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Medicinal Foods

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Recommended for the following patterns:
Liver Qi Stagnation Liver Blood Stagnation Heart Blood Stagnation

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Eastern Health Description

cayenne is good for exterior conditions such as the
common cold, because cayenne has antiviral, antibiotic, and diaphoretic (sweating) properties most beneficial at the onset of a cold. To aid the body with opening the pores and encouraging sweating.

Cayenne is one of the highest botanic sources of vitamin C. and is extremely and dispersing, helping overcome
stagnant qi energy and thereby helping balance the obstructive effect of excess
meat or other dietary extremes.

Cyanne also controls the growth of putrefactive bacteria caused by eating animal products, overeating, and combining
food unwisely.

However, their pungent aspect disperses mental concentration. (so use sparingly when in periods that require intense mental focus)

Cayenne is listed in many recipes on this site as an option, to be used by those who can benefit from it. Adjust the dosage accordingly.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002. (edited slightly)

Western Health Description

Western Health more:Cayenne peppers contain chemical compound capsaicin. Capasicin and its co-compounds used in the preparation of ointments, rubs and tinctures for their astringent, counter-irritant and analgesic properties.

These formulations have been in use in the treatment of arthritic pain, post herpetic neuropathic pain, sore muscles etc.

Scientific studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties.

The spice is also one of the ingredient in popular cayenne pepper diet along with lemon juice, laxative tea etc. Several poorly-established research studies suggest that cayenne pepper found to reduce blood sugar levels, LDL cholesterol levels and weight in obese persons.

Cayenne contains health benefiting an alkaloid compound capsaicin, which gives strong spicy pungent character. Early laboratory studies on experimental mammals suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. When used judiciously it also found to reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.

Fresh cayenne peppers, red or green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about76.4 mcg or about 127% of RDA. Vitamin-C is a potent water soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis in the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body protect from scurvy; develop resistance against infectious agents (boosts immunity) and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

Cayanne chili peppers are probably the richest spicy source of vitamin A. Just 100 g of cayenne has41,610 IU or astonishingly 1387% of vitamin A. In addition this prized spice is also home for anti-oxidant flavonoids such as carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these antioxidant substances in capsicum helps to protect body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.

The spice contains very high levels of essential minerals. The spice if even consumed in small quantities regularly would provide sufficient levels of iron, copper, zinc, potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Selenium is anti-oxidant mineral

100 g of cayenne peppers provides 2014 mg or 47% of daily required amount of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte inside the cells and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure and counter the effects of sodium.

Cayenne are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. B-complex vitamins facilitate cellular metabolism through various enzymatic functions.

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