Arthritis. It’s been afflicting people since the dawn of time. In the U.S. today, about 55 million adults suffer from some form of arthritis.
With numbers like that, it’s no wonder some pretty strange remedies have hit the market. Ever heard of bee stings and snake venom to heal arthritis? Chronic pain, like that associated with arthritis, drives some people to try just about anything.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go to such extremes to experience the relief you so desperately want. An all-natural, powerful pain reliever might be hiding in your kitchen cabinet.
Cayenne Pepper for Arthritis
For 7,000 years, people have been growing hot peppers for their intense flavor and ability to spice up a plain dish. Columbus brought hot peppers to Spain on his return voyage from the New World.
(We're not sure how Queen Isabella reacted when he presented her with hot peppers, turkeys, tobacco and pineapples instead of the gold she expected.)
In addition to seasoning cuisines worldwide, using cayenne for joint and muscle pain is a traditional "go-to" treatment in many cultures. For centuries, cayenne has been a potent natural pain reliever throughout India, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and North and South America.
So, what gives cayenne peppers their ability to ease chronic joint pain?
Capsaicin - Cayenne's "Secret Ingredient" Against Pain
Capsaicin is the active compound in cayenne (chili) peppers. Usually, the hotter the pepper is, the more capsaicin it has. However, chomping down on a screaming hot pepper isn't everyone's idea of fun.
To the delight of burning mouths everywhere, capsaicin can be extracted from cayenne peppers and packaged in many different, less spicy forms.
Oral supplements provide a variety of health benefits, but a topical pain reliever is the best way to use cayenne pepper for arthritis. Topical creams provide fast, targeted relief where you need it most.
How Capsaicin Relieves Arthritis Pain
To understand how capsaicin works, we first have to understand this:
While all pain feels bad to us, there's actually "good" pain and "bad" pain. "Good" pain is triggered when you touch something hot or step on broken glass – it acts an instant warning signal. "Bad" pain is like the chronic pain arthritis sufferers know all too well.
What does this have to do with capsaicin? Well, "good" pain signals travel to the brain on lightning-fast neurotransmitters. Chronic or "bad" pain signals travel very slowly on neurotransmitters known as substance P.
Capsaicin actually depletes the neurotransmitter's supply of the substance P hormone. Without substance P, pain signals can't be sent to the brain until more is produced.
This PubMed article offers a more technical explanation of this topic.
Capsaicin for arthritis is especially popular for daytime relief because it isn't a sedative and doesn't normally affect one’s ability to function.
Cayenne's Many Health Benefits
Topical pain relievers are best for soothing arthritis pain, but arthritis patients often have other health issues – issues that cayenne can help with.
It's easy to add cayenne to your diet. Try using ground cayenne instead of black pepper (an entirely different plant with no pain-relief benefits). You could also add a little cayenne hot sauce to your Mexican dishes or hot wings.
If you can’t handle the heat though, tasteless cayenne supplements are widely available.
Natural health practitioners report many health benefits for cayenne including:
- Helping poor circulation
- Improving digestion and reducing acidity
- Curing diarrhea
- Relieving painful cramps and headaches
- Lowering high cholesterol
- Reducing hunger (great for dieters!)
- Lowering high blood pressure
A Pain Management Tip
A Harvard Medical School study researched the link between pain sensitivity and poor sleep. You've probably noticed that if pain keeps you awake at night, you hurt more the next day.
In the study, 5 days of moderate sleep loss resulted in a significant rise in pain sensitivity. It also made over-the-counter painkillers less effective.
Being well-rested is absolutely critical for pain management. Researchers suggest making a serious effort to break the less sleep/more pain cycle:
- Improve sleep habits, such as adopting a consistent bedtime
- Drink relaxing, hot teas before bed to help you fall asleep faster
- Consider an herbal sleep aid like melatonin
Cayenne has helped countless people find relief from their arthritis pain, and unlike many painkillers, it's safe and non-habit forming.
If you haven’t already, try cayenne pepper for arthritis today. We have a soothing, herbal balm that’s infused with cayenne and more of nature’s most potent pain relievers. Check it out here.