The powder from cayenne pepper has served as both food and medicine for at least 9,000 years. Cayenne pepper has a hot and spicy taste due to a substance known as capsaicin. Capsaicin, found in the cayenne powder, is thought to have pain relieving qualities and has been used orally and topically for many medicinal purposes.
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Topical capsaicin in the powder form has been shown to be an effective treatment for pain relief when applied to the surface of the skin, according to the World's Healthiest Foods website. This can possibly benefit patients with post-surgical pain, low back pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results may depend on the individual, so it is recommended to check with your medical doctor before using as a treatment.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that some animal and human studies show that taking cayenne pepper powder orally may increase the body's production of heat for a short time. This increase in body heat could possibly burn more calories and increase metabolism. In addition to increased body heat, cayenne powder may also help to regulate blood sugar levels by affecting the breakdown of carbohydrates after a meal. More studies are needed before cayenne supplements can be recommended as an effective treatment for obesity, so speak with your physician before adding cayenne powder daily.
Relieve Cluster Headaches
A cluster headache is defined by the University Maryland Medical Center as a severe one-sided headache that tends to occur in clusters. They can happen repeatedly every day at the same time for possibly, several weeks. When capsaicin from cayenne powder is administered via the nose, it seems to help relieve cluster headaches. Treatment for cluster headaches using cayenne powder should only be done under the supervision of a health care professional.
Cayenne pepper powder is a bright red color with a high content of beta-carotene, otherwise known as vitamin A. World's Healthiest Foods website states that just 2 tsp. of cayenne pepper provides 29.4 percent of the necessary daily value of vitamin A. Vitamin A is the body's first line of defense against invading pathogens, and when part of a regular diet, it can give a boost to the immune system.