Posted February 11, 2012on:
Looking for something to relieve your aches and pains? Look no further than your spice rack in the kitchen.Cayenne is the hot (literally) alternative to pain relief.
Cayenne contains a compound called capsaicin, which provides hot, mouthwatering (or mouth-burning depending on your taste buds) flavor and purported health benefits. In fact, capsaicin cream is sold as a nonprescription medication for the relief of nerve pain. It seems to work by reducing a chemical involved in transmitting pain signals to the brain.
Medical research suggests that cayenne may have the following health-promoting abilities:
- Relieving pain, such as pain from arthritis, post herpetic neuralgia (a late complication of shingles), back pain, diabetic neuropathy, and nerve pain following surgery.
- Reducing discomfort of minor digestion (oral use)
However, the most convincing evidence refers only to external use of cayenne for pain relief. If you have a chronic or serious medical condition, you should not simply self-medicate with cayenne.
How Much Do I Need and What
Kind Do I Take?
To treat localized painful conditions, try applying capsaicin cream (0.025-0.075 percent capsaicin) to painful areas four times daily. Do not apply the cream to the same location for more than 2 to 3 days at a time, to avoid excessive irritation of sensitive nerves.
If capsaicin cream or cayenne irritates your skin or stomach, stop taking it. Do not apply cayenne or capsaicin cream to broken or irritated skin, or mucous membranes.
Capsaicin cream may increase the risk of cough in people taking blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors.
Cayenne is spicy and can therefore cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and stomach (though it does not worsen duodenal ulcers). Wash your hands after handling cayenne or capsaicin to avoid getting it in your eyes.
If cayenne irritates your skin or stomach, stop taking it. Although cayenne and capsaicin are considered safe for use during pregnancy, check with your healthcare provider if you intend to use them medicinally during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
In the East it is the main ingredient of every day dishes.
American Botanical Council
American Herbal Products Association
Pain Health Info
The Arthritis Society