Cayenne Pepper

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Capsicum frutescens (Cayenne Pepper)

Capsicum frutescens also known as Cayenne is native to Mexico and Peru, and is now found to grow all over the world from the East and West Indies to the vast areas in South America. They grow in small shrubs with white flowers and bright red fruit 1-2 cm long, the fruit is used for both medicinal and nutritional purposes in either fresh form or in ground up and dried forms.1,2
 
Historically used in a juice form to treat scurvy in the military, it is now used for various internal and external purposes.2 Externally cayenne can be applied to the skin to treat cuts, scrapes, stings by decreasing what is known as substance P in the body, hence decreasing pain.3 It can also be applied topically to treat neuralgias, muscle sprains and strains, as well to aid in.4
 
Cayenne is used to treat a wide array of circulatory concerns including intermittent claudication and impaired peripheral circulation. The herb can also be used to treat digestive concerns such as hypochlorhydria, digestive weakness, abdominal colic and flatulence.4 
 
Cayenne is also known to assist with weight loss due to its actions as a metabolic stimulant and can be used in acute instances such as in fevers, acute infections, laryngitis and pharyngitis.
 
References:
 
1. Stuart, Malcolm. The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Herbalism. Classic Bookshops, 1979. Print.
2. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, 1996. Print.
3. Godfrey, Anthony and Saunders Paul R. Principles and Practice of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine: Volume I: Botanical Medicine Monographs. CCNM Press Inc, 2010. Print.
4. Bone, Kerry. The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: A Desktop Guide for Herbal Prescribers. Phytotherapy Press, 2007. Print. 

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