Herb of the Month – Cayenne
My first intimate encounter with cayenne came when, as a budding herbalist, I found an article that recommended sniffing a pinch of cayenne up the nose for congestion. I was having a dinner party and was quite congested so I gave it a snort. It did indeed clear up congestion, setting fire to my cranium, as fluid ran out of my nose, eyes, and mouth. It provided a good laugh for my husband and callous guests.
That said, cayenne is a very healing herb and helps with digestion and improves circulation.
It is high in Vitamins A, C, B complex, calcium, and potassium. Capsaicin, an extract of cayenne and other peppers, is used topically to reduce nerve pain. It works by reducing substance P, the primary chemical used by nerves to transmit pain signals. I’ve read that if you apply the powdered herb to an open wound it will stop the bleeding. But what will stop the screaming? I can only surmise this was written by the same sort of sadistic herbalist who recommended the sinus snuff. Use cayenne as a seasoning, as a supplement in capsules, or in a premade ointment.
Cayenne Recipes: Let’s heat things up. If you are sensitive to heat use a milder chili powder in place of the cayenne.