From: Copyright (c) 2009 David Arthur.
"Cayenne pepper - prized for thousands of years for its healing power. Folklore from around the world recounts amazing results using cayenne pepper in simple healing and in baffling health problems. But cayenne pepper is not just a healer from ancient history. Recent clinical studies have been conducted on many of the old-time health applications for this miracle herb. Again and again, the therapeutic value of cayenne pepper has been medically validated."
In a recent letter to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, three Italian doctors describe how they were able to reduce patients' reported dyspepsia symptoms by more than half - by prescribing red pepper powder. In a study of 30 patients with functional dyspepsia, half of the participants received a placebo, while the other half took 2.5 grams of red pepper powder each day (divided into capsules taken before each of three meals). Both groups took their respective treatments for five weeks, and rated their symptoms each day on a scale of zero to three (higher scores indicated more severe symptoms). By the third week, the red pepper group showed a significant advantage over the control group. And by week five, the pepper group's symptoms had declined 60 percent from their baseline scores - while the control group's scores had only decreased about half as much. The symptom scores included ratings for pain, a feeling of fullness, nausea, and an overall score. The red pepper powder produced significant gains in all four areas.
Many herbalists believe that Cayenne is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them.
Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb. It is a very high source of Vitamins A and C, has the complete B complexes, and is very rich in organic calcium and potassium, which is one of the reasons it is good for the heart.
Cayenne can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines. It aids elimination and assimilation, and helps the body to create hydrochloric acid, which is so necessary for good digestion and assimilation, especially of proteins. All this becomes very significant when we realize that the digestive system plays the most important role in mental, emotional and physical health, as it is through the digestive system that the brain, glands, muscles and every other part of the body are fed.
Cayenne has been known to stop heart attacks within 30 seconds. For example, when a 90-year-old man in Oregon had a severe heart attack, his daughter was able to get Cayenne extract into his mouth. He was pronounced dead by the medics, but within a few minutes, he regained consciousness. On the way to the hospital, he remained in a semi-conscious state, but the daughter kept giving him the Cayenne extract. By the time they got to the hospital, he had fully recovered and wanted to go home and mow the lawn. The doctor asked what she had given him, as he said it was the closest thing to a miracle he had ever seen.
Capsicum (cayenne pepper) is said to be unequal for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire cardiovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure. Capsicum has an energizing effect on the entire system. It has traditionally been used for overcoming fatigue and restoring stamina and vigor. It is a natural stimulant without the threatening side effects (palpitations, hyper-activity or rise in blood pressure) of most other stimulating agents.
Because Capsicum boots peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of nutrients in the body. It will ensure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of available nutrients to critical function centers, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolic data transmission and neural-hormonal action. The remarkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Clearly, Capsicum should be considered nothing less than a wonder herb that has scientifically proven its worth!
If you want to carry something in your first aid kit for a heart attack, carry a cayenne tincture. Even a bottle of Tabasco Sauce® might be good enough. Dr Christopher discovered that a cup of cayenne tea, one tsp of cayenne in a cup of hot water, stopped a heart attack in under three minutes. If you feel one coming on, try a few droppers-full of cayenne tincture and if that doesn’t stop it, then nitroglycerine wouldn’t work either.
If a heart attack should occur, it is suggested that a teaspoon of extract be given every 15 minutes or a teaspoon of Cayenne in a glass of hot water be taken until the crisis has passed. Dr. Anderson also knew of a doctor who rushed out into the parking lot and put cayenne tincture into the mouth of a man who had died of a heart attack while he was parking his car. Within a few minutes, the man’s heart starting beating again.
More about cayenne and heart attacks
According to Dr. Richard Anderson, using cayenne and hawthorn berries together has a most incredible effect upon the heart. He believes that a regimen of cayenne and hawthorn berries for several months will greatly strengthen the heart, and possibly prevent heart attacks. He states further that if an attack were to occur in someone who had followed this regimen, chances are very good that no damage would occur. He tells the following story about his mother:
“I had her taking hawthorn berries and cayenne when she had a heart attack at the age of 79. Her diet had not been the best, and she was in an extremely stressful situation. While in the hospital, they found three blocked arteries and wanted to operate immediately. They did not think that she could survive for more than a few weeks if they didn’t operate. (How many have heard that story!) The doctors thought it would be very risky to operate, but they had her there, and there was a lot of money to be made. So they decided to take some tests in the hopes that they could find an excuse to operate. In spite of the fact that she had been taking lots of aspirin for her arthritis, smoked like she was the reincarnation of a boiler factory, and had just had a heart attack, they found that her heart was incredibly strong. In fact, they felt that her heart was stronger than most people in their 30’s! The good news was that not only did she survive the operation, but also she stopped smoking! Well worth the operation, don’t you think? In my opinion, that was the best thing the doctors ever did for her. Well, that is what hawthorn and cayenne can do for the heart, and every good herbalist knows it; every good doctor should also know it, but very few do.”
