Capsicum annuum, or Cayenne pepper as it is commonly called is a moderately hot chili pepper. Cayenne peppers are tapering fruits, 10 to 25 cm long, skinny, mostly red-colored peppers, often with a curved tip and somewhat rippled skin. There are many varieties, most are rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. The heat is the thing with cayenne. The benefit as an herb and super food derives from it's ability to bring the FIRE!
Dried and ground to make the powdered spice, culinary blends may be comprised of different types of peppers, quite often not containing cayenne peppers. Which is fine for cooking spicy dishes, but when it comes to use as an herb/super food, you want the real thing.
Cayenne ranked as renown Herbalist, Jethro Kloss's number one "go to" herbs. Added to herbal tinctures cayenne promotes an increase in the function of other herbs, a boosting power. This fire stoking herb is an adaptogen, in that it can stimulate and calm. For example in cases of low blood pressure, cayenne will increase the blood pressure and stimulate vitality in one who is listless. On the other hand, when someone is suffering with high blood pressure and anxious, cayenne provides a relaxing influence! The mysterious world of medicinal plants!
Medicinal Properties of Cayenne Pepper
The bottom line on this fiery, red hot herb...put it to use! Best source for cayenne for cooking is the bulk department at a natural foods stores or on-line. Check to make sure it has it's Latin botanical name, Capsicum annuum. Look for liniments and pain relieving ointments that contain capsicum, the phenol of cayenne peppers. Capsules are the best method for taking internally. 1-2 capsule per ingestion are more than sufficient, up to 6 - capsules per day depending on the condition you are wanting to improve.
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