There are hundreds, even thousands of medicinal herbs out there. Many are well known and highly promoted throughout the alternative medicine world. Oregano, Basil, Lavender, Echinacea, Golden Seal, Raspberry, Oregon Grape Root, Chamomile; the list goes on and on. Each one has a special use that makes it beneficial to have on hand. But if you could only choose one herb which one should it be? Can you choose just one? According to world famous herbalist Dr. Richard Schultz and his predecessor, the late Dr. John Christopher – cayenne pepper would be the one. Cayenne is so great in fact, it’s better than cocaine, with a kick!
Also known as Capsicum, cayenne pepper is so versatile and powerful that Dr. Schultz believes it is the answer to nearly every health problem and can help cure anyone if taken seriously and used correctly. It can even open your consciousness and relax your mind. Many people fear cayenne because of the heat factor. There are a number of people who take cayenne pepper regularly, but do so in gelatin capsules. According to Richard Schultz, the way to consume cayenne is straight up, because hiding it in a capsule might get it past your mouth with ease, but then your stomach suffers the shock of the opening.
When your mouth (or nose) comes into contact with cayenne, it triggers your stomach to produce the correct gastric juices to prepare the body to receive it. By capsule, there is no such signal being sent, and suddenly the capsule opens, leaving you to sit with the intensity of the pepper in your stomach. Now, this is worsened by taking the capsules on an empty stomach. Many a cayenne user will ingest the encapsulated form with a meal in order to negate the intensity of the capsule release. But, according to cayenne expert, Dr. Schultz, capsules are not the way to take this amazing herb.
Instead, it is suggested to ingest cayenne beginning with smaller doses and then working up to higher doses, either by powder in water or tincture form. It takes some getting used to, that fiery sensation in the mouth (or nose), working its way through your system. But, over time, regular cayenne consumers build up to being able to tolerate more and more pepper. With more pepper comes greater response, both physically and mentally.
If you have ever eaten authentic Thai food you know how hot hot can get. Generally, Thai food made in the west is dumbed down for our lightweight taste buds. I remember traveling in Thailand in the early 2000’s and not having much of a tongue for spice. I landed myself at a guest house and started eating the food there, which began as mild versions of their most famous dishes. Little did I know that the cooks had a plan for me. Over the month that I stayed on, the food was getting progressively hotter. One day, I think they decided to go ahead and give it to me Thai-style spicy.
After taking down the evening curry I started to notice how much I was perspiring, and the way heat was rising in my body. It was suddenly clear to me that I had been dosed, Thai style. I looked up to the open kitchen window where the two cooks stared intently in my direction, and when we caught eyes – they burst out giggling. I had been chilified! My awareness was heightened and my consciously noticeably shifted, I was relaxed and “chill.” The chili had not only worked on my body, but it affected my mental state as well. I found myself better able to socialize with the strangers present and considerably jovial in comparison to other times. This cayenne stuff was for real!
The amazing thing about that time in Thailand was I never felt ill, had amazing energy, slept incredibly and probably experienced some of the greatest health of my life, despite the foreign travel and sometimes unsettling conditions. I have no doubt the large doses of chili I was ingesting contributed to my positive experience and my amazing mental states there.
Richard Schultz advocates getting to know cayenne pepper intimately. He has co-authored an incredibly detailed book outlining how to take cayenne for specific conditions called Curing with Cayenne. He says there are recommended doses of cayenne to take depending on the situation. Someone with a sore throat, for example, would take a much smaller amount than one would take for a heart attack. Some people are of the opinion that cayenne is supposed to stop a heart attack immediately, if taken right away, in tincture form – and a good shot of it. They say this amazing herb regulates the blood pressure in the body instantly, so as to control too little or too much blood flow.
Cayenne is also good for the eyes and can be used as an eye-wash in some water to bring blood flow back to the eyes along with the lost sparkle. It is important to know how to take the cayenne and to ease yourself into a relationship with this plant, so as to not over-do it initially. However, cayenne is completely safe and will not injure you if you take ‘too much’ – you just might end up having “a bad trip” for a little while.
I remember coming across Richard Schultz’s super Hot Cayenne tincture while working in a health food store years ago. I had taken other cayenne tinctures regularly, and in fact, since having studied at Dr. Christopher’s herb school and using cayenne as an eye wash, nasal snuff and other ‘crazy’ methods, I was in no way afraid to try this new formula. “Buyer beware” – the label should have said. I took just one small dropper full and WOW! I was launched to the moon. My eyes watered, nose ran, throat became a bit irritated. I looked around for anything to ‘put the fire out.’ I finally found some calcium tablets and started chewing a mouthful of them, as anything creamy ought to cut the burn. It worked and I was relieved of the fiery reaction.
No harm came to me that day, on the contrary, I remedied some pretty intense menstrual cramps I was experiencing and raised my awareness to boot. I felt considerably high from the whole thing. It wasn’t until years later that I read how capsicum fit into the same receptor sites as THC in the brain – giving you the sensation of being “high.” It was true. No wonder the Thai people are so relaxed and happy all the time! Cayenne pepper makes you happy, is better than cocaine (and you can snort it) and it gives you quite the kick! But seriously, if you know someone trying to come off of cocaine, cayenne might be the place to turn. You can, no joke, make lines of the red powder and snuff it up your nose – quite an exhilarating experience. For someone who’s been addicted to this method of high, cayenne could be a life-saver.
Cayenne is amazing, and could be discussed for hours. It has a way to stimulate mucous membranes into creating a fresh lining. This is important if you are experiencing sinus problems, stomach ulcers, abrasions, etc. Cayenne can help heal these irritated mucous lined tissues. For excessive bleeding, cayenne is king for clotting blood and regulating the flow.
For a sore throat, a little cayenne in some raw honey with a chopped up garlic clove does wonders. Or, mix some into a cup of apple cider vinegar and sip. Nothing is better at opening up the sinuses than a few speckles of cayenne snuffed up the nose. If you ever cut yourself, reach for the cayenne pepper, it clots blood almost instantly. Yes, I think I can agree with Dr. Schultz, if you only had one herb at your disposal, cayenne pepper should be it. Use with caution and talk to your health care professional about interactions with any medicines you might be taking.
Both Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schultz agreed that cayenne helped every other herb work better and faster, like an accelerator. I have to agree. In the creation of any herbal formula, concoction and even smoothie – a dash of cayenne can take all your supplements to the next level. The Mayan people have been putting cayenne together with cacao for thousands of years. The cayenne really does up the benefits of chocolate and activate some of the more psycho-active properties. In chocolate, the substance known as theobromine is greatly enhanced with the addition of capsicum, contributing to a mind-altering sensation that is both focusing and relaxing. Cayenne pepper is better than cocaine with a kick, it’s non-addictive and user friendly, and you can give it to your kids.
(This information is not meant to diagnosis, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a licensed physician before following this or any other alternative health advice. Start with a low dose and work your tolerance up.)
Written by: Stasia Bliss