Taxonomists have only recently begun to agree regarding classification of the domesticated species of Capsicum. Although five species are described, only two, C. annuum and C. frutescens have any significance commercially in the U.S.A. Of the two, C. annuum is the most important domesticated species in the U.S.A. The only C. frutescens pepper of any significance is Tabasco. The Tabasco pepper is difficult to cross with C. annuum types. Hot peppers may belong to any of above species and others. The C. chinense varieties, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet, are considered the hottest.
Peppers are a warm-season crop and need a long season for maximum production. Temperature has a large effect on the rate of plant and fruit growth and the development and quality of the red or yellow pigments. Ideal temperature for red pigment development is between 65 and 75 F. Above this range the red color becomes yellowish, and below it color development slows dramatically and stops completely below 55 F.
The interest in peppers extends to their nutritive and medicinal value in that peppers are a recognized source of Vitamins C and E and are high in antioxidants. These compounds are associated with prevention of cardiovascular disorders, cancers, and cataracts.
Other names for the cayenne pepper include; Capsaicin, capsacum, African chili, chili, hot pepper, Louisiana long pepper or sport pepper, paprika, red chili, spur pepper, and tabasco pepper.
Cayenne is a hot spice. It’s commonly used in cooking. Bell pepper and paprika are the mild forms of this pepper.
When you apply it to your skin (topically), cayenne works to relieve pain. It contains capsaicin. This is used in ointment form for pain relief. Ointments made from cayenne stop muscle and joint pain by “confusing” pain transmitters. They also block pain messages from the skin.
When taken by mouth, cayenne may also aid in digestion and improve circulation. It may also reduce cholesterol and blood fat levels.
Possible Uses and Medicinal Claims
Topical analgesic. It desensitizes local nerves and decreases pain due to certain conditions. These include post-herpetic neuralgia caused by shingles. Studies show that applying 0.25% to 0.75% capsaicin cream topically may also aid in short-term pain relief. It eases pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and psoriasis. It also relieves pain due to neuralgias. These include shingles and diabetic neuropathy.
Diaphoretic. This promotes sweating.
Sialagogue. This increases the flow of saliva.
Rubefacient. This increases surface blood flow when applied to the skin.
Pepper spray for self-defense
Cayenne pepper is claimed to help the circulatory system. It may control blood flow, improve circulation, and ease symptoms of Raynaud’s disease (by improving circulation). It may also strengthen the heart, arteries, capillaries, and nerves.
Cayenne is also claimed to improve appetite. It may act as a tonic. This may help your digestive system work better. It may also stop bleeding from ulcers and help flatulent dyspepsia.
In the respiratory system, cayenne may help break up congestion due to bronchitis. Cayenne may also help to prevent infections. These include colds and chills, sinus infections, and sore throats. As a gargle, cayenne can be used for laryngitis. It works well with myrrh.
When you apply it externally, it may help with toothache, lumbago, arthritis, and rheumatism.
Excessive consumption of pepper that has capsaicin in it can cause problems. These include acute gastritis and hemorrhagic gastritis. You should not let cayenne touch your mucous membranes, especially your eyes. In rare cases, this can cause urticaria or skin irritation.
Do not use cayenne if you have an active gastric or duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, or irritable bowel syndrome.
Do not apply cayenne to injured skin. People who are allergic to cayenne should not use it.
Studies to Dive Into
Curbs appetite study: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110425MattesPepper.html
Co-Carcinogenic Effect study:
Mun Kyung Hwang, Ann M. Bode, Sanguine Byun, Nu Ry Song, Hyong Joo Lee, Ki Won Lee, and Zigang Dong. Cocarcinogenic Effect of Capsaicin Involves Activation of EGFR Signaling but Not TRPV1. Cancer Research, 2010; 70 (17): 6859 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4393
Protect Heart During Attack: http://healthnews.uc.edu/news/?/9213/
Reduce risk of Colorectal Cancer:
Ion channel TRPV1-dependent activation of PTP1B suppresses EGFR-associated intestinal tumorigenesis, doi:10.1172/JCI72340, Eyal Raz et al., published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 1 August 2014.
Stops Breast Cancer: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314955.php