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Let Cayenne spice up your life

Let Cayenne spice up your life | Mr Vitamins
For many people, Cayenne Pepper adds a great zing to their meals. Did you know that this grocery cupboard staple has plenty of health benefits as well? This valued spice has been used medicinally since the 16th century and has natural antibiotic, antibacterial and stimulant properties.

Why take Cayenne

The heat of the spice stimulates your body to release endorphins – the body’s natural pain killers. But that is only the beginning. Generally speaking, taking half a teaspoon every morning will help you to enjoy its health benefits. Alternatively add it to your food. Sprinkle onto air-popped popcorn for a savoury and healthy snack. Include it in your favourite Chilli Con Carne or check out our Spiced Nuts Recipefor a really special treat that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Health Benefits of Cayenne for Colds and Flu

Cayenne has long been used to help cure the common cold and science has now proven why it is effective – “hot” foods contain mucokinetic agents – meaning that they help to get the mucous moving. (And that’s what you need if you have a stuffy nose or phlegm.) Add a quarter to a half a teaspoon of Cayenne, a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice to a cup of boiling water, mix well and allow to cool slightly. Sip it whilst still hot. If taken quickly enough, you will stop the cold in its tracks. Otherwise take three times daily until the cold symptoms ease. This mixture will also help to naturally ease hoarseness and laryngitis.

CayenneFor Other Respiratory Tract Conditions

If you have chronic sinusitis, half a teaspoon of cayenne, in powder form, taken daily should help.

The Heart Health Benefits of Cayenne

Cayenne is great at stimulating the circulation, reducing bad cholesterol and high blood pressure and so is very heart healthy. For those with high cholesterol taking a half teaspoon of cayenne every morning can be beneficial. It can be a little unpalatable at first but you will soon get used to it. It is also available in capsules for those that cannot manage the spice as is.

Rev up your Circulation

Cayenne taken internally will also help to boost your circulation. In ointment form, it can be applied directly to the skin to help treat circulatory problems such as varicose veins and chilblains. If you can’t get your hands on the ointment, add a teaspoon of the spice to a half a cup of boiling water. Allow to cool and apply daily to problem areas after bathing. It should be noted that applied externally it could irritate the skin so test on a small patch of skin first and never apply to broken skin.

Excellent for Pain Relief

When it comes to pain relief, Cayenne is a winner. It has anti-inflammatory properties that make it very effective for treating disorders like:
  • rheumatism
  • gout
  • arthritis
  • joint pain
  • sprains and strains
  • shingles
For the above, apply as an ointment twice daily to affected areas. Cayenne has also been shown to help reduce the severity and frequency of Migraines if taken on a regular basis – take a half a teaspoon internally daily. If a migraine does strike, rub some of the ointment into your scalp for some relief.

Good to Help Weight Loss

Cayenne’s ability to boost your metabolism is good news for those wanting to lose weight. A study at Quebec’s Laval University showed that those taking Cayenne had reduced appetites and consumed fewer calories during the day.

A Digestive Aid

It has been used for many years as a digestive aid by increasing the flow of enzymes in the gut. It is also a great aid for detoxing your system.

Safety Info

You can take Cayenne internally in powder or capsule form – initially the powder may be difficult to take – it can be quite hot. Start by taking a quarter teaspoon a day and work up to the half teaspoon dose. Cayenne should be taken with or after meals. Always do a patch test on skin before applying Cayenne to the skin as it can be an irritant. When it comes to the health benefits of Cayenne, there doesn’t seem to be much that it can’t do.  'Ask a Naturopath' or Nutritionistat Mr Vitamins about more ways to incorporate Cayenne into your daily health routine.

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