Mexicans, Italians, Thai, Indians and Koreans have better heart health and experience less cardiovascular disease than the rest of the world’s population. Why? Part of the reason, say scientists, lies in their cayenne pepper-rich diet. Here are 5 reasons cayenne may be your heart’s best friend…
Cayenne and your heart
- Cayenne supports the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a stimulant, helping your heart to beat more strongly and improving circulation. It is also currently being investigated as an agent to help reduce irregular heart rhythm.
- Cayenne has the unique ability to regulate blood pressure as needed, either increasing or decreasing it, as required.
- It’s anti-oxidant action lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels and its active ingredient capsaicin triggers mediators that help reduce inflammation. As it travels through the circulatory system, it acts like a ‘Roto Rooter’, dilating the arteries and breaking up blockages and plaque.
- It strengthens the arteries and capillaries. When fatty deposits settle on the walls of your arteries, they cause the walls to harden. Cayenne, in sweeping the arteries, helps strengthen and improve elasticity of their walls.
- Cayenne’s anti-coagulant properties reduce blood-clotting tendencies. When applied topically, capsaicin (the active ingredient in it) cream helps stop bleeding. However, when taken internally, it helps discourage platelet adhesion. In other words, it thins thick blood, helping to prevent blood clots and strokes.
How does cayenne work?
Cayenne is one of the most powerful natural circulatory stimulants we know. Its active ingredient is capsaicin, a ‘hot’, oily compound that the plant probably developed to deter certain mammals and fungi.
This centuries-old remedy reduces the levels in the body of substance P, a chemical messenger that carries the sensation of pain, so it’s successful in topical creams for arthritis, headache, joint pain, lower back pain and shingles. Capsaicin cream can also ease itching and inflammation from psoriasis, a long-lasting skin disease that generally appears as patches of raised, red skin.
Taken orally, capsaicin stimulates the heart, circulation and metabolism, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, thins the blood and, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, may protect again bladder, breast, oral and prostate cancers. However, as beneficial as cayenne pepper is for your heart, it does not replace medical care in the event of a heart attack.
Modern natural health practitioners often prescribe capsaicin to treat digestive disorders (indigestion, bloating, constipation). It may benefit people suffering with type 2 diabetes.
It also contains vitamins A, E, B6, C and K. Other constituents include saponins and carotenoids, which boost immune function.
How much Cayenne should I take?
When used in conjunction with a healthy diet, regular exercise and stress management, cayenne pepper may help people facing hereditary heart problems.
Always wash them well before use and don’t touch your eyes after handling them. Eat cayenne peppers raw or cooked. Add fresh chilli peppers or ground cayenne pepper to your meals as often as possible. Or grind it, then mixed with ginger and hot water to make a good drink (sweeten with honey if you’ve pulled a face just thinking of that combination). You can also take 1–2 Flora Force Cayenne capsules, which contain 500 mg Capsicum minima fructipowder, daily.
Acknowledgements & Photo credits
Article compiled for Flora Force by Judy Beyer.
- Encognitive.com. Safeguard your circulatory system. http://www.encognitive.com/node/13902
- Louis, P. F. Seven evidence-based medicinal properties of cayenne pepper. Natural News. http://www.naturalnews.com/040928_cayenne_pepper_capsicum_health_benefits.html
- Pence, K. Study Shows Common Pain Cream Could Protect Heart During Attack. UC California Health Centre. http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/9213
- Sanders, K. Can cayenne pepper stop a heart attack? NaturalHealth365. http://www.naturalhealth365.com/cayenne-pepper-stop-heart-attack-1145.html
- University of Maryland Medical Center. Cayenne http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/cayenne
- Photo courtesy of Hans / Pixabay.com