A topic of great importance is Cayenne Pepper, also known as Capsicum.
Dr. Christopher, Master Herbalist, never left home without it. There was always an ample supply of Cayenne Pepper in his bag whenever he made a house call. This hot little herb is phenomenal. There are so many uses for this herb, hang on to your hat, or in this case, your mouse!
According to Dr. Christopher, a heaping teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper in a cup of hot water will stop a heart attack in progress. I passed this nugget of information to a friend who has a history of heart attacks. For once he listened. When he had a massive heart attack several years ago that even his nitroglycerin couldn't stop, his wife made the "hot toddy" for him, it saved his life. He made it to the hospital and survived. Neither he, nor his wife, nor I believe he would be alive today if he had not drunk that cup cayenne tea.
There's even a whole book written about this *little hot tamal*. It's called Left For Dead, about a guy whose doctor promised him that he would "return to normal" after he had bypass surgery. It didn't quite happen that way for him and he had to take his health into his own hands. Capsicum DID help him return to normal. It's a really good book and easy read. Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or Borders will probably have it if you're interested.
Back to the facts - Capsicum is a catalyst herb. Its stimulating properties speed the absorption and effectiveness of any herbs taken in combination with it. Capsicum combined with garlic & parsley will help lower blood pressure!
Capsicum increases the power of all other herbs. It is said to be unequaled for warding off diseases and equalizing blood circulation.
Capsicum also heals ulcers. Yup. You're reading that right. Capsicum helps heal ulcers. A favorite story of mine is the one from Dr. Christopher about the husband who had endured the pain of a stomach ulcer for as long as he could stand it. This husband decided he could take no more and wanted to end his life. When he went to the medicine cabinet to get pills to do the dastardly deed, he discovered his wife had replaced all the drugs with herbs. He saw the bottle of Cayenne Pepper capsules and figured that would surely kill him, so he took a handful. Being a considerate fellow, he didn't want his screams to disturb the neighbors, so he took an extra pillow with him to bed to muffle his screams. Was he ever surprised when his wife shook him awake the next morning and told him he was late for work! Hmmm'.... .Some of you husbands might be wondering whether he actually did die and gone to hell, but I assure you he was quite alive. What he didn't know is that capsicum stimulates the protective mucus-forming membranes of the stomach. It was the first time in years he had slept through the night.
It's a stimulant herb and a digestive aid, helping improve digestion and soothing inflammation. It helps remove toxins from the body, relieves gastrointestinal problems including bleeding ulcers, colic, dyspepsia, flatulence and even diarrhea. It helps relieve the pain of shingles, cluster headaches, and itching palms and feet of diabetes.
Capsicum has been proven beneficial for arthritis, cardiovascular disease, gastric ulcers, vascular headaches, impotence (resulting from venous insufficiency) infections, kidney problems, menstrual complains, respiratory conditions such as asthma and pleurisy, and thyroid dysfunction.
Capsicum is high in vitamins and minerals that are needed for healing. It can also be applied directly to a wound. I'm not going to tell you that it doesn't hurt, because it hurts like hell, but it will stop the bleeding. One friend sliced her thumb to the bone while cutting veggies. Brave soul that she is, she stuck it directly into cayenne pepper. Not only did she stop the bleeding, there was no scarring. A few screams, but no scarring. (I'm joking again. Yes, it burns, but only for a few minutes. You get a lot of exercise while it's cauterizing the wound. I know this because I've done it myself. Yes, I'd do it again if I decided to cut myself again. My priority is avoiding sharp objects.)
Cayenne Pepper has a rich supply of vitamin C and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E). Capsicum also contains carotenes. Carotenes are antioxidants known for their effects in helping prevent cancer and cardiovascular disorders and for helping to protect the body form carcinogenic and toxic chemicals. It also contains vitamin A, beta-carotene and vitamin C, as well as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (folic acid), cobalt and zinc.
It has also been found to be beneficial for chronic fatigue and mild depression.
For cholesterol, Capsicum significantly lowers serum cholesterol and serum triglycerides.
By reducing blood vessel dilation, capsicum is able to help people overcome their addiction to alcohol.
Capsicum is great for energy. A little Capsicum sprinkled in water and gargled will eliminate a sore throat.
Got a splinter? Combine Capsicum and Plantain and apply externally to draw out foreign items embedded in the skin.
Got cold feet? Sprinkle Capsicum in your socks (also helps prevent frostbite). If that's a bit strong, sprinkle it into your shoes. The heat will go through your socks.