Introduction of Red Pepper:Chili pepper, Hot pepper, or Cayenne.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Red Pepper, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Capsicum annum L., ②.Capsicum frutescens L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of these two plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of these two plant species, the features of the herb Red Pepper, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Red Pepper(Chili pepper).

many thin red peppers are piled together English Name: Red Pepper.
 Latin Name: Capsicum annum L., Capsicum frutescens L., and other Capsicum varieties and hybrids.
 Common Names: Chili or Chili pepper, Bird pepper, Capsicum, Cayenne, Guinea pepper, Goat's Pod, Grains of Paradise, Hot pepper, Louisiana long and short pepper, Mexican chili, paprika, Red Pepper, tabasco pepper, African chilis.
 Property and flavor: heat in nature, tastes hot and pungent.

 Brief introduction: Plant experts estimate that hot peppers develop from about five different species and their hybrids. The shape, size, color, and pungency of the pepper can differ markedly. The dried, ripe fruit is used for medicinal purposes. The source of the coriaceous, shiny red pepper is the shrubby perennial Capsicum annum native to tropical America and now cultivated worldwide. Capsicum frutescens yields a piquant, oblong fruit also referred to as red pepper. It is a small, spreading annual native to tropical Africa. Red pepper is different from black pepper or white pepper, it is also different from sweet bell peppers.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Red Pepper as the dried ripe fruit of the species (1).Capsicum annum L., (2).Capsicum frutescens L., They are plant species of the Capsicum genus, the Solanaceae family (nightshade family, potato family). The dried mature fruit is used medicinally. These commonly used species are introduced:

(1).Capsicum annum L.

 fruiting plants of Capsicum annum with red and green fruits growing in sunny field Botanical description: Capsicum annum is an annual or rooted perennial herb, it grows up to 40~80 cm tall. Single leaves are alternate, branch top nodes not elongated into twin or clustered; leaf blade is oblong-ovate, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, 4~13 cm long, 1.5~4 cm wide, entire, the apex is pointed, the base is gradually narrow.

 Flowers are solitary, pendulous; the calyx is cyathiform (cotyloid), inconspicuous 5-toothed; corolla is white, lobes are ovate; stamens 5; pistil 1, the ovary is superior, 2-loculed, few 3-located, style is linear.

 fruiting plants of Capsicum annum with green and red fruits grow in field The berries are long finger-like, with tapering and often curved apex, green when immature, red, orange or purple-red when ripe, and spicy. Seeds are numerous, flat reniform, and pale yellow. Its flowering and fruiting period is from May to November.

 Ecological environment: Capsicum annum is native to Mexico and Colombia, and later it is widely cultivated in countries around the world.

 fruiting plants of Capsicum annum with several red and green fruits grow in mountain field Growth characteristics: Capsicum annum prefers warmth, is afraid of cold, frost, and avoids high temperature and exposure to the sun, likes humidity and is afraid of waterlogging, and is more resistant to fertilizer. It should be planted in deep and fertile soil, rich in organic matter and good water permeability, sandy loam, and two-compound soil. Not suitable for continuous cropping with plants of the nightshade family.

(2).Capsicum frutescens L.

 fruiting plants of Capsicum frutescens with small red fruits and green leaves grow in field Botanical description: Capsicum frutescens is a shrub or subshrub; branches are slightly zigzag. The petiole is shortened, the leaf blade is ovate, 3~7 cm long, wider below the middle part, the top is tapering, the base is cuneate (wedge-shaped), the midrib is raised on the back, and the lateral veins are about 4 on each side.

 Flowers are usually twin, sometimes three to several, at each flowering node. Calyx margin is sub truncate; corolla is greenish-white.

 stems of Capsicum frutescens with red fruits grow in sunny field Fruit pedicel and fruit are upright, gradually thickening toward the top; fruit is fusiform, 7~14 cm long, green and turns to red, and extremely spicy.

 Ecological environment: Capsicum frutescens was native to tropical Africa, later it is widely grown around the world.

