CAYENNE (Red Pepper) (Capsicum spp.)
Parts commonly used: Fruit
Properties/energetics: Stimulant, carminative, tonic, astringent, rubifacient, antiseptic/Hot; spicy
Systems predominantly affected: Circulatory, nervous, digestive, respiratory, musculoskeletal.
Uses: This is the purest and best stimulant known to Herbalism, very prompt in its effects. Through the circulatory system, its actions render an effect in the entire body. Cayenne affects the heart first, then the arteries, the capillaries, and the nerves. It is an efficient acute-crisis herb taken as a first aid remedy for all heart and circulation conditions, helping prevent heart attack and stroke. Cayenne also stops bleeding in internal and external hemorrhaging and is taken to treat insufficient peripheral circulation for relieving cold hands and feet. It is an excellent preventive or therapeutic remedy for colds, flu, indigestion, headache, depression, and arthritis. Taken in small, regular doses, it is a specific tonic for the circulatory and digestive systems. Cayenne is useful for relieving cramps and for stomach and bowel pain, and sometime it will relieve constipation by warming the bowels.
Combinations: Combines well with Myrrh and Goldenseal for an excellent antiseptic wash. Chronically cold individuals are better off taking Ginger tea to warm up in place of Cayenne. Ginger helps hold body heat inside, while Cayenne tends to stimulate and disperse the heat.
Affects on specific body types: Cayenne has a hot, pungent catabolic nature that revs up circulation and fans digestive fire, promoting digestion and absorption of food. Its strong heating energy is usually too (unnecessarily) stimulating for the already fired-up Warrior, and although it does lend some welcome warmth to the cool Seer constitution, it’s usually too strong and irritating for this sensitive nature and needs to be taken in small, infrequent doses. This herb is more ideally the Monarch’s cup of tea. It provides a cleansing action for the large intestine and the sweat glands, helps evacuate the bowels, has a strong stimulating effect on circulation, increasing blood and lymph flow, and tonifies the nervous system.
Preparations/dosage: Infusion: 1 tablespoon of strong infusion (about ¼ teaspoon per cup) is mixed with hot water as needed. Tincture: 3 to 10 drops in a little hot water as needed. Externally: Powdered Cayenne placed directly on cuts will hurt, but it will efficiently stop the bleeding and eventually lessen the pain of the injury.
By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008
For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal