Did you know that in the Old West, herbalists would use cayenne pepper to save people from gunshot wounds? Mixed with water in the form of a 'tea', very hot cayenne pepper would be mixed with water and given orally to the victim. In most cases, by the time the herbalist would count to ten, the bleeding would stop.
How is this possible? Cayenne pepper goes immediately into the blood stream. It adjusts the blood pressure from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, thus equalizing pressure over the whole body. The high pressure, which causes rapid bleeding, is taken away from the wound. As a result of this, clotting starts immediately.
As I have followed my fascination with herbs and herbology, I noticed a common thread among the great herbalists of the last century. They all say that if they only had two things to work with on the entire planet, cayenne pepper would be one of them. This led me to ask, 'Why?' This question has led me to some surprising answers.
Beneficial to the Heart
Dr. John Christopher, one of the greatest herbalists of the last century, called cayenne pepper 'the finest food for the heart'.
"People are starving their hearts while feeding their taste buds" - Dr. John Christopher
There are flavonoids in cayenne that heal heart cells and protect your heart.
Breaks up Congestion in the Body
Cayenne stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines. It aids in assimilation and elimination.
Has been known to help heal ulcers
Cayenne helps rebuild the tissue in the stomach and heals intestinal ulcers.
By increasing the flow of enzyme production, cayenne pepper stimulates the digestive tract. Cayenne also breaks up mucous in the body, leading to better absorption and digestion of food.
Burns Fat & Boosts Metabolism
By giving the body a natural thermogenic boost, cayenne allows your body to begin to burn its stored fat. The capsaicin found in cayenne pepper, put simply, helps the body to burn more calories. (Hint: Great addition to your fresh vegetable juice!)
Serves as a catalyst for herbs to work faster in the body
Cayenne will increase the value and healing properties of other herbs. It carries herbal agents more quickly to any specific area.
'Without blood flow to sick areas, how can any herb work?' - Dr. Richard Schulze
For example, if you take gingko but have bad circulation to your brain, what good is that herb doing? If you take milk thistle, but have bad circulation to your liver, how much good is that herb really doing to aid the liver?
Dr. Christopher once stated that without herbs, a condition may take months to improve. With herbal remedies, it may take weeks. Add cayenne to the herbal remedy, the condition may improve in minutes.
Contains Anti-Cancer Properties
Studies have shown that cayenne induces cancer cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis, while leaving healthy cells intact.
Regulates Blood Pressure
When the veins become loaded with sticky mucous, the blood has a more difficult time circulating through the body. Higher pressure forces the liquid through the system. Because cayenne regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet, the pressure is equalized. The heart is affected immediately, which then effects the nerves, arteries and capillaries. The veins and capillaries regain the elasticity of youth, and blood pressure returns to normal.
Known for its anti-fungal properties, cayenne can be useful when taken to ward off colds, sore throats or even the flu. Cayenne breaks up congestion and mucous in the body. Squeezing a fresh lemon in warm water while adding cayenne is an effective at home remedy at the onset of a cold or sore throat.
Beneficial to the Skin
Not only does cayenne increase the flow of blood to the skin, but it is also rich in Vitamins C and E, flavonoids, and anti-oxidants.
Cayenne is also helpful for healing the skin. If a wound is cut and exposed, even to the bone, sprinkle the wound with cayenne pepper. It will stop the bleeding and heal the wound beautifully. If the skin appears red, it is not because the cayenne is irritating the wound. On the contrary, cayenne is a counter-irritant. The cayenne is actually bringing blood to the surface to both start the healing process and take away toxic poisons. The redness of the surface simply indicates the carrying off of the waste.
Remedy for Tooth and Gums
Cayenne pepper circulates blood to the gums and teeth. Combined with other herbs, the properties combine to reduce inflammation and swelling.
One of my favorite herbal combinations is Dr. Schulze's Tooth & Gum. I am not being paid to recommend this. I just wanted to share this information with you, in case you may need it some day.
How much do I take?
Herbalists Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schulze have long recommended starting with 1/16th of a teaspoon in a glass of room temperature water. Gradually increase this amount to 1 teaspoon per day, up to 3 times a day.
A few interesting tips
- Look for higher heat units, organically grown, in the bulk section
- According to Dr. Schulze, purchasing cayenne pepper in the spice section is usually not best. It can be old, burnt, or just not hot enough to be effective.
- Purchasing cayenne in capsules is not the most effective way to take cayenne pepper. When you take cayenne in a glass of water, digestive juices are secreted to prepare your stomach for the cayenne. If you swallow a capsule, a few minutes later when the gelatin dissolves, you have surprised your stomach with about a half of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
'When you take cayenne in capsules, you get a punch in the stomach. It's a very different reaction. It's like doing no warm up or stretch before you do a vigorous physical exercise.' - Dr. Richard Schulze
In addition to this, the cayenne in capsules is often low quality. If it has been overheated by processing machines, its healing ability will be diminished. Beware of cayenne that has a dark color or smoky smell. If it has been burnt, the enzymes and other nutrients will be lost through overheating.
Dr. Christopher used to have an expression he liked to use:
'Eat of the fruit of your own fig tree.'
Oftentimes, we think that what we need to help ourselves is some very expensive, exotic plant from some far away country. I happen to agree with Dr. Christopher on this one:
'The herb that's been right in front of you is much more amazing than those plants hiding out in the jungles.'