& Health Benefit of Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum)
"If you master only
one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any
other." Dr. Schulze
"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)." Dr.
"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."Dr. Patrick Quillin The Healing
Power of Cayenne Pepper.
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
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 & 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.
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.
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.
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
"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.
Dr. Anderson, author of
Cleanse and Purify Thyself, tells of one time when he was on the beach
and a man began passing a kidney stone . The man took some cayenne,
which relieved his pain almost immediately.
A person known to Dr.
Anderson had a severe toothache in the middle of the night on a
weekend. He tried many things to relieve the pain. Cayenne was
the only thing that helped.
One of the youngest persons to take cayenne
was a six-week old baby who was born with chronic asthma. Dr. John
Christopher administered the cayenne using an eyedropper, and it then became
possible for the baby to breathe normally.
Dr. Christopher has used
cayenne to eliminate allergies, varicose veins, cramps, constipation, and to
Dr. Anderson recommends cayenne to help cleanse the
body, increase body heat, improve circulation, and strengthen the eyes.
But above all, Dr. Anderson feels that cayenne is exceptionally beneficial for
Rich Anderson published the first Cleanse and Purify Thyself
in 1988. It became one of the most popular books on cleansing ever written.
With almost no advertising, this book spread around the world and
was translated into several languages.
Dr. 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."
or traditional use
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).
What is the Scientific Evidence for Cayenne?
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
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.
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
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.
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
Topical capsaicin is thought to be helpful for various
itchy skin conditions, such as prurigo nodularis, but double-blind studies