Cayenne pepper might make the brave hearts yell due to its hot spicy flavor but did you know about its array of health benefits? Read on to discover a handful of significant health benefits of cayenne pepper.
What is Cayenne Pepper?
Cayenne pepper is a variety of chili pepper that is added to dishes to spice it up. Cayenne pepper is a red, skinny vegetable or rather spice that is 10-25 centimeters long with a curved green tip(1).
It is richly supplied with capsaicin that contributes to its health benefits. Rated amidst 30000-50000 on Scoville scale of heat, cayenne pepper is hot and moderately spicy.
Cayenne Pepper Nutrition Facts
Cayenne pepper consists of the following important nutrients-
- Dietary Fiber
- Vitamins: Folate, Niacin, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K
- Minerals: Calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.
- Electrolytes: Sodium and potassium
- Phytonutrients: Beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lutein-zeaxanthin
Cayenne Pepper Diet
Cayenne pepper diet consists of drinking a mixture of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, water, and honey. This concoction helps in the detoxification of blood, loss of excess weight and has a number of other health benefits as described later in this article. Apart from this, cayenne supplements are also available.
Cayenne Pepper Recipes
Elucidated below are a few homemade and simple cayenne pepper recipes-
Homemade Sauce of Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4th a pound of fresh cayenne pepper with the tips removed
- Jalapenos with the tips removed – 3
- Hot cherry peppers – 3
- Cloves of fresh garlic peeled and the tips removed – 3
- 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of plain vinegar
- Place the salt, garlic, and peppers in a vessel and cover it
- Add the vinegar and set the contents on a boil
- Lower the flame and let the content simmer for about half an hour
- Pour the contents of the vessel into a blender and blend them well until you get a thick puree
- Strain out the puree to get rid of the seeds
- Pour the puree into the vessel and boil it again over a high flame
- Turn the flame off as soon as the boiling begins
- Let the puree cool down
- Pour the cool puree into containers and refrigerate it
Your cayenne pepper sauce is ready.
Cayenne Pepper and Cucumber Salad
- 1 cucumber sliced in half
- 1 minced Serrano chili pepper
- 3-4 cayenne pepper with the seeds removed
- ½ onion thinly sliced
- 1/4th a cup of chopped mint leaves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil
- Toss all the veggies and peppers into a salad bowl and mix well
- Add the lemon juice and oil to the bowl
- Toss the content again for even coating
- Add the sugar, pepper, and salt with gentle stirring
Your cayenne pepper and cucumber salad are now ready.
Cayenne Pepper Uses
Cayenne pepper has a number of uses owing to its spicy flavor and rich nutritional composition. It can not only be used to prepare rich and spicy sauces but can also be prepared into beverages that detoxifies the blood, boosts metabolic rate, keeps the heart healthy, helps in losing excessive body weight and more.
Top 15 Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper
The capsaicin content of cayenne pepper is responsible for the myriad of health benefits, a bunch of which are elucidated below.
1. Cayenne Pepper Weight Loss
Cayenne pepper enhances the body metabolism and helps in the suppression of appetite. It controls hunger cravings and prevents you from indulging in excessive junk food.
The capsaicin is a thermogenic compound that generates heat energy and burns a whole lot of calories and fats. Capsaicin has the ability to enhance body metabolic rate by about 20%.
2. Cayenne Pepper for Digestion
Good health is directly dependent on sound digestion. Consumption of cayenne pepper boosts cardiac activity and enhances blood circulation. It fights against intestinal infection and improves the secretion of digestive juices.
It also stimulates the secretion of saliva that aids in proper ingestion of food. Its anti-inflammatory action heals gastric ulcers and cures stomach pain, bloating, flatulence and diarrhea.
3. Cayenne Pepper Powder Benefits for Alleviation of Pain
The capsaicin contained in cayenne pepper can reduce pain quite effectively. The analgesic nature of powdered cayenne pepper works like magic when topically applied to the painful area. Application of cayenne pepper to the skin stimulates the brain to respond by the secretion of dopamine that offers relief from the pain(2).
Apply a paste of powdered cayenne pepper and water to the painful joint or muscle for pain relief. Its antispasmodic nature is especially effective for the alleviation of a migraine and sinus pain.
4. Cayenne Pepper Pills Benefits for the Prevention of Cancer
Capsaicin is known for its ability to induce apoptosis of cancerous cells(3). It arrests the process of metastasis and prevents the growth and spreading of tumors.
Capsaicin of cayenne pepper is especially beneficial for prostate cancer and can also be used for the natural treatment of cancer or tumor in the colon, breasts, and lungs.
5. Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for the Heart
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper can effectively regulate high blood pressure and acts as an agent of vasodilation to enhance blood circulation throughout the body.
It prevents the clotting of blood and eliminates the deposition of lipids and cholesterol in the arteries. Cayenne pepper is also highly effectual in the treatment of problems with blood flow, palpitations, and cardiac arrhythmia.
A glass of warm cayenne pepper powder mixed with water can mitigate heart attack in just a minute. Cayenne pepper disintegrates the network of fibrin and eliminates the deposition of plaque.
Also Read: signs of a heart attack
6. Cayenne Pepper for High Blood Pressure
The capsaicin contained in cayenne pepper aids in the reduction of blood pressure and can keep it under control(4). The pepper acts as a vasodilator to dilate blood vessels and enhance blood flow. With an increase in the rate of flow of blood, the blood pressure gradually becomes normal.
