Cayenne pepper (capsicum_)_ can spice up your life when added to a recipe. The active ingredients that make it spicy also come with numerous health benefits. If you don't like the taste, you can get benefits by swallowing it in capsule form.
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Know Capsaicin Capsules Benefits
The fruit and seeds of the cayenne pepper plant have treated a variety of diseases and disorders throughout history, according to the University of Connecticut's School of Pharmacy. Traditional uses include inducing sweating and treating respiratory disorders such as sore throats, coughing, bronchitis, asthma, colds and flu. The remedy can also help a toothache and cardiac diseases when taken internally. Poultices made from the fruit can treat sprains, swelling and other forms of muscle and joint discomfort.
Although modern uses show cayenne pepper capsules have potential in use as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-microbial, its most popular use is as a weight-loss supplement. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements lists it as one of the top ingredients of weight loss supplements.
Capsaicin capsules are supposed to increase the body's energy expenditure due to thermogenesis — production of heat inside the body — while reducing your appetite and need for energy. The fiery supplement is reported to increase your feelings of satisfaction from a meal, as well.
Cayenne pepper capsules' primary action is through the powerful irritation they cause, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Little scientific data exists to promotes this purported medical use, although the pills' irritating qualities make them an effective gastric stimulant, although not always one with the desired effects.
Beware the Gut Burn
Cayenne pepper capsules' irritating quality is what may stimulate your appetite, repress your appetite or give you an upset stomach and diarrhea. Repeated use can lead to an increase in the shedding of cells from inside your gastric tract, as well as bleeding, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering.
When you take cayenne pepper by mouth, sprinkled on your food, your salivary glands begin to break the substance down before it enters your stomach. Your taste buds have time to let your stomach know what's coming, so it can release the appropriate digestive juices.
Popping a capsule into your mouth and swallowing it with liquid is essentially sending your stomach a Trojan horse. Once the gelatin capsaicin capsule melts away, the full-strength capsaicin powder or oil meets your unprepared stomach. This gut-surprising effect is a significant contributing factor to why you might feel nauseated by the pills.
When taking a cayenne capsule, you can let your stomach know what's coming by dipping the tip of your finger in a little cayenne powder and putting on your tongue. Always be sure to take the cayenne pepper capsules with food.
Review Other Considerations
Cayenne's thermogenic effects and irritating qualities can also cause an increase in blood pressure, according to Memorial Sloan Kettering. Don't take it if you are on blood pressure medication, or have poorly controlled high blood pressure. The capsaicin capsules will also interfere with how some prescription drugs are absorbed in your system:
- Theophylline, used in treating chronic lung conditions such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, can be overly absorbed by the body when used in conjunction with cayenne capsules.
- ACE inhibitors used to relax blood vessels in the treatment of heart failure or high blood pressure can be affected. Cough associated with taking this medication can increase with the use of cayenne pills.
- Blood thinners can have a heightened effect due to the antiplatelet effects of capsaicin.
- Other prescription drugs can be malabsorbed or mis-metabolized. Check with your physician before combining cayenne capsules with any medication.
If you are pregnant or nursing, forego taking cayenne capsules. The burning qualities found in the capsaicin can pass through to your baby, causing skin redness, itching and discomfort.