Cayenne pepper, a spicy red pepper, has a long history of use in South and Central America. Used in its powdered form, it is best known for its ability to make food spicier. However, this natural powder has many benefits that extend beyond the kitchen. Below, we examine some facts about cayenne pepper. 

Cayenne Pepper(129404)
Credit: Istockphoto

Medical Benefits:


Cayenne pepper causes the body to produce more heat, and has been found to improve circulation. By causing the body to heat up and even sweat, cayenne pepper helps the body with the detoxification process. In addition, it has been found to boost a person’s metabolism, which increases the speed at which toxins are removed from the body. Click here for more natural detox foods. 

Relieves stomach pain

The powder helps speed up waste removal from the body, and has a positive effect on the stomach and intestinal tract by helping food move through. 

Relieves indigestion

Cayenne pepper is an effective remedy for those suffering from indigestion or GERD. It stimulates the flow of enzymes that aid in metabolizing and digesting food.  

Prevents heart attacks

It helps clean arteries from bad cholesterol, and stimulates blood flow. It has been found to improve heart health, as well as lower blood pressure. 

Relieves respiratory problems

Cayenne pepper helps clear the lungs and eliminate mucus from the throat. It also alleviates asthma symptoms.

Prevents ulcers

Researchers have been able to link cayenne pepper with ulcer prevention.

Prevents cancer

The American Association of Cancer Research found that capsaicin, a component found in cayenne pepper, can help in the prevention of prostate and lung cancer. Another study done in 2006 found that capsaicin inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. 

Other Uses


Cayenne pepper has been used by people in extremely cold conditions. Putting some powder in your shoes would help maintain heat. When a person catches frostbite, cayenne pepper can be used to treat the damaged skin. 


The red powder serves great as seasoning on meat, vegetables, rice, and pasta. It is a little spicy, so only a small amount is needed to enhance the flavour.

Cold and flu treatment

Cayenne pepper mixed with tea helps alleviate cold and flu symptoms. Also try a bit of cayenne and lemon juice sprinkled into a glass of water when you are feeling under the weather. 

Pain relief

Cayenne pepper helps relieve pain when applied topically. For example, it helps with toothaches and headaches. 

The above is certainly not an all-encompassing list of the benefits derived from cayenne pepper. Although it has been around for thousands of years, more research is still needed to truly discover its full potential.

The best way to incorporate cayenne pepper into your diet is to use it as seasoning for food. It is relatively inexpensive to buy and can be used to spice up a variety of dishes. With that said, it is not necessary to use large portions. Use it as you would use black pepper or salt, just to add some flavour. The most important thing for long-term health benefits is to consume it on a consistent basis. If you don’t like spicy food, try sprinkling some cayenne pepper into your tea instead. Making cayenne pepper a staple in your diet is a smart and healthy choice.