What is Cayenne for?
Cayenne, also known as red pepper or chili pepper, is an herb. The fruit of the capsicum plant is used to make medicine.
Cayenne is used for various problems with digestion including upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramps. It is also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including poor circulation, excessive blood clotting, high cholesterol, and preventing heart disease.
Other uses include relief of toothache, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria, and fever. It is also used to help people who have difficulty swallowing.
Some people apply cayenne to the skin for pain caused by shingles, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. It is also used topically for nerve pain (neuropathy) associated with diabetes and HIV, other types of nerve pain (neuralgia), and back pain.
Cayenne is also used on the skin to relieve muscle spasms, as a gargle for laryngitis, and to discourage thumb-sucking or nail-biting.
Some people put cayenne inside the nose to treat hay fever, migraine headache, cluster headache, and sinus infections (sinusitis).
One form of cayenne is currently being studied as a drug for migraine, osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions.
A particular form of cayenne causes intense eye pain and other unpleasant effects when it comes in contact with the face. This form is used in self-defense pepper sprays.
What is Cayenne Possibly Effective for?
Pain from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, psoriasis, shingles and nerve pain due to diabetes (diabetic neuropathy), when applied to the skin in the affected area. The active ingredient in topical preparations of capsicum, capsaicin, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these uses.
• Stomach ulcers. There is evidence that suggests people who eat capsicum fruit (chili) an average of 24 times per month appear to be less likely to have an ulcer than people who eat chili an average of 8 times per month. This applies to chili in the form of chili powder, chili sauce, curry powder, and other chili-containing foods.
• Heartburn. Beginning research suggests that red pepper powder (containing capsicum) in capsules taken 3 times daily before meals reduces symptoms of heartburn. But in some people, symptoms get worse before they get better.
• Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Early evidence suggests that capsicum fruit taken by mouth doesn’t help symptoms of IBS.
• Hay fever. There is conflicting evidence so far about the effectiveness of capsicum for reducing hay fever symptoms.
• Polyps in the nose. Putting capsicum in the nose seems to improve symptoms and airflow.
• Swallowing difficulties. Some people, especially elderly people or those who have suffered a stroke, are more likely than other people to develop “aspiration pneumonia.” This is a kind of pneumonia that develops after food or saliva is sucked into the airways because the person couldn’t swallow properly. There is some evidence that dissolving a capsaicin-containing lozenge in the mouth of elderly people with swallowing problems before each meal can improve their ability to swallow.
• Blood clots.
• High cholesterol.
• Heart disease.
• Migraine headache.
• Muscle spasms.