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This fiery red pepper, used the world over in cooking, is known to many westerners by its Caribbean name, cayenne. Ironically, only a tiny amount of the world’s red pepper supply comes from the Caribbean – India and Africa are the main producers of cayenne pepper. In addition to cayenne pepper’s obvious use a spice and seasoning in many foods all over the world, it also has many uses in Ayurvedic medicine.
Cayenne pepper assists digestion by stimulating the flow of saliva and stomach secretions. It is analgesic and warming, which increases circulation. Cayenne pepper also has very strong digestive properties as well as, carminative, and emetic properties. Cayenne pepper can also be used a decongestant and an expectorant, which many people may have discover by accident when they put too much hot sauce on their food. The part of the cayenne pepper that is commonly used for its healing and Ayurvedic uses is the actual pod of the cayenne pepper plant.
The most common conditions treated by cayenne pepper include: colds, gastrointestinal and bowel problems. Cayenne pepper is also used as a digestive aid. Externally, cayenne is known to treat arthritis and muscle soreness. Creams containing cayenne are frequently used in the treatment of shingles as well. Cayenne pepper can be used raw, powdered, as a spice, oil, tea, or plaster, and is commonly used in conjunction with garlic, onion, coriander, lemon, ginger.
Cayenne, with its warming and muscle relieving qualities, increases pitta and reduces kapha and vatha, which are the three Ayurvedic bio-energies.
Externally, cayenne can be used for arthritis and muscle soreness, and internally as a digestive aid and as a treatment for colds, fever, toothache, diarrhea, and constipation. For a pain-relieving muscle rub, mix a half-teaspoon of cayenne powder or pureed fresh cayenne with one cup of warm vegetable oil. You can also add a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper to a cup of boiling water to make an infusion. Drink a tablespoonful in hot water.
Never give cayenne pepper to children under two years old. Always use rubber gloves when chopping the cayenne peppers as they may burn. If burning occurs wash with vinegar several times making sure to rinse carefully. Make sure to keep pepper away from the eyes and genital, as contact with these sensitive areas will cause severe pain!!
Cayenne pepper powder available at Nature Home 100g – 210baht