It is no accident that “hot” peppers are the backbone of Central- and South American indigenous cuisines. They “love” heat.
The capsicum genus, a branch of the solanaceas family, contains 31 known species, only five of which are domesticated.
Over centuries, these five species travelled from their ancestral places of origin to near and far, and everywhere they were manipulated by framers and shaped by “terroir” to produce a kaleidoscopic array of sub-varieties/
The major pepper originated from capsicum cumonnuum which itself evolved from devilishly hot anonymous peppers long forgotten.
Then there are capsicums chinense, capsicum baccatum, capsicum pubescens and others.
All capsicums are fruits with lustrous skins and ribbed and seed-filled interior.
Naturopaths and herbalists have long known around the many, many different health properties of chile peppers along with other hot peppers. Their list of things these little herbal powerhouses can perform might surprise you! They’re not only perfect for the digestive tract, he or she can help arthritis, reduce inflammation, as they are helpful for powerful heart beat and circulatory system. What’s more, they can help reduce cholesterol.
The power of the pepper is not only to make foods spicy . According to an article published in the journal Cancer Research, a substance contained in its formula, capsaicin, can be a weapon against cancer. Chili peppers are the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The discovery is still new, but studies claim that capsaicin might be the basis for a remedy in the fight against cancer. The study was made with genetically engineered mice and human cells that had prostate cancer.
Chili peppers bring a lot more to the table than just spiciness. Capsaicin present in chilies, has many health benefits. Unlike its name, Chili pepper is not a native of Chile but has its origin in Central and South America. Botanically termed Capsicum, they belong to the family Solanaceae which has potato and tomato as its members. They are widely used by the entire world be it in the spicy Mexican cuisine or a smoldering Indian curry or a red hot Thai dish. It is the form of usage which varies a great deal.
Studies concerning hot peppers, capsaicin and cancer have produced mixed results. On the one hand, capsaicin has been shown to induce apoptosis in several different types of cancer cells and mechanisms have been proposed to explain its apparent anti-cancer activity. On the other hand, capsaicin also appears to act as a carcinogen in some parts of the body.
All this time, we have thought that pepper is just a typical ingredient that adds up spice for every culinary dish that we love. Peppers are available throughout the year to add zest to flavorful dishes around the world and health to those brave enough to experience their fiery heat. This is the one ingredient that puts fire in your mouth and even tears in your eyes. A recent study though has proven the uncharted properties of pepper as a health supplement.
Pain has been called a “complex epidemic” in the United States. Nearly 50 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by disease or injury. Few physicians or dentists specialize in the field of pain medicine. With pain medication options largely limited to opioids (such as morphine) and aspirin-like drugs, some patients become addicted or dependent upon these drugs, or suffer side effects such as kidney or liver damage. We have discovered a family of endogenous capsaicin-like molecules that are naturally released during injury, and now we understand how to block these mechanisms with a new class of non-addictive therapies.