Applied topically as an analgesic medication, the health effects of Capsaicin from hot peppers is undeniably of wide range. The existence of the compound without regard to its health effects was first discovered in its impure form in 1816. The term “Capsaicin” was then used to name the compound in the 1870’s when it was isolated in its pure form. Since then, the potential health effects of the compound including its chemical structure and occurrence in hot peppers and other sources became the common subject of various health studies. In the modern days, with the advent of clinical studies showing health benefits of Capsaicin, many pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of health supplement products have developed Capsaicin topical medications and oral dietary supplements for effective pain relief and improvement of overall wellbeing.
What is Capsaicin?
Capsaicin is the most commonly-occurring form of Capsaicinoid in chilli peppers. In its pure form, the compound can be very irritating to the human skin but when included in topical medications for treatment of wounds in relatively low doses, it produces sensation of burning in the open wound, which results to reduced sensation of pain. Some theories also provide that the compound effectively reduces production of substances that signal the brain to experience the sensation of pain, thereby effectively resulting to analgesic effects. Many experts also recommend the use of the compound in the treatment of nerve pain and other severe forms of pain disorders such as Diabetic neuropathy, but these claims are still subject to deeper studies.
Health effects of Capsaicin supplementation
When taken orally through dietary supplementation, Capsaicin is also believed to provide many other health benefits. For safety purposes, however, individuals who are under medication therapy for treatment of other conditions are advised to consult physician prior to use of Capsaicin health supplements.
The following are claimed health benefits of using Capsaicin:
- It may improve digestive function
Capsaicin supplementation is commonly indicated among individuals who have compromised digestive system due to infections and other associated conditions. Studies show that long-term Capsaicin supplementation is effective in increasing digestive fluids in to the stomach for effective chemical breakdown of food. It also reduces infection in the gastrointestinal tract to treat diarrhea and other infection-associated digestive diseases.
- It helps eliminate free radicals
Classified as an antioxidant compound, Capsaicin is well-known as an effective vehicle for free radicals elimination. Free radicals are toxic compounds in the body which, when not eliminated, can cause changes in cellular growth and development, resulting to cancer cell formation. By eliminating free radicals, Capsaicin effectively prevents development of cancer.
- It strengthens lung tissues
In a recently conducted study, experts found that the compound Capsaicin is also effective in enhancing lung tissue function. It is suggested to help prevent development of emphysema.
Capsaicin is among the few antioxidant compounds recognized as a useful component of both modern and alternative medical practices. It must be used, however, within recommended doses to prevent irritation.