7 Health Benefits Of Cayenne Peppers And Capsaicin: From Pain Relief To Improving Blood Sugar

Date May 9, 2018 17:28

Do you know what capsaicin is? It's the substance which makes hot peppers (such as cayenne pepper) spicy. But capsaicin can do way more than satisfy the palates of those who like the hot stuff. The substance also has a variety of medicinal properties, which range from treating psoriasis to relieving joint and muscle pain. You can benefit from ingesting capsaicin, and it can also be applied as a topical remedy in various forms, including creams, ointments, and patches.

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7 health benefits of capsaicin

Below, we list several benefits of capsaicin, both from oral and topical use:

1. Pain relief

Capsaicin can be used topically to ease various kinds of pain, including joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, and pain from sprains and strains. You can apply capsaicin cream on the affected area to get relief from mild or moderate pain, but don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. For more severe pain, prescription-strength capsaicin patches can be used if recommended by your doctor.

2. Treating psoriasis

Using capsaicin topically can also help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis, a disease in which dry, itchy, and scaly red patches appear on the skin. Regular application of capsaicin cream during a psoriasis flare-up can make the symptoms subside faster. But remember: You shouldn't apply capsaicin-containing topical remedies on broken skin.

3. Lowering blood sugar

Studies suggest eating hot peppers high in capsaicin or taking a capsaicin supplement can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes to some extent. If you want to try the supplement, ask your doctor about the allowed dosage first.

4. Aiding weight loss

As part of a weight-loss friendly diet, capsaicin in hot peppers may help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism to some extent and reducing hunger. Also, capsaicin can help relieve post-exercise muscle soreness.

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5. Lowering the risk of cancer

Capsaicin has been shown to kill prostate cancer cells and inhibit the growth of new ones. Other types of cancer which capsaicin may help treat include breast cancer and stomach cancer.

As beneficial as it may be, capsaicin should only be a complementary treatment of the disease, not a substitute for conventional cancer treatments.

6. Treating headaches

Capsaicin can make a cluster headache go away faster. To use the substance to relieve a headache, apply a very small amount of capsaicin cream on the inside of the nostrils.

7. Improving digestive symptoms

Capsaicin can be used orally to ease various digestive symptoms, including nausea, stomach pain and cramps, diarrhea, and gas.

If you want to try capsaicin (either as an oral or topical treatment), make sure you aren't allergic to hot peppers. Also, taking capsaicin orally can worsen the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But generally, capsaicin is a safe remedy to try.

Source: WebMD, LiveStrong, Dr. Axe

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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