Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is well-known for the heat and flavor it contributes to many foods, especially Indian and Spanish cuisines.  What most moms don’t know, however, is that this same spice, a favorite in the curry recipe you had for dinner last night, can also save lives if considered a natural remedy.  While my article on the uses for cayenne pepper medicinally gives instances in which to pull out the pepper, this one will focus on the scientific whys and wherefores of this amazing herb.  At the very end I’ll tell you just how to find and carry cayenne wherever you go.

No Fear of Blood

Cayenne is known as a styptic, an herb that can arrest hemorrhaging or bleeding.  How does this work?  Basically, once the herb or its properties enters the system via the powder, tincture, tea, or poultice, it equalizes blood pressure throughout the entire system.  This equalization of blood pressure even at the site of a wound allows the clotting factors in the blood stream enough time to organize and begin the clotting process, a process that will eventually form a scab.  Cayenne equalizes the blood’s pressure at the site of the wound long enough for the clotting to begin, thus stopping the flow of blood.   This healing principle will work both with internal and external bleeding.

Stops a Heart Attack, Too

In addition to its clotting contributions, cayenne is also known as a stimulant and an excellent food for the heart, meaning that it is an excellent deterrent for heart attacks.  That’s right, there are few foods in the world that provide nutrition specifically to the heart muscle, and the red pepper powder in your spice cabinet happens to be one of them.  Because of the nourishment in cayenne pepper, it is able to stimulate and give a boost of food to the heart muscle whether or not it has stopped pumping.  Now the spice would not bring someone back from the dead; however, if the person is unconscious or their heart has just stopped (or is just beginning to go under cardiac arrest), cayenne has the potential to act like an all-natural AED.    That’s why I always carry some capsules of cayenne with me wherever I go;  I don’t ever want to see someone keel over from a heart attack and wishfully mourn my lack of aid because I didn’t have a few simple capsules of the spice.

Warms but Not Burns

Now cayenne is also known as an excellent remedy for hypothermia.  This is because of its heating properties, as well.  Cayenne acts much like onion or hot mustard when applied to the skin--it draws blood to the surface.  Unlike its heating counterparts, however, cayenne is better for hypothermia because although spicy, it will not burn the skin it is on. 

The easiest way to purchase cayenne pepper is from your local health foods store or any place that has bulk spices and seasonings.  The pepper comes in several different heat intensities, and any of them will work.  You can carry it around either as a loose powder, or packaged into neat capsules that can be taken either internally or pulled apart for instant external use.