Cayenne pepper is traditionally used to add some kick and flavor to spicy dishes, but did you know this potent little pepper packs a powerful health punch? Learn how cayenne pepper can help treat arthritis pain, aid in weight loss and improve digestion.
Health Benefit 1 – Decreases Arthritis & Other Chronic Inflammation
The chemical capsaicin, found in cayenne pepper is noted for its anti-inflammatory properties. The pain relief comes from capsaicin’s ability to block nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF produces a hormone called substance P, which is responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. When NGF is blocked, pain is reduced or eliminated. For those suffering from arthritis, this pepper can be taken orally or placed directly on the skin. Purchase hot sauce made from aged cayenne peppers and place directly on the inflamed area.
Health Benefit 2 – Aids in Weight Loss
Cayenne pepper helps to equalize metabolism, speed up digestion and enhance physical energy. These factors, coupled with the fact cayenne pepper helps burn some excess calories, makes it an ideal natural spice to be added to any weight loss program.
Health Benefit 3 – Improves Circulation & Normalizes Blood Pressure
Cayenne pepper improves blood circulation by feeding necessary elements into the circulatory system. Veins increase in elasticity, blood flow is regulated and more evenly distributed from head to foot and blood pressure is equalized.
Health Benefit 4 – Improves Digestion
Despite its hot taste, cayenne pepper is an excellent tonic for stomach conditions such as poor digestion and intestinal ulcers. This pepper creates heat in the stomach and intestines, encouraging proper digestion and peristalsis (the muscle movements responsible for moving food through the intestines). The spice is also an excellent antifungal, which can prove helpful in cases where an overgrowth of yeast or parasitic infection affects digestion.
To enjoy the health benefits of this powerful pepper, mix a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cayenne into an eight ounce glass of warm water and drink. If you find the spice too hot at first, decrease the amount of cayenne until you get used to it. Eventually, you should be able to graduate to taking ½ of a teaspoon of cayenne to four ounces of water. Drink daily.
Important Note: If you have a clotting or bleeding disorder, it is advisable to ask your healthcare provider before using cayenne pepper medicinally.