Primarily known as a seasoning for different foods, cayenne is a long, red pepper that owns considerable medicinal benefits. It has been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. People can consume cayenne pepper in different forms, including fresh and powdery forms. Either way, this spicy vegetable, like other peppers, can add a desired amount of heat to foods.
Not only is cayenne pepper used as an additive to foods, but it is also so beneficial in digestive and circulatory conditions. Although scientists believe eating this pepper can cause no specific issue in the body, it is possible to irritate the digestive system if eaten excessively. That is why the amount of consumption must be considered cautiously to avoid the side effects.
Cayenne pepper is a member of the capsicum family. It is abundant in different vitamins including B Complex, C, E, and K. In addition to that, cayenne is overflowing with potassium, manganese, fibre, and calcium. It is highly used in various parts of the world, especially in India.
Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne has been a noteworthy part of meals for many centuries. The benefits cayenne offers are not limited to only the addition of a spicy flavour to the foods; It comes with numerous medicinal benefits that make it too invaluable to omit from our daily foods.
Cayenne pepper expedites and enhances the process of digestion, weight loss, and blood circulation. It also helps with headaches, controls dyspepsia, and makes your heart work smoothly. In addition to all these, some other general benefits of cayenne are:
- Boosting immunity: cayenne is replete with vitamin A, which can boost your body’s immunity system.
- Antioxidant: cayenne is overflowing with vitamin A and vitamin E. These vitamins help in having good health, healthy skin, quick brain, longer age, and healthy body organs.
- Anti-allergy: cayenne removes the mucus from your body, leading to the prevention of different allergies.
- Weight-loss: cayenne expedites the metabolism in your body, burning more calories than usual.
- Lower blood pressure: cayenne reduces high blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels.
- Heart attack: this pepper can help prevent heart attacks by enhancing the flow of blood through your circulatory system.
- Digestive system: cayenne makes the digestive system work more properly by inhibiting the production of enzymes.
- Psoriasis: cayenne pepper, used in the form of cream as a topical agent, can help treat the psoriasis disease.
These were only some essential benefits of cayenne pepper. However, in this article, we are intending to put a deeper focus on the side effects of this popular pepper.
Side Effects of Cayenne Pepper
Although you and your body can benefit from cayenne and its properties to a high extent, the spicy vegetable can have various side effects you must consider. From different kinds of irritation in your stomach and mouth to heartburn and issues during pregnancy, cayenne pepper is not always that red, beautiful, lovely vegetable you see.
Let us see what the major side effects of cayenne are.
Irritation of Stomach
A chemical compound called “capsaicin” exists in cayenne, which is responsible for generating the heat that cayenne adds to the foods.
The bad news is that you need to be alert about how much capsaicin you consume; overusing this compound may lead to various symptoms of irritation in your mouth, stomach, and even your intestines. Apart from that, capsaicin is prone to cause vomiting and even diarrhoea in some cases. No matter what the form of your cayenne pepper is, it always contains capsaicin; then, there is no way to avoid it but to control your consumption.
How to Lower the Irritation Issue
Sometimes you have to consume cayenne in different doses; maybe your doctor has advised that you take some in your daily food schedule, or maybe you just like it so much that you cannot remove it from your foods. Either way, the best method to diminish the irritation it causes in your body is that you consume cayenne as a part of your meal or just before that.
Eyes And Ulcers
There is one safety precaution: capsaicin cannot be absorbed into your body through your skin, and it remains on your finger and skin once you touch it. In such cases, be cautious not to touch your eyes or open wounds; otherwise, you will quickly go on fire.
When you use cayenne with your hands, the best way to get rid of what remains on your fingers is to wash them with vinegar. Soap and water are almost ineffective at removing the spicy oil from your skin. In such cases, touching your eyes or wounds can lead to severe irritation.
If you already have issues with your stomach, consider staying away from cayenne pepper. Consumption of this beautiful, red pepper in high quantities can effortlessly cause heartburn.
The capsaicin present in cayenne irritates the stomach and also the oesophagus line. This can force the stomach to produce more acid as a response. The produced acid can then flow upward into your oesophagus. Most of us already know how it feels in this condition; it is like a burning liquid hoisted into your mouth.
Scientists believe that capsaicin may cause gastrointestinal reflux symptoms in those who suffer from heartburn most of the time. Also, it can happen even to those who do not regularly experience reflux issues. Thus, you must monitor how your stomach feels after consuming some cayenne to find out if it is going to bother you.
Interference With Some Medicines
The capsaicin existing in cayenne pepper is prone to interfering with some kinds of medications. As a result, if you usually take cayenne in the form of supplements, or you tend to increase your consumption for any reason, you should consult with an expert or a doctor in advance.
Cayenne may affect aspirin as well as blood-thinning medications. In addition to that, it can affect the medication to lessen the stomach acid content, including some of them that help to get over heartburn. Plus, there might be interference between cayenne and diabetes or high blood pressure medications. Therefore, you need to talk to an expert in case you are going to consume cayenne while taking any of the aforementioned medications.
Additionally, if you are allergic to latex, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi, or avocado, you should avoid treatment with cayenne. Allergies like these basically indicate that you may be allergic to cayenne as well.
Consumption in Summer
Most of the time, using too much of good things is actually a bad thing. Consuming cayenne pepper excessively can lead to different allergies. Experts say that if you are allergic to cayenne and still like to consume some, you should at least avoid intaking it in the summer.
The truth is that cayenne, like other peppers, can make your body heat soar, such that you can no longer sustain that much heat. Overheating of the body can eventually lead to internal bleeding in your nose. Therefore, if you tend to increase your cayenne pepper consumption, see if you can put it in your diet throughout seasons other than summer.
Consumption During Pregnancy
According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women can use cayenne topically during pregnancy. To be exact, scientists believe that pregnant women should not consume cayenne as an oral supplement, but they can eat some during meals.
Keep in mind that if you are suffering from heartburn due to pregnancy, you may not be able to tolerate the heat that cayenne generates, even when you consume it with your food.
Additionally, there is one more important post-pregnancy thing to consider when you are breastfeeding your baby. You must omit cayenne pepper altogether from your diet as long as you breastfeed your infant, either you eat it with your food or consume it as a supplement. It is because the capsaicin may enter your baby’s body through your breast milk, leading to irritation for the baby.
If you are allergic to cayenne, your immune system may mistakenly detect capsaicin as a hazardous substance and attack it with the help of white blood cells. As a result, you feel allergy symptoms in your throat, nose, skin, respiratory system, and digestive system.
In the case of being allergic to cayenne, you may experience these symptoms:
- Tightness in throat
- Scratchy voice
- Pain in stomach
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
Some people are allergic to cayenne as they are born, while many others may inherit it. Thus, you can ask your parents to know whether you are allergic to cayenne.
A Simple Test to Know if You Are Allergic to Cayenne Pepper
If you are not sure whether or not you are allergic to cayenne, you can do a simple heart-rate test at home. You should first count the number of times your heart beats during a minute.
To do so, you can either put your fingers on your throat to feel the pulse or use a smartwatch to have it count your heartbeat. A normal person’s heart rate is something between 52 and 70. Afterward, consume some cayenne and again count your heartbeat after waiting for 15 to 20 minutes. If your heart now beats 10 times more than before, you are prone to be allergic to cayenne.
As you can see, despite having myriad health benefits for the body, cayenne can be evil as well if consumed excessively. Being negligent about how badly this pepper can impact your body in certain cases may easily lead to menaces to your body organs.
If you are pregnant or have just given birth to your baby, you must avoid consuming cayenne. Also, if you are allergic to cayenne, it is needless to say that you must inevitably avoid it.
Additionally, if you are using some medications for any disease, you must consult with your doctor to see if cayenne is possible to interfere with them. What’s more, you should be careful about your digestive system, heartburn, eyes, and ulcers while consuming or even touching cayenne.