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Some of us are already hooked on the pep from this pepper, but did you know that cayenne – the chili that gives zing so many of our favorite dishes – is also a potent natural medicine that’s been used for thousands of years?

The chemical that gives this pepper its bite – and its amazing healthy qualities – is called capsaicin.

A common ingredient in both natural preparations and drug-store variety creams, ointments and transdermal patches for muscle aches and pains, capsaicin is a natural analgesic. Its anti-inflammatory qualities make it good for relieving the itching redness of psoriasis.

Rich in vitamins A and C, cayenne has long been known as an internal disinfectant and detoxifier known for knocking out a range of ailments including symptoms associated with cold and flu and can be an excellent throat calmer when gargled.

Cayenne may also be your heart’s best friend. According to New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) website on medicinal plants of the south west United States, capsaicin can:

  • thin blood and reduce the risk of stroke
  • stop heart attacks
  • increase heart action without increasing blood pressure

Further, they say, diabetics can use it to lower blood sugar levels. If you’d like to read more about the cultivation, history and medical uses of cayenne, take a look at this link from NMSU:

According to physician and Ayurvedic doctor Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Center, cayenne helps balance Kapha doshas. “Use pungent spices like pepper, cayenne, mustard seed, and ginger freely in your diet,” they write on their page.

You can visit their page on tips for Kapha doshas if you’d like more information:

As if all that wasn’t already a lot for one’s plate, this webMD article looks at some of the latest research on cayenne and weight loss:

To sum it up, it seems that research is showing cayenne pepper burns calories and curbs appetite.

So if you happen to be looking for a novel way to spice up your routine, try this great smoothie featuring – you guessed it – the peppery punch of cayenne.

cayenne smoothie

Strawberry Cayenne Breakfast Smoothie

Serves 1.

Gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy, and Paleo, even.


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp raw alfalfa grass powder (or green powder)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups (or approx.) kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp bee pollen granules
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut water, almond milk, or water
  • Handful of ice


Blend all ingredients in your blender. Taste and adjust honey, water, or cinnamon as needed.


About MatchaGT by ShelleRae

Welcome! I am ShelleRae and I am very excited you are here. I joined the Smoothie Essentials team about 5 years ago now. Always health conscious and into prevention versus medication it seemed natural when the opportunity came up to take on the creation of this blog and the Smoothie Essentials blog as well. As mother to three and surrogate to many more I've practiced much of what I write on sometimes with great success and other times with a bit less. My friends and family are my test kitchen and my facts are most often from WebMD - they seem to have a fairly accurate and conservative approach. MatchaGT – the super premium Matcha Green Tea Introducing Matcha GT, the super premium Matcha Green Tea. Matcha GT is nature’s natural source of energy and antioxidants. Used for centuries in Japanese tea ceremonies, Matcha provides a powerful pick-me-up plus antioxidants and other health benefits to keep the body, mind and spirit in perfect balance. While many forms of green tea are strained or brewed, Matcha GT uses the whole tea leaf providing the full benefits and bold taste of whole green tea powder. My inspiration comes from others who also are striving to live a better life through lifestyle changes. More information is available at or by emailing Benefits: Natural Caffeine – longer lasting energy Antioxidants – to fight cancer causing free radicals Chlorophyll – powerful blood cleanse Coffee concepts and juice bars across North America including Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Smoothie King, and Booster Juice have recently started selling Matcha Green Tea smoothies, frappes, and lattes, promoting the great taste and health benefits of green tea.

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