Common Name: Cayenne

Latin Name: Capsicum minimum

A very hot pepper Capsicum’s name is derived from the Greek word, “to bite”. Legendary for its curative properties its helps to maintain well-being, and is a favourite for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Supreme for warming the system, cayenne gets the blood circulating; through cold fingers, toes and other extremities, providing an overall sense of warmth to the system. Cayenne is also very nutritious; peppers in general contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, B-complex and more vitamin C than oranges. Easy to grow, it is a perennial first introduced to Britain from India, but does well in North American climates.

Parts Used: Fruit

Constituents: Capsaicin, carotenoids, flavonoids, essential oil, vitamin C

Actions: Stimulant, febrifuge, carminative, tonic, sialagogue, rubefacient, anti-septic

Medicinal Uses: Cayenne is the most useful of the systemic stimulants. Its warming, circulatory stimulating properties are safe and effective tonic for the heart, regulating blood flow, and strengthening the arteries, capillaries and nerves. Capsicum is a great digestive aid by stimulating the release of both saliva and stomach enzymes. Externally, it is a potent analgesic as it sends messages to the brain to release endorphins, the body’s “feel good” hormones. Its effectiveness as a rubefacient aids in topical pain relief for arthritis, bursitis, and muscle and joint aches. Used in first aid it helps to stop bleeding.

Used In: Heat Rub