CAYENNE, Capsicum frutescens
“PLEASE CUT OFF MY LEGS, I DON’T WANT TO DIE.”
About a hundred years ago on a cold winter day, a teamster was hauling freight with a team and wagon. His feet and lower legs had turned numb because they were frozen so badly. As a drove into a town, he looked for a saw bones doctor who could cut off his legs to save his life. The only doctor he could find to help him was an herb doctor named Priddy Meeks. Meeks would not cut on the man, but he had an impression of what to do. He told the man, “I’ll do what I can for you with herbs.”
He gave the man cayenne internally. The man would lay on the floor on his back with his feet extended up the wall to help ease the pain. After a few days, the old dead fresh rolled off his feet and legs and would hang down around his knees like ropes of dough.
As the cayenne rejuvenated new life into his feet and legs, you could see the pink fresh and skin appear. It wasn’t long until the teamster was up on his feet again. After a few weeks, he walked nine miles. His feet and legs were perfect and normal. Thanks to cayenne.
Cayenne is a very special herb in so many ways. There is no greater stimulant than cayenne. It will helps as an aid to digestion, help clear plaque and cholesterol from the veins and arteries, stop bleeding, stimulate circulation, help a sore throat, help to heal cuts, and many other things. Cayenne works very well alone, and also helps other herbs to become effective. Cayenne is used in many of Grandma’s herbal formulas.
The name cayenne comes from the river cayenne, in French Guinea, where the plant is native. It is a species of the Capsicum genus, which belongs to the Solanaceae family. Solamen in Latin means “quieting,” however, I know a lot of people who think capsicum, or cayenne, is anything but quieting. Other plants that are in this family are potato, tomato, pepper, eggplant, petunia, tobacco and many more. Some of the plants of this family are toxic, but mostly the fruits are not.
Christopher Columbus brought a Dr. Chanca with him on his second trip to the New World. They watched the natives use the red pepper fruit for medicine, as well as for culinary purposes. Columbus was so impressed that hi brought much of the fruit and many of the plants back to Queen Isabella, or the story goes.
The original cayenne, or capsicum plants were perennial and they were only found in the tropics. Today there are over 600 species from the very mild big green-bull nose pepper to the tiny, really hot, red African Bird pepper. Today, most species of the pepper plant are annual and they are grown in all parts of the world.
I have a friend who got his finger cut to the bone in two places while trying to start his model airplane engine. He was bleeding all over the place and it wouldn’t stop. His wife suggested he use cayenne. He said, “No way! That stuff is hot enough to stop a freight train.” When the blood wouldn’t stop, he finally used cayenne. He said it didn’t hurt at all, but it sure stopped the bleeding and the finger healed real fast with no scar.
Besides being a great stimulant, cayenne is a wonderful food. In case of a heart attack cayenne will stimulate the heart and it will feed the heart as well.
When used with other herbs, the other herbs seem to work better. Cayenne will stabilize blood pressure, stop internal bleeding and help to stop a stomach ulcer from bleeding. Many wonderful things happen because of cayenne.