Cayenne pepper is a plant of the Capsicum group and it shares the same characteristics as paprika, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers. Due to its high content of capsaicin the cayenne pepper is a hot plant used to spice up many of the food recipes that you like. Even more, this red pepper has many healing proprieties and valuable uses that make it an ideal candidate for every garden.
And that’s not all, Cayenne Pepper is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals, providing a high nutritional value. It is high in vitamin A and also contains vitamins B6, E, C as well as riboflavin, potassium and manganese
Growing these hot plants requires some heat, so if you happen to live in an area that has a long growing season and a lot of sun, sowing the seeds can be done directly in the garden 10-20 days before the last frost date.
For temperate areas, these peppers are grown as an annual and the sowing is required to be done indoors or in a greenhouse. Sow the seeds in light well-drained soil and keep in a sunny spot at 60 degrees F until they sprout in 16-20 days.
The growing sprouts can be planted into flats, 2-3 inches apart or in individual pots. Allow the plants to gradually acclimate or harden to outdoor temperatures. We have to keep in mind that these are very delicate plants and react badly to overly hot or cold weather. The outdoor transplanting should be done 6-9 weeks after the seeds are sown. The soil in which the plants are transplanted should be prepared by adding fertilizer or organic compound, avoiding too much nitrogen for sunny areas with full exposure. Plant the peppers 18–25 inches apart in a row.
During the care of cayenne peppers we have to pay attention to not over water the plants as it may cause changes to the foliage (yellow and wrinkled leaves). If everything goes well you should be able to harvest your first peppers in 70-80 days, once you notice the peppers are 4-6 inches long and easily pull from the stem. Once harvested, the peppers should be stored at a temperature of 55 degrees F. You can harvest it until the first frost of fall.
Cayenne Pepper Cures and other benefits:
Cayenne pepper is a fast relief from sinus pain and congestion and helps in recovering from a cold. You can make a herbal tea infusion by adding one teaspoon of the following mixed powder: Bayberry bark 1 Oz, Wild ginger ¼ Oz and Cayenne ½ Oz to a ¼ cup of boiling water. Let it cool for 10 minutes and sip small amounts of this beverage throughout the day. You can add sugar or honey to make it taste better.
Tonsillitis and Sore Throat
When your tonsils become infected, you will feel a pain in your throat and the glands will become swollen. Besides having a sore throat you will also have trouble swallowing and eating will become a drag. Luckily, cayenne pepper can help you treat your tonsillitis.
You will need the following ingredients: ½ cup hot water, ¼ teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Add the ingredients in the cup of hot water, stir and let it infuse for a few minutes. Once the beverage cools, you can use it to gargle at least four times during the day to get a relief from tonsillitis.
For sore throat you can use the same beverage or you can try a simpler recipe by adding 1/8 to ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoon salt to 2 cups of boiling water. Let the beverage cool and do a gargle with a first cup, rinse with clean water and use the remaining cup for a second gargling, rinse one last time with clean water. It is recommended to use this treatment two times a day (in the morning and in the evening) until you feel better.
Sinus Cleansing and Headache Remedy
This is a remedy not recommended for everyone and you have to be brave to try it. However, when medicine will not be around you will have to try it to get better from sinus congestion and headache. What you will need to do is to take a small pinch of cayenne powder on the tip of your finger and snort it. Don’t try to show off, don’t be stupid and use only a small pinch.
You will feel a burning sensation for a few minutes in your nose and throat when the congestive mucus drains, but that will be it. You won’t have any side effects apart from a few shed drops of tears.
Asthma Attack Cure
If you suffer from asthma, you know that a shortness of breath and a tight chest is no joke and you feel like the world is crumbling around you. This is why it’s always good to have a remedy at hand and once again we can thank the cayenne pepper.
In fact, in French Guiana people are using this hot pepper to prevent asthma attacks. They use hot chocolate mixed with cayenne pepper. Administrating 1-2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper every 15 to 30 minutes can alleviate the asthma complication and provide relief. Even more, the chocolate releases endorphins which helps relaxing and calming down the person suffering from asthma.
Athlete’s Food Remedy
This very contagious fungal infection will cause painful and irritating rashes on the skin of the foot. The culprit is the ringworm fungus and it is one of the most common skin infections known to man. Cayenne pepper will take care of the outbreak of athlete’s foot if you use the following mixture and apply it on the affected areas for at least 20 minutes.
