Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum Annuum)

By Ingri Cassel

Cayenne:  A stimulant herb

Disclaimer: If you believe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is the authority on how you should or should not take care of yourself then there is no reason to continue reading this article.

Cayenne is possibly the single most wonderful, beneficial plant to grow and have on hand (the granulated form) in case of emergencies.  I have witnessed countless experiences of its virtues when I have shared how to use it with my friends.  One lady who went to Mexico every winter had complained to me that despite being very careful about only drinking bottled water and restricting her diet, she still experienced “Montezuma's Revenge” on every trip.  All her precautions were of no avail.  I told her that the natives eat very spicy food and that she should follow their example.  If she didn't like hot food, she should take a couple bottles of cayenne pepper capsules with her.  I encouraged her to start taking cayenne with every meal before she goes so that she gets used to it.  While in Mexico, she ate at restaurants she wouldn't have considered before and did not limit her fluid intake to bottled water only.  She took 10-12 cayenne pepper capsules daily and was ecstatic to discover that she had normal stools and boundless energy.

When I lived in Arizona several years ago, my great uncle was scheduled for heart bypass surgery the following week.  I told him about cayenne pepper. I also told him the value of feeding the heart muscle with hawthorn berries, a natural form of vitamin E and minerals.  He had to eliminate all refined sugars and synthetic sweeteners from his diet and add psyllium husks to his regimen since his lifestyle was what had created his heart condition in the first place.  He stuck with the program and when he went to see his doctor five days later, he received a clean bill of health and his surgery was cancelled.  The cayenne pepper was the most important aspect of his regimen that led to the immediately positive results he achieved.

Cayenne pepper should be in everyone's first aid kit.  If you have a severe cut which is bleeding profusely, apply cayenne pepper, a powerful styptic, directly into the wound.  The cayenne will equalize the blood pressure and start the coagulating of blood immediately.  It is a powerful disinfectant so there is no need to worry about infection setting in.  My family has been using cayenne in this manner for years and, as a result, take what others consider miraculous results for granted.

Cayenne can also be used in conjunction with CPR in the event of a heart attack.  For this application, mix a teaspoon of cayenne in a small amount of water and pour it down the patient's throat.  This is a sure way to revive the person and is much more successful than CPR alone.  People with heart and blood pressure conditions should consider incorporating appropriate amounts of cayenne pepper into their dietary regimens.

Cayenne is the remedy of choice for gangrene, frostbite and any condition which calls for increased blood flow and better circulation.  Cayenne can even be placed in boots to help keep feet warm.

Cayenne acts as a catalyst, carrying all other herbs and supplements quickly to the place in the body where they are needed and increasing their effectiveness.  It is also high in vitamin C and useful in the treatment of colds, sinus problems and respiratory ailments.

When purchasing cayenne, avoid buying it from the spice department in your grocery store.  Most herbs and spices are irradiated, rendering them ineffective medicinally.  Instead, purchase a 30,000 to 40,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) or HU (heat units) cayenne pepper from a company which guarantees that their products are not irradiated.  As you get used to taking it regularly, you may want to increase to 60,000 or 90,000 HU [or more] cayenne pepper.  Start out by taking a quarter teaspoon in a glass of pure water three times a day.  After a week, increase the amount of cayenne pepper to half a teaspoon three times a day.  The optimal therapeutic dose is one teaspoon in water three times a day.  If this is rough for you, try taking capsules with your meals.

A formula that we take at the first sign of a sore throat is called the Master Cleanser.  This consists of the juice of a fresh lemon, cayenne pepper and pure water.  Unrefined, grade B maple syrup is added to taste.  The resulting mixture tastes like a hot, spicy form of lemonade.  Even our editor appreciates the results he experiences from drinking this concoction which performs the all important function of alkalinizing the body.

Last month we discussed the merits of comfrey, an herb that has been called “people putty.”  This month we discussed cayenne pepper. Both of these plants are essential to the health and well being of your family should a state of emergency arise. Make sure that you have access to both of them. Next month we will present part two of this two part series on this most beneficial herb by reprinting an article written by one of the world's most respected herbalists, the late Dr. John Christopher.

Cayenne Pepper: The #1 herb for today's illnesses

by Ingri Cassel

This month we will continue to share with you the miraculous virtues of cayenne pepper.  I am continually amazed at the persistent belief that the only aspect of today's medical model that is of value is if you are in an accident where you need a surgeon to set a bone or repair a body part that has been mutilated or severed.  Due to this belief, we feel compelled to share with you a few stories regarding the application of cayenne in such emergency situations followed by testimonies of the value of comfrey root in the June 2003 Back to Basics column.   Although we do not recommend that you avoid consultation with a medical doctor concerning a severe injury, we do suggest that you test out the power of these herbs on minor injuries such as a cut from a kitchen knife.  Our personal experience has given our family complete confidence in the power of cayenne and comfrey in wound healing, saving us from the financial burden incurred from emergency room visits.  We hope you will be likewise inspired to have these herbs in your herbal medicine chest for such minor family emergencies.  But first, we will start out where we left off with the value of cayenne for the heart muscle.  The following is a continuation from Dr. John Christopher's newsletter Cayenne, Volume 1, Number 12:

