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Posted on: February 11, 2012

flower of caynenne

Kitchen Clinic:Cayenne

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.

Healthy Uses for Cayenne

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.
  • Psoriasis
  • 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.

Precautions When

Using Cayenne Medicinally

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



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