The health benefits of Cayenne Pepper


       Cayenne pepper, derived from chili peppers, is one of the most powerful herbal extracts you can consume.  Capsaicin is the ingredient in cayenne that is seen as having therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown capsaicin to promote dilation of the blood vessels and thus facilitate better blood flow which is important to the avoidance of heart attacks and strokes. Capsaicin has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve digestion, prevent the spread of cancer, relieve congestion and improve blood sugar control.

       Recent studies have shown capsaicin helps with weight loss by activating the burning of brown fat in the body.  Brown fat is a metabolically active fat that is found close to the skeleton and is responsible for the production of body heat. Brown fat is activated in response to cold temperatures. Brown fat burns calories rather than stores them as does white fat which is the common fat found throughout the body. Capsaicin appears to mimic the effects of cold upon brown fat thus causing it to burn more calories. 

       A number of double-blind studies have shown topical application of capsaicin to be effective in the relief of pain generated by diabetic neuropathy, a nerve disorder associated with long term diabetes.  Topical capsaicin has also been shown to relieve the stinging, itching and redness associated with psoriasis.  It appears to do this by depleting in the skin a neurotransmitter called substance P which, when present in excessive amounts, is known to cause various skin conditions.   

       Capsaicin has been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-viral properties and can help fight and prevent infections.  An in vitro (test tube) study published in 2015 showed capsaicin to be effective in the treatment of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. This is a major human pathogen and causes health issues such as strep throat and impetigo, an itchy red soreness on the skin.

       Studies have shown capsaicin to be effective in the treatment of prostate and breast cancer.  Some studies have shown that taking capsaicin as a supplement prevented prostate cancer cells from spreading. In a 2006 study published in Pub-Med, prostate cancer was shown to be inhibited in a number of ways using capsaicin.

     Capsaicin has been shown to destroy breast cancer stem cells which often remain after primary cancer cells have been eliminated.  It is remaining cancer stem cells that often lead to the reemergence of cancer in the body.

      Capsaicin has been shown to be effective in facilitating better blood sugar control. A study published in the July 2006 issue of “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” found that blood glucose levels were lower between 20 minutes and 120 minutes after a cayenne-containing meal in human subjects. This study also saw a lowering of blood insulin levels.  This was especially true in a group of participants in the study that had consumed a cayenne-containing diet for an entire month prior to the test. This suggests that regularly including capsaicin in the diet, either through eating red peppers or taking capsaicin supplementally, could improve the sensitivity of your tissues to insulin. This means less insulin is required to move glucose from your blood into your cells.

       In view of the many benefits associated with the use of cayenne/capsaicin, it may be prudent to use this herb on a regular basis.  At Milk ’N Honey we have cayenne/capsaicin products in powder, capsule and topical formats.