You have heard that cayenne is much more than just a seasoning ingredient in the kitchen and that the spiciness is not only tasty but also healthy? But you are not yet convinced of the effect and would like to learn more about the intake, scientific background and necessary criteria for the purchase of cayenne? Then you've come to the right place.
We are pleased that you have found your way to our big Cayenne test 2022. Here you will find everything you need to know about the burning hot cayenne pepper. You will not only learn why cayenne harmonises wonderfully with many dishes in Cajun cuisine, but also why the chilli pepper is said to have healing effects.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Cayenne: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for Cayenne
- 5 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying cayenne
- 5.1 What is cayenne and how does it work?
- 5.2 When and for whom is it useful to take cayenne?
- 5.3 What nutritional values does cayenne contain?
- 5.4 Which parts of the plant are processed by cayenne?
- 5.5 How much do Cayenne products cost?
- 5.6 What types of cayenne are there?
- 5.7 Can I lose weight with cayenne?
- 5.8 What are the side effects of cayenne?
- 5.9 What are the alternatives to cayenne?
- 5.10 What is the difference between cayenne and chilli?
- 5.11 How do I make ground cayenne pepper myself?
- 5.12 What different dishes can be cooked with cayenne?
- Cayenne is a spice extracted from the chilli plant of the same name from Mexico. It is therefore a ground, dried chilli pepper and is mainly used to flavour food in the kitchen.
- Cayenne contains important substances that can have health effects for the body. Its special active ingredient capsaicin shows an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect and is used for numerous diseases.
- Cayenne is available in different dosage forms. It is available as cayenne pepper powder, in liquid form as drops, in the form of capsules to swallow and as an ointment for external use.
The Best Cayenne: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for Cayenne
When buying a Cayenne, you can pay attention to various aspects:
By making the right choice for you, you can save money and also ensure that you don't give your body anything it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for organic quality and prefer products with certification.
Cayenne is available in four different dosage forms. Cayenne is available in ground form, liquid form and as capsules and ointments.
We explain in detail which form is best for you in our section "What types of cayenne are there?" and show you the respective advantages and disadvantages.
The dosage depends strongly on the form of cayenne. If you decide to take capsaicin in capsules, a daily intake of 1-2 capsules is recommended.
If you want to take the active ingredient capsaicin in drops, a maximum of 2-3 drops daily with a glass of water is recommended.
With ointments, on the other hand, it is recommended to apply them thinly to the skin. The warming effect is very fast and relatively strong. Make sure that you only use the ointment externally and keep it away from children.
When cooking, you are the only master of the spiciness of your dish. Be careful and only add cayenne pepper gradually until you have reached the desired level of heat.
The use, but also the taste, decides which form of cayenne is best for you.
If you only use cayenne for cooking, we recommend buying ground cayenne pepper in commercial spice packs. These are available in small quantities, approx. 40 g, or in large packages of up to 1 kg.
However, if you want to use cayenne for medicinal purposes, you are exactly right with extracts, capsules and ointments.
You only pay once for these dosage forms and don't have to worry about supplies for a few weeks afterwards. This is reflected in the price.
The heat level of chillies is generally measured in Scoville units. Large, thick cayenne peppers have between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville units.
In comparison, jalapeños and hot peppers are quite mild. Jalapeños reach between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville units on a Scoville scale, while hot peppers have only 100-1,000 Scoville units.
If you want to taste the heat, you should use the spice in ground form or as drops (extract). If you want to avoid the spiciness, capsules are the right choice.
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying cayenne
In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of cayenne and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.
What is cayenne and how does it work?
Cayenne is mainly dried and then ground into powder, the cayenne pepper. The taste of cayenne pepper is hot and smoky with a bitter note.
Cayenne not only adds a certain spiciness to dishes, it is also said to have many health effects on the body. The active ingredient capsaicin is responsible for this. The pungent substance is said to have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and blood pressure-lowering effects.
Cayenne for high blood pressure
Cayenne can have a strong effect on the blood and vascular system.
Cayenne can relax the blood vessels and consequently has a blood-thinning and blood pressure-lowering effect. (2)
The active ingredient capsaicin switches on the heat receptors in the mucous membrane of the mouth and the typical sensation of spiciness occurs. An important substance is released that dilates the blood vessels and increases the permeability of the vascular walls. (1)
Cayenne for arthrosis
People suffering from arthrosis experience great pain in their joints. To combat this pain, common painkillers are prescribed to suppress it.
The capsaicin in cayenne promises a pain-relieving effect for osteoarthritis patients on a natural basis. (3)
If you apply capsaicin, for example, as an ointment to the corresponding part of your body, the active ingredient stimulates the pain-conducting nerve fibres until they are exhausted and no more pain signals are transmitted. (4)
Cayenne for Burn Out
Burnout patients need support in acute cases, during regeneration and in the sustainable change of their lifestyle habits. These patients often suffer from cortisol deficiency, which can lead to exhaustion, feelings of weakness and daytime tiredness.
Cayenne, with its pungent ingredient capsaicin, can help stimulate cortisol production. Through the body's own cortisol, burnout patients should be able to adjust their lifestyle again.
Cayenne for stomach problems
Cayenne can have a positive effect on the body. It is claimed that after regular intake of cayenne, the stomach tissue is built up and consequently stomach and intestinal ulcers can be healed.
