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Chili And Cayenne Peppers: Good For Your Health

Credit: Flickr Public Domain

Credit: Flickr Public Domain

If you’re eating food with chili or cayenne pepper in it, you may not be thinking about health benefits; instead, you’re more likely to be concerned with wiping away your tears!
Luckily for spice-lovers, though, peppers that are part of the capsicum family of plants have a surprising number of positive side effects. Much of the power behind chili and cayenne peppers comes from their active ingredient, capsaicin.
From pain relief to boosting your metabolism to increasing circulation, capsaicin may be the answer. Time to consider spicing up your meals!
Ironically, since we often associate hot food with temporary pain, capsicum peppers have been shown to provide pain relief for a variety of ailments. The Food and Drug Administration has approved capsaicin’s use in the specific area of pain management.
Several of the more common applications of capsicum peppers include toothache, topical pain caused by shingles or arthritis, and nerve pain. The herb may be ground up into a powder or paste and applied directly to the skin, though it’s advisable to go slowly: just as cayenne pepper burns your mouth, putting too much on your skin can sting.
Capsicum peppers have also been investigated as a means for treating migraine headaches. Researchers have used chili oil, injected just under the skin, to block the pain signals from nerve to nerve, essentially short-circuiting the headache that migraine sufferers typically experience.
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