant that
diminishes the potentially harmful actions of the free radicals.
• Feed the victim small amounts of powdered cayenne a number to times a day;
this will stimulate the heart and blood to the damaged area; the dead tissue
will drop away and new tissue will be in its place. This treatment can be
painful, but it is effective.
• Nasal sprays containing tiny amounts of capsaicin are used to treat the
intense pain of cluster headaches; also capsaicin ointment applied to the
temples, the ointment raised the temperature at the temples, which ordinarily
experience a heal loss during cluster attacks. (Keep the ointment away from the
• A useful remedy from the Maya Indians of Belize calls for a warm tea made
from cayenne pepper to be used in breaking up congestion in the nose, head and
sinuses. Add one eighth teaspoon of cayenne to a cup of hot water.
• Capsaicin reduced ventricular tachycardias and ventricular fibrillations.
Capsaicin also dramatically improved blood flow to the heart. Capsaicin seems to
function as a natural calcium blocker, analogous to the effect of some
prescription heart drugs.
• Dr. John R. Christopher used this formula: (1) steep one teaspoon of
powdered cayenne in one cup of hot water until it is cool enough to drink; (2)
if the patient can breathe normally, prop up the patient and pour the cayenne
tea down the person’s throat. Usually within a couple of minutes the heart
attack will have ceased. Also, in an emergency, where very quick action is
indicated, the alcohol/cayenne tincture described above can be administered by
placing a few drops beneath the tongue.
• Because of its tonic effect on the heart and circulatory system cayenne
pepper is an excellent remedy for all manner of heart disease. In places where
cayenne is a frequent part of the diet (Mexico, South East Asia, India, and the
state of New Mexico), heart disease rates are lower.
• Cayenne pepper, a familiar medicinal and culinary spice with well known
heating properties, can produce an opposite reaction. When taken in small
amounts, it stimulates circulation and the digestive processes. But, when
consumed in large amounts it will cause a cooling effect. This helps to explain
why people living in hot tropical climates are apt to eat a lot of cayenne. The
cooling sensation is produced in two different ways. In one way the body
(especially the face) starts to sweat; the more perspiration that gathers on the
skin, the cooler a person will feel. The other way is through the release of
endorphins by capsaicin into the bloodstream of people who eat cayenne pepper.
These natural opiates in the brain affect the body’s own internal temperature,
lowering it a few degrees.
• Utah Herbalist Dr. John R. Christopher was a strong proponent of cayenne
pepper, believing it to stop bleeding better than anything else in the plant
• The herpes family of viruses is divided into a variety of types. The
varicella zoster type is responsible for two very distinct clinical disorders,
namely primary varicella (chicken pox) and zoster (shingles). This particular
kind of herpes virus is capable of affecting nerves and causing organ damage and
severe pain that can last for months or even years. Cayenne pepper taken
internally or the topical application of any capsaicin cream will help to
minimize agonizing pain that can persist during and long after the viral
infection is gone.
• Cayenne lowers blood pressure.
• In the early-to-middle part of the 19th century there thrived an eclectic
system of alternative medicine known as Thomsonian medicine. One of its
outstanding features was the limited number of primary herbs repeatedly
utilized, although many other secondary herbs were used occasionally. Samuel
Thomson, the system’s founder, recommended cayenne pepper the goldenseal root
for their excellent healing properties. Of cayenne he said: “I am perfectly
convinced that cayenne pepper is the best thing that can be used to produce a
natural digestion of the food which will nourish the body, establish
perspiration, and restore the health of the patient. I found it to be perfectly
safe in all cases, and have never known any bad effects to arise from its
• He frequently used it in cases involving disturbances of the
gastrointestinal tract. Capsaicin in the red pepper dramatically increased
gastric secretions within the gut but did no actual harm. More specifically, the
number of goblet cells (mucus secreting cells) in the duodenum portion of the
small intestine increased in the presence of capsaicin.
