"Capsaicin is a safe and effective analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, postmastectomy pain, and headaches."
Possible health benefits
"All hot chili peppers contain phytochemicals known collectively as capsaicinoids."
- Capsaicin was shown, in laboratory settings, to cause cancer cell death in rats.
- Capsaicin in chilies has been found to inhibit chemically induced carcinogenesis and mutagenesis in various animal models and cell culture systems.
- Recent research in mice shows that chili (capsaicin in particular) may offer some hope of weight loss for people suffering from obesity."
- Researchers used capsaicin from chillies to kill nerve cells in the pancreases of mice with Type 1 diabetes, thus allowing the insulin producing cells to start producing insulin again."
- "Research in humans found that "after adding chili to the diet, the LDL, or bad cholesterol, actually resisted oxidation for a longer period of time, (delaying) the development of a major risk for cardiovascular disease"."
- Researchers found that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper.
- Chilli peppers are being probed as a treatment for alleviating chronic pain.
- Spices, including chilli, are theorized to control the microbial contamination levels of food in countries with minimal or no refrigeration.
- Hot peppers are claimed to provide symptomatic relief from rhinitis, but a review study found no effect.
- Several studies found that capsaicin could have an anti-ulcer protective effect on stomachs infected with H. pylori by affecting the chemicals the stomach secretes in response to infection.
- By combining an anesthetic with capsaicin, researchers can block pain in rat paws without causing temporary paralysis. This anesthetic may one day allow patients to be conscious during surgery and may also lead to the development of more effective chronic pain treatments.
Possible health risks and precautions
- A high consumption of chili is associated with stomach cancer.
- Chili powders may sometimes be adulterated with Sudan I, II, III, IV, para-Red, and other illegal carcinogenic dyes.
- Aflatoxins and N-nitroso compounds, which are carcinogenic, are frequently found in chili powder.
- Chronic ingestion of chili products may induce gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
- Chili may increase the number of daily bowel movements and lower pain thresholds for people with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Chilis should never be swallowed whole; there are cases where unchewed chilis have caused bowel obstruction and perforation.
- Consumption of red chilis after anal fissure surgery should be forbidden to avoid postoperative symptoms.
Cayenne & Healing
"Cayenne contains a pungent resin-like substance known as capsaicin. This chemical, the active ingredient of pepper spray or mace, relieves pain and itching by affecting sensory nerves. Capsaicin temporarily causes various neurotransmitters to release from these nerves, leading to their depletion. Without the neurotransmitters, pain signals can no longer be sent. The effect is temporary."
Cayenne pepper (considered the miracle herb by many herbalists) sprinkled in food, broth or tea also promotes sweating to break a fever. Cayenne acts as a catalyst, carrying all other herbs and supplements quickly to the place in the body where they are needed and increasing their effectiveness. It is also high in vitamin C and useful in the treatment of colds, sinus problems and respiratory ailments. 1 teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water is often given to people to drink when a heart attack is taking place.
"Cayenne pepper is used commonly as a thermogenic and to improve blood circulation and general circulatory health."
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Chili Pepper & Nutrition
"Red chilis contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene ("provitamin A"). In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains."