Cayenne fruit is a hot chilli pepper that is also known as Guinea spice, aleva, or bird pepper. It gets its name from the city of Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana, but it may also come from the word ‘kian’ of the Tupi Indians. Cayenne belongs to the nightshade family along with potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, and other flowering plants. The cayenne chile is hot, bright red in color and its size can be anywhere from two to five inches in length and around one and a half inches in diameter. It is available and can be cultivated all year round. In its powdered form, which is used to flavour dishes, it is known as red pepper. It is also used in making soups and sauces. It gets its spicy flavour from the chemical compound capsaicin.
Medicine made from cayenne is mainly used to stimulate digestion by encouraging muscle movement of the intestines. Stomach acid declines with age, but cayenne helps to restore the acidity of stomach fluids for better digestion and absorption of food nutrients. Because of this, it is used to treat problems with digestion like upset stomachs, stomach pains, diarrhea, cramps, and intestinal gas.
Aside from this, cayenne stimulates the circulation of the blood, particularly in the peripheral areas of the body. Because it can improve blood circulation, it is used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels, like excessive blood clotting and heart cholesterol. By stimulating blood flow to the skin, it can raise the body temperature and cause sweating. Sweating can help the body reduce fevers and sweating can also clear the sinuses, thereby providing relief from congestion of colds and sinusitis.
Cayenne is also made into muscle rubs and joint liniments. It can be used topically to relieve muscle spasms. Some people apply it to the skin to relieve pain from shingles, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Taking cayenne supplement may cause side effects like skin irritation and the feeling of burning and itching. Cayenne should not be used on sensitive skin and on the areas around the eyes.