How much: Start off with one eighth or less of a teaspoon a few times a day until you and your system are used to it. Increase to one teaspoon divided over 2 to 3 doses daily. Some sources recommend one teaspoon three times a daily to address specific health issues as a short term method. As with any herb or spice for health purposes, I suggest you purchase organic cayenne pepper from a reliable source.
Tea: Start with a quarter of a teaspoon (or less) in a small amount of warm water (a quarter to half a cup) and use a straw to get it down quickly. The straw does help bypass much of the mouth. If you prefer, you can add more warm water – it doesn’t have to be hot – and sip it as a tea. Eventually, try to work up to a half a teaspoon daily. If you have a few issues such as a headache, high blood pressure, a cold coming on or even hemorrhoids increase to a few times daily. For wound care, use the powder straight into the wound – it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It will staunch the blood flow.
If it is too much heat for you, hold a small amount of yoghurt or milk in your mouth. Almost instant relief.
Capsules: If you want an instant effect taking it orally in liquid form is the best way as its action begins to enter the body through the membrane of the mouth. Capsules may dissolve in the stomach or later in the intestine. This is not a recommended way to take cayenne as it will not be evenly distributed and absorbed a little at a time.
Oil: Some people find that buying (or making) cayenne oil and taking it dropper wise is easier for them. Others carry a small dropper bottle with them in case of emergency such as heart attack. or even emergency care for wounds as it staunches the blood.
Food: Usually, the least effective way to take cayenne. Why? Because most people will not be ingesting the recommended amount daily for therapeutic purposes.
- Never give cayenne to children below 2 years of age, and be careful when handling it around them.
- If you’re on heart medications, like ACE inhibitors, talk to your health practioner before taking red pepper. Similar caution goes out to people on antacids, and blood thinners.
- If you’re allergic to latex, nuts, kiwis, avocado, or banana you may also be allergic to cayenne.
Tip: Handle any hot pepper with gloves. Be sure to wash the cutting board well. Milk contains 80% of the protein casein, a fat attracting lipophilic substance which effectively dissolves and carries away the capsaicin which will alleviate the heat whereas water will spread it, intensifying the effect. It is a very big mistake to drink water if you have ingested something that is hotter than you can handle. Instead, hold milk or yogurt in your mouth for instant relief. If you get any in your eyes, likewise, rinse with milk or use a yogurt compress. The same holds true for skin irritation from capsaicin.
Be sure to purchase your herb and spices from non-irradiated, organic and reliable sources for the full health benefit. Grocery store herbs are good enough for seasoning but most likely have been radiated. One company and product I can recommend (comes in various heat units) is Starwest Botanicals Organic Cayenne. Good reputation and their products come in sealed pouches, saving postage as well.
An exceptional oil extract is Dr. Christophers Formulas Cayenne Pepper Extract which is 200,000 heat units. Please do an online search regarding Dr. Christopher +cayenne for specifics and information before you order this product.
After uploading my cayenne articles, I ran across a very informative site devoted to cayenne and its uses. Have a look here!
Read more about cayenne benefits Spice: Cayenne – More Than Just Zing
Therapeutic doses of most any herbal preparation is seldom intended for long term use and were never intended to be used in that way. Obviously, long term chemical ‘solutions’ have also negative effects. Many herbalists and Naturopathic practitioners recommend taking breaks of a few weeks from any long term herb use. However, some people eventually ease themselves off of pharmaceuticals and are happy with the results using natural methods and just as importantly, a healthier lifestyle. Your health practioner (read my interpretation of that and my disclaimer here) should be consulted.