The botanical name for cayenne pepper Capsicum Annuum (Ann-you-um) or Capsicum Frutescens (fru-tes-enz). Most of the varieties of pepper referred to as chili peppers are classified as Capsicum Annuum. Examples include Jalapenos and Paprika. Some varieties with “chili” included in their name are actually Capsicum Frutescens. Cayenne pepper has been classified as both.
Cayenne peppers are potent stimulants used internally to increase activity in the respiratory, digestive, and circulatory systems. Capsaicin is the compound that gives cayenne pepper its heat – a hot, burning taste or sensation. The capsaicin content in cayenne pepper is typically between 0.1 -1.5% depending on the time of harvest and environment of growth. High Capsaicin sets cayenne pepper apart from its cousins which include Paprika, Hungarian Pepper, Red and Green Peppers.
Cayenne pepper for hair:
Capsaicin creates a tingling sensation on the scalp and in the hair follicle. The tingling sensation is in fact electric signals the Papilla (the hair root) located at the base of the hair follicle. The Papilla has dense network of blood capillaries that feed the hair strand with nutrient rich blood in order for hair to grow properly.
When blood flow from the papilla to the hair follicle decelerates, hair growth also follows suit. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper works by jump-starting the blood flow from the papilla to the follicle. This movement transports nutrient-rich blood to the hair follicle, which creates the ideal environment for hair growth.
- Take two loosely filled tablespoons of cayenne pepper with half a cup oil of your choice. I have found fractionated coconut oil to be the best when it comes to extracting nutrients from herbs.
- Shake or stir to mix thoroughly and let it sit for at least 10 days in away from sunlight. I’m not sure how important this is for use on hair but sunlight will destroy carotenoids which are a useful part of cayenne pepper when used internally.
- I added half a cup of olive oil so total is one cup of oil to two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder.
Other compounds in cayenne pepper include:
Carotenoids: Carotenoids include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. These are antioxidants.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory and promote healthy circulation of blood.
Volatile Oils: Most important plant constituent that’s extracted to create essential oils
Cayenne pepper has been used internally as a supplement, spice or tea to:
- Improve blood circulation
- Stimulate the digestive system to produce digestive juices that improve food digestion
- Antiseptic properties that aid in infection prevention
- Analgesic properties that help with alleviating pains and aches when applied topically especially for arthritis.
- Stop a cold in its tracks in combination with honey, apple cider vinegar and a cup of water
- Prevent freezing. Cayenne pepper heats the body that induces sweating. When cold it helps to drink a concoction of water and cayenne pepper to warm the body. In colder climates, cayenne pepper is placed inside socks to remedy cold feet.
- Acts as a catalyst that speeds up delivery of minerals to different parts of the body and increases efficiency of other herbs
Named after its creator, American pharmacist Wilbur Scoville the Scoville scale is a system used to measure of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers. Cayenne pepper ranges from 30,000 – 50,000 Scoville Heat Units (S.H.C). In comparison to Mexican Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets (300,000 S.H.U), India’s Bhut Jolokia (1.03M S.H.U) or Naga Viper (1.3M S.H.U) cayenne peppers “heat” is not overpowering. It still has a good kick though in comparison to Paprika (5,000 S.H.U) or bell peppers (0 S.H.U). The cayenne powder used in this video is 35,000 S.H.U.
SIDENOTES: This is a first time experiment with cayenne pepper powder. I expect to see changes in growth rate if my blood flow is sluggish. I will measure length before beginning and afterwards to compare changes that occur.
I am hoping the “heat” of the oil is tolerable but modifications to the oil are likely depending on how it feels on my scalp.
As mentioned in the video, I will encapsulate cayenne pepper powder and take it as a supplement during this experiment.