I had been suffering from an excruciating headache for almost two weeks and nothing was giving me that quick fix that I was so desperate for. I had gone days without eating solid food because the nausea and dizziness were overwhelming. I hardly slept but when I did I dreamt of having a headache.
I had decided to eat – no matter what. I made something quick as it was literally agonizing to stand in the kitchen. I was seasoning a delicious eggplant dish with red pepper flakes and with a slip of the wrist; a dash became a pile that was accidentally added. Starting over was out of the question so I stirred an endured a heat so intense that it brought on a wicked hallucination of Satan’s quarters.
The pain was also deep in my jaw so I was painfully aware of each bite. I noticed about halfway through, my jaw wasn’t hurting any longer and by the end of the meal, I was completely pain free. Even the pressure was gone.
I knew a few medicinal and nutritional facts about cayenne but would have never guessed it could cure a headache. I was already familiar with cayenne’s amazing power to stop bleeding in about 30 seconds from my midwifery days. I knew it increased the metabolism and also served well for detoxing.
Needless to say, it wasn’t long before I was pulling out books, researching on the computer, and calling my herbalist friends to discuss their experience with cayenne. Apparently, I was a bit behind the times with this information.
For centuries Cayenne pepper has been used medicinally to treat pain, inflammation, headaches, the circulatory system, digestive tract disorders, sore throat, and to boost immunity. It has been referred to as the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom by many herbalists.
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne is who I have to thank for ending the pulsing and the throbbing. It brings relief by depleting Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps transmit pain impulses. It may sound hard to believe, but studies show supporting evidence. In fact, over 3,000 scientific studies listed in the National Library of Medicine support the use of cayenne in preventing and reversing many health ailments.
Cayenne works in seconds and gets the blood moving faster than any herb known. The fact that it is such a great blood circulation stimulant makes it beneficial for many ailments. Our bodies need healthy blood flow to restore cells and to also carry away toxins and other waste material.
Before you go running to your spice rack for this miracle herb, you must know that cayenne peppers are measured by heat units (or “Scoville”) that range from 0 to 300,000. What you have for cooking are usually around 5,000 heat units. Mexican habañeros have the best heat needed for medicinal purposes. They are between 250,000 and 300,000 heat units.
A tincture made from the hottest peppers is best. It is recommended that you refrain from taking it in capsule form as a good bit of the therapeutic value begins in the mouth. Also if you swallow a capsule, after the gelatin melts away you’ll have quite a bit of heat sitting in your tummy just waiting to be digested – without warning! Ouch!
Next time you feel a headache coming on; turn up the heat with cayenne. By the time you count to ten you’ll wonder, whatever happened to the pain.