Cayenne Pepper, also known as red chilli pepper or ‘Lal Mirchi’ in Hindi, is considered the king of medicinal herbs as it has various science backed health benefits. The cayenne pepper is moderately hot at 30000-50000 SHU on the Scoville scale, and used for taste and aroma in food preparations, besides its use as a traditional healing modality.
This spice is obtained from the Capsicum annuum pepper. It is produced by seeding, drying, and grinding of the red-coloured peppers. The spiciness of cayenne pepper is attributed to the pepper’s active ingredient, capsaicin.
Native to South America, cayenne has become an integral part of Indian cooking.
Cayenne Pepper contains numerous vitamins such as vitamins C, A, B, and, E. It also contains few minerals such as copper, iron flavonoids, potassium, and, iron. The active ingredient of cayenne peppers, capsaicin is responsible for its medicinal properties.
One teaspoon of cayenne pepper, that weighs approximately 1.8 gm contains 5.7 calories. It further contains 1 gm of carbohydrates, 0.5 gm of fibre, 0.5 mg of vitamin E, 2.7 mg of calcium, 5.3 mg of phosphorus, 2.7 mg of magnesium, 1.4 mg of vitamin C, 36.3 mg of potassium, 1.9 mcg of folate, and 37.5 mcg of vitamin A.
Potential Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper…
1/6. Prevents cancer
1. Capsaicin content of cayenne pepper possesses anti-tumour properties due to which it reduces the risk of cancer.
2. Capsaicin attacks the cancer cell growth process by undergoing a process known as apoptosis that is, death of the cancer cells. It also slows down the growth of cancer cells. Capsaicin prevents cancer cells to travel across the body.
3. Cayenne pepper can prevent certain cancers such as cancers of the liver, lung, prostate, skin, colon, and breast.
2/6. Promotes weight loss
1. Capsaicin content present in cayenne peppers possesses metabolism-boosting properties which, help in burning excess fat thus, promoting weight loss.
2. Capsaicin increases the amount of heat in the body thus, burning more calories per day.
3. Capsaicin present in cayenne peppers causes various effects that promote weight loss such as reduced appetite, feeling of fullness, accelerated energy expenditure, and increased absorption of nutrients.
4. Capsaicin decreases the production of the hunger hormone, ghrelin thus, reducing appetite.
3/6. Lowers blood pressure
1. The capsaicin present in cayenne pepper helps reduce high blood pressure.
2. This spice opens up the blood vessels thus, increasing blood flow. As the blood flow increases, the blood pressure naturally reduces.
3. Capsaicin affects the sensory nerves which work with neurohormonal systems, this decreases high blood pressure.
4/6. Promotes digestive health
1. Cayenne pepper relieves intestinal gas and stimulates intestinal peristaltic movements.
2, This spice enhances the stomach’s ability to defend infections and boosts digestive fluid production.
3. Cayenne pepper smoothens the delivery of enzymes to the stomach thus, enhancing digestive health.
5/6. Promotes skin health
1. The antibacterial properties of capsaicin protect the body against Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A Streptococcus.
2. Capsaicin reduces itching due to numerous skin disorders.
3. The anti-inflammatory properties of capsaicin, present in cayenne pepper helps in soothing skin redness. It further, treats acne-induced skin discolouration.
6/6. Other possible benefits…
Cayenne pepper produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as, improves hair health, improves psoriasis, eases cold symptoms, enhances circulation, reduces cholesterol and triglycerides, relieves headache, stimulates saliva production, promotes cardiovascular health.
Cayenne is also known to help stimulate the circulatory system, soothe occasional joint discomfort, promote longevity, treat toothache, relieve joint pains, improve immunity, prevent ulcers, relieve burning mouth syndrome, prevent blood clot formation and relieve migraines.
King of medicinal herbs, cayenne pepper is moderately hot at 30000-50000 SHU on the Scoville scale. Cayenne is used for its taste & aroma in food preparations
How to use Cayenne Pepper?
There are various methods of using cayenne pepper, some of them are as follows:
- Added to dips.
- Stir into soups.
- To make chilli oil.
- To spice mixtures.
- To spice up marinades.
- Sprinkled over baked chicken.
- Tossed over sautéed vegetables.
- To prepare cayenne pepper sauce.
How to Make Cayenne Pepper Tea?
Add lemon, honey, ginger, and cayenne pepper in a mug.
Pour boiling water over this mixture in the mug and steep it for approximately 5 minutes.
Stir it well and enjoy the tea.