Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger
There is an old saying that ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. This may actually be the perfect motto for the Red Hot Chilli Pepper. But beyond the culinary qualities of adding heat and spice to many traditional dishes these thermogenic delights are valued around the world for their healing properties as well as their capability to add zest and fire to an otherwise bland food recipe.
Chilli Pepper enthusiasts have since timely memorial trumpeted the amazingly versatile hot Chilli Pepper as an essential tool to call upon in times of sickness – and the list of common ailments for which this innocuous looking plant can apparently assist with, is endless, including coughs, colds, sinusitis and bronchitis. But there is a whole lot more benefit to be obtained from this wonder food than just relief from the ordinary ailments that strike everyone from time to time.
More about the Chilli Pepper
‘This plant may be considered to be a gift to humanity because it has more health benefits than any other food or herb on earth’, according to Dr. Roopa Chari, a Board Certified Physician in Internal Medicine from San Diego, California.
There are over 3000 scientific studies listed in the National Library of Medicine to support the use of Chilli Peppers in preventing and reversing many common health ailments. It is miraculous that a simple fruit like this has healing benefits for a wide assortment of ailments. It has been used as a food, a spice and an herbal medicine for over 9000 years. All hot peppers are botanically called capsicum. They are put into different groups depending on the various species. such as capsicum annum and capsicum frutescens.
Cayenne refers to one variety of capsicum but over the years it has become synonymous with capsicum and refers to most hot varieties of chillies. The potency of cayenne is determined by the intensity of its heat. This is determined by the quantity of the chemicals in cayenne and its resins.
The more of these chemicals that are in cayenne and the hotter it is the stronger it is indicates it is more effective in healing. The heat is measured in heat units which are called Scoville Units or heat units. Capsicum is rated between 0 to 300,000 heat units. Most cayenne peppers are between 30,000 to 80,000 heat units. Paprika has no heat and is rated 0 heat units. Jalapeno peppers are between 50,000 to 80,000 heat units, Serrano peppers are approximately 100,000 heat units, African Bird Peppers are 200,000 heat units and Mexican habaneros are between 250,000-300,000 heat units. Ouch!
The essential relationship between Heart Health and Chilli Peppers
Besides the ability to unblock clogged airways, Chilli Peppers may also be capable of lowering the Blood Cholesterol level, according to Dr. Earl Mindell – a Pharmacist and Professor of nutrition at Pacific Western University in Los Angeles. The main chemical that gives Chilli Peppers their ‘bite’ is called ‘Capsaicin’. Dr Mindell continues that ‘based on the results of clinical experiments performed on animals which were fed on a diet high in Capsaicin and low in saturated fat, that this can lower the ‘bad’ LDL Cholesterol’ levels in the blood’.
Consumption of Chilli Peppers also appears to have the ability to thin the blood. Additionally, research conducted by the Max Planck Institute in Germany has discovered that eating Chilli Peppers can slow down the formation of blood clots , by increasing the length of time needed by the blood to coagulate. This is a critical defence for the body, as any hindrance to the formation of blood clots can help to prevent life threatening heart attacks and strokes.