getting healthier

Fight Fatigue and Depression

There are more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the adult human body.  Some vessels are up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter, while other vessels are so narrow that blood cells must squeeze through like a person getting into a narrow hallway.  The viscosity of our blood plays a major role in our overall health, since thick blood does not flow as well as thin blood.  We need blood that has the viscosity of red wine, yet most people through unhealthy lifestyle have blood that flows like ketchup.  Cayenne helps to thin the blood to improve circulation to all organs and cells.  This major shift can dramatically improve many aspects of health.

Two of the most common symptoms reported to American physicians, fatigue and depression seem to be linked together.  Cayenne, through some unknown mechanism, seems to excite and stimulate nerves.[1] Including chilli’s in your diet has proven to help in getting healthier. The net effect is that many people feel energized by the regular use of capsaicin and hot chilli peppers.  It is well known in the alternative and natural health fields that cayenne peppers are wonderful when used if one is fatigued or depressed.

Fatigue and DepressionThe increased oxygen consumption of Thai people when eating hot chilli’s is similar to what is found with higher adrenaline output.  Cayenne may be energizing people by stimulating the production of adrenaline, which definitely will relieve fatigue and possibly depression.  A team of French scientists has found a definite energizing stimulating tonic effect from the consumption of hot chilli’s.[2]

Do  Chilli’s Really Burn?

One of the more intriguing aspect of cayenne is the “high” experienced by the seasoned user of hot peppers.  The body carries its own pharmacy in the brain.  When we are hurt, burned or in shock, the brain sends out morphine-like compounds, called endorphins, to sooth the pain.  Cayenne feels like it is burning the skin, but it doesn’t.  The brain sends out the required “medication” of endorphins to reduce the expected pain from this burn.

Scientists have actually found receptor sites on human nerve cells for capsaicin.[3]  You may find it equally puzzling that there are receptor sites in the human brain for caffeine (from coffee, tea, and colas), theophylline (from tea), alcohol (benzodiazapine sites in the brain), morphine  and heroine (endorphin sites in the brain), nicotine (from tobacco), and THC from marijuana.

What scientists, like Dr. Candace Pert from the National Institutes of Health, are discovering is that the human brain is a pharmacy, always generating chemicals based upon your thoughts and state of health.  These chemicals can be pleasurable or stressful.   No doubt, there is a chemical produced in the human brain that is similar in active receptor site to capsaicin.  By eating cayenne, we generate more of these healthful and pleasurable effects.  In a similar fashion, exercise can cause the brain to release endorphins for pleasure.

Heat exhaustion.

Not to be confused with heat stroke, which can be a fatal condition involving excess exposure to heat, with symptoms of headache, confusion, elevated skin temperature and eventually coma and death.  For heat stroke, get medical help immediately.  For heat exhaustion, which is characterized by weakness and general dehydration, cayenne, water and electrolytes can help.

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For most of the 9000 years that hot peppers have been used, natives in warm climates noticed that chilli’s make the “dog days” of summer a little bit more bearable.  The reason is that capsaicin causes peripheral vasodilation, or expansion of the blood vessels in the skin region.[4]  When these blood vessels dilate and the inevitable sweating commences from eating hot chilli’s, the person is left with all of their natural cooling mechanisms in high gear.  Sweating causes evaporation and a cooling effect.

Dilating blood vessels in the skin brings the heat from the interior part of the body to the exterior for ventilation, not unlike the radiator on your car.  In many different studies, scientists found that capsaicin generated a significant cooling effect.[5]  You feel cooler and your body is better able to dissipate the heat buildup during those hot humid days.  Drink plenty of pure water and eat hot chill’is or take cayenne capsules throughout warm weather. You will notice the health benefits and you will quickly notice yourself getting healthier.

ENDNOTES

[1] . O’Neil, TP, Respiratory Medicine, vol.85, suppl.A, p.35, 1991
[2] . Roquebert, J., et al., Annales Pharmaceutiques Francaises, vol.36, p.361, 1978
[3] . Bevan, S., et al., British Journal of Pharmacology, p.32, May 1991
[4] . Bell, D., et al., Pharmacological Reviews, vol.48, no.2, p.253, 1996
[5] . Govindarajan, VS, et al., Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition, vol.29, no.6, p.435, 1991