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Home :: Capsicum :: Herbs

Capsicum Herb - Uses And Side Effects

Derived from the dried fruit (pepper) of plants in the Solanaceae family, natural capsicum has been used for centuries-especially the Capsicum frutescens and C. annum species. Peppers are among the most widely consumed spice in the world. In some Southeast Asian countries, the average person eats nearly 50 milligrams of peppers daily.

Capsicum, derived from capsicum, is highly potent. Recently, it has gained wide­ spread popularity as as ingredient in non lethal self-defense sprays. Such sprays have immobilizing effects, such as eyelid spasms, blindness, and incapacitation for up to 30 minutes.

Common doses of Capsicum

Capsicum comes as

  • a cream (0.025%, 0.075%, 0.25%)
  • gel (0.025%)
  • lotion (0.025%, 0.075%)
  • self defense spray (5%, 10%)

Some experts recommend the following dose:

  • As a topical preparation, apply three or four times a day.

Why people use Capsicum herb

  • Bowel disorders
  • Chronic laryngitis
  • Pain relief
  • Poor circulation
  • Skin irritation
  • Urinary urgency

Side effects of Capsicum

Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of capsicum :

  • back discomfort
  • burning pain in the nose, sneezing, or bloody nasal discharge
  • closing up of the throat
  • cough
  • eyelid spasm, extreme burning pain, eye tearing and redness
  • skin irritation, itching, stinging or redness
  • stomach upset

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use capsicum when taking:

  • certain drugs used to lower blood pressure, including Aldomet, Catapres, Tenex, and Wylcnsin
  • drugs for depression called MAO inhibitors, such as Marplan and Nardil.

Important points to remember

  • Don't use capsicum if you're allergic to it or to chili pepper products.
  • Avoid capsicum if you're pregnant because it could stimulate the uterus.
  • If you're using capsicum topically for pain relief, remember that it may take up to 28 days to be effective, depending on the condition you're using it for.
  • Apply it at least every 4 to 6 hours. Know that less frequent application may be ineffective.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, or broken skin. If contact occurs, flush the exposed area with cool, running water as long as necessary.
  • To minimize stomach upset, remove the seeds before eating the peppers.
  • Be aware that scientists have no evidence that topical use causes permanent injury to the nervous system.
  • Don't confuse capsicum peppers with common black peppers or white peppers.

What the research shows

Topical capsicum preparations have been proven effective in treating pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, diabetes-related nerve problems, postoperative pain, and certain other pain syndromes. These preparations also ease itching, including itching resulting from kidney failure. Long-term use seems to cause no permanent side effects. For some people, initial burning sensation and delayed onset of action may bo In least desirable aspects of capsicum preparations.

One study suggests that inhaling capsicum may ease a runny nose that's not caused by allergy or infection. However, some people can't tolerate taking it this way. Another study explored capsicum as a treatment for urinary urgency, with the preparation administered directly into the bladder. Most patients reported improved symptoms, although they also had side effects, such as a sensation of warmth or burning after urinating. Despite these studies, medical experts caution against ingesting more capsicum than you normally eat in food.

Other names for Capsicum: -

Other names for capsicum include bell pepper, capsaicin, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, hot pepper, paprika, pimiento, red pepper, and tabasco pepper.

Products containing capsicum are sold under such names as Capsin, Cap-Stun, Capzasin, Dolorac, No Pain HP, Pepper Defense, R-Gel, and Zostrix (HP).

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