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   VegSource Interactive, Inc. | Dr. Chari

A Remarkable Healing Herb -- Part 2
By Roopa Chari, M.D.

Roopa Chari, MD

Cayenne, as I mentioned in my last article, cayenne is truly a gift to humanity as it offers more health benefits than most other herbs or foods on this planet. Cayenne peppers are berries, and are the fruit of shrubs in the Capsicum genus. One cayenne pepper contains beta-carotene and almost twice the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C along with iron, phosphorus and calcium. The variety of colors found in chili peppers contain thousands of bioflavinoids and carotenoids which may be responsible for the healing properties of cayenne.

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, which indicates it is more effective in healing. The heat is measured in heat units and most cayenne peppers are between 30,000 to 80,000 heat units.

Capsaicin blocks pain impulses. Certain types of nerves in the human body actually appear to have receptor sites for capsaicin. In other words, cayenne is the key that fits a certain lock in the nerves. It actually reduces pain by depleting the nerve endings of Substance P.


This is why ointments containing capsaicin have been clinically proven to help relieve the pain of arthritis, shingles, psoriasis (red scaly lesions on the skin) and fibromyalgia. Capsaicin ointment has also become the treatment of choice for peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling sensation in the extremities as seen with diabetes) and pain from skin cancer.

Capsaicin also can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol along with reducing triglyceride levels. In addition, capsaicin can help clear up congested bronchial tubes or a stuffy nose. Despite popular misconceptions, hot peppers do not cause ulcers or gallbladder problems.

I will now discuss how to prepare the cayenne tincture and cayenne powder in your own home. It is very simple to do and could be lifesaving!

Preparing Cayenne Tincture and Cayenne Powder: ** Alcohol (vodka-40%) is used to extract the medicinal properties of the herbs and is a preservative as well. For those who are concerned with ingesting the alcohol after the tincture is prepared, there is a simple way to eliminate the alcohol. (a.)Boil a few ounces of water in a pan (b.) Add the amount of tincture you wish to take (i.e. a few drops/dropperful(s)) to that water so that the alcohol will immediately evaporate and drink that water after it has cooled. Another alternative is to put the tincture into a cup and add boiling water to it. Drink this after the water has cooled. **

  1. Purchase fresh peppers from the grocery store (preferably organic) and wash them thoroughly.
  2. Dry the peppers in the following manner. Cut them in half and then string them together using a needle and cotton thread.
  3. Hang the peppers away from sunlight until they are dry. 4) Grind the peppers in a coffee grinder into a powder once the peppers are dried.
  4. Take a canning jar (quart size) and fill it up ¼ of the way with the dried cayenne peppers.
  5. Add alcohol (40% or 80 proof) to just cover these powdered chilies or approximately 1 inch in depth of alcohol.
  6. In a blender add some fresh chili peppers and enough alcohol (80 proof) to blend this into an applesauce consistency. Make enough of this to fill your canning jar up to ¾ of the way full.
  7. Top this off with more alcohol (80 proof).

Note: It is ideal to start this procedure on the new moon and let it sit until the full moon. This is approximately 14 days. Shake it several times a day in these two weeks before straining the liquid on the full moon.

On the full moon, strain it through a clean cloth pressing very well. Bottle this tincture. Please be sure to wash your hands very thoroughly as the cayenne stays on your hands!!

You should keep a bottle of this cayenne tincture or bag the cayenne powder in your kitchen, the glove compartment of your cars, etc. as it can be life saving!!

Cayenne can stop bleeding extremely rapidly. For example, while my mother was cutting some vegetables, she cut her finger and had a severe gash which might have required stitches. She immediately flushed the wound with cayenne tincture (1-4 dropperfuls) and then packed the wound with cayenne powder. Not only did the bleeding stop but the wound healed without a scar.

In another instance, a patient came to see me with severe edema or swelling in both of his legs due to poor circulation. He took the Cayenne tincture (20 drops several times a day) along with following our recommended health program and the edema dramatically decreased.

Note: Discuss with your physician before starting this or any herbal remedy as there can be prescription/over the counter drug interactions with herbal remedies.

I very highly recommend the book, "A Laymans Guide: Curing with Cayenne and its Herbal Partners", by Sam Biser. You can order this book by calling 1-800-926-4561.

See Part One here.

Dr. Roopa Chari is a Board Certified Physician in Internal Medicine. She along with her family have opened an Alternative Medical Health Center in San Diego called, "The Chari Center of Health, Inc. She treats patients using herbal remedies, detoxification programs, healthy food programs, and a variety of proven, remarkable mind-body techniques to treat a wide range of medical and psychological conditions. Dr. Chari can be reached at (619) 275-8073 for appointments or please visit their website at http://www.charicenter.com.  

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