An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Pepper, Cayenne - Capsicum frutescens (Capsicum fastigiatum) - family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family).

This shrubby perennial grows up to five feet high. It has oval-shaped leaves and small white flowers. It yields conical-shaped hot pepper fruits of red, green or orange. These spicy fruits are added to mild foods, such as beans. Peppers are used externally to improve blood circulation. Traditional American folk use of peppers as a remedy for intestinal gas and indigestion. Modern American folk use as a topical remedy for pain relief for cases of arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, nerve damage, psoriasis, shingles, tendinitis and tennis elbow. Also, modern American folk use internally as a remedy for allergies, back pain, fatigue, intestinal parasites, osteoarthritis and ulcers. Approved by the German Commission E as an external remedy for muscle tension and rheumatism. In cultivation as a food crop, it is usually treated as an annual. In recent years, non-toxic hot pepper sprays have been created to deter such pest animals as bears, deer, skunks, squirrels and in Africa, elephants. Police and civilians also use pepper sprays. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1820 to 1930. Native to Mexico. Cultivated as an ornamental and as a food crop in North America. Many cultivars exist. The Red Pepper, Capsicum annuum, is closely related and is listed under: Pepper, Red.


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Web page last updated on 22 May 2003.