“Most hearts are suffering from malnutrition because of the processed foods we are eating, but here it gets a good powerful dose of real food [cayenne tea -- 1 teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of warm water].  This is something that everyone should know how great it is, because a heart attack can come to your friends or loved ones at anytime.  And even yourself.  The warm tea is faster working than capsules or cold tea because the warm tea opens up the cell structure -- makes it expand and accept the cayenne that much faster, and it goes directly to the heart, through the artery system, and feeds it in powerful food.”

To show what a wonderful heart food cayenne is, a few doctors on the east coast put some live heart tissue into a sterile beaker filled with distilled water, and fed it nothing but cayenne pepper, cleaning off sediments periodically and adding nothing but additional distilled water, since it needed to be replaced periodically due to evaporation.  During the time they were feeding the heart tissue, they would have to trim it every few days because it would grow so rapidly.  Having no control glands such as pituitary and pineal glands, the tissue kept growing.  The doctors and associates kept this tissue alive for over 15 years, before they decided to destroy it so they could do further research on it.  This shows the high food value that cayenne gives specifically to the heart muscle.  This is the reason behind so many seemingly miraculous recoveries from heart attacks after the victim receives just one cup of cayenne tea.  The heart hasn't had a decent meal for so long that it is practically starved.  The cayenne tea provides the heart with needed nutrition instead of whipping it into gear with nitroglycerine, digitalis or some other type of drug to force it to beat rapidly, neglecting to provide the heart muscle with the food it needs to operate on its own.

One of my favorite cayenne testimonies comes from a student of Dr. Christopher who had recently learned from the good doctor the value of cayenne as a styptic or herb that equalizes the blood pressure and effectively stops hemorrhaging or excessive bleeding.

She was home when she heard the sound of a gun next door and panicked when she realized that two young boys were over there alone.  She ran next door to find that her neighbor's boy had gotten into his father's guns and had accidentally shot his playmate.  There he lay in a pool of blood.  She impulsively searched the spice cabinet for cayenne pepper, found it, and poured most of the contents into the wound before calling 911.  When the ambulance arrived, the paramedics asked what in the world was in the wound, thinking she could have made the injury worse.  When she told them it was cayenne, they truly thought she was crazy, and berated her for believing herbal folklore would help such a severe wound.  Later that day, after the boy had been safely transported to the hospital, the paramedic called her and apologized.  While in the ambulance and after taking the boy's vital stats, he and his partner realized that this boy would have lost too much blood and been dead before they arrived if it were not for the cayenne pepper.  It was reported that for several years after this incident, the paramedics of Provo, Utah always carried cayenne pepper with them along with their other emergency supplies.

Our family uses cayenne on all our cuts and wounds to not only stop the bleeding but to insure against infection.  But to me one of the most valuable aspects of cayenne to know about, especially if you live up north where it gets cold, is its ability to reverse frostbite, even the most severe kinds where the doctors of today see amputation as the only remedy.  The following story is from Pridy Meek's journal from the mid 1800s as recorded in Dr. John R. Christopher's book, Capsicum:

An incident took place in Parowan, Iron County, the same winter that Colonel Johnston came against Salt Lake City with the Untied States Army. There was a teamster by the name of James McCann, a young man, started to back to the states by way of California. He reached Parowan with both feet frozen above his ankles. He was left with me to have both feet save his life without amputation. I was at my wits end to know what to do. I saw no possible chance for amputation. An impulse seemed to strike my mind as tho by inspiration that I would give him cayenne pepper inwardly and see what effect that would have on the frozen feet.

I commenced by giving him rather small doses at first, about three times a day. It increased the warmth and power of action in the blood to such a degree that it gave him such pain and misery in his legs that he could not bear it. He lay down on his back and elevated his feet up against the wall for three or four days and then he could sit up in a chair. The frozen flesh would rot and rope down from his foot when it would be on his knee, clear down to the floor, just like a buckwheat batter, and the new flesh would form as fast as the dead flesh would get out of the way. In fact the new flesh would seem to crowd the dead flesh to make room for the new flesh.

That was all the medical treatment he had and to my astonishment and to everyone else that knew of the circumstances, the sixteenth day after I gave him the first dose of pepper he walked nine miles, or from Parowan to Red Creek and back, and said that he could have walked as far again. He lost but five toe nails all told.

Now the healing power of nature is in the blood and to accelerate the healing power of nature and I am convinced that there is nothing will do this like cayenne pepper; you will find it applicable in all cases of sickness.” ~Utah Historical Quarterly, Vol. 10, 1942, p. 207

*Ingri Cassel is the author of the Idaho Observer's Back to Basics column

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