Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Get Hot Under the Collar!

It's good for you! I'm not talking about getting mad, either! I'm talking about the winter's warmer herb, Capsicum frutescens~ Cayenne!
Now, this is the good stuff you can use to help warm you up if it's cold where you live.

The fruit of the Cayenne plant, the chili pepper, is useful in so many ways! You may think of it just an added flavoring to your dish while cooking, but this herb is actually good for your body.
Originating in India and imported into the West in 1548, it really didn't become popular with the medical community until the 19th century. Now we know that this is one potent health ally.
It's a stimulant for your whole body by increasing blood flow. It's really good to help combat colds and chills, or to bring warmth to the extremities. You can use the infused oil on unbroken skin to help circulation to a particular area.
You might not think so, but Cayenne can also help to relieve indigestion! If you have a problem with spicy foods in general, then this isn't for you, but just a few drops of a cayenne infusion (tea) can help to stimulate the digestive function and bring relief. It's also used in ointments for achy areas and is sold everywhere, included in over the counter preparations for sore muscles.

I use Cayenne in capsules I make to treat colds. Cayenne, in that it increase blood flow in the body, helps other herbs in a formula to work better. It also has antibacterial properties. It's good to put a few drops in a gargle solution to relieve throat problems. To do this , you would make a tea of it first then use about 10 drops of it in warm water.
So that's a bit about one of my favorite herbs from the kitchen. The next time you're making a hot dish, toss in a fresh chopped cayenne pepper (always remove the seeds first!) to help your body. You can use the dried powder, too! How about some chili tonight?

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