Cayenne Pepper
Health Benefits

Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits: Unlocking Capsaicin's Power

| Modified on Jan 15, 2024
Cayenne pepper.

Cayenne pepper, renowned for its fiery heat and distinctive flavor, is more than just a culinary delight. It's a powerhouse of health benefits, largely attributed to its active ingredient, capsaicin. This article explores how cayenne pepper can enhance well-being, from its role in pain management and cardiovascular health to boosting metabolism and digestive health.

We'll dive into the scientific research and traditional uses that underscore the remarkable therapeutic potential of cayenne pepper, offering practical tips on how to harness its benefits in your daily life. Whether you're looking to spice up your diet or seeking natural remedies, cayenne pepper is a versatile and effective choice for improving your overall health.

1. Relieves Pain

Capsaicin in cayenne pepper acts as a natural analgesic, blocking pain signals to the brain. Topical applications effectively alleviate arthritis, shingles, neuropathy, and similar conditions.1

2. Cardiovascular Health

Cayenne pepper contributes to heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and blood pressure, mitigating heart disease risks.

3. Boosts Metabolism

Cayenne pepper elevates the body's metabolic rate, aiding calorie burning and weight loss.

4. Digestive Health

It enhances digestion by stimulating digestive enzyme production, relieving indigestion and heartburn.

5. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Capsaicin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, combatting chronic inflammation linked to various health issues like arthritis, heart disease, and cancer.

6.  Detoxification Support

Cayenne pepper aids in detoxification by improving blood circulation and stimulating the lymphatic system.

7. Potential Anti-Cancer Properties

Preliminary evidence suggests capsaicin may possess anti-cancer abilities.

8. Headache Relief

Capsaicin's pain-relieving properties extend to mitigating migraines.

9. Skin Health Improvement

The antimicrobial properties of cayenne pepper protect against skin infections, while its anti-inflammatory effects aid in wound healing.

10. Immune System Boost

Rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, cayenne pepper strengthens the immune system and may shorten cold and flu durations.

11. Respiratory Function Enhancement

Capsaicin improves respiratory health by reducing airway inflammation.

12. Sexual Health Benefits

Recognized for its aphrodisiac qualities, cayenne pepper improves blood flow and sexual function.

Additional Uses

  • Cayenne pepper can alleviate various conditions, including arthritis, sore throat, sinus infections, tonsillitis, and laryngitis.
  • It can be used internally in small doses, with some preferring to mix it with orange juice or take it in capsule form.
  • Choosing high-quality cayenne pepper from health food stores is advisable for better potency.

Internal Use of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper's health benefits aren't limited to external applications; it's also effective when consumed. However, starting with a small dose and increasing it gradually as needed is essential. Even a minimal amount, such as 1/8 teaspoon, can be sufficient for some health conditions. Many enjoy adding a cayenne pepper shaker to their dining table as a flavorful and healthful seasoning.

For easier ingestion, some people mix cayenne pepper with orange juice. This method can help in acclimatizing the digestive system to the spice. Conversely, taking cayenne pepper in capsule form might lead to digestive discomfort if the capsule dissolves in the stomach. When cayenne is tasted first on the tongue, it pre-alerts the stomach, preparing it for digestion. To further aid digestion, some cayenne pepper capsules include ginger, known for its stomach-soothing properties.

Cayenne Quality

It is important to note that not all cayenne peppers are of the same quality. Generally, health food stores carry higher quality and more potent cayenne pepper than average grocery stores.

Cayenne pepper can have a wide range of heat levels. Some brands have a heat rating of 30,000, which is still quite spicy, while others may have as much as 190,000 heat units. Only individuals accustomed to strong spices will be able to tolerate higher amounts.

However, with regular use, your body will adjust to the potency of cayenne pepper. Starting with a small amount and gradually increasing the dose can help your body tolerate larger amounts over time.

Topical Use of Cayenne Pepper

  • Cayenne salves, leveraging capsaicin's properties, reduce pain and enhance circulation.
  • Homemade cayenne salves can be made with cayenne pepper powder, olive oil, castor oil, and beeswax.

Making a Cayenne Salve: Step-by-Step Guide


  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup castor oil (substitute with 1 cup olive oil if unavailable, but castor oil is preferred for its pain-relieving properties)
  • 3 tablespoons beeswax (increase to 4 tablespoons for a firmer salve)


  1. In a glass jar, mix the cayenne pepper powder with olive and castor oils.
  2. Let the jar sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 weeks.
  3. After the infusion period, strain the mixture using sterile cheesecloth to remove the cayenne powder.
  4. Melt the beeswax by heating the infused oil in a double boiler.
  5. Once the beeswax is fully melted, pour the mixture into a jar or tin.
  6. Allow the salve to cool and solidify before use.

Cayenne Pepper Gargle for Throat Health

With its antiviral and antibacterial properties, Cayenne pepper is excellent for a throat gargle. It can alleviate pain and combat infections, including tough ones like strep throat.

How to Use:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1/4 cup warm water.
Gargle several times a day as needed. Apply lip balm beforehand to protect your lips from the spice.

Cayenne Pepper Tooth Powder for Oral Health

This homemade tooth powder can boost oral health by fighting infection and enhancing circulation.


  • 1 Tablespoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

How to Use:

  • Sprinkle the mixture on your toothbrush and brush gently.

Cayenne Pepper's Role in Emergency Scenarios

Cayenne pepper can be crucial in emergency situations, particularly for stopping bleeding or assisting during heart attacks.

Bleeding Control:

In the event of a wound, apply cayenne pepper directly to the affected area and cover with a clean cloth, applying pressure. It's important to allow the resulting scab to heal and fall off naturally.

Heart Attack Assistance:

For heart attack emergencies, herbalist Dr. John Christopher recommends a mixture of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of hot water. Additionally, midwives have utilized this method to control bleeding during childbirth. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper not only helps relieve pain when applied topically but may also help reduce the death of heart cells during a heart attack.

These uses of cayenne pepper highlight its versatility and potential effectiveness in both everyday health and critical emergency situations.

Where to Buy


Share Your Feedback!

Read on to learn the benefits hundreds of Earth Clinic readers have experienced with Cayenne over the past 15 years. Be sure to share your experiences with us!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Helen (NY, NY) on 01/08/2008

A year ago my husband had one too many drinks, and tripped and fell hard backwards onto a sharp edge of a railing, which split open the back of his head. The wound was three inches long, and so deep....I was afraid to look at first, for fear that he had cracked his skull and would slip into an unconscious state. We were living on a remote island in the Bahamas at this time with no emergency people on hand, certainly no doctors or health care providers. A helicopter typically took 45mins to get you to a hospital.( If the last emergency was anything to go by) So I pulled myself together and instructed my eight year old son to keep Daddy awake by talking to him, no matter what! I tore my kitchen cupboards apart looking for the magical pepper I had read so much about year or two earlier.

I finally found the small bottle of cayenne pepper. I figured the whole bottle should slow the bleeding in time to find help.

Well.... not only did it STOP the bleeding, but after holding the wound together and having my son tip the entire contents of the bottle onto my husbands head the wound looked as though it was starting to stick together like glue! We sat holding the wound together for a further few hours for good measure, Then used thin strips of tape across it to act like stitches.

My son and I took turns waking my husband through the night, about every half hour to check he was ok, and to make sure the wound hadn't started bleeding again. To our amazement not only was there no pain after the first hour, but the burning sensation was very mild considering the depth of the cut.

The following day no one on the island would believe how bad the wound had been, and certainly felt there was no need to rush to the hospital.

Two days later we took the tape off. The wound had sealed with no infection, only a big orange crust from the cayenne pepper!

A further five days later, my husband had a shower and washed off the crust to reveal a lond thin line that looked like an old cat scratch!

To this day no one understands my decision to trust the magic of cayenne pepper. All I can say is........ we had no choice!

What a blessing to discover something so powerful.

I know it will travel with me every where I go for the rest of my life! And people often ask why I take strange capsules filled with red stuff.. I just smile......if only they knew!

Acid Reflux, Heartburn

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Bruce (US) on 07/04/2007

On the subject of acid reflux and heartburn, I have all but eliminated it after 20 or so years of suffering.

I used to keep a large bottle of Tums with me at all times. The acid reflux was horrible, waking me up in bed with searing pain in my throat and gasping for air, not knowing if this would be the end. The choking went on for half an hour or more. Milk, more Tums, water, juice, nothing gave instant relief.

Like magic, after about three months, I had lost almost all of the symtoms of the acid reflux and heartburn. You can cure yourself easily if you are determined. It will take perseverence and patience and will gradually go from bad to good in three months or so.

Cayenne Pepper is the answer!

Now on a regular basis I take from one to two heaping tablespoons of granulated cayenne with my meals. Not on any cereal though! Usually if you can start off with a litle and work up to a large dose like I did, it will become easy and things after a while will not seem to taste right without it.

I am so happy I don't use Tums anymore and I don't have stomach problems. I would encourage anyone to read about "cayenne pepper healing effects."

Do a Google search and you will be surprised at what you read about its healing effects. I get my cayenne from a wholesale club in bulk containers. I use Tone's ground cayenne pepper and it is about $4.00 for a 1 LB container. That should last you about six months or more.

Good luck and remember, you will have to get used to the heat or it won't work.

In addition to taking the cayenne pepper, don't go to sleep on a full stomach. Give it 3 or 4 hours before you go to sleep.



1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jasonmchicago (Chicago, Il (usa) ) on 06/17/2011

I have figured out a VERY POWERFUL anti-inflammatory that works almost instantly. I take 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper in the mouth. Wait until the sensations start then swallow. Then I wait 2-5 minutes until I feel the burning all over my mouth and know that it is working. Then I take the following:

- Fresh Garlic

- Fresh Ginger

- 1-2 Ginger Capsules

- 1-2 Turmeric Capsules (high quality brand)

- Fresh Rosemary

- EVOO 1/2 ounce

I swallow this all at once and literally within 1-5 minutes the inflammation goes down. I can feel the muscle inflammation getting the effects of this combo. I heard that Cayenne is amazing for distributing herbal potency to where it needs to go. It quickly circulates the blood and I believe the "powers" of the turmeric, garlic, and rosemary all get going.

It has really helped me out with IMMEDIATE relief of serious inflammation more than any one by themselves or prescription drugs or NSAIDs or anything. If you want added benefit take a hot/warm water moist towel and put it on the area that needs inflammation reduction.



1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Zark (Emerald City) on 04/16/2015

ACV, Chilli, and Bicarb - all three of these are antifungals.

I use Bicarb quite frequently as a spray whenever my plants have fungal issues. Works quickly. Bicarb also neutralises the mycotoxins produced by pathogenic fungi.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Kolin (Nottingham, England) on 02/13/2011

Yesterday I had, unusually while awake, a strong episode of atrial flutter, my chest felt like a washine machine full of golf balls! It would not calm down with relaxation etc, so, half teaspoon cayenne in a cup of warm water followed by a short deliberate heavy coughing session, 5 minutes later all went back to normal, well worth trying!

Keep up these posts, love to all, Kolin.

Posted by Geri (Dothan, Alabama) on 06/21/2009

Cayenne pepper effects on heart racing and arrythmia...

I have been using cayenne pepper for several months for racing heart and arrythmia. Within less than a minute my heart is back to normal!! I use 1/2 teaspoon in warm water, less than a cup, one teaspoon in 8oz is recommended, but I get the results from 1/2 tsp., also I use cayenne pepper liberally on most of my food, like salads, baked potato, omlets, etc.. I have tried MANY natural cures, but never had one work so fast. The Phamaceutical companies will probably try to get this miracle cure declared illegal! If people could try it, doctors and drugs would lose billions! I don't mind the heat at all for the results I get. It IS a good idea to have some food in your stomach, though. Wonderful site, Earth Clinic!!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Trina (St.Helens, Oregon) on 08/07/2008

Rheumatoid/Osteo Arthritis: So update, I have done oil pulling and still have twice everyday. My Arthritis is not completely gone. I think it's because i aint using the right oil. But i still sleep well and no more chocolate addiction. And branded scar is completly GONE Due to the Organic Sufflower oil that i pulled with. Anyways i wanna loose weight to help my arthritis because my doctor says i have both.((RA/OA)) So i try the recommended Master Cleanse Diet (from this site by a person). After day one i felt really Pain free. in that diet all you drink is Cayenne pepper in filtered water with Grade A/B Organic Maple syrup and organic lemon. Oh and diet tea and salt laxitive. I did that diet for 2 and half days without eating.

Anyways it was the cayenne pepper that made me pain free. I researched cayenne pepper online and bought the pills. It works great. I take more then it says too. it takes about 6 Cayenne fruit pills. it cost less the 3 dollars at Wal-mart. And Well worth it!! - u know that diet i was supposed to have min. Look up Cayenne pepper it does much more then just for pain oh and weight loss. 3 thumbs way up.

Athlete's Foot

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Vince (Philadelphia, PA) on 09/21/2006

I had Athletes' Foot between 2 toes that sit against each other. I had it off and on for years. It was hard to dry them after a shower, and when in a rush, I don't think I did it that well, and then sitting against each other, I would probably really have to, and sweating probably cause it also. I only applied cayenne in salt water one time, and it has been gone for years. Usually it has to stay in place for a while on skin surfaces, so I soak the gauze on a bandaid, but since my toes touch, I didn't have to.

Best Type of Cayenne

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Dave G (Florida) on 11/02/2016

I get a pure organic Cayenne from amazon in powder form and extract from the powder pure form it takes 45 to 60 days to extract the the pure form with no additives and put it in a eye dropper bottle and add about 20 drops to a glass of infused citrus water and drink it with breakfast and have no side effects basically because alot of the companies mix crap with it as fillers even in their Tinctures as well. The formula was from a Herbologist who recieved her PHd and wrote a study and thesis about all the benifits using it. Would suggest you start out with 10 drops and work up to 20 once a day.

Replied by Chris


Are you extracting the cayenne in alcohol or glycerine or what? Could you explain what you mean by extracting with measurements? Thanks!

Replied by Gina
(Austin, Texas)

I buy the Dr Christopher HOT Cayenne drops and put ONLY 1-2 drops (that is all it takes because each drop is --- per the label ---160,000 Scoville Heat Units Organic Cayenne Pepper AND 200,000 H.U. of Habanero Chili) in a glass of warm filtered water with 1/2 squeezed lemon.

I do this most mornings on an empty stomach for the myriad benefits of the Cayenne.

Replied by Jan B.

Do you make an extract with alcohol? What are the ratios?
Do you have a link to the PhD thesis?
Regards Jan

Bloody Noses

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Springfield, MO) on 11/15/2008

Every winter since I was little I would get bloody noses because of the dry indoor air. Last winter it was bad. I was having at least one a day no matter how much I ran my humidifier. I came across this site and read about Cayenne Pepper helping with this problem. The day I started taking Cayenne Pepper pills was the last time I had a bloody nose! (It has been almost a year now) I take one in the morning with my vitamins and dont worry about my nose exploding every time I sneeze. Try it, you wont be disappointed!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Crystal (Lawrenceville, GA) on 04/28/2007

I have used all sorts of strange things for candida the only two things that have seemed to work are cayenne pepper and a colon cleanse -- you're supposed to use the colon cleanse for three mths but I only used it for one. But I will let you know.

I tried the pepper one day after reading all about dif. cures and realized oh yeah parasites come along with candida so you have to kill those off too!!! and cayenne pepper is a great thing for that. I had a really bad metallic taste in my mouth, got dehydrated and confused my eyes were foggy like I'd been swimming in chlorine so I tried the pepper and it knocked it out almost immediately!!! I should probably do a metal cleanse and a kidney cleanse also!!!

Cayenne and Surgery

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by De Shawwn (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 09/22/2014

I can attest to the effectiveness of cayenne pepper because March 17,2014. I had a major surgery. I was a severe anemic at the time and on the day of my surgery my doctor was advised several times by other medical personnel working with him to give me a blood transfusion BEFORE my surgery but he didn't.

I believe had it not been for me taking cayenne pepper before my surgery, the outcome of my surgery could have been devastating.

After the surgery I received a blood transfusion. No one could ever convince me that cayenne pepper is what allowed me to not bleed to death during my surgery because at the time of my surgery my blood was a 5.0 and remember I had a major surgery cut wide open from one side of my stomach to the other side.

My healing was amazing. 2 days after my surgery my cut had healed on the outside and I was walking around without any problem.

Cayenne Contraindications

1 User Review

Posted by sandrasteam (florida) on 02/07/2021

Question - will the cayenne pepper thin a persons blood? My husband takes a baby aspirin a day.

Cayenne Contraindications
Posted by Unsure (Northridge, Ca.) on 03/31/2017

Has anyone mixed cayenne pepper capsules with butcher's broom capsules? About a month ago, I started taking herbal supplements to not only improve my poor circulation, but also help with my 9 year edema issues. I have been on prescription diuretics from various doctors. None of them were getting to the root of the matter so I started taking at first Dandelion leaf capsules. No difference, then the parsley leaf with the cayenne capsules. (only one in the a.m. & then one in the p.m.) I am on heartburn medication also. I did notice some differences with the swelling of my ankles with the parsley. But I finished the bottle & started yesterday on the butchers broom.

Now I'm having chest pain like squeezing/sharp only on the left side of chest. But it comes & goes. When I take the cayenne & butchers broom capsules in the a.m. I don't have the chest pain.? Why only at night? I'm also on high blood pressure Prescription meds, also on high cholresterol, lasix, one for joint pain, one for thyroid, I just read an article that says don't take butchers broom if you have high blood pressure! I also am experiencing back of head pain but it to subsided. I'm done with the butchers broom! Will order the apple cider vinegar capsules next.

Will let you know how that goes!

Replied by Whisperingsage
(Northern Ca)
45 posts

You have a lot going on and a lot of meds that could be messing you up. Lasix ALONE will cause mineral deficiencies, not just potassium, it throws all of them out. First, go to Youtube and watch Dead Doctors Don't Lie by Joel Wallach, and Somebody Needs to go To Jail, by Joel Wallach. That should get you a good footing. If you get junk mail vitamin Catalogues, save one and read it. It's like a little encyclopedia on what nutrients do. And no it's not all BS. That's how I started and years later got straight A's in Anatomy and physiology (two 5 unit classes) and biology, and organic chemistry. Because I already had a good foundation from understanding the vitamins and minerals and fatty acids, so those classes were just building on what I already knew. (I'm a nurse now, and MOST nurses I have worked with did not have that detailed knowledge and ordered the useless OTC supplements for house stock because of their lack of understanding, (E for example, has to be the natural form to be usable by the body, otherwise it is just going into the toilet. But she didn't know. I had to explain to a veteran nurse my first year out of school.)Anyway, you don't have to buy Wallach's products but you DO have to learn about the nutrients and make sure you get your 90 essentials including your 60 minerals. (Cheat sheet, I found a knock off brand called Tropical Oasis for $20, vs his $70) Compare the labels, know how to read your labels. He also has a book called Let's Play Doctor where he teaches people how to be responsible for their own health.

Cayenne Contraindications
Posted by Jeanne (Westlock Alberta) on 03/27/2014

Can a person do natural treatments such as cayenne and molasses if they are being treated by a doctor for blood clot in the right lung and the right leg with warfarin or other anticoagulant drugs? Is it too risky?

Replied by Timh
(Ky, Usa)
2063 posts

Jeanne: I see no problems w/ the BSM & Cayanne. Two herbs which to avoid during this drug treatment is Gingko biloba and White Willow as they are considerd "blood thinners".

Cayanne & Ginger work together very well to assist in improving circulation which reduces the risk of blood clotting stroke.

Omega 3 fats like Fish & Flax oil are recommended for keeping the blood thin but are considered "mild" anticoagulants and very much indicated in cardiovascular conditions.