Scientific Name:Capsicum frutescens L.
About this Herb:Native to the majority of Central America as well as Northern and Western South America, Capsicum frutescens is a perennial when grown in the tropics. Capsicum frutescens have white flowers with a greenish or yellowish corolla. The fruit (pepper) grows erect. It starts out a pale yellow and ripens to a bright red in most cases.
The meat of the red pepper is dried and ground. Yeast and flour are added and it is baked into a hard cake. The cake is then ground into a powder to make Cayenne pepper spice.
Common Names:Africa pepper, African red pepper, American pepper, American red pepper, Bird pepper, Capsicum, Chili pepper, Chilies, Cockspur pepper, Garden pepper, Goat's pepper, Pod pepper, Red pepper, Spanish pepper, Zanzibar pepper
Uses:Besides its culinary values, this plant has numerous medicinal qualities. It is believed that it normalizes blood pressure, improves circulation, and feeds cell structure of arteries, veins and capillaries. As a stimulant, it aids in the body's healing and cleansing process.
As an ointment or poultice, it sooths the pain and stiffness of arthritis and rheumatism.
It is rumored to increase fertility and delay senility.
Applications:Ointment: Add 3 Tbsp. ground or powdered cayenne to 1/2 cup petroleum jelly or lard. Mix well and rub afflicted area.
Tea: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center taking cayenne to improve digestion, the dosage recommended is 30 mg to 120 mg one to three times a day. This may be drank in a hot or cold liquid.
Infusion: one half tsp. per cup of boiling water. Take while warm 1 tbsp by mouth.
Warnings:Cayenne taken in a capsule loses some its potency. The healing action begins when you put Cayenne in your mouth, as it causes your stomach to secretes digestive juices before the cayenne ever gets there.
For those not use to using Cayenne the dosage is 1/16th of a teaspoonful in some juice. Work your way up in dosage slowly.