Capsaicin is an active component of the chili pepper, a plant in the Capsicum family. It has an irritating effect on mammals, including humans, and it produces a burning sensation at the level of any tissue that in comes in contact with. Capsaicin is especially present in the placenta tissue of the pepper, where the seeds are contained. This is why taking out the seeds of a chili pepper drastically reduces the punch of heat it packs. The seeds themselves don’t produce capsaicin, though. This substance can be found in the white marrow of the pepper.
Although it sounds aggressive and rather scary to ingest, capsaicin actually has many health benefits. For one, it is a great anti-fungal agent. It is also used as a painkiller in some creams, nasal sprays and dermal band aids in order to relieve pain. It can vary in concentration, from 0.025% up to 0.25%, but this limit should never be exceeded. It is also very effective in the treatment of psoriasis because it reduces itching and inflammation. What is more, capsaicin has been known to be of great help in the process of digestion, if administered responsible in small doses.
All in all, capsaicin seems to be a wonderful natural remedy to many ailments of the body. But perhaps some of its lesser known benefits are those that it has in the treatment of arthritis, due to the fact that the study of this is still in its experimental phase.
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints that manifests itself through symptoms such as pain, swelling, stiffness, redness and warmth at the level of the affected joint. There is no known cure for arthritis yet, but the appropriate treatment plan can keep under control all its symptoms and ease the patient’s life considerably. The treatment of arthritis is mainly both pharmaceutical and physical, through various forms of physiotherapy. But there are some natural supplements that have been proved to help in this case, and capsaicin seems to be one of them.
The benefits of capsaicin
Capsaicin creams and ointments have been known to temporarily diminish minor muscle and joint pains associated with arthritis, as well as back pain and other types of bodily discomfort in this area. It is also a key ingredient in experimental pain relief medicines associated with the treatment of post-surgical pain and osteoarthritis. These experimental medicines are developed in the form of injections that should be applied monthly to the affected area, and they come in injection form. Only time will tell if these will be a success or not.
If you are thinking to include capsaicin as a natural supplement in your arthritis treatment plan, it is advisable that you consult your doctor first. Although it has many benefits, this substance is also highly irritating and can be dangerous to people with sensitive stomachs, for example. But, if capsaicin is appropriate for you, its many healing qualities will surely make it your most trustworthy ally in improving not only arthritis, but your overall health condition.