Cayenne pepper

Synonyms in a broader sense

  • chili
  • paprika
  • Tabasco
  • spanish pepper
  • Porsche

Explanation / definition

Cayenne pepper

The cayenne pepper from Latin Capsicum frutescens belongs to the nightshade family (Solanacea). It is an annual herb that grows about 20 to 100 cm tall. In the tropics it also grows perennial. The subshrub consists of woody, bulky, branched stems with individual oblong - oval leaves. The dirty-white flowers are sometimes two to four flowers in the axils of the upper leaves and are stalked and nodding. The flowers have five stamens whose anthers look purple. The plant later forms 5 cm long, leathery, shiny red, yellow or green fruits that are harvested in midsummer.


The cayenne pepper, also called chili, has its home in South America. It owes its name to the port city of Cayenne on the Devil's Islands in Guyana. Long before the arrival of Europeans, many different varieties of cayenne pepper were cultivated by South American Indians. The Spaniards introduced the plant to Europe at the end of the 15th century. This gave him the nickname "Spanish pepper".


The plant is originally native to South America but is mainly imported from Africa. Ripe, dried fruits are used for medicinal purposes. The cayenne pepper belongs to a hot type of the nightshade family. The spiciness of the cayenne pepper or chilli is pure protection for the plant. So it is not destroyed / eaten by predators. The pods of the medicinal plant are red, yellow and green and have a high rim for the seeds. These sit on the so-called placenta (placenta). This placenta has glands that contain the capsicum (the spiciness of cayenne pepper). The alkaloid Capsaicum is colorless and very stable and cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing. The most important medicinal active ingredients in chili peppers are capsaicinoids such as capsaicum and dihydrocapsaicum, but also flavonoids, steroid sapponins, carotenoids and essential oils.


For medicinal use, one takes ripe, dried fruits, which have a strong orange to red color and form hot-tasting pods. Preparations in effective doses made from cayenne pepper are available in the form of ointments, creams, tinctures or plasters (e.g. ABC plasters, warming plasters). They come as finished preparations for external use. The medicinal effect is based on the content of capsaicinoids.

Therapy and areas of application

The preparations made from the chilli peppers are one of the few herbal pain relievers whose effectiveness is guaranteed. You don't take it. They are applied externally to the painful area in the form of plasters, tinctures or ointments. The capsaicum from the cayenne pepper acts on the nerves in the painful area in such a way that signals are no longer released and so relief is achieved. The sensation of pain temporarily decreases. The blood circulation is stimulated at the point of application. The capsaicum is quickly absorbed by the skin and takes effect after three to five minutes.
The uses of the medicinal plant have been found in:

  • severe muscle pain
  • Muscle hardening
  • Torn hamstring
  • Lumbago
  • rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism)

When painful Muscle tension The cayenne pepper mixture is used repeatedly in the shoulder, arm and spine area. The nerve pain that occurs in diabetics (e.g. post-zoster neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, Phantom pain) or pain after shingles, such as pain with Joint inflammation / arthrosis can through the Cayenne pepper be treated.


The pungent substances (capsainoids) of the cayenne pepper develop their effect first through a local, increased blood circulation. Then they act on the nerves in the painful area. This releases muscular tension. The capsaicum from the cayenne pepper inhibits the release of a messenger substance in the nerve endings. As a result, the pain signals can no longer be passed on and the nerve endings recede during the treatment.The pain is no longer passed on after therapy. The first effect occurs very quickly.

Dosage form

The cayenne pepper is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Plaster (heat plaster)
  • ointment
  • tincture

Administration and dosage

The capsaicum content is responsible for the effect. In the case of semi-fat preparations, a capsaicum content of 0.02 to 0.05% is required, on the other hand a maximum of 0.01% in liquid preparations and 10 to 40 mg per cm2 for plasters. It is advisable to use ready-made products that are commercially available, since the preparations made from cayenne pepper should only be used for external use. The desired effect is not achieved with smaller amounts. In the event of an overdose, unpleasant side effects can occur.

side effect

The use of cayenne pepper almost always causes skin irritation. Itching, burning or reddening of the skin develop. If the effect is too strong, the preparation can be removed with cold water.
Damaged skin and mucous membranes must not come into contact with cayenne pepper preparations. Attention in the Mucous membrane from eye! The eye is very sensitive and can be permanent through the pepper damaged become.
The duration of application of the ointments and creams containing capsaicum was previously two days. According to the latest clinical studies, the period of treatment can be extended. The amount of active ingredients in the medicinal herb cayenne pepper is crucial.
If the amount is too low, the desired effect cannot be expected. Overdosing due to excessively high capsaicum concentrations can permanently damage sensitive nerves.
The correct dosage is therefore important. Please ask your treating doctor! Preparations containing capsaicum can be used by sensitive people Allergies trigger.

Manufacturer / trade name

Manufacturers are named as examples and were selected at random. we have with none Manufacturers a personal connection!

Warming patch 14x22 cm 1 piece € 3.50

Warming patch 14x22 cm 2 pieces € 5.95

Status: January 2004

Phytopharmaceuticals in Germany

The list of the best-selling herbal preparations led by far the ginkgo:

  1. ginkgo
  2. Johannis herbs
  3. Devil's claw
  4. buckeye
  5. artichoke
  6. Milk thistle
  7. Nettle
  8. Umckaloabo
  9. Hawthorn
  10. ivy

A list of all medicinal herbs / medicinal plants that we have already published can be found under: Medicines A-Z.