It is a good idea to always have some Cayenne extract on hand for emergencies. Dr. Anderson carries capsules of cayenne with him in the car and whenever he goes hiking, backpacking or mountain climbing. He says, “You never know when you may find someone having a heart attack or some other emergency.”
The following stories demonstrate only a few of the remarkable emergency uses of cayenne:
If a hemorrhage occurs in the lungs, stomach, uterus or nose, it is suggested that a teaspoon of extract (or a teaspoon of cayenne powder in a cup of hot water) be given every 15 minutes until the crisis has passed. The bleeding should stop in 10-30 seconds. The reason for this is that rather than the blood pressure being centralized, it is equalized by the Cayenne, and the clotting action of the blood becomes more rapid. For external bleeding, take cayenne internally and pour cayenne directly on the wound.
In a double-blind study, 30 individuals with dyspepsia were given either 2.5 grams daily of red pepper powder (divided up and taken prior to meals) or placebo for 5 weeks. By the third week of treatment, individuals taking red pepper were experiencing significant improvements in pain, bloating, and nausea as compared to placebo, and these relative improvement lasted through the end of the study.
A placebo-controlled crossover study failed to find benefit, but it only enrolled 11 participants, far too few to have much chance of identifying a treatment effect.
All double-blind studies of topical capsaicin (or cayenne) suffer from one drawback: it isn't really possible to hide the burning sensation that occurs during initial use of the treatment. For this reason, such studies probably aren't truly double-blind. It has been suggested that instead of an inactive placebo, researchers should use some other substance (such as camphor) that causes at least mild burning. However, such treatments might also have therapeutic benefits; they have a long history of use for pain as well.
Because of these complications, the evidence for topical treatments cited below is less meaningful than it might at first appear.
Capsaicin cream is well established as a modestly helpful pain-relieving treatment for post-herpetic neuropathy (the pain that lingers after an attack of shingles) peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain that occurs most commonly as a side effect of diabetes, but may occur with HIV as well as other conditions), nerve pain after cancer surgery and arthritis.
Capsaicin instilled into the nose may be helpful for cluster headache. (The fact that this has even been considered a viable treatment option shows how painful cluster headaches can be!) Actual cayenne rather than capsaicin has been tested for pain as well. A 3-week, double-blind trial of 154 individuals with back pain found that cayenne applied topically as a plaster improved pain to a greater extent than placebo.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of almost 200 individuals found that use of topical capsaicin can improve itching as well as overall severity of psoriasis. Benefits were also seen in a smaller double-blind study of topical capsaicin for psoriasis. Topical capsaicin is thought to be helpful for various itchy skin conditions, such as prurigo nodularis, but double-blind studies are lacking.
Researchers found capsaicin exhibited anticancer activity (it induced programmed cell death to human cancer cells without affecting normal cells) against pancreatic cancer, an aggressive form of the disease typified by exceptionally poor outcomes." Learn more: A Spicy Twist to Preventing and Treating Cancer
Chronic headache sufferers may soon have some new alternatives. The active ingredient in cayenne peppers, capsaicin, is believed to bring headache relief by depleting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps send pain signals. learn more: Can Cayenne Peppers Really Cure a Headache?
Grow Your Own Organic Cayenne Peppers in Your Backyard or in Container
Richard Schulze - "If you take cayenne pepper in capsules, you may be wasting your time and never getting the cures I got with my patients."
If your vegetable gardening is limited by insufficient space or an unsuitable area, consider the possibility of raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown cayenne pepper plants in containers. A window sill, a patio, a balcony or a doorstep will provide sufficient space for a productive mini-garden. Almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden will also do well as a container-grown plant. You can also have a virtual organic garden.
Dr. Christopher - "In 35 years of practice, and working with the people and teaching, I have never on house calls lost one heart attack patient and the reason is, whenever I go in--if they are still breathing--I pour down them a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water, and within minutes they are up and around). This is one of the fastest acting aids we could ever give for the heart, because it feeds that heart immediately. Most hearts are suffering from malnutrition because of processed food we are eating, but here it gets a good powerful dose of real food and it's something that has brought people in time after time. This is something that everyone should know how great it is, because a heart attack can come to your friends or loved ones any time. And even yourself. The warm tea is faster working than tablets, capsules, cold tea, because the warm tea opens up the cell structure--makes it expand and accept the cayenne that much faster, and it goes directly to the heart, through the artery system, and feeds it in powerful food. "
Left for Dead This book digs up the dirt on the medical establishment saying that heart surgery can nearly kill you and do you no good in the end, all done with a whopping price-tag. Drugs are favored over herbs since they can be patented and sold to patients for great profits. Dick Quinn gives his personal testimony about nearly dying from heart surgery, but finally getting well by taking Cayenne, Garlic, Onion and other herbs, but mainly Cayenne. He scoured the earth looking for the hottest Cayenne he could find to burn his insides out! But no matter how much it burns, it's all good for you. He started his own herb company servicing mainly heart conditions which had a lot of loyal customers until the FDA... shut him down because his cure was effective and cheap, and the medical establishment did not profit. I ran out and bought some Cayenne and popped several daily. I really didn't get the energy boost he got, but I suppose they're helping. The book tells his story first, then describes some herbs secondly, and then ends with the disadvantages of heart surgery. There are sage quotes about the medical establishment and goodness of healing herbs throughout the book from distinguished men. The book seems somewhat disjointed as it goes into its different, but inter-related parts written by different authors. Quinn's story is short, skims the surface, and has some drama, but certainly is not a candidate for an Oscar winning movie. The writing style is direct, conversational, and informative and skips all literary flourishes to get the news out that herbs can heal. I found particularly interesting that drugs like aspirin merely synthetically imitate the healing effects of herbs, such as aspirin being derived from Willow Bark.
Dr. John Christopher
"In 35 years of practice, and working with the people and teaching, I have never on house calls lost one heart attack patient and the reason is, whenever I go in--if they are still breathing--I pour down them a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water, and within minutes they are up and around). This is one of the fastest acting aids we could ever give for the heart, because it feeds that heart immediately. Most hearts are suffering from malnutrition because of processed food we are eating, but here it gets a good powerful dose of real food and it's something that has brought people in time after time. This is something that everyone should know how great it is, because a heart attack can come to your friends or loved ones any time. And even yourself. The warm tea is faster working than tablets, capsules, cold tea, because the warm tea opens up the cell structure--makes it expand and accept the cayenne that much faster, and it goes directly to the heart, through the artery system, and feeds it in powerful food.
To show the value of cayenne, and how great it is, and what a wonderful heart food it is, this story has been repeated in a number of publications on doctors in the East who put some live heart tissue into a sterile beaker filled with distilled water, and fed it nothing but cayenne pepper, cleaning off sediments periodically and adding nothing but distilled water from natural evaporation. During the time that they were feeding the heart tissue, they would have to trim it continually every few days because it would grow so rapidly. Having no control glands (pituitary and pineal glands), the tissue just continued to grow rapidly and, because of this, they had to watch it over the years and the doctors and associates kept the heart tissue alive for fifteen years. After the doctor died, his associates kept it alive for two more years before destroying it so they could do more research work on it. This shows the high food value cayenne gives to heart tissue. This is why so many, many amazing instances have come to light, people who have used cayenne when they had heart attacks because, in most cases, your heart attack is a case of malnutrition. The heart hasn't had a decent meal for so long that it is practically starved, and we give it immediately a good meal instead of whipping it with nitroglycerine or digitalis or some other type of drug to force it to beat rapidly to bring more food values to the heart so that it could find a little help to keep going. Here we give the cayenne directly to the system, and it goes into the heart area acting as a good full meal. Many fast responses come from this."
Historical or traditional use of cayenne
The potent, hot fruit of cayenne has been used as medicine for centuries. It was considered helpful for various conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including stomachaches, cramping pains, and gas. Cayenne was frequently used to treat diseases of the circulatory system. It is still traditionally used in herbal medicine as a circulatory tonic (a substance believed to improve circulation). Rubbed on the skin, cayenne is a traditional, as well as modern, remedy for rheumatic pains and arthritis due to what is termed a counterirritant effect. A counterirritant is something which causes irritation to a tissue to which it is applied, thus distracting from the original irritation (such as joint pain in the case of arthritis)
Capsaicin is the “hot” in cayenne pepper. Creams made from capsaicin are used to treat a number of pain-related conditions. Some evidence indicates that capsaicin cream may be helpful for psoriasis as well. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of almost 200 people found that use of topical capsaicin can improve itching as well as overall severity of psoriasis. Benefits were also seen in a smaller double-blind trial.
Topical creams containing 0.025 to 75% capsaicin are generally used.20 People often apply the cream to the affected area three or four times per day. A burning sensation may occur the first several times the cream is applied. However, this should gradually decrease with each use. The hands must be carefully and thoroughly washed after use, or gloves should be worn, to prevent the cream from accidentally reaching the eyes, nose, or mouth, which would cause a burning sensation. Do not apply the cream to areas of broken skin. For internal use, cayenne tincture (0.3–1 ml) can be taken three times per day. An infusion can be made by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water onto 1/2–1 teaspoon (2.5 to 5 grams) of cayenne powder and let set for 10 minutes. A teaspoon of this infusion can be mixed with water and taken three to four times daily. In the treatment of heartburn, researchers have used 833 mg of cayenne powder in capsule form, taken three times per day before meals.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Besides causing a mild burning during the first few applications (or severe burning if accidentally placed in sensitive areas, such as the eyes), side effects are few with the use of capsaicin cream.22 As with anything applied to the skin, some people may have an allergic reaction to the cream, so the first application should be to a very small area of skin. Do not attempt to use capsaicin cream intra-nasally for headache treatment without professional guidance.
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This page was last updated on December 9, 2009
Copyright (c) 2009 David Arthur.