When taken internally, capsaicin stimulates circulation sequentially, from the internal organs to skin surface and subsequently throughout the entire body. When applied externally and once it penetrates the skin, capsaicin increases circulation to the site where it has been applied.
Capsaicin has been used medicinally for centuries. Hot peppers were one of the first plants domesticated in the Americas. Archaeologists believe people in Mexico were eating chiles and peppers as early as 7000 BC. Ancient pain-relievers and other medications used capsaicin as a major ingredient.
Capsaicin has been proven to be highly successful in relieving symptoms of arthritis, sports injuries, other kinds of chronic joint and muscle pain, and certain kinds of itching.
Capsaicin cream was originally used to treat the intense pain of herpes zoster (shingles), which is a nerve infection caused by chicken pox and usually afflicts adults. Medical studies have shown that capsaicin significantly lowers cholesterol and is a factor in warding off strokes and heart attacks.
Capsaicin has also been medicinally proven to aid in the human body’s process of digestion and protect against stomach ulcers and the ravages of alcohol. No wonder tequila and hot food make me feel so good!
Contrary to popular belief that ulcer sufferers should avoid spicy foods, a report published in “Digestive Diseases and Sciences” concluded that capsaicin increased blood flow in the stomach’s mucous lining, which may help in healing of the stomach tissue. Spicy cooking can have some unexpected health benefits. No longer is “hot spicy food” blamed for ulcers and other gastric ills. In fact, the opposite seems to be true.
Many of these health benefits are being investigated by the medical and pharmaceutical communities – one of the hottest research areas in the beginning of the millennium, in fact. Meanwhile, the people of countries where spicy cooking is the norm have understood the preventive and curative benefits of these substances for hundreds of years.
Filed Under: Health Benefits