You read all kinds of things on Dr. Google, eh? I know I do while I’m researching what I’m going to write about for you each week. So I read some interesting articles last year which I made a mental note of. It was about cayenne pepper and how it could stop bleeding. I logged this detail in the back of my mind, should I ever cut myself again in the kitchen… which tends to happen more frequently than I care to admit.
It came to pass one night when I was in a hurry again. I cut myself on an onion.
(Not literally ON the onion, but cutting one.) The month before it was from cutting bread with a serrated knife that slipped. As a writer, you’d think I’d wear gloves or slow down! I did my usual things:
- Held my arm above my head
- Put an ice cube on it
- Took a Tylenol to dull the aftermath pain
- Squeezed my finger
- Wrapped it in a cold, wet towel
- Ran around the house yelling, “I’m bleeding!”
- Found Sam and whined that I was in a hurry again
- Promised myself I would slow down in the kitchen
- Swore like a trucker 😂
Nothing worked this time, the bleeding was pretty ugly.
But then I remembered the cayenne pepper stories that I read on Dr. Google (lol!) and found a bottle of cayenne liquid extract in my supplement cabinet. It’s sold with a dropper. I drew up a dropperful of this, closed my eyes and waited for the burn, then squeezed it onto my bleeding finger. Nothing happened. Surprisingly, it did not intensify the pain on my finger so I tried pouring more on it again. It was an epic fail.
Then I thought of using powdered cayenne pepper instead of liquid. So I rummaged around my spice cabinet to find a bottle of cayenne pepper. Mind you, I’m doing this all left-handed – and trying to remain calm- because my husband Sam was too freaked out and more in favor of driving me to an urgent care center. The kitchen counter was starting to look like a little crime scene. But as you already know, the problem is that I’m slightly doctor-phobic, so I had no intention to leave my house and go anywhere! Not at this point. It was not bad enough. So instead, I dumped a generous amount of cayenne pepper onto a paper towel. This was my last attempt to stop the blood, before going anywhere!
Here’s where I found my bravery SNP lol, because as this is happening, I’m noodling this thought, “Who in their right mind would literally pour cayenne pepper onto a painful, oozing cut?” After 30 minutes of fussing with it, feeling like I have nothing to lose at this point, I went ahead and did the unthinkable.
I dipped it! 😂
I rolled my bloody finger around in the red pepper. It started to clot immediately. Naturally, it still throbbed and hurt so for first 15 seconds of “finger-rolling” I continued ONLY with the last 2 bullets (see above) because there is an initial burn. No lie, it stings but it’s not a big deal.
By second 30, to my surprise (!) the bleeding had almost completely stopped! It just crusted over the pepper. The burning continued but it was much more tolerable. The bleeding stopped almost instantly which was good because I had run out of paper towels by now.
I was honestly amazed!!! I wrapped it in gauze and the next day gently washed off the pepper, and put silver gel on it, and later some antibiotic ointment, etc. I healed up in a week!
Why isn’t this information out there? Why isn’t cayenne pepper in every first aid kit on the market?!
So the end of the story is this: Sam finished making our dinner (and stopped threatening to take me to the clinic). He was equally impressed and relieved because … well, he’s a chiropractor by trade… they don’t generally ‘do’ blood well! And the finger cut bleeding had stopped.
Allow me this digression: The funny part is that Sam actually got licensed as a Phlebotomist in Florida many years ago, only because the testing center offered the Phlebotomy Examination at the same time as his Chiropractic boards. He agreed to take the test, thinking “Why not?!” and long story short, he passed the test. But, it was an oral test, he didn’t have to physically draw blood from a person!
And no one ever asked him if he faints at the sight of blood, lol!
Umm, to me, this is a GLARING OMISSION on the Florida Phlebotomy licensure program!
I can attest to him looking away until the bleeding stops, this is his habit pretty much every time I cut myself! He once applied a bandage to my cut and it was 4 inches away from cut, on perfect skin, and he confessed he had his eyes closed ha ha ha! But he loves me and has redemptive qualities. On second thought he “likes” me and that’s what REALLY matters. If you’re deeply in love with someone take 5 minutes to read this article about our “Like Affair” just CLICK HERE to read, Sam and Suzy, A Like Affair.
Looking back, I probably could have used a stitch, but I’m stubborn. My finger today looks absolutely perfect, there’s no sign whatsoever of “the onion cut!” Keep a bottle of the powdered cayenne pepper in a safe place, just in case you need it for a minor finger cut.
