What’s in your kitchen cabinet? Cayenne!

Every few weeks there seem to be themes that pop up in my practice and with my loved ones. So I felt cayenne would be a prudent next herb to do in my kitchen series because perhaps you might be in a similar theme and need this too! 

Cayenne is one of the most loved herbs to have during an emergency/crisis (particularly of a heart emergency). Herbalist and acupuncturist Michael Tierra uses up to 1 tsp of cayenne every 15 minutes (while waiting for an emergency vehicle) to help lessen the effects and encourage a speedy recovery of heart attacks and strokes and other emergencies. Nutritionist Gary Null has mentioned that a couple of capsules full of cayenne at the start of the emergency will drastically improve the situation. 

Now during an emergency you’re not going to have a lot of bandwidth to think about these things. You could have capsules or the straight powder form in an emergency kit or on your person so it’s ready to go. It’s also helpful to tell the people who would, hopefully, be with you so they can assist you during an emergency. 

Cayenne has historically been used as a preventative to these emergencies as well along a multitude of other imbalances since it has compounds in to help with pain and circulation. 

Our ancestors have used it for thousands of years as:  

  • A local stimulant – (think plaster or paste for areas of pain and inflammation)
    • toothaches, swellings and inflammations, arthritis, stop bleeding of small cuts 
    • nerve pain, herpes, shingles, diabetic neuropathy, psoriasis, itchiness, and post surgery, arthritis 
  • Tonic to prevent illness
  • In formulas for weak digestion and loss of appetite*
  • Diarrhea and cramps
  • Expelling mucus and stimulating saliva 
  • Helps blood flow and the distribution of nutrients and oxygen – could be helpful with brain fog and headaches and cold extremities 
  • Balancing out blood pressure – whether high or low
  • Balancing cholesterol  
  • Prevention for issues such as heart attack, strokes, colds, flu, diminished vitality*, headaches, indigestion, depression and arthritis.
  • Balancing high or low blood pressure
  • Balancing excessive menstrual flow
  • Increase endorphin production
  • In herbal formulas for candida since it has anti fungal properties 
  • Thought to help someone emotionally rally to move past their fears and blockages

*When using cayenne avoid using it in the eyes, if you have inflamed mucous membranes, therapeutically when pregnant and nursing, and if some is extremely weak and run down – it will be too stimulating at that point – it’s meant for general fatigue and exhaustion. 

While cayenne is a wonderful emergency, historically it’s been recommended to take small doses regularly to receive the multitude of benefits and create a hardiness within the body. 

I decided to experiment to take a tsp of cayenne straight, which I’ve never done, but everyone talks about it’s not that spicy because heat hasn’t been applied to it…

Well, it’s still spicy. Was it as spicy as I thought it was going to be? No. But I think I will stick to mixing that much cayenne with honey or taking capsules. And of course, in cooking!

Want to learn more about herbs? Sign up here for my newsletter to get ideas and tips of how to use herbs in your home delivered right to your inbox. 

*Disclaimer* None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. This article is meant solely for educational purposes. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.

Works Cited 

Cantin, Candis, and Michael Tierra. The Spirit of Herbs. U.S. Games Systems, 1993.

Grieve, Margaret. A Modern Herbal. Vol. 1, Dover Publications Inc, 1971.

Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Healing Arts Press, 2017.

Keville, Kathi. Aromatherapy for Dummies. IDG, 2000.

Mars, Brigitte. The Sexual Herbal. Healing Arts Press, 2010.

McBride, Kami. The Herbal Kitchen. Conari, 2010.

Null, Gary. Get Healthy Now! With Gary Null. Seven Stories Press, 1999.

Tierra, Michael. The Way of Herbs. Pocket Books, 1998.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *