Chilli Peppers

Chilli Peppers

There are a number of peppers in cultivation that are known as Chilli Peppers (Capsicum frutescens), but the term usually refers to the Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum). Cayenne is a fairly hot pepper. This is due to its high levels of capsaicin, the substance that provides the spiciness and is also responsible for most of the pepper’s health benefits.

See also our Cayenne article.

The Scoville Scale

Chillies are graded on the Scoville Scale, which measures the amount of heat producing chemicals they contain. Capsaicin is the main heat producing chemical in chillies. Other herbs contain different heat producing chemicals that can also be measured on the Scoville Scale, such as Gingerol which is found in Ginger Root.

Health Benefits of Chilli Peppers

Chilli peppers are often associated with Mexican and Spanish cuisine, but they have been cultivated for culinary purposes Worldwide. However, it’s not just their food usage that has made them so popular. Chilli peppers have also been used medicinally for thousands of years, particularly throughout Asia.

Chilli Peppers Control Bleeding

One of the most impressive properties of chilli peppers is in their anti-hemorrhagic abilities. When taken in large doses, around one to two teaspoons powdered, they’re capable of bringing even significant bleeding to a screeching halt within a few minutes. In fact, chilli peppers work so well for this purpose that, in some parts of the world, they are used in emergency situations.

Chilli Peppers for Cardiovascular Health

Chilli peppers are an excellent supplement for cardiovascular support. Although they are able to halt bleeding, they also cause dramatic improvements in blood circulation and blood pressure. Although the topic is, unfortunately, controversial, these amazing peppers are also capable of stopping a heart attack within seconds.

Besides its ability to improve circulation, it also increases the heart’s activity, seemingly lending it strength, power and energy. Scientists aren’t certain precisely how it does this, but one theory is that it improves the distribution of nutrients, hormones and other factors throughout the body.

Pain Control with Chilli Peppers

Another surprising fact of chilli peppers is their ability to help control pain. They do this by boosting blood circulation, which helps to deliver healing nutrients to any injuries. In addition, these peppers also fight inflammation.

Because swelling is a major factor in many types of pain, particularly that of the joints, this is a valuable asset. A steady supplementation of chilli peppers helps you avoid reliance on the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are infamous for causing stomach ulcers, damage to the liver and kidneys and even some types of cancer.

Furthermore, taking chilli peppers for pain can even help you avoid potentially dangerous and addictive opiate painkillers.

Chilli Peppers as a Digestive Aid

Chilli peppers are an excellent digestive aid, helping your stomach to process food more efficiently and thoroughly and decreasing the incidence of acid reflux. They do this by stimulating the secretion of stomach acid and other digestive fluids. Furthermore, while it seems counter-intuitive, chilli peppers have been found to be effective for preventing and healing peptic ulcers.

Chilli Peppers as a Weight Loss Aid

Current statistics from the American Heart Association indicate that nearly 150 million American adults are either overweight or obese, along with roughly a third of all children. While simple diet changes and the introduction of moderate exercise can offer some benefit, numerous studies have confirmed that chilli peppers can offer significant assistance.

In many poorer areas of the world, hot peppers have been widely used in the traditional cuisine because they cause you to feel full faster.

This is invaluable when you can’t afford to eat a lot of food. It’s also very helpful when you want to control your appetite for weight loss purposes, since overeating is the main cause of obesity.

However, chilli peppers aid weight loss in another way. They’re thermogenic, meaning that they ramp up your body temperature slightly, but still enough to cause it to burn a lot of extra calories. This process occurs even when you’re at rest, helping you to lose weight without putting in the extra effort. This is great news for overweight people who love spicy food.

Cancer Prevention with Chilli Peppers

Modern Western medicine is only now catching up to what traditional Eastern medicine has known for millennia: chilli peppers are a powerful treatment and preventative for cancer. One way they do this is by inhibiting inflammation, which is suspected to be a major cause of cancer.

Numerous experiments have also found that capsaicin, the active constituent in these peppers, suppresses the growth of tumors and even causes malignant cells to commit suicide. It has been shown to be particularly effective against androgen-dependent tumors of the prostate and testicles, as well as many other forms of hormone-dependent cancers.

How To Eat Chilli Peppers

Chilli peppers are most often consumed raw, or cooked, as a food source. They can also be dried into a powdered form. This powder can be added to food as a spice or taken as a supplement in capsule form. Cayenne can also be found as a liquid tincture supplement.

Chilli Peppers Can Deter Rats

Rats have a strong sense of smell and taste and do not like the potent smell and taste of Cayenne and Chilli Peppers. Add cayenne or chillies to hot water and leave it to cool and infuse. Then put in a bottle and spray all over the area that you suspect rats are visiting, and this will deter them.

Always take care when taking herbs and Read Our Disclaimer.

Chilli Peppers Notes / Side Effects

While chili peppers can provide various health benefits when consumed in moderation, excessive intake or sensitivity to capsaicin may lead to side effects. Here are some potential side effects of chili peppers:

Gastrointestinal Discomfort: Consuming chili peppers, especially in large amounts or for individuals not accustomed to spicy foods, may cause gastrointestinal irritation. This can lead to symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or heartburn. Individuals with sensitive stomachs or gastrointestinal conditions such as gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may be more prone to experiencing these side effects.

Skin Irritation: Direct contact with chili peppers or capsaicin-containing products may cause skin irritation, redness, burning sensation, or itching, especially if applied to broken or sensitive skin. It’s essential to avoid contact with eyes, mucous membranes, and sensitive areas of the body.

Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to chili peppers or capsaicin, leading to allergic reactions such as hives, itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing. People with known allergies to plants in the Solanaceae family, which includes peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes, should exercise caution when consuming chili peppers.

Respiratory Irritation: Inhaling chili pepper powder or capsaicin-containing aerosols may irritate the respiratory tract, leading to coughing, sneezing, or throat irritation. Individuals with respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may be more sensitive to these effects.

Skin Burns: Handling or cutting chili peppers, especially hot varieties, may lead to skin burns or irritation, particularly if hands come into contact with sensitive areas of the body or if hands are not washed thoroughly afterward.

Increased Heart Rate: Capsaicin may temporarily increase heart rate or blood pressure in some individuals due to its stimulant properties. People with cardiovascular conditions or hypertension should use chili peppers cautiously and monitor their symptoms closely.

Digestive Upset: Chili peppers can stimulate the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which may exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux or aggravate existing gastrointestinal conditions.

While chili peppers can add flavor and spice to dishes and offer potential health benefits, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and be aware of potential side effects, especially for individuals with underlying health conditions or sensitivities. If experiencing severe or persistent side effects after consuming chili peppers, it’s advisable to seek medical attention promptly.

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