I LOVE cayenne Pepper, really! Cayenne pepper is hot, hot, hot!!! But it is also magic, a magic powder in which to make a magic potion. Did you know Cayenne Pepper has numerous and effective benefits? It’s used to help digestion, including heal upset stomach, slow intestinal gas, stop stomach pain, cure diarrhea and as a natural remedy for cramps. Many of us use cayenne pepper to add a little spice to our life, but did you know that it has the power to change your health? It has been used the last 9,000 years! Cayenne pepper can stimulate your body’s circulation and reduce acidity; it’s a powerful spicy little pepper that offers many health benefits. It has the power to relieve a toothache, seasickness, alcoholism, malaria, and fever; it’s also used to help people who have difficulty swallowing. And there is more, the fruit of the capsicum plant contains a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is being studied to test its ability to reduce pain sensations when applied to the skin, and research indicates that it would be effective as a remedy for headaches (including migraines), potential cure for osteoarthritis, shingles and fibromyalgia. This little pepper contains vitamin Cvitamin B6vitamin E, potassium, manganese and flavonoids – which provides its powerful antioxidant properties. It is stimulating to the circulatory system, which can help keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels low. Cayenne is an overall stimulant. It encourages the cells to work more efficiently. This not only improves blood circulation but also improves lymphatic health as well. Holy cayenne!!

A few years ago, I heard about a lemon water, honey, and cayenne diet, it was hugely popular with celebrities at the time as a weight-loss “detox.” The diet consisted of lemon water sweetened with honey (I used maple syrup) and cayenne pepper. To detox, you were to drink this alone for 10 days, I did not last that long (about 2 days). The diet naturally led to rapid weight loss, if you could last for 10 days!  No kidding!  I still drink a lot of lemon water and just recently started adding cayenne to it and I feel great. Both lemon and cayenne have powerful active ingredients. Lemon contains around eight percent citric acid which aids in smooth digestion, helps dissolve kidney stones and helps to alkalize the body.

Cayenne’s health punch comes with the aid of capsaicin, which has received considerable attention in the scientific world. Research continues to reveal more wonders of this antioxidant every year. Together they help to stimulate the liver and with the right balance of nutrients to detox from harmful substances, such as sugar and alcohol. Now, if you’re not the lemon and cayenne pepper kind of person why not try just adding it to your recipes? Since I have discovered how amazingly healthy it is for you I find myself adding it to a lot of the things I cook. I put it in my gravies, vegetables, soups, chili (of course) and stir-fry’s.

There you have it–another way to spice up your life and make it healthier all at the same time.

Kathryn Hartwell