Originally from South America, the cayenne plant is now used worldwide as a food and spice. Cayenne is very closely related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and other similar peppers. The fruit is used medicinally.
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
Apply 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin ointment four times per day over painful joints
When rubbed over painful joints, cayenne extract creams containing 0.025 to 0.075% capsaicin may reduce the pain and tenderness of osteoarthritis.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
The potent, hot fruit of cayenne has been used as medicine for centuries. It was considered helpful by herbalists for various conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach aches, cramping pains, and gas. Cayenne was frequently used to treat diseases of the circulatory system. It is still traditionally used in herbal medicine as a circulatory tonic (a substance believed to improve circulation). Rubbed on the skin, cayenne is a traditional, as well as modern, remedy for rheumatic pains and arthritis due to what is termed a counterirritant effect. A counterirritant is something that causes irritation to a tissue to which it is applied, thus distracting from the original irritation (such as joint pain in the case of arthritis).
The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.