Cayenne (Capsicum annuum or frutescens, or red pepper) has been in continuous use by Native Americans as a food and medicine for roughly 9,000 years.
Chilies belong to the nightshade family, same as tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. They originated from the Americas. In the wake of Christopher Columbus, many cultivars of chili pepper are found around the world and they are still being used as food and as medicine.
Cayenne Pepper is derived from grinding the dried red skins of several types of hot chili peppers.
Some Like it Hot
The hot, pungent sometimes burning taste of cayenne pepper is derived from its most active compound known as capsaicin, Capsaicin is the most active ingredient in cayenne. It’s the main capsaicinoid in chili peppers. The hotter the chili pepper the more capsaicin it contains.
Myth Buster: The heat of a chili is NOT primarily in the seeds. Yes, the seeds do have some heat, but by far most of the capsaicin is located in the ribs that hold the seeds.
Cayenne pepper is the one herb that should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet as part of their emergency first aid kit. Cayenne is the ‘go to herb’ when you need to quickly stop severe bleeding within seconds. A modicum of research reveals that cayenne pepper has many other exceptional health benefits and medicinal uses as well, including stopping a heart attack cold within minutes of ingestion. However, this article is focused on how to use cayenne to stop both external and internal bleeding in emergency situations.
How to Use Cayenne for External Wounds
First relax, take a deep breath and get centered. It’s a very simple protocol.
Next take some cayenne pepper powder or tincture and simply apply it liberally and directly into the bleeding cut or laceration. The bleeding should stop within 10-15 seconds. If you use a cayenne tincture use the dropper to directly flood the wound with tincture, or if you just have a jar of homemade tincture you can pour some into a small bowl and then soak a clean, cotton ball in the bowl of cayenne tincture. Now squeeze the tincture into the wound via the saturated cotton ball.
Cayenne tincture should be reserved for small cuts and scrapes. If you’re dealing with a large wound that’s bleeding profusely, call 911 as you pack the wound with lots of cayenne pepper powder and additionally take at-least a teaspoon or so of cayenne powder in a glass of warm water and drink it down fast.
Cayenne is a powerful styptic (a substance capable of stopping bleeding when applied to a wound.) It does this by quickly equalizing blood pressure and triggering coagulation or blood clotting, which happens faster thanks to cayenne. Not only does it stop bleeding quickly, it also disinfects the cut so there’s no need to worry about an infection setting in.
Surprisingly, many people report that Cayenne powder doesn’t sting when it’s applied directly to an open wound!
Here’s a quote from the late Herbalist Dr. John Christopher’s book, School of Natural Healing, “…take a teaspoonful of cayenne in a glass of extra-warm water, drink it down, and by the count of ten, the bleeding will stop. Instead of all the pressure being centralized, it is equalized, and the clotting becomes more rapid. Whether the bleeding is internal or external, a teaspoon of cayenne taken orally in a glass of hot water will stop the bleeding quickly.”
What Kind of Cayenne Papper to Use?
You should avoid buying cayenne from the spice department of your grocery store. Most herbs and spices are irradiated which makes them ineffective medicinally. Most cayenne pepper powder in the spice section of your favorite grocery probably only has a heat index of 30,000-50,000 or (SHUs) Scoville Heat Units or HU (heat units) It is recommended by Herbalists to use a powder of 90,000 SHU’s or greater for emergency health issues. The more heat the better!
NOTE: “Capsicum or Cayenne Pepper is one of the few herbs that can be measured by its BTU or thermal units. In other words, it is a hot and stimulating pepper plant that can generate heat.”
Cayenne also contains vitamins A and C, and carotenoids, the pigments that give red, yellow, and orange plants their vibrant color and contain an abundance of antioxidants.
Legendary herbalist Dr. Christopher Cayenne advised his patients to take cayenne pepper orally for a number of health conditions, which includes, lowering blood pressure and preventing or stopping heart attacks. Again it’s simple. Take a teaspoon of cayenne powder and mix it into a cup of warm water and quickly drink it down.
And yes, your mouth will be on fire – but as the oft repeated cliché says: “no pain, no gain. Some have found an effective way to take the edge off cayenne’s heat is to dissolve a teaspoon of cayenne into warm water and then add the juice of half a lemon and a dash of maple syrup and chug it down. However, for life threatening conditions like heart attacks, it’s necessary to ingest straight cayenne and warm water or cayenne tincture ASAP! For gunshot wounds (who knows?) and other severe lacerations, which can cause internal bleeding as well as external bleeding apply the cayenne powder directly to the wound and also take it internally:
According to Shirley’s Wellness Cafe: “If a hemorrhage occurs in the lungs, stomach, uterus or nose, it is suggested that a teaspoon of extract (or a teaspoon of cayenne powder in a cup of hot water) be given every 15 minutes until the crisis has passed. The bleeding should stop in 10-30 seconds. The reason for this is that rather than the blood pressure being centralized, it is equalized by the Cayenne, and the clotting action of the blood becomes more rapid. For external bleeding, take cayenne internally and pour cayenne directly on the wound.”