Cayenne Benefits

Latin Name

Capsicum frutescens

Also Known As

Capcaisin, Cayenne, Chilli, Chilli Peppers, Guinea spice, Cow Horn Pepper, Aleva Pepper or Bird Pepper, Red Pepper, Paprika


North and South America

Parts Used

Fruit including seeds

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

Capsicums are one of the oldest cultivated foods and appear to have been used for their culinary and medicinal properties for nearly 10,000 years.

Capsicum have a hot fiery flavour, stimulating the digestive system from the salivary glands to the colon. The active ingredients travel via the circulatory system to the far corners of the body. Taking capsicum even effects the brain, releasing endorphins, which can relieve pain and engender feelings of pleasure in the body. Capsicums' intensely hot properties are also very effective in topical preparations. Capsicum can be used to treat coldness in the extremities or as an analgesic rub for treating sporting injuries, sprains and bruises as well as sore backs, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

They are used for the symptomatic relief of shingles, psoriasis trigeminal neuralgia, and other skin ailments. This is because an active ingredient, capsaicin interferes with the mechanism for transmitting pain signals. For this reason it can also help treat fibromyalgia.

Taken internally, capsicum have many potential therapeutic applications;
Capsicums stimulate heart activity, regulating the circulatory system and strengthen the blood vessels from artery to capillary. If you want to get your blood pumping, try taking about 10ml of Capsicum Tincture. Wow!

Capsicums have been flagged as a potential treatment for weight loss. Not only have capsicums been shown to raise slow metabolism rates, but they are thought to also slow the absorption of fat in the digestive system.

Capsicums can help in the symptomatic relief of respiratory tract infections.
Perhaps surprisingly, Capsicums may help treat stomach ulcers as their irritative properties stimulate the production of a thicker mucous membrane in the digestive system.Capsicums are astringent and well known to herbalists for stopping bleeding. Put fresh chili on a cut and the bleeding will stop immediately (it really stings for a short time however). This also works for internal bleeding which is why Capsicums are recommended for treating Crohn's disease.

Typical Use

Take 1 - 3 ml up to 3 times a day.

Folklore and History

Capsicums were originally native to the America where they have been eaten since before time. Indeed evidence suggests they have been part of the human diet since at least 7500 BC. They are one of the oldest cultivated crops of the native Americans who may have been farming them since 5200 BC.

By the time the Americas were invaded by the Europeans, the resident ruling Aztecs were mixing Capsicums with Cacao to make an exclusive regal treat. Capsicums were introduced to Europe and the east from this time where they got the name 'pepper' because of the similarly pungent and spicy flavours to peppercorns, which at the time were so valuable they were used as currency in some places.

Their medicinal properties were documented in western herbalism in 1597 and prescribed as a remedy for skin and throat problems. By the 1800s they were being used in western medicine for treating a vast number of illnesses.

By the 20th century, Capsicums had made their way into various medical dictionaries, materia medica and pharmacopoeia. They are a popular ingredient in a vast number of culinary recipes as well as many therapeutic preparations. However they are still used and produced in their greatest numbers by the tropical and sub-tropical Americas where they originate from.


Capsaicin; carotenoids; saponins (capsicidins); flavonoids; phenolic compound; volatile oil.


Topical applications:
May cause inflammation or some sort of reddening or burning at the site of application – stop applying.
May also cause a sustained loss of feeling at the site of application – seek medical attention.

Taken internally:
Sickness, flatulence, heartburn, sweats, running nose & watering eyes, or diarrhoea may occur.