The Heat of Cayenne Reduces Inflammation!
Cayenne pepper is actually a bit controversial because it is a member of the nightshade family along with potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and various other types of peppers. In fact, there are many people who believe that cayenne can cause inflammation! So what gives?
Nightshade vegetables, in general, have received a bad rap because it is believed that they can cause irritation, allergic reactions, and inflammation. However, cayenne is unique and a bit of an enigma to the nightshade family. Studies have now shown that capsaicin, a component found in Cayenne (and other peppers), actually reduces inflammation.
Other health conditions that cayenne may help are:
-Joint & muscle pain
-Heart Attack Prevention
So from relieving arthritis pain and headaches to treating infections and respiratory disturbances, this fiery pepper is well recognized as a powerful natural remedy!
Cayenne peppers have both a culinary and medicinal history and are native to Central and South America where cuisines are known for their hot and spicy flavors. These peppers are now cultivated in tropical regions throughout the world. Traditional medicine used the intense spice to treat a number of ailments including digestive disturbances, respiratory infections, asthma, fever and even cancers.
Studies have shown that capsaicin applied topically is an effective treatment for psoriasis and cluster headaches. A clinical study looking at the use of topical capsaicin for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis found that
“80% of the capsaicin-treated patients experienced a reduction in pain after two weeks of treatment.”
Preliminary studies suggest that the capsaicin component of the pepper may have anti-tumor properties and may play a role in the treatment of some cancers including colon and prostate.
Cayenne peppers have also been used to reduce symptoms of the common cold and flu. The pepper’s intense heat stimulates the secretion of mucus to help clear congestion.
Did you know that Cayenne peppers are also a natural cure for heartburn? Although it seems counterintuitive that a condition often caused by eating spicy foods could be remedied by one as well, there is some evidence that regular consumption of capsaicin-containing peppers may have the opposite effect. A study published in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility in 2010 found that:
“chronic ingestion of natural capsaicin agonist or chili has been shown to decrease dyspeptic and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms.”
The health benefits of the Cayenne Pepper are quite remarkable and it takes only a dash of this amazing spice to reap them!
One of my favorite dishes is Spicy Turmeric & Garlic Crusted Chicken! It offers a flavorful punch with all the health benefits of the three most healing spices and herbs: Turmeric, Garlic, and of course…Cayenne!
Bring on the heat!