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Cayenne is a type of chili pepper used as both a culinary and a medicinal herb. It is a related to bell peppers, jalapeños, and others. The fruits are generally dried and ground, or pulped and baked into cakes, which are then ground and sifted to make the powder, Cayenne pepper.
Cayenne is commonly used in cooking where it adds spicy flavor and heat. It is also used as an herbal supplement with a wide range of applications. Supplements containing cayennes are used primarily for circulation enhancement and musculoskeletal/joint pain both alone and in combination with other supplements. Cayenne has been used as a sore throat remedy, gargled with water Cayenne is also helpful for many types of gastrointestinal upset such as stomachaches, cramping pains, and gas.
One of cayenne's key compounds is capsaicin.1 Capsaicin inhibits pain signaling by temporarily affecting sensory nerves.2 Capsaicin and other constituents in cayenne have been shown to have several other actions, including reducing platelet stickiness3 and acting as antioxidants.4
Take cayenne supplements with solid food, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
1. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1986;24(3):245-355.
2. Neurology. 2008 Jun 10;70(24):2305-13.
3. Eur J Pharmacol. 1991 Sep 4;202(1):129-31.
4. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2008 Jun;60(6):803-8.