Cayenne

CAYENNE - (also called Capsicum frutescens) is a stimulating herb made from the dried pods of chili peppers and is well known for its pungent taste and smell. Cayenne is a popular spice used in many different regional styles of cooking, but it has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. Cayenne is often referred to as chili, which is the Aztec name for cayenne pepper.

The main medicinal properties of cayenne are derived from a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the ingredient which gives peppers their HEAT. A pepper's capsaicin content ranges from 0-1.5%. Peppers are measured according to heat units. The degree of heat determines the peppers' usage and value. Generally, the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains. In addition to adding heat to the pepper, capsaicin acts to reduce platelet stickiness and relieve pain. Other constituents of cayenne are vitamins E, vitamin C and carotenoids.

Today cayenne is used worldwide to treat a variety of health conditions, including poor circulation, weak digestion, heart disease, chronic pain, sore throats, headaches and toothache. Ayurveda also utilizes cayenne to treat poor digestion and gas. Chinese medicine uses cayenne for digestive ailments. When taken internally, cayenne soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the flow of stomach secretions and saliva. These secretions contain substances which help digest food.



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