• Anyone at all familiar with the role of vitamin C in the health care process
knows that it is the number one nutrient for warding off or treating existing
infections in the body. But what isn’t so well known is the part that a
species of capsicum played in its discovery. Hungarian biochemist Albert
Szent-Gyorgyi had been studying enzymes for years when he identified an active
chemical, which he labeled “hexuronic acid.” Hexuronic acid was found
to be effective against scurvy and further tests revealed it to be a powerful
nutrient, soon the chemical was renamed ascorbic acid. Szent-Gyorgyi found that
red pepper contained large amounts of ascorbic acid.
• People who suffer from severe itches i.e., pruritis, notalgia, parasthetica,
and lichen simplex chronicus experience noticeable improvement when treated
topically with any of the capsaicinoid creams.
• Use cotton or wool which has been impregnated with capsaicin to successfully
treat cases of lumbago, neuralgia, or rheumatism. The treated material is
applied to the skin and left on for 20 minutes, use as frequently as needed.
• Cayenne pepper is quite effective in dealing with motion sickness. A
teaspoonful of cayenne in a tablespoon of olive oil taken internally at the
first sign of nausea will help to prevent further symptoms of sea or air
sickness. Or one-half teaspoon full each of cayenne and ginger root (chopped
very fine or pulverized) in olive oil.
• Oral stomatitis is a very painful condition of mouth sores caused by cancer
chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The sores can be overwhelming to the
point that some individuals can’t chew food and must, therefore, cease
treatment for their cancers. But in a very innovative way, capsaicin was used to
treat this serious problem in cancer patients. The capsaicin was administered
through candy; cook butterscotch brittle with capsaicin; cancer patients who
consumed the candy with delight, reported feeling no more pain afterwards.
• Using cayenne pepper with those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, IN THE
EARLY STAGES ONLY. Taking four capsules of cayenne each day with food for
several months, their symptoms subsided to a remarkable degree, but didn’t
• Capsaicin is capable of reducing the sensation of painful inflammation in
the sensory nerves and the pain-sensitive nerve terminals. Both topical creams
and oral supplementation appear to work equally well to achieve this.
• Controlled studies have demonstrated that topically applied capsaicin is a
very safe and effective treatment for neuralgia.
• Historian Garcilaso de la Vega described what he had heard form someone else
in 1609: “I heard a Spaniard from Mexico declare that cayenne pepper was very
good for the sight, so he used to eat two roasted peppers as a sort of dessert
after every mean.” A number of Mexican Indians have said that regular
consumption of cayenne and chile peppers kept their eyesight from failing as
they grew older.
• Capsaicin can burn extra calories in a way similar to exercise.
• For the past several years a growing body of medical evidence has been
gathering; demonstrating capsaicin’s unique ability to stop the sensation of
pain within the body. Capsaicin works by desensitizing small-diameter nerve
fibers, the ones responsible for pain. But it has no effect on large-diameter
PEPTIC ULCER/DUODENAL ULCER
• Capsicum might actually protect against peptic ulcers, a suggestion that is
counter intuitive. The capsaicin protects the gastric mucosal membrane against
damage from alcohol and aspirin; it does this by stimulating a hormone that
increases blood flow and nourishes the gastric mucosal membrane.
• Mixing small amounts of cayenne pepper with various foods, made the foods
more appetizing to those who had no real desire to eat.
• The prescription cream Zostrix, whose mail ingredient is capsaicin, has
helped a number of older people suffering form psoriasis and shingles. When the
cream was applied topically, it blocked the synthesis and nerve transport of
substance P, the chemical largely responsible for the skin pain induced by these
• The ancient Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Guatemalan Highlands
routinely incorporated cayenne pepper into their materia medica for the
treatment of asthma, bronchitis, coughs, colds, sore throats and other
• For pain relief apply capsaicinoid cream to the patients shingles-sensitive
• The Irish developed a great remedy for instant relief from excruciating
toothache. One level teaspoon of cayenne pepper was combined with one pint of
strong Irish whiskey and left to sit for two weeks, being thoroughly shaken
every day. The solution was then strained into another bottle and stored until
needed in a cool, dark, dry place. About four drops of this pepper extract could
be put on a cotton ball and inserted into the mouth onto the infected tooth.
