Sinusitis. One of the more frequent complaints among Americans is sinus problems. This problem is often generated by the common allergies from milk, wheat, ragweed, pollen and the irritation of air pollution. Many Americans develop sinus congestion or continuous sinus flow. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal mucus membranes, which is related to sinusitis and also very common. Cayenne may be able to help. Researchers found that “painting” a capsaicin solution on the nasal membranes in the nose eventually was able to cure chronic rhinitis.[i] This medically supervised procedure may be uncomfortable, but it may also be worth the effort. As an alternative to painting your sinus regions with capsaicin ointment, try taking 2 capsules of cayenne powder with lunch and dinner.
A favorite herbalist’s remedy for sinusitis is to mix 1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne powder and garlic powder in with a bowl of hot chicken soup. Drink it down with gusto. Usually relieves the stuffy nose and sneezing.
Allergies. One of the most common symptoms in the world is upper respiratory allergic responses–sneezing, itchy eyes, runny or plugged up nose, wheezing and coughing. Cayenne may help. Capsicum acts as an antagonist to the kinins and tachykinins that trigger allergic and asthmatic responses. Take 2 capsules of 40,000 heat unit cayenne powder with lunch and dinner. Results should begin within a week.
Asthma. Asthma can be caused by poor diet (especially low intake of vitamin C and magnesium), stress, air pollution, overexertion in exercise, pollen, ragweed and food allergies. In some of these causes, cayenne can help. Capsaicin seems to be a potent antagonist to several compounds (kinins and tachykinins) which trigger bronchial constriction. The net effect is that regular consumption of cayenne or taking cayenne supplements may help to open the bronchial passageways for asthma sufferers. Take 1-2 capsules of cayenne powder with lunch and dinner. Dr. Jim Duke, a world-famous herbal specialist formerly with the United States Department of Agriculture, told a USA Today reporter that he cured an asthma attack while in the Costa Rican jungle by sipping a mixture of a pinch of dried cayenne pepper in a glass of hot chocolate.
Colds and flu. If you add up all the amazing effects that cayenne has on the body, it becomes obvious why cayenne has been used for centuries to shorten the severity and duration of colds. Cayenne increases the flow of mucus, which washes away the invading viruses. Cayenne dilates blood vessels to speed the delivery of healing immune factors to the site of infection. As a “beginners” approach to using cayenne for your cold, take 2 capsules of at least 40,000 heat unit cayenne powder with lunch and dinner. For the more advanced followers of cayenne, make a hot tea to gargle with: into 1 cup of warm water mix 2 capsules of 40,000+ heat unit cayenne powder. Swish this fluid around your mouth and gargle. If its too painful, then try half the cayenne powder. Do this 1-3 times daily to help shorten the severity and duration of your colds. Take cayenne supplements and eat cayenne daily to help prevent colds. These cold remedies can be found in your kitchen.
Cough. With its stimulating effect and mild irritation on the mucus membranes, cayenne helps the body to expell whatever is creating the cough. DO NOT breath cayenne powder. Using hot chilis or cayenne capsules will provide support (called an expectorant) in helping the lungs to expel dust, viruses and debris. Dr. Jane Guiltinan of Bastyr University in Seattle has found good success for relieving coughs by mixing: 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder and the juice of a half lemon in 4 ounces of warm water. Gargle with this solution as long as you can tolerate it, then spit it out. Do not swallow.
Pleurisy. This condition involves the inflammation of the lining of the lungs. Cayenne is a stimulant and vasodilator that may help this condition. Do not inhale cayenne powder, but rather take 2 capsules of cayenne powder (40,000 heat units or higher) with lunch and dinner.
You can also use a time-tested herbalist’s favorite rub for speeding the relief of pleurisy. Mix equal parts of powdered cayenne pepper, lobelia herb and slippery elm bark into a small amount of cod liver oil (all found at your health food store). Use just enough cod liver oil to form a thick paste like Vaseline jelly. Apply this paste to the affected region of the chest every 3 hours, then cover with plastic wrap, then a clean flannel cloth. Be sure to wash your hands afterwards.
Sore throat. With the stimulating effects of cayenne, it has been found to be a valuable component to reduce the severity and duration of sore throats. Mix 1-2 capsules of cayenne powder (40,000 heat units or higher) in 1 cup of warm water. Swish in your mouth and gargle, but do not swallow. If this preparation is too hot to tolerate, then cut the cayenne in half and try again.