I want to share this article taken directly from the website called The Survival Doctor. It talks about the medicinal properties and uses for hot peppers. Because I have only in the past few years, I’ discover them and learned to incorporate the use of them in new dishes like curries, sauces and toppers, I thought it was important to share this with my readers as I continue to post recipes using peppers.
James Hubbard, MD, MPH
I just got back from the Chile & Frijoles Festival in Pueblo, CO, where everyone was eating the hot fruit in every conceivable way. Not that anyone needed another reason to enjoy, but it reminded me of all the health and medicinal benefits packed in those little pods of flavor.
You can ingest them, inhale them or rub them on in a salve. You can eat them raw, freeze them, dry them and chop them up, or hang them on the wall. Dried, they’ll still keep many of their medicinal powers.
In fact, maybe that old axiom needs to be changed to “a pepper a day keeps the doctor away.” Here are my top-10 medical uses for hot peppers.
1. Inflammation. And that’s a good thing. We’ve known for quite a while that inflammation causes pain, but only in the last few years have we implicated it in leading to heart attacks.
2. Colds. Peppers’ many vitamins and antioxidants help boost the immune system.
3. Scurvy from vitamin C deficiency, which causes anemia, bleeding under the skin and horrible gum problems, to name a few things. No one gets this disease much anymore, but if you live in an area with no citrus fruit and it suddenly stopped being shipped, one fresh pepper a day could give you more than your minimal daily requirement of vitamin C. Unfortunately the dried pepper doesn’t retain much.
4. Vitamin A deficiency, which is common in economically developing countries. It causes trouble seeing at night and weakens your ability to fight off infections. Pepper has a lot of vitamin A, and unlike vitamin C, it sticks around in the dried form.
These hot peppers are roasting—literally—at the Chile & Frijoles Festival. The nutrients in peppers include Vitamins A and C.
5. Cancer. Peppers have many antioxidants. Some studies have shown that the capsaicin in peppers—an antioxidant and also the chemical that makes them hot—inhibits cancer cell growth in the colon and prostate, and a study in rats found it actually can kill pancreas-cancer cells. Another antioxidant in peppers, lycopene, is thought to aid the fight against bladder and cervical cancer as well.
6. Obesity. Eating hot peppers has been shown to increase the body’s metabolism for about 20 minutes after eating.