capsicum

Cayenne

(Capsicum Minimum)

Cayenne is a native plant of central America, but was introduced to Europe and India in the fifteenth century by the Portuguese. Soon after this time cultivation spread to Africa and it is this continent that now supplies Britain. Cayenne is a member of the nightshade family and is related to potatoes, tomatoes, tobacco, datura and henbane.

The main constituents of Cayenne are alkaloids, including capsaicin; carotenoid pigments; flavonoids; ascorbic acid and volatile oil. Capsaicin is known to mimic some prostaglandins, chemically related fatty acids that stimulate smooth muscle and have the ability to lower blood pressure, regulate acid secretion of the stomach, regulate body temperature, and control inflammation and vascular permeability. It has been shown to be an effective analgesic.

Cayenne in it whole form is a strong circulatory stimulant and diaphoretic, it stimulates gastric secretions and it is carminative and antiseptic. Added to a remedy cayenne acts as a tonic ensuring that the other ingredients are propelled into all tissues even in cases of poor circulation.


Summary of Actions

Stimulant
Tonic
Carminative
Anti-spasmodic
Diaphoretic
Peripheral circulatory
agent
Analgesic