My Official Medical Disclaimer: I advise any/all of you to seek proper medical attention immediately and first-aid care if necessary, and do not do anything that I did, or anything I write about, especially strange blood-clotting ideas like this.
Now, with that disclaimer out of the way, I want to affirm that the cayenne pepper trick worked for me! I think it’s pretty handy for a minor cut, but it’s not smart, nor useful for serious, open wounds. You ALWAYS want to seek medical attention! Seriously, be smart and go to a clinic or Emergency Room if required!
This might be of interest to you. If you CLICK HERE, I have written this article entitled, How to Make a DIY First Aid Kit. Take 5 minutes to read it so you can plan for the worst, while hoping for the best. This is one of the most popular articles on my site.
Just FYI, cayenne peppers are part of the chili pepper family and similar to jalapeños and green peppers. These all contain capsaicin as the ‘heating’ compound, and in fact, the various medicinal actions from peppers are almost always due to the capsaicin, and some of the other antioxidant compounds. I have written about chili (also spelled “chile”) in the past so you can take a few moments to read about their benefits in H. pylori, neuropathy and more.
So read these two related articles about cayenne, capsaicin and chili peppers:
I have written a few more articles, and if you’re interested in those, just type “capsaicin” or “pepper” in my search box above.
Right now, I’d like to share with you some of the impressive medical benefits of cayenne pepper, aside from the obvious hemostatic effect!
Scientists have studied the effects of taking capsaicin by mouth and found that it can significantly reduce metastasis of prostate cancer cells, and also induce programmed cell death of cancer cells (you want that). It’s called apoptosis and pepper can do it in several types of prostate cancer cell. We say that in several well-designed studies as far back as 2006 in in a journal ARTICLE published in Apoptosis, the researchers concluded, “Our data show a role for capsaicin against androgen-independent prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo and suggest that capsaicin is a promising anti-tumor agent in hormone-refractory prostate cancer, which shows resistance to many chemotherapeutic agents.”
Then there was a case study where a man showed improvement in his PSA over a couple of years. And this topic of peppers and prostate came up again in 2006 in a mouse model study (Cancer Research)! It’s been studied quite a bit, in fact, recently there was another STUDY published in OncoTarget 2016 where researchers titled their study, “The pepper’s natural ingredient capsaicin induces autophagy blockage in prostate cancer cells.”
From the study title itself, you may have already surmised that the hot pepper extract was positive for the participants. Autophagy refers to a process that your body does every day, it’s how your body cleans house. Literally translated, autophagy means “self eating” and that’s part of the mechanism of action for chili peppers. The capsaicin causes your body to clean house and this study suggests that it induces self-eating of bad cancerous cells by your macrophages and other immune cells.
Before moving on I would like to remind you that both prostate and breast tissue sometimes (not always) respond similarly to treatments. There is research to support anti-proliferative effects breast cancer, as well as prostate. A few years ago, I wrote a good article about prostate function, you can CLICK HERE to read, Eat and Supplement Your Way to Better Prostate Health.
Capsaicin, an active ingredient in peppers is able to help you control your appetite. The hotter you like your food, quite possibly the skinnier you’ll be! If you eat less food, you’re apt to lose weight and this effect occurs because it reduces your hunger hormone, grehlin.
Many Americans are supported on prescription medications that lead to weight gain and obesity. Could you be taking something that is creating this situation for you? If you are worried, take a moment to CLICK HERE and read my article, Are You Taking Medicine that Makes You Gain Weight?
Reduce neuropathic pain.
There are many studies on animals and humans that show capsaicin’s ability to desensitize nerve endings from pain stimuli. It doesn’t stop the pain origination, it just blunts you from feeling it. The details are not important but it has to do with slowly desensitizing the Substance P and TRPV1 (Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1) receptors.
There is an art to applying capsaicin-based creams and balms and causing desensitization of these pathways. It has to be done slowly, and methodically, and never applied during a painful flare-up. Thus, optimal pain relief from neuropathy takes time. Again, it comes from the topical application, not oral consumption. This can be effective for some types of post-operative neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, shingles related pain and neuropathy of unknown etiology.
If you have severe types of neuropathy such as Trigeminal Neuralgia, consult my Headache Free book, and/or read my article entitled, Coping with Those Cranial Lightning Bolts – Trigeminal Neuralgia.
