CAYENNE (Capsicum annuum)
PART USED: Pepper
PROPERTIES: Stimulant, Tonic (circulatory), Diaphoretic, Sudorific, Demulcent, Styptic, Carminative, Rubefacient, Vulnerary, Hemostatic (stops bleeding), Expectorant, Analgesic, Antibiotic, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory
SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Circulatory, Integumentary (skin), Nervous, Muscular, Digestive, Cardiovascular
POSSIBLE USES: blood pressure, arthritis, mental confusion, dizziness, vertigo, heart-related issues, headache, metabolism, motion sickness, osteoporosis, shingles, shock, trauma recovery, increased stamina, stroke, varicose veins
In a study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center in New Haven, CT, capsaicin (the active ingredient in Cayenne) was shown to dramatically reduce the pain of the mouth sores that result from chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Strangely, the capsaicin was administered in taffy. Taffy was chosen because the sugar decreased the initial burning sensation, taffy would remain in the mouth long enough for the capsaicin to desensitize the neurons, and because taffy is so soft and did not irritate the mouth.
As you can see from the lists above, Cayenne is about as close to a cure-all herb as there is in nature. If I could only have one herb in my house, Cayenne would be the one that I would choose.
Tincture using 1:7 ratio and alcohol that is 100 proof or higher. Use fresh or whole dried Cayenne Peppers. Cayenne, picked fresh and tinctured the same day, makes a beautifully clear and amazingly potent tincture.
Cayenne is the #1 stimulant herb. It is the purest and most powerful of all the medicinal herbs. The best description I have ever read of Cayenne is that it causes “the fires of life to burn more brightly.” Cayenne rebuilds (yes, rebuilds) vein structures, removes plaque from veins, and sends the blood rushing along carrying nutrients to every cell of the body.
Cayenne’s action on the cardiovascular system is almost instantaneous. Cayenne brings the blood, especially the clotting factors, into a state of homeostasis, making it effective for hemorrhage as well as poor circulation. Cayenne will stop bleeding, even of hemorrhage proportions, and is the first thing that I would reach for at the onset of a stroke or heart attack. Studies have repeatedly shown that Cayenne reduces blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In addition to that amazing feat, Cayenne reduces the instances of platelet aggregation—meaning that Cayenne prevents blood clots.
Taken as a cold or fever begins, Cayenne fights the infection while inducing a beneficial and bacteria-killing sweat. Cayenne is an excellent digestive and reproductive stimulant herb. In respiratory illnesses, Cayenne acts as an expectorant, thinning the mucus in the lungs and making it possible for the body to expel it. In the digestive tract, Cayenne promotes the secretion of digestive juices and improves the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. Cayenne is often used—usually in capsule form—to cauterize and heal stomach ulcers.
The sensation (the burning feeling) created on the tongue stimulates the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins block pain receptors throughout the body and induce feelings of wellbeing. A positive attitude alone can have a beneficial effect on healing, especially with chronic illnesses.
Cayenne contains carotene molecules which are powerful antioxidants. Interestingly, although Cayenne is hot to the taste it actually lowers body temperatures by stimulating a center in the hypothalamus that is responsible for cooling the body. Cayenne, applied topically, reduces pain.
Cayenne is an accentuator and will increase the healing properties of the other herbs. By adding a touch of Cayenne to a respiratory formula, for example, the respiratory herbs will reach the lungs and begin their healing action much more quickly. You will notice in the recipe section of this manual that Cayenne, in small parts, is in many formulas.