Various societies across the globe, particularly those in the Americas and China, have historically used cayenne pepper therapeutically. Due to it’s reputation as a powerful healing compound, with many varied uses, cayenne pepper is fast becoming a favourite ingredient for cleansing and detoxifying regimes in the West. These days numerous studies show that we could all benefit from introducing more cayenne pepper into our diets. This spicy super-food acts as an extremely effective medicinal supplement for nurturing and detoxifying the entire body, quickly and safely, and has many other health benefits too.
We've recently been trying it here at The Lounge and have had very positive results.
The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is a powerful medicinal compound called capsaicin, which is responsible for most of cayenne’s health benefits, as well as its delicious spiciness. Capsaicin has long been used as an effective treatment for reducing pain, treating chronic symptoms, combating tumour growth, and soothing a wide range of other degenerative ailments within the human body. It has also been linked to healthy weight loss, with studies now showing that consumption of capsaicin can raise metabolic rates by as much as 25% and help induce fat loss.
So, here are 6 amazing health benefits of eating cayenne pepper regularly, or using it as a cleansing treatment:
1. Detoxify Your System
Due to the cayenne pepper’s highly medicinal properties it makes the perfect detoxifier, helping to flush toxins from the body, while stimulating circulation and neutralising acidity in the body. Cayenne is incredibly nutritional, containing: Alkaloids, capsaicin, capsacutin, capsaicin, capsanthine, capsico PABA, fatty acids, flavonoids, sugars, carotene, volatile oil, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and C. The spice is rendered even more efficient as a detoxifier when combined with some lemon water. This tasty combo stimulates the liver, providing it with the right balance of nutrients to detox from harmful substances, such as sugar and alcohol. One pint glass of these two super-foods provides enough vitamins and minerals to jump-start a total system cleanse.
2. Boost Your Metabolism
Cayenne pepper is an great for boosting the strength and speed of your metabolism and therefore also aids in weight loss. According to a study conducted by Jong Won Yun and researchers from Daegu University in South Korea, capsaicin can significantly raise the metabolism by positively affecting proteins that help break down fat. As part of the study, scientists fed rats a high-fat diet, half with and half without capsaicin, for eight weeks. Their research found that capsaicin enhanced the activity of proteins inside fat cells that help break down fat. Furthermore, the capsaicin was found to reduce the activity of enzymes that are responsible for synthesizing fat, thereby preventing the development of mature fat cells.
3. Fight Infection
Cayenne pepper has been found to dramatically improve circulation and boost the entire immune system. When combined with lemon, cayenne pepper acts as a powerful ally in the fight against bacteria. The properties in lemon and cayenne are so strong, they can be used as antibacterial cleaners. Drinking lemon water with cayenne can prevent you from getting sick. If you do happen to pick up an infection, the combination of lemon and cayenne can work to reduce your symptoms. Both ingredients contain properties that help soothe minor viral infections, especially sore throats. Both boosts the immune system and contains compounds that reduce congestion, making this beverage ideal for use during cold and flu season.
4. Substitute Caffeine
Because cayenne pepper is a stimulant, drinking it first this in the morning can help kick-start your metabolic system into gear. Cayenne gives the body a fiery energy boost that will leave you feeling just as energised as a cup of coffee does - minus that unpleasantly manic caffeine buzz and inevitable post-coffee crash. Additionally, we recommend combining your cayenne morning ritual with a stretch upon rising from bed. Stretching, or doing yoga, has many multifaceted benefits for your entire system, including stimulating oxygen metabolism in the blood, sending oxygen rich cells to the muscles and the brain, which in turn spark the body alert and focused.
5. Improve Digestion
Cayenne pepper is a well known digestive aid and powerful anti-inflammatory. It stimulates the digestive tract and intestines and can also soothe gas, stomach ache, ease nausea, heal ulcers and other digestive problems. It also acts as a great natural pain killer for gut related symptoms. Add some freshly squeezed lemon juice to your daily cayenne drink and experience the overall benefits of these two natural stimulants for the digestive system. Lemon, in particular helps to balance acidity in the body. Therefore drinking lemon and cayenne pepper mixed with water regularly can radically reduce heartburn and acid reflux. The combination of this powerhouse duo has serious health benefits that can improve your entire digestion process.
6. Accompany Fasting
One-day (24-hour) water fasts have become increasingly popular in the West over recent decades as a way to maintain general health and vigour. According to the Yogic Way Of Life website, “fasting uses the self-healing properties of the human body. Health improvements happen when the digestive system is given rest and the organs get ample time to repair and heal themselves.” Because Cayenne pepper boosts the metabolism, which burns fat while also suppressing the appetite, it is a fantastic aid to a 24-hour fast and/or detox regime. Cayenne is an overall stimulant. It encourages the cells to work more efficiently, which not only improves blood circulation but also improves lymphatic health.
If you want to attempt a 24-hour cayenne pepper and lemon water cleanse, here is our tried and tested recipe / fasting routine:
Eat your last meal before beginning the 24-hour fast at breakfast time. We recommend a warm porridge as it is filling but very easy to digest. After you have eaten your last meal proceed in consuming only the following water-based drink until the same time the following morning...
- Cayenne Water:
- Mix half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a pint glass of filtered/spring water.
- Add half a freshly-squeezed lemon and a quarter of a teaspoon of honey to the pint glass.
- Stir all ingredients well, so that the pepper dissolves before drinking.
Aim to drink a minimum of 3 liters of water during the 24-hour fasting period. Exceed this amount if necessary.
While fasting, make sure to rest and relax. Do not attempt any extreme exercise and keep well hydrated. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to consult your doctor before attempting any type of fast.
Here at the Lounge, we’re very happy with the results of spicing-things-up with a bit a cayenne magic!