Strimulant, tonic, sialagogue, alterative, rubefacient, carminative, digestive
Shingles (herpes zoster)/postherpetic neuralgia
Cayenne pepper has beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.
It has many beneficial effects on gastrointestinal function.
Antioxidant activity: The carotene molecules of cayenne pepper and
paprika exert powerful antioxidant effects.
Cayenne pepper exerts a number of beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It reduces the likelihood of developing, atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also reduces the platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity. Cultures consuming a large amount of cayenne pepper have a much lower rate of cardiovascular disease.
When topically applied to the skin or mucous membranes, capsaicin stimulates and then block small diameter pain fibers by depleting them of neurotransmitter called substance P. Substance P is believed to be the principal transmitter of pain impulses. It also has been shown to activate inflammatory mediators in joint tissues in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Capsaicin lowers body temperature by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in the brain. It appears that people who live in tropics deals with high temperature by consuming cayenne pepper.
Cayenne ointments may offer benefits in a number of conditions, including pain disorders (postamputation pain, postmastectomy pain, post herpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Topically applied capsaicin may be useful in the treatment of psoriasis.
Capsaicin was found to relieve the pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster), a clinical condition known as post-herpetic neuralgia. Clinical trials have shown that about 50% of those taking capsaicin report improvement as opposed to 10% for the placebo group.
Topically applied capsaicin may be effective in reducing the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, a painful disorder of the main nerve of the face characterized by severe, stabbing pain affecting the cheek, lips, gums, or chin on one side of the face. In one study, more than 80% of those treated with capsaicin responded favorably. This is remarkable as there are no medication available for this condition except surgery.
Capsaicin may help relieve the pain following breast reconstruction or mastectomy.
Mouth pain due to chemotherapy or radiation:
Capsaicin was found to reduce the pain of mouth sores resulting from chemotherapy or radiation treatment dramatically in a clinical trial.
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve disorder caused by long-term diabetes. Capsaicin has been found to be of considerable benefit in relieving pain of this condition.
Cluster headaches are migraine-like headaches characterized by severe pain, usually localized around one eye. Double blind studies have shown that intranasal application of a special capsaicin ointment by a physician may relieve cluster headaches. Episodic patients were found to benefit more from the treatment than chronic patients.
Capsaicin may be effective in relieving the pain of either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Excessive substance P levels in the skin have been linked to psoriasis. Capsaicin was found to reduce scaling, redness and combined psoriasis severity.