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Cayenne Pepper - Weight Loss | Nutrition | Health Benefits

Updated on January 23, 2016
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

A Large Cayenne Pepper

A Large Cayenne Pepper
A Large Cayenne Pepper | Source

Latin Name : Capsicum annum var annum

In India, we call it as Lal Mirch and by that we mostly mean red chillies and to a much lesser extent green chillies which we refer to as Hari Mirch. The latter is always used fresh while the former is most of the time used as a powder.

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper is a hot and pungent red colored powder that is prepared from dry red chillies by first drying and then grinding of any cultivar or a mix of cultivars of Capsicum annum.

Cayenne pepper is also known by many names, among them being, red pepper, red chillies, paprika, chilli pepper, Guinea spice and bird pepper. It comes in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and thickness. As a general rule, the smaller a cayenne pepper, the hotter and more pungent it is.

Cayenne pepper has been used as a food spice as well as a traditional medicine for about 9000 years.

Cayenne pepper, though, derives its name from "Cayenne", the capital city of French Guiana located on the North Altantic coast of South America.

In Asian cuisines, it is sometimes used fresh, when still soft and red.

Cayenne pepper belongs to the nightshade family (Solanaceae) to which among others, bell pepper, potatoes and egg plant also belong. It grows abundantly in India, Pakistan, China, Argentina and the USA.

On the Scotsville scale, a measure of the hotness of peppers, it measures from 30,000 to 50,000 Scotsville heat units (SHU).

Some other hot peppers are derived from Capsicum frutescens and Capsicum chinense.

The Capsicum annum Plant

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Capsicum annum PlantThe Cayenne Pepper FlowerThe Cayenne Pepper Fruits (Pods)
The Capsicum annum Plant
The Capsicum annum Plant | Source
The Cayenne Pepper Flower
The Cayenne Pepper Flower | Source
The Cayenne Pepper Fruits (Pods)
The Cayenne Pepper Fruits (Pods) | Source

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annum) Plant

The Capsicum annum plant is native to Central America and is a small perennial shrub, about 2 to 3 feet high. It grows in soils that drain well and needs a warm climate to thrive. The pepper pods are initially green and on maturing turns to various shades of red.

The red pepper pods bear numerous tiny, flat, cream colored seeds. These pods are dried whole and then ground to produce cayenne pepper spice we get in the market.

The active ingredients in cayenne pepper, the compounds, Capsaicin, Capsanthin and Capsorubin, give these peppers their strong and spicy taste.

Nutrients In Cayenne Pepper

Though used in minute amounts, cayenne pepper provides a lot many health benefits as they have an exceptionally high levels of various nutrients,

The primary active component is the alkaloid, Capsaicin, which gives it the spiciness and pungency so associated with it. Cayenne pepper also contains flavonoids and carotenoids.

Cayenne may be red or green. Below are some nutrients and the levels they occur in 100 grams of Cayenne pepper.

  • Vit A - 1387% of our daily requirement
  • C - 127%
  • E - 199%
  • K - 67%
  • Iron - 97.5%
  • Manganese - 87%
  • Phosphorus - 42%
  • Potassium - 47%
  • Copper - 47%
  • Niacin - 54%
  • Riboflavin - 71%
  • Pyridoxine - 39%

Nurients In Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum var. annuum), red
raw, Nutrition value per 100 g
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
318 Kcal
56.63 g
12.01 g
Total Fat
17.27 g
0 mg
Dietary Fiber
27.2 g
106 mcg
8.701 mg
2.450 mg
0.328 mg
Vitamin A
41610 IU
Vitamin C
76.4 mg
Vitamin E
29.83 mg
Vitamin K
80.3 mg
30 mg
2014 mg
148 mg
0.373 mg
7.80 mg
152 mg
2.00 mg
293 mg
8.8 mcg
2.48 mg
21840 mcg
0 mcg
6252 mcg
13157 mcg

Some Health Benefits Of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper has anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti cancer, anti diabetic, stimulant and analgesic properties among others.

Some of these properties translate into the following health benefits.

  • Provides Relief From Pain

Due to their high concentration of capsaicin they inhibit the substance P which causes inflammation and pain perception. Applied topically as a capsaicin cream it reduces pain of arthritis, neuropathy, psoriasis and shingles; also muscle pain.

  • Reduces Body Fat & Weight

Because it burns body fat by a process called thermogenesis, cayenne pepper helps reduce fat and lowers body weight.

  • Stimulates Circulation

By stimulating blood circulation and also increasing heart action it helps in lowering blood pressure. It also boosts body energy and thereby helps in reducing fatigue and increasing vigor. Cayenne pepper is a natural stimulant without any side effects.

  • Helps In Transportation Of Vital Nutrients

The stimulating action on both the circulation and the organ secretions helps in transportation of vital nutrients to critical organs.

Oral cayenne extract or cayenne tincture has been reported to aid people recover from a heart attack fast. They were given a tsp of this every 15 minutes or so.

  • Stops Bleeding/Hemorrhage

Applied topically, as cayenne pepper powder, it stops bleeding and also aids in faster clotting of blood.

  • Suppresses Appetite & Burns Calories

Research has found that consuming cayenne pepper in foods increases metabolism thus burning fat and calories in the process. It also reduces frequent craving for food.

  • Treats Psoriasis

Application of capsaicin cream topically relieves itching, redness and other symptoms of psoriasis.

  • Treats Cluster Headaches

By inhibiting the substance P it numbs the sensory nerves and also reduces inflammation and pain associated with this disease.

You can add a few drops tsp of olive oil to some cayenne pepper powder and apply on unbroken skin. However, be careful, and keep it away from the nose, eyes and mouth.

  • Clears Respiratory Passages

Capsaicin has a decongestant action and helps clear mucus from the airways, thus clearing a blocked nose to facilitate easier breathing.

  • Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Studies reveal that diabetic people who consumed cayenne pepper in meals regularly needed a lower insulin dose to reduce their blood sugar levels.

  • Lowers Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels

The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps reduce the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides. It also cleans the arteries of fat (plaque) deposition and thereby increases their elasticity, thereby reducing blood pressure too.

  • Stimulates The Digestive System

By stimulating the digestive system cayenne pepper helps in better absorption of nutrients, faster movement of food and elimination of food and waste. It also heals stomach ulcers.

  • Aids In Frostbite

As it warms the body and also stimulates the blood circulation, it helps to keep the hands and feet warmer, and also expedites healing in frostbite.

Available Cayenne Pepper Forms

Cayenne pepper is available in the following forms:

  • Fresh - available whole and used finely sliced to incorporate in any dish you want to add spiciness to. You can add to sauces, salsa, pasta fish and meat.
  • Dried - available dry and whole. Used to either grind your own pepper powder at home or you can use them whole to dals, sambhar etc, and dishes you need to simmer for awhile.
  • Powder - can be used instead and in situations fresh cayenne pepper is unavailable. The heat is the same even though the look isn't.

Besides this, cayenne pepper is also available as :

  • Extract
  • Capsules
  • Tea

Use it in any form according to your preference. But the fact remains, it is far easier to use it in foods and less chances of it disturbing your alimentary canal, if you cannot stand it orally alone. That said, consume it in any form, it will only benefit you.

Go slow if you intend drinking it mixed in water until your body adjust to the present dose and scale up slowly.

I hope this information has been useful to you.

Cayenne Pepper Tea

A word about cayenne pepper tea. No tea bags exist for cayenne pepper though.

The tea is just a mixture of cayenne pepper powder dissolved in some water and drunk. Great if you can take it this way. If not, take it fresh or in powder form added as a spice to foods. Capsules are another way to take it.

Watch the video below to see how to prepare cayenne tea.

Make Your Own Cayenne Pepper Tea


The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

NATURAL Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure Treatment. CAYENNE TURMERIC HONEY LEMON TEA

The Amazing Effects of Cayenne Pepper -- My Personal Experience

How to Use Cayenne Pepper for Weight Loss

© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly


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    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Surabhi, thanks for sharing your recipe of a detox drink. Appreciate your stopping by.

      Flourishn glad you appreciate this information. Thank you.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      You have me convinced that I need to have more cayenne in my life, from first aid to lowering cholesterol.

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 

      4 years ago

      O wah! I never knew this. I normally make a detox drink with a few chopped cucumbers, beetroot, mint leaves and lemons. I drink a glass of that homemade tonic every day. It's a great natural tonic for weight loss as well as for cleansing the liver, and plus it strengthens our immune system. Thought I would share that here as well. Thanks for this informative article, Rajan ji.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @manatita - from what I have seen of the site they haven't yet sent me to a link asking for money. I have viewed quite a few videos and they were quite detailed and to the point. Good luck.

      @Chitragandha - it's good we use all types of spices in our food and that has probably that has kept us away from bigger health issues. Glad you like the hub. Thanks.

      @DDE - thanks for st0pping by Devika.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting facts! Informative and is an expensive spice

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very informative hub about Cayenne pepper and its health benefits. We Indians do include all varieties of chillies in our regular food. So thoughtful of you to mention the detailed nutrients here in the form of a chart.

      Thank you for sharing this useful and helpful hub!

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      Thanks Rajan. I have visited and look at the first page. It reads like those that keep promising to tell you something and give you further links, until, finally, you have to pay a decent amount of money to get it, as they do not tell you. I will read more later. Thank you so much!

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ Venkatachari - Yes, red chilli powder can be used to benefit from and we mostly use this in dals and vegetables. Occasionally fresh green chillies. Thank you for reading.

      @manatita - have a look at this and hope with Divine Grace it will work for your tingling sensation.

      Hit the finger joint pain tab on the list on the left.

      Do let me know. Thanks.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      I have mild neuropathy. I was wondering the same. I take everything that you mentioned. I also tried soaking by hand in lemon juice. Thanks for the input.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very much informative article. I do not know about so many nutrients in it and the health benefits of it. I always prefer green chillies which I use daily by grinding green chillies and ginger into a paste. I grind for one week's stock and use it in all curries mostly.

      Reading this article, I get assured that I can use even dry chilli powder now. I use it only for fries of potato, coccinea (kundroo) and bhendi only.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      @ swalia - thank you.

      @cygnetbrown - thanks for the useful tip. Much appreciated.

      @billybuc - you're welcome Bill.

      @MsDora - the research was much revealing to me as well.

      @tireless traveller - thanks for ratifying the effect of cayenne on bleeding.

      @manatita - well it does become a bit hot if you've had more of the pepper. Regarding the pins & needles it is usually related to the nerves. If there is no health condition associated with it then supplementation with B complex & E vitamins plus a magnesium supplement (cayenne can replace magnesium if your body can handle it), under a doctor's advice should help a lot. Yoga too. Thanks for stopping by.

      @MarleneB - glad you found this information useful. Thank you.

      @PAINTDRIPS - thank you.

      @Diana - I agree with you fully. Thanks.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 

      4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is a very informative hub. We should use as many natural remedies as possible. I think we would be healthier than those taking too much medicine to treat what ails them.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      This is very useful information. I did not know all this about cayenne pepper. Thank you.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      4 years ago from USA

      This is a very informative article about cayenne pepper. I grow several peppers in my back yard. Cayenne is one of them. I had heard that cayenne pepper was good for many things and reading this hub has helped me see so many other benefits, too.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      I believe in it, Bro, and some of its many uses which you highlight so well. This Hub is pertinent to me, as yesterday I believe that I used too much in cooking. I was a little 'hot' inside. Ha ha.

      Is it good for painful fingers? Or with your great knowledge and skills, do you know of anything? I am getting lots or pins and needles. Ideas welcome.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      Cayenne pepper has intrigued me. I always wondered if it really would stop bleeding. Recently I had an instance of uncontrolled leeding . The cayenne worked well. Lovely informative hub.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Cayenne has more benefits that I imagined. Thanks for letting us know that this pepper is more than a spicy flavorer.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Always so informative. Thank you for the information, Rajan!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 

      4 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Cayenne peppers warms a body inside and out! I learned that if I want to handle cayenne peppers, I had to wear gloves otherwise the heat from the peppers on my hands was beyond what I could stand! I learned too that soaking my hands in milk (not water) does help draw out the heat.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      4 years ago from India

      Very informative. I wasn't aware of the health benefits of cayenne pepper.

    • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Audrey, you might be interested to read more info at this link:

      I hope you find it useful. Thanks for stopping by.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi rajan -

      "As a general rule, the smaller a cayenne pepper, the hotter and more pungent it is" - I didn't know this. Great information on Cayenne Pepper.

      How would I use Cayenne to help control Diabetes? Mix with water and drink it? How much do you suggest eating daily?

      Love your hub on Bell Peppers too. You're a busy hubber!



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