The ingredients needed for the mixture are: 8 Oz warm water, 2 teaspoons salt water and 1 teaspoon of cayenne.
You can repeat the treatment 3 times a day and also reapply the mixture if you feel there is another outbreak.
The main component of cayenne pepper, capsaicin is a well known remedy for relieving the pain caused by rheumatism or osteoarthritis. You can make this remedy at home and apply it every time you feel the need. Here are the ingredients you need to procure: 3 tablespoon cayenne powder, 1 cup canola oil, ½ cup of grated beeswax, double boiler, a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
How to: mix the cup of canola oil with 3 tablespoons of cayenne powder and heat the mixture in the double boiler, on medium heat for 10 minutes. Once the mixture was heated, add the ½ cup of beeswax and stir until the wax is mixed with the oil. Remove the oil from heat and let it cool down, place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to make a paste. After 10 minutes, remove the paste from the refrigerator and mix it again. Put it in the jar and keep it in the refrigerator or a cold, dry place for up to 20 days. Use the cream whenever you feel the need.
Cuts and Wounds Healing
If you get a cut or wound, the hot pepper can come in handy. It helps stop the bleeding when applied directly on the wound and also aids the healing process without leaving scars. You will be surprised to find out that applying cayenne pepper directly on the wound will not cause a burning sensation, but in addition it will block the pain. What you will need to do is sprinkle some organic cayenne powder on the cuts and scrapes and spread it over the affected area for 15-20 seconds to help stop be bleeding.
When a toothache hits, you feel like you will go up the walls and nothing can calm you down. Cayenne is an effective treatment and prevention of gum diseases and disorders as well as fighting bacterial growth. You just need to rub some cayenne powder on the gums to prevent tooth decay or the development of gingivitis. Also gargling with cayenne for 10-15 seconds can improve the overall oral hygiene. All you need is to boil 6 Oz of water and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix it well and let the powder settle down. Strain the water and gargle while still warm.
Cayenne pepper is an effective pest control that is not known by many. In fact the common household pests like rats, mice and bugs (especially cockroaches) are not very fond of the strong and irritating cayenne odor. What you need to do is to heat one tablespoon of dried cayenne pepper (you can also use powder) in a pan or dish over low flames and let the fumes spread throughout the hose. The fumes are not harmful to humans and pets and they can only cause a minor discomfort. You can also spread the burnt powder near the areas that provide access to pest (windows, doors, etc.).
Insect and snake Bites
The cayenne pepper can neutralize many kinds of poison and it is recommended to be used as a first aid in case of snake bites (not deadly snake like the Rattlesnake) and insect bites. You will use your own saliva to moisten some cayenne powder and it will be applied directly on the fang marks of the insect or snake bites. As said, in case of a deadly snake bite, you should follow immediate medical attention and not use this remedy.
Homemade Pepper Spray for Self Defense
Cayenne peppers can also be used to make a pepper spray effective for keeping people and large animals at bay. With the proper training and guidance it can be used even by youngsters, when going through a rough part of town or having to deal with bullies. When using the spray always aim for the face of the aggressor in order to have the best results.
To make an effective pepper spray you will need: Cayenne peppers, black peppers, water, a tool to crush the pepper, a funnel, a container to brew the spray in and a container for the finished product.
Place the 5 – 10 medium cayenne peppers in a container and add water until the peppers barely float, add 10 black peppers, use the tool to crush the peppers (you can also use a mixer). Add some more water depending on the capacity of the container for the finished product. Boil the mixture for 5 minutes, let it cool and add it in the container. You’re done! Pay attention when you use the spray, to not blind yourself.
A word of advice on cayenne pepper use:
- Cayenne pepper should not be used as a remedy for children under 2 years of age.
- If you are recovering from surgery, you should avoid cayenne pepper as it stimulates blood flow and can cause excessive bleeding.
- Cayenne pepper is very hot and spicy and it should be treated with caution, do not exaggerate on dosing.
- Avoid using cayenne pepper on large open wounds and doesn’t get it into the eyes.
- Perform a skin test before using cayenne pepper as some people can be allergic to it. Don’t apply it directly on the skin and rather mix it with oil before applying.
- If you suffer from high fever (104 degrees or more) cayenne pepper remedy should be avoided
- If you suffer from high blood pressure or rapid heart rates you should avoid cayenne pepper as it may aggravate the health risks of these conditions.
Stay Safe and Happy Gardening!
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