Within minutes, the distressing pain disappeared.
HOW TO USE:
For sprains and bruises: create a salve
with one teaspoon of powered cayenne pepper to five tablespoons of melted
Vaseline. This salve can also be used to treat mumps in children and leg ulcers
in older people with poor circulation.
Cayenne is an effective remedy against
snakebite: mix a little powdered cayenne with some of the victim’s own saliva
and then apply this directly over the punctured skin where the fang marks are
still evident. Cayenne renders most poisons inert.
For abscesses/boils: apply cayenne pepper fluid
extract to the abscess or boil. It will bring the stigma to a head as well as
aid the drying and mending process.
For abrasions: sprinkle a tiny amount of
cayenne pepper on a small clean cut to stop the bleeding and promote healing.
For asthma attack: mix a pinch of cayenne
pepper in with some hot chocolate and sip slowly.
For bleeding lungs: take a quarter of a
teaspoonful of cayenne pepper every day for a week or two.
For bone knitting: take equal parts of
valerian root and cayenne pepper, along with some vitamin C (3500 mg. Daily) to
dull the pain of any break and fracture and help knit bones together more
For Bursitis: create a skin rub, thus: a
tablespoon of cayenne pepper and add to about a pint of rubbing alcohol. The
mixture should be left to set “at room temperature in a dark place until the
alcohol is really bright red. Then strain and use as an external rub. It is
great for arthritis and bursitis.
For burning sensation in the mouth: slowly
drink a glass of milk. The casein in milk washes away the capsaicin.
For coughing: combine in a glass the juice
of one-half lemon with one-half cup of warm water. Then stir in one tablespoon
of salt and one-quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Gargle with it for as long
and as deeply as you can tolerate before expectorating. Do not swallow!
For food poisoning: cayenne pepper kills
many of the bacteria that are responsible for food poisoning, and kills them
For hypothermia: rub cayenne pepper over
the skin on the feet before putting socks and shoes on; also can use a cayenne
For influenza: There is a synergy between
capsaicin and ascorbic acid. Vitamin C works much better when some cayenne
pepper accompanies it than when taken alone. The vitamin C remains in the body
almost twice as long and works more powerfully than by itself. One capsule of
cayenne for every 1000 mg., of vitamin C. A better formula is: is Garlic,
Goldenseal, Cayenne Pepper and Vitamin C.
For insects: most insects detest cayenne
pepper. Mix with Clove Oil; or garlic and onion; or Peppermint Oil.
For insects on plants: blend cayenne,
garlic, and onion; then cook in one quart of water for about 90 seconds; strain
and dilute into two gallons of water with two tablespoons of soap. Spray on
plants to kill virtually all bugs.
For kidney problems: for inactive kidneys
use a combination of essential oils of Cayenne Pepper, Cumin and Oregano; apply
topically over the kidneys in about a 8% solution. These herbs can also be taken
internally for the same effect, or in a complementary regimen. This formula also
alleviates pain that accompanies kidney stones; This formula stimulates
the lymph system and produced more beautiful skin.
For menstrual problems: irregular menses
may be corrected by taking two cayenne pepper capsules daily with a meal. There
will often be less cramping and less bleeding with this regimen.
For morning sickness: two capsules each of
catnip herb and cayenne pepper every morning should help to prevent morning
sickness in women who are in the first trimester of their pregnancies.
For nose bleeding: take internally
one-eighth teaspoon of cayenne; watch the bleeding, if it continues, take
another one-eighth teaspoon; continue over time until the bleeding stops.
For Pleurisy: make a rub using equal parts
of cayenne pepper, lobelia herb and slippery elm bark, all in powdered form.
Next, mix in a little cod liver oil or castor oil, and stir thoroughly with a
fork until a smooth paste is formed. Apply this over the chest four times daily;
cover with a piece of plastic and then a flannel cloth.
For Raynaud’s Disease: this syndrome
manifests itself as extreme sensitivity of the hands and fingers to cold as a
result of spasm of the digital arteries. Other symptoms include blanching and
numbness or pain of the fingers. Take 400 mg. of Cayenne Pepper every day
For sinusitis: take cayenne pepper with
each meal; a heaping one eighth teaspoon with each bowel of soup; smaller
amounts with tea.
For sore muscles: blend Camphor or
Eucalyptus Oil with Wintergreen Oil and Cayenne Oleoresin in a carrier oil to
about 10% strength. Rub on sore muscles.
For sore throat: mix cayenne pepper, honey,
and grapefruit juice; then gargle, and swallow.
Sprains: a wonderful liniment for sprains
can be made by slowly simmering one tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder in one
pint of apple cider vinegar. Bottle the unstrained liquid while it is still hot.
When needed, reheat the liquid and soak an elastic cloth bandage with some of
this liquid and snugly wrap the sprain. Note of caution: prolonged application
of a cayenne pepper liniment or rub to the skin may produce irritation, blisters
or even burns, thus include some castor oil to protect the skin.
For tonsillitis: one-half cup of hot water,
one-fourth teaspoon of honey, a squirt of lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne
pepper in the form of a periodic gargle; administer several times a day.
THE CHEMISTRY OF CAYENNE—
The main component in Cayenne Pepper is
Capsaicin. This is the most potent and predominant chemical compound found in
the fruit of the plant, although there are approx. 100 other distinct volatile
compounds. Capsaicin may occur at levels of 0.5 to 1.5 percent in the fruit,
mainly in the veins and seeds, with a series of similar compounds collectively
known as capsaicinoids. The capsaicinoid compounds include: dihydrocapsaicin,
nordihydrocapsaicin, homocapsaicin, and homodihydrocapsaicin. These five
components in cayenne pepper act specifically upon the body by depleting stores
of substance P from sensory neurons. This neuropeptide is an important
transmitter of painful impulses from the periphery to the central nervous
system. Noxious stimuli prompt release of substance P from sensory neurons
distally toward the skin and joints and centrally into the spinal cord and brain
stem. Release of substance P into distal tissues triggers a cascade of events
associated with neurogenic inflammation.
When a sensory neuron is subjected to purified
capsaicin or any of the capsaicinoids, the neuron releases its supply of
substance P and , upon repeated application, stops producing substance P. The
neuron’s ability to send a pain signal is diminished without substance P.
After topical application, substance P stores revert to pretreatment levels and
neuronal sensitivity returns to normal. Repeated administration of capsaicin is
therefore necessary to control further sensations of pain.
Substance P is also believed to be implicated in
inflammatory bowel disease. Frequent consumption of Cayenne Pepper in small
amounts may then prove to be very helpful in alleviating some of the pain
associated with this problem.
Not all varieties of capsicum will yield the same
amounts of capsaicin. Capsicum frutescens yields between 63.2-77.2 percent; C.
annum 36.9-56.1 percent and C. pubescens 25.5-36.3 percent.
Cayenne Pepper is also a good source for some
vitamins and minerals. Values for vitamin A can range from 3350 I.U. for milder
forms to 6265 I.U. per gram of cayenne for some of the more pungent varieties.
Vitamin C content is (per kilogram): C. frutescens 7.3 mg.; c. annuum 12 mg.; as
for Vitamin E, 100 grams of capsicum fruit yields from 3 to 10 mg. of alpha-tocopherol.
Also, there are up to 16 amino acids in various kinds of capsicum.
There are modest amounts of minerals as well,
including calcium, phosphorus and potassium, and a trace of cobalt.
HEAT RATINGS -
Wilbur Scoville established the first rating
system for hot peppers; most of the capsicums range from 20,000 to 450,000
There is also an Official Chile Heat Scale that
rates all peppers from zero to ten.
The smaller in size the hotter the pepper because
the smaller chilies have a large amount of seeds and vein in contrast to the
larger chilies. These are the parts of a chili that contain up to 80 percent