cayenne pepper plant

Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper that belongs to the Capsicum family. It is a popular spice used in many cuisines around the world and is known for its intense heat and distinct flavor. The cayenne pepper plant is a perennial that can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and is typically grown in warm, tropical climates.

The peppers are typically picked when they are red and mature, and can be used fresh or dried. In addition to being used as a spice, cayenne pepper has also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and has been used to treat a variety of health conditions.

This article is an extract from JETHRO KLOSS’ book, Back To Eden

CAYENNE Pepper’s common names(Capsicum frutescens)

Common Names: Cayenne pepper, red pepper, capsicum, Spanish pepper, bird pepper, pod pepper, chilies, African pepper, chili pepper, African red pepper, cockspur pepper, American red pepper, garden pepper.

Part of cayenne pepper Used:


Medicinal Properties of cayenne pepper

Stimulant, tonic, sialagogue, alterative, rubefacient, carminative, digestive.

cayenne pepper Description and Uses:

Red pepper is one of the most wonderful herb medicines we have. We can do many things with it that we are not able to do with any other known herb. It should never be classed with black pepper, vinegar, or mustard. These are all irritating, but red pepper is very soothing. While red pepper smarts a little, it can be put in an open wound, either in a fresh wound or an old ulcer, and it is very healing instead of irritating; but black pepper, mustard, and vinegar are irritating to an open wound and do not promote healing. Red pepper is one of the most stimulating herbs known to man. It causes no harm and has no unhealthy reaction.

It is effective when used as a poultice for rheumatism, inflammation, and pleurisy, and is also helpful if taken internally for these. For sores and wounds, it also makes a good poultice. It is a stimulant when taken internally as well as being an antispasmodic. Good for the kidneys, spleen, and pancreas. Wonderful for lockjaw. Will heal a sore, ulcerated stomach, while black pepper, mustard, or vinegar will irritate it. Cayenne pepper is a specific and very effective remedy for yellow fever, as well as other fevers, and may be taken in capsules followed by one or more glasses of water.

Kloss’s Cayenne Pepper Liniment

It is one part of a most wonderful liniment, which may be made as follows:
2 ounces gum myrrh
1-ounce golden seal 1/2 ounce African red pepper (cayenne pepper)

Put this either into a quart of rubbing alcohol, or a mixture of a pint of raspberry vinegar and a pint of water. Add the alcohol or vinegar to the powder. Let it stand for a week or ten days, shaking every day. This can be used wherever a liniment is used or needed. It is very healing to wounds, bruises, sprains, scalds, burns, and sunburns, and should be applied freely. Wonderful results are obtained in pyorrhea by rinsing the mouth with the liniment or applying the liniment on both sides of the gums with a little cotton, Q-tips, or gauze.

The following paragraphs are quoted from Standard Guide to Non-Poisonous Herbal Medicine, pages 52,53,95-98. From the Greek kapto, “I bite” – a biting plant. The best capsicum is obtained from Africa and South America; one province of the latter, Cayenne, gives its name to the article.

It can be produced in good quality in the Southern States, especially those that lie beyond the southern line of Tennessee. It grows abundantly and of excellent quality in the West Indies, where the negroes count it almost a certain remedy for nearly all their maladies. They have no fears of fatal effects from fevers, even the terrible and devastating yellow fever if they can get plenty of capsicum. They not only drink tea of it, but they chew and swallow the pods one after another, as we should so many doughnuts, and never dream of it doing them any injury.

Dr. Thomas, of London, who practiced a long time in the East Indies, found cayenne pepper an almost certain remedy for yellow fever, and almost every other form of human malady. There is, perhaps, no other article that produces so powerful an impression on the animal frame that is so destitute of all injurious properties.

It seems almost incapable of abuse, for however great the excitement produced by it, this stimulant prevents that excitement from subsiding so suddenly as to induce any great derangement of the equilibrium of the circulation. It produces the most powerful impression on the surface, yet never draws a blister; on the stomach, yet never weakens its tone. It is so diffusive in character that it never produces any local lesion, or induces permanent inflammation. Yet its counter excitation is the most salutary kind, and ample in degree.

A plaster of cayenne is more efficient in relieving internal inflammation than a fly blister ever was, yet I never knew it to produce the slightest vesication, though I have often bound it thick as a poultice on the tenderest flesh to relieve rheumatism, pleurisy, etc., which, by the aid of an emetic, an enema, and sudorifics, it is sure to do.

I have thus cured with it, in a single night, cases of rheumatism that had been for years most distressing. Though severe on the tissue to apply, it is so diffusive that it does not long-range the circulation, but, on the contrary, equalizes it. Thus it is not only stimulant, but antispasmodic, sudorific, febrile, anti-inflammatory, depurating, and restorative.

It is powerful to arrest hemorrhage from the mucous membranes. When the stomach is foul, a strong dose of the powder will excite vomiting and an enema of it and lobelia and slippery elm will relieve the most obstinate constipation. Taken as a powder in cold water, it is sure to move not only the internal canal but all the splanchnic viscera, such as the liver, the kidneys, the spleen, the pancreas, the mesentery, etc. This article, along with lobelia, some good astringents, such as bayberry or sumach leaves, a good bitter, a mucilage, a good sudorific, and the vapor bath, must ever constitute the basis of the most effective medication.

One of the best LINIMENTS in use is prepared as follows:
Boil gently for ten minutes one tablespoonful of cayenne pepper in one pint of cider vinegar, bottle it hot, and unstrained. This makes a powerfully stimulating external application for deep-seated congestions, sprains, etc.

In connection with capsicum may be mentioned the slippery elm compound, which is excellent for coughs. Cut obliquely into small pieces, about the thickness of a match, one ounce or more of slippery elm bark; add a pinch of cayenne, flavor with a slice of lemon, sweeten with sugar, and infuse in one pint of boiling water.

Take this in small doses, frequently repeated. Let a consumptive patient (a person with pulmonary tuberculosis) drink a pint of this each day. It is one of the grandest remedies that can be given, as it combines both stimulating and demulcent properties. As slippery elm is mucilaginous it will roll up the mucous material troubling the patient, and pass it down through the intestines. It is also very nourishing and possesses wonderful healing properties. For an infant’s food, mix with an equal quantity of milk, and leave out the lemon and cayenne.

Cayenne is good for coughs, the torpor of the kidneys, and arrest mortification. A peculiar effect of capsicum is worth mentioning. In Mexico, the people are very fond of it, and their bodies get thoroughly saturated with it, and if one of them happens to die on the prairie the vultures will not touch the body on account of its being so impregnated with the capsicum.

It is good in all forms of low diseases. The key to success in medicine is stimulation, and capsicum is a great stimulant. There are many languid people who need something to make the fire of life burn more brightly. Capsicum, not whiskey, is the thing to do it. It can be given without stint or measure.

It is excellent in yellow fever, black vomit, putrefaction, or decay, given frequently in small doses. It is good, also, in asthmatic asphyxia (i.e., when a person cannot get his breath) combined with lobelia in what would be called the lobelia compound. It is good in profound shock. For local application, it is, or should be, the base of all stimulating liniments. It is not injurious to the skin, as is turpentineoracetic acid. It is an agent that is seldom used alone.


A CAPSICUM TINCTURE may be made as follows:
Take two ounces of cayenne and macerate for ten to fourteen days in one quart of alcohol. Then strain and bottle. Keep in a warm place while macerating during cold weather.

A splendid STIMULATING CAYENNE LINIMENT is made as follows:
tincture of cayenne 1 quart
Castille soap 2 ounces
oil of hemlock spruce 1/2 ounce
oil of origanum 1/2 ounce
oil of cedar 1/2 ounce
oil of peppermint 1/2 ounce

Shave or scrape the soap very fine, and dissolve in one pint of water. Stir the oils into the tincture and mix with the soapy solution. A little additional oil of peppermint will greatly increase its efficacy. In a four-ounce bottle put one ounce of lobelia compound (without gum myrrh) and fill the bottle up with the stimulating liniment. Shake this well, and after application cover the affected part with a piece of warmed flannel. The following paragraphs are quoted from The Medicine of Nature, by R. Swinburne Clymer, pages 69-71, 79-80, 143,150.

Capsicum (Cayenne pepper) is the most pronounced, natural, and ideal stimulant known in the entire materia medica.It cannot be equaled by any known agent when a powerful and prolonged stimulant is needed, as in congestive chills, heart failure, and other conditions calling for quick action. The entire circulation is affected by this agent and there is no action. In this, it stands alone as ideal. In congested, ulcerated, or infectious sore throat it is an excellent agent, but should be combined with myrrh to relieve and remove the morbidity.

Capsicum is antiseptic and therefore a most valuable agent as a gargle in an ordinary sore throat or in Diptheria. In all diseases prostrating in their nature, whether pneumonia, pleurisy, or typhoid fever, capsicum is invaluable in the prescription as the toning agent which helps the system to throw off the disease and reestablish equilibrium. In all acute conditions where capsicum is indicated, the call is for the maximum dose – from three to ten grains, preferably in tablet form, followed by a large drink of hot
water. In chronic and sluggish conditions, the small dose frequently given is 1 to 3 grains with either hot or cold water.

Capsicum plasters are valuable in pneumonia, pleurisy and other acute congestions. Combine with lobelia and bran or hops. One hour is the maximum time to keep them applied. As the common red pepper of table use, capsicum is well known to almost all people. None knows better its virtue than the habitual drinker who considers it his best friend and never fails to use plenty of it in his hot soups when sobering up and soothing his cold and sore stomach after a prolonged spree. Common red pepper may be given safely in capsules, which take the place of tablets. In the onset of chills and colds, it is the sovereign remedy. Whenever a stimulant is necessary, capsicum (Cayenne pepper) should have the first consideration. It is indicated in low fevers and prostrating diseases.

Capsicum (Cayenne pepper) is nonpoisonous and there is no reaction to its use. It is the only natural stimulant worthwhile considering in diarrhea and dysentery with bloody mucus, stools, and offensive breath. The stimulant. There is no other stimulant known to medical science so natural, so certain, and with less reaction following its constant use. Capsicum is indicated in all low-grade fevers and prostrating diseases.

Capsicum (Cayenne pepper) increases the power of all other agents, helps digestion when taken with meals, and arouses all the secreting organs. Whenever a stimulant is indicated, capsicum may be given with the utmost safety. Capsicum, cayenne (red pepper) is not a pepper, no more than water pepper or peppermint. Water pepper also called smartweed, is very hot but a wonderful medicine.

The following paragraphs are quoted from Dominion Herbal College, Ltd., pp 1-2, Lesson 5. Peppermint, well-known all over the civilized world, is very healing and will stimulate like a drink of whiskey, but there is no reaction from it, no bad aftereffects. It permanently strengthens the whole system. Red pepper does the same. There are a number of other herbs that are very hot which are God-given medicines.

Capsicum, cayenne, or red pepper is indigenous to the warmer climates, of Asia, Africa, and the Southern States. The kind bearing the larger berries grows in the more northern places and is frequently used for culinary purposes. African bird pepper is the purest and best stimulant known. It has a pungent taste and is the most persistent heart stimulant ever known. It is exceedingly prompt in its effect. Through circulation, its influence is manifest throughout the whole body. The heart first, next the arteries, then the capillaries, and the nerves.

We have known in cases of apoplexy (stroke), a bath of hot water and mustard, with half a teaspoon of cayenne added, and the feet, thrust in, to give good results; the pressure being removed from the brain by the equalizing of the circulation. The negroes of the West Indies soak the pods in water, add sugar and the juice of sour oranges, and drink freely in fevers. Capsicum has a wonderful place in inflammation.

We have often been told that it would burn the lining of the stomach, and our medical, as well as lay friends, have at times shown fear at its use. We assure the student that the fear of capsicum is unfounded. We have used it freely for over a quarter of a century, and therefore feel that our experience is worth more than the opinions of those who know nothing about it experimentally.

It is useful in cramps, pains in the stomach and bowels, and sometimes in constipation will create heat in the bowels, causing peristaltic action of parts previously contracted. In these later cases, it would be well to give it in small doses in the form of a warm infusion, from half to one teaspoonful to a cup of boiling water. In typhoid fever, in combination with hepatics and a little golden seal, it will sustain the portal circulation and give much more power to the hepatics used.

