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Cayenne Pepper - Cardiovascular Health

What is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper is the berry fruit of Capsicum annum, a tropical shrubby plant that can reach heights up to 3 feet. Paprika is a milder and sweeter fruit from the same Capsicum family. Originally only found in the tropical central Americas, Capsicum annum is now cultivated in many parts of the world especially Southeast Asia, China, southern Italy and Mexico.


What is Cayenne Pepper Used For?

The folk use of cayenne pepper has included asthma, fevers, sore throats, respiratory tract infections, digestive disturbances, and topical applications as a poultice. Perhaps today cayenne pepper's most pertinent use might be in terms of cardiovascular health enhancement. Studies have revealed that cayenne pepper reduces the risk for developing atherosclerosis by contributing to the reduction of blood cholesterol and triglyceride (fat) levels. It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce inappropriate blood clotting. Cultures consuming large amounts of cayenne pepper have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.


How Does Cayenne Pepper Work?

The active chemical ingredient giving cayenne pepper its hot, spicy and irritating effect is capsaicin. Cayenne pepper contains about 1.5 percent of capsaicin, which is the initial factor in the action of cayenne pepper. Carotene molecules also impart powerful anti-oxidant effects, contributing to the health enhancement of controlling oxygen's downside.

Topically, cayenne pepper has been used to reduce pain. Capsaicin first stimulates and then blocks small-diameter pain nerve fibers by depleting them of a nerve transmission factor known as substance P. Substance P is considered to be the principal factor in pain impulses coming from the periphery of the body. Substance P has been shown to activate inflammatory promotors in joint osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Cayenne peppers's benefit stems from reducing the presence of substance P. The most commonly treated conditions of peripheral pain are post--herpetic neuralgia (shingles), trigeminal neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux), post-mastectomy pain, dialetic neuropathy pain, cluster headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis.


How Do I Use Cayenne Pepper?

The recommended dosage for the oral capsule cayenne pepper is 1 - 2 capsules a day. Creams containing 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin may be applied to affected skin areas up to four times daily. Do not apply on broken or denuded skin.


Is Cayenne Pepper Safe?

Capaicin, the active ingredient is strongly irritating to eyes and mucous membranes. Cayenne pepper may interfere with MAO inhibitors and anti-hypertensive medication, and may increase liver destruction of drugs.
- The above information is adapted from The Healing Power Herbs by Michael T. Murray N.D., Prima Publishing, Rocklin CA., 1995

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor.
Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."

See: FTC - Dietary Supplements: An Advertising Guide for Industry


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