By Rebecca Potter
Cayenne pepper comes with a warning. “I bite” says its Latin name, Capsicum annuum. But it is that very bite that is so healing. Nature’s ironies. Not only is cayenne amazingly healing, it also stimulates endorphins that help you feel better, mentally and physically. Especially combined with lobelia, you can’t get a more natural high. This is no secret; cayenne has been a prized medicinal herb since 7000 BC, and for good reason. A few centuries ago it was the herb of choice to cure the “King’s Evil” (skin infection) and modern day herbalists still consider it the #1 first aid herb. It combines well with herbs and acts as an effective catalyst for them all.
How did it earn such a distinguished title? Well what other herb do you know of that can stop a heart attack? Yes indeed, drink a teaspoon of that fiery goodness in water and stop bleeding or a heart attack very quickly, sometimes within 10 seconds. Use it freely both internally (ie for ulcers) and externally (nosebleeds, cuts). I’ve used it many times on cuts and I love the results.
Quiz time- do you know your cayenne pepper heat units? From paprika, lowest in heat units (0), to the “Hotter-than-Hades” 300,000 units peppers, there’s a wide array of peppers from which to choose. For medicinal use, you’ll want to get cayenne with 40,000 heat units. We can thank cayenne’s capsaicin for all that heat; the more capsaicin the pepper has, the hotter it will be. And this is a good thing because capsaicin is a pain reliever!How does it do this magic? Well it inhibits Substance P, which triggers the inflammatory process in our bodies causing pain. If you’re asking yourself if this will help with your arthritis pain, the answer is yes! In fact if you want to make a really great poultice for arthritis, mix 6 parts mullein leaves, 9 parts slippery elm bark, 3 parts lobelia and 1 part cayenne, mix 3 oz of this with boiling distilled water to make a paste, spread the paste on a 100% cotton cloth and apply to where it hurts.
The other area where cayenne shines is with the heart and circulatory system and equalizing blood pressure, (which is why it’s so great to use for bleeding). Countries who include cayenne and garlic in their diet have much fewer blood clots compared to the US. Cayenne is a circulatory stimulant and it provides the cells in this system with all the necessary elements to regain youthful elasticity and rebuild. It helps cut mucus and LDL cholesterol in the venous structure, which is so important for healthy veins and arteries. It truly is one of the very best daily supplements, not to mention its Vitamin C, iron, phosphorous, calcium and B vitamins.
Got hydrochloric acid? If not, cayenne can help! It is a wonderful digestive aid and can rebuild stomach tissue and even heal of ulcers. Before eating, either put a pinch of it on your tongue, or if you’re brave, mix 1/2 tsp of it with raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey and drink it. The hydrochloric acid will start flowing and you’ll be helping your body to detox at the same time. There are literally never-ending uses for this versatile herb, perfect for preparedness needs.
Whether you are an expert cayenne gardener or would like to try your hand at it, know that anyone can grow it. They are native to the Americas, especially loving nice warm areas. To dry them, pick the fruit when it’s ripe (best to wear gloves), wash it with water and dry thoroughly. Remove the stems and cut lengthwise. The best way to dry them is in a dehydrator, set to 135 degrees, laid flat for 8-12 hours. Put in air tight freezer bags and freeze or use a coffee grinder to make your own cayenne powder and store in an airtight jar. Or just pick up an Essential Survival Herb Kit, since no preparedness kit is complete without cayenne. Luckily its bark is the same as its bite — genuinely amazing!
Rebecca Potter is a lifelong student of herbalism, a lover of herbs and natural healing. She feels passionately about sharing her knowledge and experience with herbs to empower all to achieve the greatest possible health potential. She received her Master Herbalist degree from The School of Natural Healing, and teaches herbal classes in her local area of Salt Lake City. In addition to her herbal classes, Rebecca enjoys doing personalized herbal consultations, is involved in an integrative health clinic, and performs a variety of key functions at Essential Survival, LLC. Follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone suffering from disease or injury should consult with a physician.
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