Also known as cayenne pepper or red pepper, cayenne is a hot chili pepper, which is widely used in different food preparations to add flavor and spice to dishes. It belongs to the capsicum annum family, and is cultivated throughout the world.
While cayenne is mostly added to dishes to lend them a spicy flavor, it is also believed to possess valuable medicinal properties, which is why, it is often used in many natural and herbal medicinal treatments. In some regions, cayenne is also planted around the main crop to create a buffer zone and prevent elephants from trampling and attacking the crop (elephants can smell the pungent odor of cayenne).
The fruits of cayenne are generally dried, powdered, and sold as a spice around the world. In some regions of the world, it is also popular as an herbal supplement.
Cayenne pepper, thanks to its many therapeutic properties and impressive nutritional composition, has been in use for many health conditions including
- Cayenne is rich in vitamin A, and also contains good amounts of vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin B6 and other micronutrients including potassium, manganese and riboflavin.
- Cayenne pepper extracts are often used a natural topical analgesic agent to deal with pain associated with arthritis, mastectomy, herpes zoster, diabetic neuropathy and even headaches.
- Cayenne pepper extracts are also believed to be aphrodisiac in nature
- Some research suggests that cayenne may promote healthy liver function and stimulate the digestive system to work better.
- Cayenne pepper is also known to improve the production of mucus on the internal linings of the organs of the body.
- Consumption of cayenne pepper is believed to dilate the blood vessels, speed up metabolism, increase circulation, improve the flow of blood to different organs of the body and facilitate nutrient and oxygen delivery.
- The ability of cayenne pepper to aid the oxidation of adipose tissue and boost metabolism is what makes it a great natural remedy for weight loss.
- Some studies have also found that the consumption of this pepper could make you feel more active and energetic, and will improve digestive functioning.