Most of us have tasted chili peppers and experienced the burning sensation left behind but what causes the peppers to have that effect? The cause is the ingredient Capsaicin. Capsaicin can be used for many different things including a topical ointment, dietary supplement, pesticide and is the main ingredient for pepper spray.
Capsaicin is widely used in the health field. People with arthritis and athletes are the main users of capsaicin. It can also be used as a supplement to help with your digestive system, help to prevent heart disease and even help fight the symptoms of emphysema.
Capsaicin’s Topical Use:
Capsaicin is one of the main ingredients of the popular Minor pain cream, Icy Hot. Capsaicin is used in other similar medicines that treat minor pain from arthritis, muscle sprains or strains. Capsaicin works by first stimulating the intensity of the pain and then decreasing it. Capsaicin is the warming sensation you feel when you apply creams like Icy Hot. Treating pain this way is believed to release a compound that is believed to communicate between the nerves and spinal cord.
Capsaicin’s topical forms are available in a lotion, cream, gel, ointment and stick to name a few. It treats pains and discomforts associated with post surgery, nervous system, cluster headaches, joint problems, skin conditions, and even mouth sores that occur during chemotherapy and radiation.
A muscle strain on my shoulder almost took me out of commission for awhile. Pain medicines and hot showers weren’t cutting it, so after a couple complaints to the doctor he recommended Icy Hot. I was more then a little leery because of stories I heard about how awful Icy Hot can burn. After applying Icy Hot, those stories about burning were not exaggerated but the relief after about 2 minutes of discomfort, were far worth it. After apply medicines with Capsaicin as an ingredient, there will be an initial period of discomfort. After each use, this discomfort will decrease.
Capsaicin for Digestive Systems:
Capsaicin has a number of dietary benefits but spicy foods cooked with chili peppers are not for everyone. Capsaicin comes in the form of cayenne pepper and also a vitamin available from many popular vitamin creatures including the Vitamin Shoppe.
Spicy foods have always been associated with dietary problems and jokes but there is actually a practical use for them in the dietary world. When ingesting Capsaicin, you can help increase the digestive flow and fight against bacteria that could cause infection. Capsaicin is also useful to help fight diarrhea that was caused by a bacterial infection.
Capsaicin and the Heart:
Capsaicin is already used on a wide variety of health issues but it may help prevent heart disease. Capsaicin helps stimulate the cardiovascular system and increasing the blood flow. Some studies believe that Capsaicin may be better to help prevent heart disease than aspirin which is commonly prescribed for daily use by heart doctors. For people allergic to aspirin this maybe a good alternative.
A study in 2007 by the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India weighed in that a test performed on rats. The study’s results showed a lowering of both live and blood lipids. It also lowered the total blood cholesterol by 20 percent.
Capsaicin against Obesity:
Capsaicin for Obesity has mostly been studied using rats but in 2007 Kyoto University conducted a human study comparing the impact of capsaicin on energy sources like protein, carbohydrates and fat. The study showed the capsaicin significantly increased the use of using fat as an energy source.
Capsaicin’s other health benefits:
Capsaicin can also be used as an antioxidant. Capsaicin protects the cells of the body from harmful molecules called freed radicals and can also fight bacterial infections. Capsaicin may also help with emphysema and help make the mucus build up in the lungs thinner and make the lung tissue stronger.
Capsaicin is an ingredient that can be used for a wide range of uses. Spicy foods may have once just been a pleasure food but recent studies are showing the benefits of adding foods with cayenne and capsaicin to your diet. Capsaicin is beneficial in a pill form and cooked. If your mouth can’t handle the burn of a spicy diet, try the dietary supplements.
Tips for eating foods with Capsaicin:
Keep a glass of milk handy: Milk can help soothe the burn of ingesting capsaicin.
Start slow: Start with a small amount of peppers or curry and then increase the amount over time.
Remove the seeds before cooking: If you remove the seeds from the peppers before you cook, it will reduce the burning sensation.