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Brand Name: Cayenne Pepper Latin name:Capsicum annuum                          Other names: Chili Pepper, Paprika, Red Pepper                                                   A Remedy For                                                             Muscular tension                               Rheumatism                                                 Applied in a cream, Cayenne also relieves painful muscle spasms in the                                                 shoulder, arm, and spine areas, bursitis, the pain of shingles, phantom                                                 pain following amputation, and the pain of diabetic neuropathy.                                                 Taken orally, Cayenne has also been used as a remedy for                                                   stomachaches, cramps, gas, indigestion, loss of appetite, diarrhea,                       alcoholism, seasickness, malarial fever, yellow fever, and other fevers, and                       has been taken as a preventive measure against hardening of the arteries,                       stroke, and heart disease. Its effectiveness for these purposes has not,                       however, been scientifically verified.                                                   What It Is; Why It Works                          Capsaicin, the active ingredient in Cayenne, depletes the chemical                         messengers that send signals through the pain-sensing peripheral nerves,                         thus deadening the sensation of pain even when its cause remains                         present. The effect builds up gradually, so capsaicin-containing creams                       must be applied regularly in order to provide relief.                                                 A member of the same family that produces bell peppers, jalapenos, and                                                   paprika, Cayenne originated in Mexico and Central America, but today is                       cultivated in all warmer regions of the globe. In general, the hotter the                         pepper, the greater its medicinal value.                                                   Avoid If...                          No known medical conditions currently preclude the use of Cayenne, but                       you should avoid applying capsaicin creams to areas of broken skin.                                                   Special Cautions                          Limit external use of full-strength Cayenne to no more than 2 days, since                         longer use can cause skin inflammation, blisters, and ulcers. To avoid                       severe burning, keep all capsaicin-containing creams away from the eyes                       and mucous membranes; wash your hands thoroughly after each                         application.                                                 When taken internally, Cayenne can cause diarrhea and cramps. High                                                 doses taken over extended periods of time may cause chronic stomach                                                 problems, kidney damage, liver damage, or nerve problems.                                                   Possible Drug Interactions                          No interactions have been reported.                                                 Special Information If You Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding                                                 Studies of Cayenne's effects during pregnancy have produced                                                   contradictory results. Until its safety is conclusively demonstrated, the                       wisest course while pregnant is to avoid its use.                                                   How To Prepare                          Cayenne is available in fresh and dried forms, as a liquid extract, and in                       creams and ointments containing 0.025% to 0.075% capsaicin.                                                   Typical Dosage                          Apply capsaicin cream 4 or 5 times daily. Allow 4 weeks for maximum                         benefit.                                                 Since the potency of commercial preparations may vary, follow the                                                 manufacturer's directions whenever available                                                   Overdosage                          An overdose of Cayenne can precipitate a drastic, life-threatening decline                       in body temperature. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention                         immediately.