In quinsy and diphtheria, apply the tincture of cayenne around the neck. Then place a flannel around the neck wet with the infusion of cayenne and use the infusion internally, at the same time, freely.

A good liniment for sprains, bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia may be made as follows:
tincture capsicum (Cayenne pepper) 2 fluid ounces
fluid extract lobelia 2 fluid ounces
oil of wormwood 1 fluid dram
oil of rosemary 1 fluid dram
oil of spearmint 1 fluid dram

In setting forth the above uses of this agent, we do not wish the student to consider it a cure-all. Such is not the case; but
where a stimulant is needed of this type, it will not fail the physician. It is not used more because its value is not realized. The following paragraphs are quoted from The Model Botanic Guide to Health, pages 33-35.

Capsicum is the botanical name of a large genus or family of plants that grow in various countries, such as Africa, South America, and the East and West Indies. We use only the African bird pepper, as it retains its heat longer in the system than any other, and is the best stimulant known. It has a pungent taste, which continues for a considerable length of time; when taken into the stomach it produces a pleasant sensation of warmth, which soon diffuses itself throughout the whole system, equalizing the circulation. Hence it is so useful in inflammation and all diseases which depend upon a morbid increase of blood in any particular part of the body.

According to analysis, cayenne consists of albumen, pectin(a peculiar gum), starch, carbonate of lime, sesquioxide of iron, phosphate of potassium, alum, magnesium, and a red-dish kind of oil. In apoplexy (stroke), we have found it beneficial to put the feet in hot water and mustard, and at the same time give half a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper in a little water. This treatment has caused a reaction, taking the pressure of the blood from the brain, and by this means saved the patients. Some may ask, “Will it produce an inflammatory reaction?” We say decidedly not, for there is nothing that will take away inflammation so soon. We have used it in every stage of inflammation and never without beneficial results.

Mr. Price, the well-known traveler, lays it down as a positive rule of health that the warmest dishes the natives delight in are the most wholesome that strangers can use in the putrid climates of lower Arabia, Abyssinia, Syria, and Egypt. Marsden, in his history of Sumatra, remarks that cayenne pepper is one of the ingredients of the dishes of the natives. The natives of the tropical climates make free use of cayenne and do not find it injurious.

Dr. Watkins, who visited the West Indies, says the negroes of those islands steep the pods of the cayenne in hot water, adding sugar and the juice of sour oranges, and drink the tea when sick or attacked with fever. It is very amusing to see the medical man prohibiting the use of cayenne in inflammatory diseases as pernicious, if not fatal, and yet find them recommending it in their standard works for the same diseases.

Dr. Thatcher, in his dispensation, says: “There can be but little doubt that cayenne furnishes us with the purest stimulant that can be introduced in the stomach.” Dr. Wright remarks that cayenne has been given for putrid sore throats in the West Indies with the most signal benefit. Paris, in his pharmacologic, says that the surgeons of the French army have been in the habit of giving cayenne to the soldiers who were exhausted by fatigue.

Dr. Fuller, in his prize essay on the treatment of scarlet fever, says: “Powdered cayenne made into pills with crumbs of bread and given four times a day, three or four each time, is a most valuable stimulant in the last stages of the disease, and is also good in all cases of debility, from whatever cause it may arise.”

Cayenne given in half teaspoonful doses, mixed with treacle and slippery elm, at night, is a valuable remedy for a cough. Bleeding of the lungs is easily checked by the use of cayenne and the vapor bath. By this means circulation is promoted in every part of the body, and consequently the pressure upon the lungs is diminished, thus affording an opportunity for a coagulum to form around the ruptured vessel.

In advocating the use of cayenne we do not wish to be understood that it will cure everything, nor do we recommend it to be taken regularly, whether a stimulant is required or not. Medicines ought to be taken only in sickness. If persons take a cold, a dose of cayenne tea will generally remove it, and by this means prevent a large amount of disease. It is an invaluable remedy in botanic practice. The preceding quotations on capsicum are from some of the world’s foremost herbalists, and therefore are very valuable. I quote these herbalists because I know them to be Christians, and they verify my own practical experience with capsicum.

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