- Diet & Weight Loss
A Herb Superfood That Can Help Aid Weightloss
Cayenne Pepper - The Amazing Healing Herb of the Amazon
It is thought cayenne originated on the banks of the Amazon and has been used by the indigenous people of the Americas since ancient times. It is now used in many countries around the world, not only as a great and tasty way of adding heat and spice to meals, but also for its medicinal and healing properties
Cayenne has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Among the conditions that cayenne has been used for are heart disease, gout, trapped wind, sore throats and many more.
Let’s have a look at a number of conditions that cayenne can be of use for and how it works.
Cayenne can work as a decongestant if you happen to be suffering from that most common of all viruses, the common cold. Once it’s decongestant properties begin to do their work on the sinuses, the mucus that gives you that horrible ‘blocked up’ feeling starts to clear from the body and as this occurs, the sufferer feels relief from their symptoms.
Cayenne chilli contains a highly effective property called capsaicin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory and ant-bacterial agent. Cayenne powder works by reducing the swelling in your throat and also fighting and clearing infections. As a sore throat is also a common occurrence when suffering from a common cold, cayenne makes an ideal all around remedy for these type of conditions.
Regular consumption of cayenne pepper also helps reduce incidence of heart disease by preventing the onset of ‘furring’ of the arteries in the heart (known as atherosclerosis) and also helps to reduce the contributing causes that lead to blood clots all, of which play a role in preventing heart attacks and strokes. Cayenne works to rid the body of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.
High Blood Pressure
With high blood pressure also being a major factor in heart disease and strokes, it’s good to know that cayenne can also be of service in helping to either reduce or maintain our blood pressure at healthy levels. It is thought that capsaicin works on sensory nerves with the neuro-hormonal systems to help lower blood pressure.
At one time it was thought that stomach ulcers were caused by eating rich spicy food, however, research has shown that the most common cause of ulcers is actually bacterial infections. That being the case, as cayenne contains the magical capsaicin and its anti-bacterial properties, it is a perfect treatment for helping to clear out any infections that are sitting in our gut. At the same time as cleansing the gut, cayenne also works to decrease the level of acids in our stomachs.
Cayenne acts to stimulate the digestive system and helps in the increase of production of enzymes and gastric juices, which helps metabolize food and toxins in the body.
Help is at hand for sufferers of flatulence as cayenne pepper helps stimulate peristaltic motion which helps aid the assimilation and elimination of gas in the body.
Cayenne has a wide range of anti-fungal properties. Scientific tests have shown it to be an effective treatment for sixteen different types of fungal strains.
Cayenne has been shown to be an effective treatment for allergic conditions such as hay fever. It helps to desensitize the nasal passage and this reduce irritation when a sufferer is exposed to allergens and also to help break up and clear mucus from the nasal passage thus giving relief to that affected individual.
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper has been shown to be significant factor in helping to reduce pain and suffering for those with arthritis. Capsaicin releases endorphins in the brain that have a pain reducing effect and works in a similar way to morphine. Preparations containing cayenne powder have also been shown to be an effective pain reliever when applied externally to the skin. Cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which sends chemical messages from the skin into the joint, offering relief from joint pain.
Cayenne has been demonstrated to be a highly effective treatment for psoriasis. The anti-inflammatory properties of the herb make it an excellent choice for helping reduce the soreness, redness and scaling of the skin that occurs with this skin condition.
Studies by researchers at Laval University in Quebec, set out to find if Cayenne could be effective in the fight against weight gain and actively help in weight loss. The researchers gave a group of volunteers cayenne pepper in their breakfast every morning. Compared to a group of volunteers who did not have the cayenne for breakfast, those who did were found to have less of an appetite through the whole day, which led to a lower intake of calories. Cayenne helps to boost metabolism which also helps in burning off excess fats stored in the body.
Applying a cayenne tincture to teeth can be helpful in treating gum disease such as gingivitis. The anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin rich cayenne powder can help bring relief to diseased and sensitive gums by reducing pain and swelling.
Whilst I don’t suggest you use Cayenne pepper as an alternative to going to see a medical practitioner if you have an ailment you are suffering with, it is quite clear that with so many potential benefits to be had from introducing cayenne pepper into your diet regularly, it makes sense to do so.
Perhaps, like the volunteers in the weight loss study at Laval University in Quebec, you too could stand to have something to gain by having cayenne chilli for breakfast!