Cayenne – What it is and Why it is Useful

Cayenne pepper is often used to combat simple ailments as well as to fight off serious ailments like prostate cancer. It is believed that these spicy peppers were used as a staple diet by the Aztecs and Mayans. The Hunzas also attribute their astonishing longevity to this natural product. Today, there are a number of herbalists who testify to the fact that Cayenne has an array of medicinal benefits to offer.

Spice or Herb

Cayenne pepper is most commonly described as a spice. In fact, it is one of the oft used natural ingredients used to spice up ethnic cooking. It is derived from the fruit of red hot chilli peppers and this puts it in well within the category of spices. For most cooking professionals and lay people, cayenne is just a spice that adds to the taste of the foods they eat or cook. However, this spice is also a medicinal herb without a doubt because it has several properties that have positive, beneficial effects in treating different ailments.

Several leading herbalists and traditional medicine practitioners have written papers and given lectures on the medicinal properties of this herb, Cayenne, that we often consider just another spice.

How is Cayenne Pepper Made?

The most commonly used form of Cayenne is the Cayenne pepper. The fruit of the plant is dried and ground to make the pepper that we see being used in so many ways around us. The fruit of the Cayenne may also be turned into pulp, flattened into cakes and baked. Then these cakes are ground to give the pepper in powder form.

Health Benefits

There are many ailments in which Cayenne (also called Capsicum minimum or Capsicum fastigiatum) provides an effective cure. The herb is considered a good tonic for the heart. Traditional medicine practitioners believe that it can even stop a heart attack. Regular inclusion of cayenne in the diet keeps the heart healthy and well nourished with essential nutrients. It also lowers cholesterol levels in the human body. For those elderly people who have cardiovascular problems, including cayenne in their diet regularly has beneficial effects.

Cayenne is very effective in improving blood circulation, rebuilding blood cells and purifying the blood. It helps in quick healing of ulcers and improves immunity to various infections too. It’s cell building properties are so effective that Cayenne can even rebuild tissue damaged by frostbite. This property of the herb is another reason why Cayenne is used so extensively in elder care to repair worn out tissues.

Different Forms in which Cayenne is Taken

In raw form, Cayenne does leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth especially when you are not accustomed to eating spicy foods. Your tongue and lips may burn when you eat this spice in the raw or powdered form. This is why it is a good idea to choose cayenne capsules instead.

Cayenne pepper powder is also made into a decoction for easy consumption. Although this liquid may still leave your throat and mouth burning, it does have a much better and quicker effect as compared to ingesting capsules. When taken in liquid form, the Cayenne is immediately absorbed into your body and has a positive effect on your heart health as well as circulatory system. This why you feel a warmth spreading through your body as soon as you take foods that contain substantial amounts of Cayenne.

With the many health benefits it offers, it is easy to see why this herb or spice has been in use for so many years as an important component of cooking in various cultures. Add Cayenne to your food or include a cayenne pepper drink in your daily diet to start enjoying the benefits of this miracle herb right away.

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