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Properties and benefits of cayenne pepper

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The cayenne pepper , also known by the name of paprika, belongs to the family of red pepper, which are obtained from some types of hot peppers, especially cayenne pepper. It is a very widespread product in today’s cuisine, being used as a spice to flavor dishes, giving them a special flavor and aroma. Being a chilli, it is an excellent remedy to help digest heavier foods, stimulating digestion. This food contains capsaicin , a compound that gives it a variety of health benefits. Therefore, in this FastlyHealarticle we will explain the properties of cayenne pepper .

Capsicum frutescens

It is the plant from which cayenne pepper is extracted, a shrub that grows in Central America and in the tropical and subtropical regions of South America. It can be differentiated from the other plants from which other peppers are obtained, because it is larger, and can grow up to one meter in height. Once the fruits have been collected, they are ground and the powder that we know as a spice is obtained to be used in the kitchen. This type of pepper is not in any way related to black pepper, whose use is also very extensive in the kitchen.


Capsaicin is a compound in cayenne pepper, manufactured by this and other plants as a defense mechanism against herbivorous animals. It is found in all peppers, but its intensity varies. This same component, capsaicin, is responsible for giving pepper its spicy flavor and for containing different properties that make cayenne pepper positive for treating some conditions. This substance acts in the brain in a similar way to pain , which is why it responds by producing endorphins that eliminate the sensation of pain. We could say that it is a way of tricking the brain into reacting to pain without actually experiencing it. For this reason, one of the main uses of capsaicin is as a pain reliever to treat pain.

Digestive system

One of the main properties of cayenne pepper involve influencing the digestive system. This spice stimulates the secretion of stomach juices and improves digestion by increasing the blood supply to that area. For this reason, it is effective in treating different conditions related to the digestive system:

  • Constipation . The properties of cayenne pepper stimulate the production of stomach juices and improve the fluidity of digestion. This spice is rich in magnesium, calcium, and cinnamic acid, all of which have laxative effects.
  • Stomach ulcer . Consuming this spice facilitates the healing of wounds in the stomach wall, increasing the mucosa that covers it.
  • Gases . Its beneficial effect for proper digestion reduces the appearance of gas and eliminates flatulence that may appear.
  • Circulatory . Some studies defend the benefits of cayenne pepper to lower cholesterol , as well as prevent hypertension. This happens when this spice is incorporated into the diet in a controlled way. It also improves blood circulation by stimulating blood flow.

Antioxidant properties

The antioxidant properties of cayenne pepper, due to its vitamin C and flavonoid content, make this species a way to prevent cancer, since it eliminates free radicals from the body. However, the presence of flavonoids decreases considerably after the pepper turns into powder, so its amount of these components is very small.

On the other hand, the respiratory system can also be benefited by the properties of cayenne pepper. The effects of the spice in respiratory diseases are those of decongestant and inhibitor of bacteria. This is due to its acetic and ascorbic acid content. Likewise, it has also been used through infusions to treat other respiratory conditions such as bronchitis , or coughing attacks.

Pain treatment

As we explained in one of the previous points, one of the main properties of cayenne pepper is its analgesic effect to treat pain. In this way, this spice can be used to:

  • Rheumanoid attritis . It allows to alleviate the pain caused by this pathology. It is usually applied as an ointment on the painful area for the capsaicin to take effect.
  • Diabetic Neuralgia . It is a consequence of excess sugar in the blood produced by diabetes, and involves nerve damage that causes sensitivity, numbness or pain in the feet and legs. Cayenne pepper can relieve symptoms in affected areas.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia . It is an inflammation of the nerve of the face and the eye that causes intense pain and frequently generates facial spasms. The capsaicin present in cayenne pepper helps to relieve pain caused by this condition.

Contraindications and side effects

The pregnant women or nursing mothers should avoid consuming this spice, both internally and externally.

An excessive consumption of cayenne pepper can cause stomach pain and diarrhea . Externally, it can cause burning for a few minutes that tends to disappear later, irritation if it comes into contact with the eyes, and produce violent sneezing if inhaled. Also, some people may experience skin irritation from contact with capsaicin. Its use is not recommended to heal open wounds since it can cause a lot of pain.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Properties of cayenne pepper , we recommend that you enter our Food category .

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