Information on Cayenne

Latin NameCapsicum minimumphoto
Other NamesAfrican bird pepper
Part UsedFruit
Herb FormsTinctures, capsules, homeopathic tablet, bulk herb, powder, ointments.
AffectsBlood, Digestive system, Integumentary system
CautionsUse of cayenne internally may cause gastrointestinal irritation in some sensitive individuals, though this has been disputed by some laboratory studies. It is probably not common, unless the herb is taken in large quantities over a period of days or week
Botanical InfoA small perennial shrub with white flowers, and then green and finally red or yellow pods. Native of the Amazon.
DescriptionCayenne primarily benefits the circulatory system, improving the movement of blood and the removal of toxins, invigorating and warming the circulation. It improves digestion, acts as a lung decongestant, and stops external bleeding. It is also used as a plaster or cream externally to increase circulation and reduce the pain of neuropathy. Commercial products which are standardized to the acrid active principle, capsaicin, can be purchased in natural food stores and drug stores. Capsaicin has demonstrated the ability to block the pain response. These preparations are recommended for relief of arthritis pain, sore muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome, and for treating shingles. They have also been used successfully for sores of oral mucositis that result from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Cayenne has a taste of ACRID and a temperature of HOT.


Ointmentapply externally
Capsules1-4 capsules 2 x daily

Ailments Treated by Cayenne

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Bed sorescirculatory stimulantcream externally
Bleeding, externalstypticpowder externally
Chillsheating metabolic stimulanttincture, capsule
Circulation, poorcirculatory-stimulanttincture, capsules
Cuts, minorstypticpowder externally
Hemorrhagestypticpowder externally
Memory, poorcirculatory stimulanttincture, capsule
Metabolism, slowmetabolic stimulantcapsules
Muscular painblood movercream externally
Narcolepsystimulantcapsules, tincture
Numbness circulatory stimulanttincture applied to affected area
Pharyngitisstimulant, expectoranttincture, capsule
Shinglespain blockercream externally


McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Felter, H.W. and J.U. Lloyd. 1983. (1898). King's Dispensatory. Portland, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications.
Wren, R.C. 1988. Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs. Essex: C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd.