Today after breakfast I embarked on a fiery adventure in the name of health: taking 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 1/2 a glass of warm water. (I’ve read that some brave souls take this instead of breakfast, but ain’t no health fix gonna come between me and my cereal!)
I already use this spice in my cooking, but it was my parents who suggested that I try drinking it as well. Since they’ve spent the better part of three decades trying to keep me alive, I figured I could trust them on this one 😉
Well, it hasn’t killed me, but bleeugh! it burns! Luckily the tears, heartburn and perspiration quickly give way to a pleasant warmth all over. Once I get used to the fleeting chilli taste, I’ll be on the lookout for the supposed health benefits. This not-so-humble little pepper is lauded worldwide for improving overall health. If the info on the internet is to be believed, cayenne can revive heart-attack victims, fight flab, flush toxins from the body, improve digestion and reduce various forms of inflammation. That’s a pretty impressive list for such a small veggie.
Obviously I won’t be able to directly check whether it’s strengthening my heart, but I’m keen to see if it does help for sore throats, stomach issues and low blood pressure. I’ve lived with chronic post-nasal drip and sensitive sinuses for years, which means sore throats are always threatening. Cayenne, like curry and other hot spices, does a great job of clearing mucous (yummy topic, I know) – so we shall see if cayenne saves me money on lozenges. My tetchy stomach can also be a pain, not allowing me to eat things like garlic, onion and other essentials. I’d be super chuffed if cayenne could successfully calm my tum.
To top it off, apparently my blood pressure is slightly lower than the norm. Perhaps cayenne will work its magic there for me too. As I understand it, the spice works to stabilise blood pressure. That means it should be beneficial for either high or low blood pressure. Altogether it sounds promising; I’m willing to test it out for a couple of months. Hey, if cayenne can stave off hypochondria and medical bills, I’ll take it with a smile!