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More Than Hot: The Benefits of Cayenne

Cayenne pepper is made from dried chili peppers, and is known for its strong, spicy taste and smell. It's used in many dishes to give them a little "kick," but it can also be used for medicinal purposes.


Capsaicin is the chemical in the chili pepper that gives it its heat. It has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines to treat many health conditions like poor circulation, headaches, toothaches, chronic pain, sore throats, and heart disease.

When eaten, cayenne stimulates the flow of stomach secretions and saliva, which in turn help with digestion and gas. The peppery heat from the capsaicin can also stimulate secretions that help to clear mucus from your nose and congestion in your lungs.

This powerful spice can also increase blood flow, which when you're sick or hurt, will speed along healing. Cayenne also has a high content of vitamin A, so it has immunity boosting properties as well.

That's not all - it's also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and dietary fiber. Keep some in your kitchen so you can add a pinch to stir-fries, canned beans, soups, and even hot cocoa.

Fit's Tips: When handling cayenne pepper, always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. You don't want to accidentally touch your eyes. If you do, immediately flush out your eye with water. If the burning feeling gets really painful, call your doctor.

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