Cayenne pepper is also known as chili pepper, red pepper or capsicum and its botanical name is Capsicum annuum.
This spice has been used for thousands of years by ancient civilizations like the Chinese and Native Americans as a food and medicinal plant.
Cayenne is used to treat hay fever, sore throats, heart disease, dry mouths, cramps, toothaches, fever, nausea, blood clots and depression.
It has been medically proven effective for relieving pain caused by herpes zoster (shingles) and diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain caused by diabetes).
Studies have also shown that it can reduce the incidence of developing ulcers and swallowing problems in the elderly.
Cayenne pepper contains vitamins A, B6, C and E. It also contains minerals like potassium, manganese and molybdenum as well as other phytonutrients that confer on it the following properties which enable it to clear Candida:
Cayenne pepper kills Candida
A study found that cayenne pepper kills Candida by disrupting their cell walls (1). This property which is attributed to a compound it contains known as CAY-1 makes it an important ingredient for the Candida diet.
Cayenne pepper relieves joint pains
Cayenne has been shown to relieve joint pains and muscle aches (2). It is therefore beneficial for persons who develop these aches due to Candida colonization.
Cayenne pepper reduces heartburn
Cayenne reduces acidity in the stomach and heartburn (3). This makes it useful for reducing the symptoms of acid reflux that develop due to Candida overgrowth.
Cayenne pepper reduces gas
Cayenne relieves flatulence and it can reduce excessive gas in persons with intestinal candidiasis.
Cayenne pepper relieves headaches
Cayenne alleviates headaches making it beneficial for persons who develop them as a result of Candida infection.
Cayenne pepper aids detoxification
Cayenne is used for detoxification since it improves poor circulation and increases sweating which enhances the removal of toxins in the sweat. It also aids detoxification by stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines which enhances elimination. By helping remove toxins from the body, cayenne helps maintain a balanced state which makes it more resistant to Candida colonization.
Cayenne pepper aids intestinal healing
Cayenne is used to treat ulcers since it is said to help the tissues of the stomach and intestines heal faster. This property can assist in controlling the leaky gut syndrome that is associated with Candida colonization.
Reaping the benefits of cayenne pepper
To reap these Candida clearing benefits, a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper can be taken in a glass of water 15 minutes before each meal. It can also be added to herbal teas to make it more palatable. This spice can also be mixed with lemon juice and diluted with water to make a great Candida clearing detox beverage.
In addition to consuming it raw, cayenne pepper can also be used for cooking. It can used to prepare a Candida treating spice mix by blending it with other herbs and spices with antifungal properties like garlic, ginger, cumin, oregano, sage and cloves. Consuming it together with these condiments will reduce the chances of Candida adapting to the cayenne pepper.
Cayenne pepper is also available in capsule form and these can be taken thrice a day before meals to reduce Candida symptoms like heartburn.
Cayenne pepper also comes as a cream for treating joint pains. For optimum results ensure that the cream contains at least 0.075% capsaicin.
Avoiding the side effects of cayenne pepper
Cayenne has heat ratings and persons who do not like very spicy food should choose lower ratings rather than very high ones of around 190,000.
Though it is considered safe, some persons can develop stomach irritation, flushing, sweating and a running nose after consuming it. It is also not advisable to take large doses of cayenne pepper for a long duration since it can cause liver or kidney damage in some rare cases.
In addition, persons who are allergic to latex, bananas, kiwi, chestnuts and avocados should use it very cautiously since they may also have cayenne allergy.
Pregnant women can use cayenne to spice their food but they should avoid using it in medicinal amounts. Since it can pass through breast milk, lactating mothers should also not use it in large amounts since it has been linked to dermatitis in babies.
Capsicum can prevent blood from clotting and this can increase the risk of bleeding in persons taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix) and aspirin. Talk to your doctor before consuming cayenne pepper if you are on any of the listed drugs or if you suffer from a bleeding disorder like hemophilia. In addition, those scheduled to have surgery should also stop using it at least a fortnight before their operation due to the previously listed reasons.