Capsicum or Cayenne pepper is used throughout medicine for its many healing properties. Topically it is used as a vasodilator, while internally it can stimulate circulation, stimulate appetite and help to fight a sore throat. When using capsicum we often use the fresh or dried pods with seeds, for its heating and drying tendencies.
Other uses for cayenne are as an antiseptic, it also help to cause sweating in the first stages of a cold and also is helpful topically for arthritis. In small amounts over a longer period of time cayenne pepper has an anti-inflammatory response. Capsicum cannot be used in patients with ulcers as it will stimulate stomach acid production, it also should not be used on broken skin or in pregnant patients. There are, however, some drug/herb interactions as ACE inhibitors and capsicum can cause or make worse a cough.
Cayenne pepper has been shown to help with inhibiting platelet aggregation, thus being helpful in patients who are prone to clots or have atherosclerosis. Cayenne pepper has also been shown to help stabilize lung membrane lipids, thereby protecting against lipid peroxidation caused by toxic lung gases. And in the stomach capsicum can inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
As you can see, Cayenne has many wonderful actions both in the body and topically. There are two main active ingredients in the cayenne pepper - capsantheine and capsaicin. It also contains a high amount of Vitamin C.
Would you like more information about this herb, or any herb for that matter? Call Dr. Larrow for a free 15 minute consultation (415) 912-9934 today!