Capsaicin affects the sensory neurons and helps in lowering any spike in blood pressure. Cayenne pepper dosage for blood pressure consists of 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder mixed with a cup of warm water taken before going to bed.
Also Read: Natural remedies for hypertension
7. Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for Cold and Mucus Congestion
Cayenne pepper is one of the best natural remedies for sinus congestion. The capsaicin contained in cayenne pepper aids in the thinning of mucus and stimulates the sinuses. This aids in the circulation of oxygen and eases the process of inhalation and exhalation.
Capsaicin is highly beneficial for the effective treatment of rhinitis that is characterized with nasal congestion and postnasal drip. Oral ingestion of hot cayenne pepper thrice a day dilates the nasal blood vessels, stimulates secretion and drains out the sinuses. Cayenne pepper can also relieve chest congestion, and cure sinus infection, laryngitis, and sore throat.
Also Read: Immune System Diet for Fighting Cold and Flu
8. Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits for Detoxification
One of the most popular detox recipes across the globe is the lemon and cayenne pepper detoxification drink.
The diet lowers the intake of calories and lasts for about 10 days that requires the need for the consumption of twelve glasses of the drink made with water, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup or honey. The detox tonic is an excellent healthy alternative to sugary drinks and junk beverages.
9. Cayenne Benefits for the Relief from Pain
Capsaicin is quite effective in providing relief from pain and inflammation in joints. It is rich in anti-inflammatory properties that cure the inflammation in joints and makes for a wonderfully effective therapy for joint pain and arthritis.
Topical application of a heated paste of cayenne pepper, turmeric, and water is highly beneficial in curing the pains caused by fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, and osteoarthritis.
Also Read: Natural remedies For Inflammation and Pain
10. Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for Body Immunity
Cayenne pepper is greatly beneficial for the building of stronger body immunity. Eating raw cayenne pepper induces the generation of heat energy in the body which accounts for the enhancement of body immunity.
11. Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for Oral Health
This might be a traditional and ancient remedy, but cayenne pepper works quite effectively for toothaches. The pepper counteracts the irritation and pain and plasters the gums in a way to check their swelling.
The next time you have a toothache, remember to apply a paste of warm cayenne pepper powder and water to the tooth and the adjacent gums to dilate the blood vessels in the gum, enhance the local blood flow and alleviate the pain effectively.
Also Read: Home remedies for tooth sensitivity
12. Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for Hair Growth
Cayenne pepper is highly beneficial for the growth of long and strong hair. To prepare a cayenne pepper hair mask-
- Mix the cayenne pepper powder with honey and egg whites
- Smear your hair and scalp with the mask
- Wrap your hair with a shower cap
- Leave it on for about half an hour
- Rinse your hair with a mild shampoo after removing the mask
Cayenne pepper is highly effective for the cure of lice and dandruff. It prevents the loss of hair and its anti-inflammatory nature protects the scalp from permanent balding disease and scalp psoriasis.
Recommended Read: Home Remedies for Hair Growth
13. Benefits of Cayenne Pepper for Skin
Research has proven that cayenne pepper is incredibly beneficial for skin. The capsaicin contained in cayenne pepper helps in the cure of skin irritation and rashes. It also helps to fight against acne, discoloration of the skin, pimples, oiliness of skin and dry skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.
- Mix a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper with cocoa powder and mashed avocado to make a smooth paste
- Apply the paste all over your face and neck and keep it on for about 20 minutes
- Rinse the pepper mask off with cool water
The vitamins and minerals contained in cayenne pepper nourish the skin from deep within and keeps premature aging of skin at bay.
Also Read: Home Remedies for Skin Rashes
14. Cayenne Pepper Benefits for Longevity of Life
Research and statistics have suggested that eating food spiced with cayenne pepper can effectively elongate the period of life by about 14% of the total lifespan(5).
Regular consumption of cayenne pepper in the form of a detox drink or with food can effectively reduce the probability of death due to cardiac problems, respiratory issues, and cancer.
15. Cayenne Pepper Benefits for Fungal Infection
Cayenne pepper possesses a phytochemical compound known as CAY-1 that fights against fungal infection by suppressing the activity of 16 different strains of fungi. The suppression action is executed in a way so as not to harm the adjacent cells(6).
Cayenne Pepper Side Effects
Cayenne pepper is certainly not without its fair share of side effects. Some of the harmful side effects of consumption and over-consumption of cayenne pepper include-
- Irritation of skin, eyes, nasal passage, throat and intestines. Bowel movement might become painful.
- Interference with renal and hepatic health.
- Issues with breastfeeding and pregnancy and as such is not recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Capsaicin increases the risk of bleeding during and post-surgery as it prevents blood clotting which results in excessive loss of blood.
1. Is cayenne pepper spicy?
Response: Cayenne pepper is spicy in nature and adds a savory zest to food. However, it can be taken in liberal doses as it does not cause stomach ulcer contrary to popular myths.
2. How much cayenne pepper per day?
Response: A teaspoon of cayenne pepper on a daily basis is enough to derive the health benefits.
3. Can I drink cayenne pepper?
Response: Cayenne pepper can be taken by drinking a mixture of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, water, and honey. This concoction helps in detoxification of blood, loss of excess weight and has a number of other health benefits.