Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Let’s look in more detail at the many reasons why taking more cayenne pepper in your diet could be good for you.
Cayenne Pepper has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
One of the most important health benefits of consuming more cayenne pepper is due to its anti-inflammatory activity.
Inflammation in the body has been linked to the development of a number of chronic diseases. Some of these include heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and even cancer. (5)
A review published in 2018 on studies into the anti-inflammatory effect of capsaicin found that cayenne pepper can help prevent many chronic diseases. Compounds in cayenne pepper inhibit inflammatory responses in the body. This was also shown to have anticancer potential in laboratory tests. (6)
The anti-inflammatory effect of cayenne pepper can also help to reduce pain. Research has shown that as well as reducing inflammation, cayenne pepper also has an analgesic effect. In fact, capsaicin was as effective as some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics (NSAIDs). (7)
Cayenne Pepper May Relieve Osteoarthritis (OA) and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Applying topical creams containing capsaicin extract can help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis like joint pain.
The results of 5 double-blind randomized controlled trials found that capsaicin cream can relieve osteoarthritis. Patients applied 0.025% to 0.075% capsaicin ointments 4 times a day to sore joints. After 4 weeks, most patients reported less arthritis-related joint pain. There were no significant reported side effects of using capsaicin cream when treating osteoarthritis pain. (8)
Cayenne pepper lotion can also help to relieve rheumatoid arthritis joint pain. In a double-blind randomized trial, 0.025% capsaicin cream was effective at relieving arthritic knee pain. Around 80% of patients who used capsaicin ointment for pain relief reported positive results after 2 weeks of treatment. (9)
Cayenne Pepper Cream Can Relieve Nerve Pain and Migraine Pain
Another medicinal use for applying cayenne pepper ointments is to relieve nerve pain and headaches.
The Journal of Palliative Medicine reported that the powerful analgesic effect of cayenne pepper can help to manage neuropathic pain. Commercially available 0.025%, 0.075%, and 0.1% capsaicin creams are applied three to four times per day. Capsaicin 0.075% cream showed significant benefit in nerve pain relief compared to placebo. The research found that capsaicin helps activate certain nerve receptors. In time, this has a desensitizing effect on pain. (10)
Extracts from cayenne pepper can also be effective in treating migraine pain. For example, one small trial showed that the researchers applied topical capsaicin 0.1% or Vaseline jelly to the site of the migraine pain. It was found that the majority of patients who received the capsaicin treatment noted a 50% reduction in the intensity of headache pain. (11)
Cayenne Pepper Powder Promotes Lower Blood Pressure
Cayenne pepper may also help to lower blood pressure if you suffer from hypertension.
Research carried out on rats found that supplementing their diet with capsaicin had an anti-hypertensive effect. Capsaicin helped to dilate blood vessels and improve blood circulation. The scientists noted that there are complex interactions that result in capsaicin lowering blood pressure. (12)
One of the ways that cayenne pepper seems to lower blood pressure is by decreasing the amount of salt stored in the body.
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Capsaicin Pills May Help to Protect Your Heart
Cayenne pepper capsules can help to improve risk factors of coronary heart disease.
A randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial found that capsaicin supplements significantly increased HDL cholesterol levels. This is the “good” type of cholesterol that is associated with heart health.
Taking capsaicin capsules, containing powders of chili skin also decreased triglyceride levels which can reduce your heart attack risk. In the trial, the participants took capsaicin capsules twice a day for 3 months. (13)
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Cayenne Pepper May Prevent Blood Clots
Taking cayenne pepper supplements can help prevent blood clots forming in your arteries.
Research has shown that capsaicin can help to prevent platelets clumping together to form clots. In fact, in one study, capsaicin was more effective at preventing complications from pulmonary thromboembolism than aspirin or indomethacin. Pulmonary thromboembolism is when a blood clot travels to your lungs and can result in death. (14)
Cayenne Pepper Can Boost Your Metabolism and Help You Lose Weight
Cayenne pepper drinks or taking cayenne powder supplements can help you lose weight quicker.
Let’s look at some of the ways that cayenne pepper can help you lose weight.
Cayenne pepper helps to boost metabolism. A medical report from 2017 reported that cayenne pepper extracts stimulate receptors that increase metabolism. This can help to offset a number of complications associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity. (15)
Cayenne pepper helps to increase the feeling of fullness. Taking capsaicin supplements may help increase your feelings of satiety. A study on the gastrointestinal effects of capsaicin found that consuming more capsaicin reduced fat intake and suppressed appetite. (16)
Cayenne pepper affects hunger hormones. Another way that taking cayenne pepper can help lose weight is that it inhibits certain hunger hormones. Researchers discovered that capsaicin reduced the levels of the hormone ghrelin, often called the “hunger hormone.” (17)
In conclusion, a review of the anti-obesity effect of capsaicin supplements found that they can help to reduce obesity. The benefits of cayenne capsules on weight loss are that they increase energy expenditure, help burn body fat, and increase satiety. (18)
Cayenne Capsules Can Improve Digestive Health
It may surprise you to learn, but the spicy components in cayenne pepper can actually promote healthy digestion.
A 2016 review on the digestive benefits of cayenne pepper plant extracts found that there are over 200 compounds in chili powder. Many of these compounds have a beneficial effect on gastrointestinal health. For example, taking capsaicin supplements can help to relieve heartburn, stimulate digestion, and even prevent ulcers. (19)
Capsaicin Powder Can Help Heal Peptic Ulcers
Contrary to popular belief, chili powder doesn’t cause ulcers but can actually help heal gastric ulcers.
Scientists have discovered why cayenne pepper powder in the stomach helps to prevent and heal ulcers. The stimulating effect of cayenne powder increases mucus secretions and inhibit excess stomach acid. This has a protective effect on the stomach lining and helps ulcers heal quicker. (20)
Topical Capsaicin Cream Can Treat Psoriasis and Dermatitis
One of the benefits of using creams containing extracts of the cayenne pepper plant is to treat inflammatory skin conditions.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes patches of red, scaly skin on your body. Dermatitis can be caused by irritants on the skin and results in inflamed skin that is itchy and sore.
Capsaicin-containing creams are effective in reducing pain and irritation associated with inflammatory skin conditions. Studies have shown that capsaicin inhibits inflammatory responses in the dermal layers of skin. This helps to reduce scaling, itchiness, and pain in psoriasis patients. (21)
Although the capsaicin cream may sting initially, with continued use, the sensation of pain goes down.
Cayenne Pepper Has Anticancer Properties
Research into the properties of cayenne powder extract has revealed their potential for use in treating various cancers.
The journal Anticancer Research reported in 2016 that capsaicin could have many benefits in cancer treatment. In lab trials, capsaicin extracts have shown a potential to inhibit and kill off cancer cells. In some cases, capsaicin helps to prevent cancer cells from multiplying and spreading. (22)
Experiments using mice have shown that capsaicin could have therapeutic potential in treating lung cancer. (23) Similar results have been demonstrated in treating prostate cancer. (24)
Researchers are still investigating the potential use of cayenne pepper to treat cancer in humans.
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