Cayenne (Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens) is a plant native to South America and is a member of the pepper family. Cayenne contains a capsicum oleoresin as well as potassium and vitamin C.1, 2, 3
Cayenne may also be known by the following names: African Pepper, Bird Pepper, Capsicum annuum, Chili Pepper, Goat's Pod, Grains of Paradise, Mexican Chillies, Paprika, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Tabasco Pepper, Zanzibar Pepper.
Cayenne may be obtained from the diet, or by supplementation (capsules, fresh or dried peppers, powder or tea).
2. What does it do and what scientific studies give evidence to support this?
Cayenne is widely used as a flavoring agent for food. Many people find that its spicy flavor enriches the eating experience.
Cayenne (in various forms) has been used successfully for medical purposes. Cayenne assists with pain relief by acting as a counter-irritant (by opposing existing pain signals and blocking their transmission along the spine).
It is used widely as an effective treatment for reducing the severity of heartburn symptoms, and can even be effective for speeding weight loss.20, 21 Cayenne is also used in agriculture. It has been shown to be useful at deterring rodents that destroy crops.22
3. Who needs it and what are symptoms of deficiency?
Everyone can benefit from supplementing with cayenne (through oral ingestion).
Persons desiring to reduce oxidative stress (athletes and others) and lose weight may benefit from supplementing with cayenne.
4. How much should be taken? Are there any side effects?
Follow the directions as prescribed on the products label.
Persons with ulcers, heartburn or gastritis should use any cayenne-containing product cautiously as it may worsen their condition. Persons suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) should not, under any circumstances, supplement with capsicum / cayenne as this may exacerbate the symptoms of their condition.23
Products containing cayenne / capsicum should not be applied to broken skin, nor should cayenne / capsicum products be applied to genitals, mucus membranes or surrounding sensitive areas.
Some persons may experience allergic reactions to using cayenne, and some using asparin may also experience adverse symptoms as cayenne interacts with asparin. Should these rare symptoms manifest, discontinue product use immediately and consult a physician.
5. Where can I get it?
There are different brand names that manufacture supplemental cayenne. All available cayenne products for sale on Bodybuilding.com.