Cayenne was introduced to Europe after Columbus’s first voyage to the new world, and 100 years later it had become one of the most popular spices in the world. While it is mainly used in the kitchen, Cayenne offers many pain-relieving benefits and is becoming a popular supplement.
Inside The super Spice
Straight from the Source
Cayenne pepper, or Capsicum longum, is a 3-foot-tall shrub part of the Capsicum annuum family that is native to South America.
Cayenne has been cultivated in South America for over 7,000 years and was introduced to Europe by Peter Marty who was on Columbus’ first voyage to the New World.
By the 1600s the Portuguese spice traders had made it one of the most popular spices in the world.
Today it is still an extremely popular spice, although a lot of the Cayenne powder being sold is being made with bird’s eye peppers.
After 70 days the pod’s skin will have a waxy appearance and the flesh will be firm indicating they are ready to be harvested. While they can be picked when green, to get the maximum heat you should wait until they are red and beginning to wrinkle before harvesting.
Once a pepper is harvested, another flower will grow in its place. Meaning the more often you harvest, the more peppers the plant will produce.
A tall shrub that has densely branching stems with purple tinged alternating leaves. The white flowers produce a 5-inch slender pod that starts green and turns a red-brown color when fully ripe.
Cayenne pepper takes its name from kyynha which mean pepper in the Old Tupi language that was spoken by the aboriginal Tupi people of Brazil.
The capsaicin in the cayenne pepper provides pain relief by reducing the production of substance P. a neuropeptide that sends pain signals to the brain.
Cayenne pepper has been an important part of native American diet and medicine for thousands of years and was used as stimulant, to increase appetite, aid digestions, and promote blood flow.
Other Potential Benefits of Cayenne:
- Increase fibrinolytic activity and surface blood flow
- Relieve rheumatic pains and arthritis
- Increase endorphin levels
- Reduce pain due to neuralgias