That’s a weird one isn’t it?! If your stomach hurts why on Earth would chili pepper work. But there was a rodent study and doctors found out that capsaicin killed H. pylori infections, which causes some cases of gastritis. If you’d like another natural remedy that helps with gastritis, read my article, Aloe Vera Has 11 Impressive Uses.
If you happen to take an acid blocking medication, you might be interested in some research that is associated with long-term use of PPIs and other acid blockers. CLICK HERE to read details on how, Suppressing Acid 24/7 Raises Your Risk of Stroke.
Reduces Bone Pain.
Cancer colonization of the bone causes activation of your osteoclasts, which are the bone cells that degrade bone to initiate normal bone remodeling. There are receptors called “capsaicin receptors” that go by the initials TRPV1 which stands for Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid Subtype 1.
These receptors become hyperactive in a way, they detect signals of tumor growth and they are responsible in part, for the bone pain that nearly half of all cancer patients experience pain during the course of their disease. Unfortunately, about 75–90% of late stage cancer patients experience bone pain. Silencing these receptors can reduce pain, and that’s exactly what capsaicin in cayenne pepper does. It binds to TRPV1, the “capsaicin” receptor and helps to reduce pain.
This beneficial effect of capsaicin was shown in another Study regarding bone pain associated with multiple myeloma.
Helps with Multiple Myeloma.
In 2006 there was a trial published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that capsaicin causes apoptosis of multiple myeloma cells, which essentially means that it could slow down progression of the disease. There was another study published in Clinical Cancer Research in 2007 that considered the effect of capsaicin (which again is found in red and green peppers) on multiple myeloma.
We already know that capsaicin has some anti-cancer benefits, and it has been linked with suppression of tumorigenesis through various different mechanisms, not all of which are completely understood. Researchers in this STUDY found that capsaicin could suppress the STAT3 pathway, thereby positively impacting multiple myeloma cells. The researchers concluded, “Overall, these results suggest that capsaicin is a novel blocker of the STAT3 activation pathway, with a potential role in the prevention and treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers.”
Stop Cough and Cold.
Cayenne Pepper tea helps breaks up mucus in your sinuses and throat. This makes it easier for you to breathe and powers up your immune system. I don’t get colds too often, and the one time I did in recent years I got over it pretty quickly. Here’s my VIDEO to show you how I Zapped The Flu in 22 Hours Before it Zaps You.
Relieve Sore throat.
There are many ways to ease sore throat pain and one that I have tried is a spoonful of honey with a drop of liquid cayenne pepper extract. Upon contact it may not feel great but after a minute this relieved my pain. Do not do this if you have open sores on your throat. If you are interested in Brazilian propolis, Cat’s Claw, Colloidal Silver or other natural methods to help yourself, CLICK HERE to read my other article, Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics.
Dilate arteries and blood vessels.
Capsaicin and other ‘hot’ compounds could make cayenne useful in cardiovascular situations, especially where there is a clot or narrowing of the arteries.
Capsaicin has been shown in studies to help reduce the pain sensations experienced from migraines. After Substance P is desensitized, you don’t feel the pain quite as much. It’s not a cure, it’s more or less a trick to reduce the feeling of head pain. If you suffer with migraines, tension headaches or other hard-to-treat headaches, I wrote a book on the topic which has great reviews, and it is sold on Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
I also sell this book at my own website store, which is HERE.
How to Get More Pepper In Your Diet
There are many ways to include cayenne in your diet. You really need to put cayenne pepper on your dining room table or kitchen counter, so it’s right there when you want to kick something up! Bear in mind this is a nightshade plant, in case that is a sensitivity for you.
Here are some quick ideas to get you started:
1. Chop green, yellow, orange or red peppers into a green salad.
CLICK HERE to get my recipe for Mediterranean Flat Iron Steak and Salad
2. Sprinkel cayenne in your egg salad.
3. Make stuffed green peppers. There’s capsaicin in green peppers too!
4. Sprinkle cayenne onto dishes, just like you would salt or pepper
5. Make a cayenne tea.
5. Take a dietary supplement
6. Spice up your Fettuccini Alfredo
7. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on your scrambled eggs, or chop red/green peppers into them.
8. Add a dash of hot pepper to your Avocado Toast
9. Make lemonade and put a couple of shakes of cayenne in it!
10. Dip your sushi into spicy mayo (it contains some siracha chili)
11. Put it on scalloped potatoes or rice dishes
12. Sprinkle it on your Tuna or other “fish” salad. In fact, CLICK HERE to get my recipe on Lime Mahi Fish Salad!
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.