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Cayenee Pepper - Red



Scientific NamesCayenne Chili Red


Capsicum annuum

Capsicum fastigiatum


Common Names 

Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, aleva, bird pepper frica pepper

ivyAfrican red pepper

ivyAmerican pepper

ivyAmerican red pepper

ivyBird pepper


ivyChili pepper


ivyCockspur pepper

ivyGarden pepper

ivyGoat's pepper

ivyPod pepper

ivyRed pepper

ivySpanish pepper

ivyZanzibar pepper


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

A very hot pepper, cayenne is a perennial plant in its native tropical America but is annual when cultivated outside tropical zones. Growing to a height of 3 feet or more, its glabrous stem is woody at the bottom and branched near the top. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate, entire, and petioled. The drooping, white to yellow glowers grow alone or in pairs or threes between April and September. The ripe fruit, or pepper, is a many-seeded pod with a leathery outside in various shades of red or yellow.

Cayenne pepper (capsicum frutescens, var. longum) comes from the ground, dried ripe red pepper pods of a small tropical shrub. This ground red pepper, combined with yeast and flour, is baked into a hard cake, which is then ground into the finished spice. Used in curries and chili powders; in small amounts added to bland foods like eggs and cream sauce. It has no odor and its taste is hot and acrid.

Paprika (capsicum frutescens) comes from the cayenne pepper. Different varieties of paprika vary in quality and pungency; some of the best come from Hungary. Uses include: goulashes, and to add color and flavor to many bland, savory dishes.  The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powdered spice of the same name. Cayenne is used in cooking spicy dishes, as a powder or in its whole form (such as in Sichuan cuisine), or in a thin, vinegar-based sauce. It is generally rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. It is also used as an herbal supplement, and was mentioned by Nicholas Culpeper in his 17th century book Complete Herbal.

Medicinal Properties

Cayenne pepper, by weight, is relatively high in vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese.  However, given the very small amount of cayenne pepper typically consumed in a serving, it makes a negligible contribution to overall dietary intake of these nutrients. Cayenne pepper is also known as a male aphrodisiac because it contains capsaicin which can increase blood flow to all parts of the human body. It is known in many cultures to be a potent libido enhancing aid that increases euphoric endorphins in the blood stream. Appetizer, antiseptic, febrifuge, antibacterial, carminative, diaphoretic, rubefacient, condiment, nerve tonic, digestive, irritant, sialagogue (stimulates secretion of saliva), stimulant, and tonic.

Biochemical Information

Alkaloids, apsaicine, capsacutin, capsaicin, capsanthine, capsico PABA, fatty acids, flavonoids, sugars, carotene, volatile oil, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and C.

Legends, Myths and Stories

Native to northeastern coastal areas of South America, these red hot peppers have been used in folk medicine since 7,000 BC.

The hot red cayenne chili arrived in the West from India in 1548 and was known as Ginnie pepper. Gerard describes it as "extreme hot and dry, even in the fourth degree," and he recommended it for a skin infection commonly known then as the King's Evil. Cayenne was popular with the 19th century physiomedicalists who used its warming properties for chills, rheumatism, and depression.

The Herbalist Almanac states that if paprika is fed to yellow canary birds, their plumage turns red. Paprika also improves the coloration of hatchery reared trout. It is also called pimiento; but should not be confused with allspice, also called pimento. (Note difference in spelling).

Contrary to popular belief, hot, spicy food may actually be good for your health; if it contains liberal amounts of cayenne, also known as capsicum. Cayenne is also very nutritious; peppers in general contain iron, phosphorous, calcium, B-complex and more vitamin C than oranges.

According to Dr. Irwin Ziment of the UCLA School of Medicine, the hot, stinging sensation that follows biting into a chili pepper triggers the release of endorphins by the brain, chemicals that relieve pain and can cause a mild euphoria. Elevated triglycerides (over 190 mg) are a major risk factor for heart disease in women.

The 1987 study published in the Journal of Bioscience states that rats fed a diet high in cayenne experienced a significant reduction in blood triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol. Capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne that gives the spice its "kick", is an anti-inflammatory.

The incidence of blood clots in countries that routinely use curry in their cuisines is much lower than in the United States. Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, cayenne, usual ingredients in curry powder, are believed to help prevent platelets from sticking together and forming dangerous blood clots that could result in heart attacks and stroke.


So  much scientific research has been initiated to validate what naturopathic practitioners have known for years: It can stop heart attacks, nourish the heart with vital nutrients, remove plaque from the arteries, help rebuild flesh destroyed or harmed by frostbite, heal hemorrhoids, re-build stomach tissue, heal stomach ulcers, fortify your overall health, and mitigate the most wrenching of diseases.

Cayenne Pepper can improve circulation, rebuilds  blood cells, lower cholesterol, emulsify triglycerides, removes toxins from the bloodstream and improve overall heart health. It's even a great insect repellent.

As mentioned, it can also heal ulcers, which seems contradictory considering its native calidity or heat. It immediately equalizes blood pressure in your system, shrinks hemorrhoids, and heals the gall bladder too. It can be used as a diuretic as well helping in elimination both with urine and with built-up fecal matter in the intestines. It has wonderful, scientifically-proven antifungal properties as well.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.