 The history and spread of red pepper: The red pepper was originally grown in tropical regions of Central and South America. Archaeologists estimate that as early as 5,000 B.C., the Mesoamericans (Mayas) began to eat red pepper, and it grew here as early as 7,000 B.C., so red pepper can be said to be one of the oldest cultivated crops by humans. Red pepper had been in the American continent long before Columbus discovered the taste of chili on his trip to the American continent, and initially, Europeans had little acceptance of red pepper. Africans love red pepper with a gingery and spicy flavor, it was called "grains of paradise", making it easy for them to incorporate the savory red pepper into their recipes. In just a few years, with the introduction of the Portuguese, red pepper has spread to Mozambique, on the eastern side of the African continent. At that time, the Portuguese cast a big net to buy African slaves, and wherever they bought slaves, they took the red pepper, so that the red pepper quickly spread across the African continent. After European colonialism arrived at the American continent, red pepper was first introduced to Europe in 1493 A.D., red pepper entered Antwerp from Spain, then came to Italy in 1526 A.D., and then came to England in 1548 A.D..

 plant of Capsicum frutescens with red and green fruits grow in rainy days Although red pepper has been grown in Mexico for centuries, it did not appear in North America until after the slave trade fully flourished. The popularity of red pepper in African food contributed to its spread to the New World. Africans loved red pepper so much that slave traders had to carry large quantities of them on their transatlantic voyages. And, in order for African slaves to maintain their eating habits while living in North America, planters also had to grow red pepper. As a result, red pepper settled in North America after the 17th century.

 During the Ming dynasty, red pepper was introduced into China, and there were two routes for the introduction of pepper into China. One was the famous Silk Road, which entered Xinjiang, Gansu, and other places from West Asia, and was first cultivated in the northwest of China; the other was to enter South China through the Strait of Malacca. It is cultivated in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Hunan in the south, and then gradually expanded to the whole country. According to historical records, the earliest record of chili use as spicy in Guizhou and Hunan was during the Qianlong period of the Qing dynasty (middle of the 18th century), and it was taken as a spicy generally later than the years of Daoguang (early to middle of the 19th century). Later, it was widely cultivated all over China, and it is the latest spice introduced in China but the most widely used spice. The book Cao Hua Pu(Grass flower spectrum) of the Ming dynasty recorded red pepper as "Fānjiāo", Chinese people who ate peppers in the early years were those who live in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the so-called "Xiajiang people", it was not fully used in the lower reaches of the Yangtze river, but red pepper was widely used in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and the southwest.

 many dried red peppers are piled together Characters of herbs: The shape and size of red peppers are different due to the variety. Generally, it is long conical, and slightly curved, the base is slightly rounded, often greenish-brown, persistent calyx with 5-lobed teeth and slightly stout or thin straight carpopodium (fruit stalk). The surface is smooth or grooved, orange-red, red or dark red, with grooves, and the pulp is thicker. The quality of the texture is relatively brittle (crisp), the axial placentation can be seen in the cross-section, and the fruit is divided into 2-3 compartments by a thin septum, containing many yellow-white, flat round, or obovate seeds. The dried fruit peel is shrunken and dark red, and the pulp is dry and thin. The herb has a specific odor, and the taste is as spicy as burning.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.rubefacient and counterirritant; ②.control pains and analgesic effects; ③.relieve sneezing and congestion; ④.aid digestion; ⑤.vitamin C source; ⑥.antimicrobial activity; ⑦.antineoplastic activity; ⑧.detoxification effect, etc.

 Red pepper contains a phenolic component, capsaicin, which is responsible for the piquancy of red peppers, the more piquant the pepper, the more likely it is to offer healing benefits.

 Red pepper is a rubefacient and counterirritant, it reddens and slightly irritates the skin, flooding the area with a sensation of warmth and helping to mask deeper pain.

 Control pains and analgesic effects: Capsaicin is used to alleviate severe pains from neuralgia, which can occur as a symptom of herpes zoster virus infection, diabetes, lumbago, other disorders, to relieve pain from mastectomies and amputations, cluster headaches, arthritis, and psoriasis, to relieve minor pain from sprains, strains, and backaches.

 Relieve sneezing and congestion: Capsaicin is used as an inhalation solution for dulling the nasal nerves in causing symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, it can eliminate constriction of the bronchial tubes and airway swelling caused by irritants such as cigarette smoke.

 Aid digestion: Red pepper piquancy aid digestion by stimulating the flow of saliva and stomach secretions, ingesting capsaicin directly increases stomach acid concentrations.

 Vitamin C source: Red pepper is a good natural source of vitamin C. The vitamin C content of red peppers per 100 grams is as high as 198 mg, ranking first among vegetables. It is also rich in vitamin B, carotene, calcium, iron, and other minerals.

 Antimicrobial activity: Capsaicin has antimicrobial activity in vitro, studies of Cichewicz found it inhibits Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium tetani, and Streptococcus pyogenes. Capsaicin has bactericidal activity against Helicobacter pylori, and it could have a protective effect against Helicobacter pylori-associated gastroduodenal disease.

 Antineoplastic activity: Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin has a chemoprotective effect. Capsaicin has a protective effect on metabolism, DNA binding, and mutagenicity of some chemical carcinogens including aflatoxin and tobacco-specific nitrosamine.

 Detoxification effect: Capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin have detoxification activity, capsaicin has a gastroprotective effect against gastric mucosal injury caused by aspirin.

 Medicinal efficacy: Red pepper has been used as a spice around the world. Herbalists today recommend red pepper as a tea for soothing indigestion and excess gas, stimulating the appetite, and controlling bowel problems, it is also used to relieve severe and chronic pain, milder pain from headaches, control chills and other cold symptoms, reduce inflammation related to disorders as psoriasis and arthritis, lower blood cholesterol, mildly stimulate the body as a tonic. Its preparations are applied to the skin to relieve stiffness and pain due to muscle soreness or arthritis and rheumatism, and preparations containing the component capsaicin are used to relieve severe pain caused by neuritis syndromes such as shingles. As red pepper has an irritating effect on mucous membranes, it is also used in self-defense sprays.

 In Europe, red pepper is approved for muscular tensions and rheumatism. In folk medicine, it is used for frostbite, chronic lumbago, as a gargle for hoarseness, sore throats, infected throats, gastrointestinal disorders, seasickness, and as prophylactic therapy for arteriosclerosis, stroke, and heart disease. In homeopathy, the herb is used for inflammation of the efferent urinary tract, the alimentary canal, the mouth and throat, and middle ear infection.

 TCM works recorded the red pepper function to warm the middle and dissipate cold, descending Qi and aid digestion. It is indicated for stomach cold and Qi stagnation, distension pain of gastral cavity and abdomen, emesia or vomit, distant dysentery, rheumatalgia, chilblain or frostbite.

 Administration of Red Pepper (Chili pepper): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Red Pepper (Chili pepper)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: Dosage: An infusion is prepared using 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground spice per cup of water, the infusion is drunk after meals, as a digestive aid and appetite stimulant. A decoction is prepared with half liter water with 5 grams powdered red pepper, 3 grams powdered cascarilla bark and 5 grams powdered rhubarb root, 2 cups per day. The tincture is taken in doses of 1/4 to 1/2 dropperful. Creams sold over the counter normally contain 0.025 to 0.075 percent capsaicin, to apply capsaicin better follow package instructions carefully, normally it needs to be applied several times daily to be effective. The herb should be well sealed and protected from light. TCM works recommended it internally used as a pill or powder, 1~3 grams, externally used as fumigation wash or mashed and apply a coating, proper amount.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The FDA has approved the use of a cream containing 0.075 percent capsaicin for over-the-counter sales. Red peppers are famous for their irritating qualities. If you do develop eye irritation, try flushing out the eye with water and flushing any other affected part of the body with warm soapy water, or handle red peppers only with rubber gloves on. In any case, wash your hands well in warm soapy water every time you handle red peppers. Some individuals develop stomach upset with small doses of red peppers, but others find the plant soothing to the stomach. If taken in high doses over long periods of time, red peppers may cause kidney or liver damage or gastroenteritis. Many people develop skin irritation in reaction to commercial creams. Never place red pepper or commercial products containing it on wounds or broken or irritated skin. Pepper sprays can immediately blind an attacker and cause irritation for up to thirty minutes without causing permanent vision damage.




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  • 1.Introduction of Red Pepper:Chili pepper, Hot pepper, or Cayenne.

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