Animal experiments in the laboratory have shown that cayenne promotes blood flow to the stomach lining, which in turn accelerates the healing process. (5)
It has also been scientifically proven in a clinical study on humans that cayenne can protect the stomach lining from damage and thus has a preventive effect on the stomach. (6)
Cayenne for cancer
Capsaicin can be used as a cancer-preventive agent in medicine. It prevents cell growth and induces the death of cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. (7)
From multiple studies, scientists have found that tumours can shrink to a fifth of their original size when exposed to capsaicin.
Thus, the growth of cancer cells can be effectively inhibited. However, further studies are encouraged to successfully apply capsaicin in clinical therapy for patients with breast cancer for the future. (8)
When and for whom is it useful to take cayenne?
If you want to do something good for your body and fight your pain with natural means, you should definitely start integrating cayenne into your diet.
Whether through drops, capsules or tablets - cayenne contains important substances for the body, especially capsaicin, which is said to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.
Basically, cayenne is aimed at all those who are looking for a suitable spice in the kitchen to give their dishes that certain spicy touch and/or want to use the effective properties of cayenne for their body.
What nutritional values does cayenne contain?
|Amount per 100 g||Nutritional value|
|Fat content||17 g|
So you know which ingredients can be combined effectively.
Which parts of the plant are processed by cayenne?
Cayenne is therefore a wild plant that can grow up to 60-80 cm high and bears many thin-fleshed pods. These chillies are harvested, dried and ground into a powder called cayenne pepper.
How much do Cayenne products cost?
The cheapest form in which you can buy cayenne is ground.
What types of cayenne are there?
- Cayenne powder
- Cayenne capsules
- Cayenne extract
- Cayenne ointment
Which type you choose depends on the purpose. If you want to lose weight with cayenne, drops are the right choice. If you have pain and muscle tension, the ointment will help you fight it. For blood circulation and heart functions, it is recommended to take capsules. For cooking, it is best to use ground cayenne.
In the following section we explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of cayenne.
Can I lose weight with cayenne?
A study on laboratory mice has shown that capsaicin accelerates the burning of fat tissue. The process of chemical changes in the fatty tissue indicates a high energy demand, which in turn is a sign of the continuous breakdown of body fat. (10)
As there have only been studies tested on animals so far, it is still unclear and controversial that cayenne actually supports weight loss. However, previous users testify to the positive effect, which paves their way to the dream figure.
What are the side effects of cayenne?
The pungent substances from chillies and peppers can cause painful irritation of the mucous membranes. After processing cayenne, you should wash your hands several times and avoid eye contact.
If you have an allergy to pepper products, you should definitely avoid cayenne pepper so that hypersensitivity reactions do not occur.
Regardless, you should always consume the pungent substance capsaicin contained in cayenne in moderation. An overdose can, even if only very rarely, lead to severe chest pain and even a heart attack. (12)
Follow the dosage rule and you won't risk anything. If the pain persists, we strongly recommend that you consult a doctor.
What are the alternatives to cayenne?
We recommend the following alternatives to achieve this result:
|Tabasco||same level of heat, but fruitier in flavour||use only with liquid dishes, e.g. soup, stews, etc.|
|chilli powder||less hot, often available as a spice mix. make sure to use pure chilli powder without any other ingredients||depending on the chilli variety, it changes the flavour|
|Chipotle powder||obtained from smoked, dried jalapeños, tastes strongly spicy||season carefully peu à peu, as the spiciness of the powder can vary greatly|
|Paprika powder||depending on the variety, a similar spiciness can be achieved (e.g. Hungarian, Spanish, etc.).||Mild paprika can also be mixed with chilli powder if necessary|
|Thai pepper||green peppercorns from Thailand, twice as hot in taste but less spicy||add peppercorns to the pot or pan when cooking, then remove the peppercorns after cooking|
Whether Tabasco, chilli powder, Thai pepper or similar, the choice of hot spice is ultimately a matter of taste!
What is the difference between cayenne and chilli?
Cayenne pepper is nothing more than ground chilli peppers. Even if the name erroneously suggests it, cayenne is not obtained from the pepper plant, but from the chilli plant of the same name. It is much more intense in flavour, hotter and contributes a bitter note.
Chilli powder, on the other hand, is a mixture of hot spices. Its main ingredients are cayenne pepper, garlic and oregano. Some blends also contain nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander or/and cloves.
Chilli powder is therefore a mix of many different ingredients and should not be confused with finely ground cayenne pepper.
How do I make ground cayenne pepper myself?
We show you how to make your own cayenne pepper in just a few steps.
- Preparation: Cut the washed and dried chillies into quarters with a cutting knife
- Drying process: Place in a dehydrator and dry for about 8 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can also dry the quartered chillies at a low temperature (approx. 40 degrees Celsius) in a fan-assisted oven for at least 4 hours
- Grind: As soon as the quartered chillies are dry, grind them into powder in a spice mill. Your homemade cayenne pepper is ready.
What you need are: Cayenne chillies, gloves, knife, chopping board, dehydrator if needed & a spice grinder (a coffee grinder will also work).
What different dishes can be cooked with cayenne?
Soups, casseroles, ragouts and egg dishes also go very well with it. Its spiciness refines many rice dishes.
Cayenne is often used for marinating. Cayenne harmonises very well with fish and seafood and is an important ingredient in seasoning sauces such as sambal oelek and tabasco.
It doesn't matter whether it is used in ice cream, chocolate or creams. Its pungency even enhances desserts and sweets. Some people sprinkle a little cayenne into their coffee or cocoa or spice up smoothies and cocktails with it.
Image source: Jucha / 123rf
Yang D, Luo Z, Ma S, et al. Activation of TRPV1 by dietary capsaicin improves endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation and prevents hypertension. Cell Metab. 2010;12(2):130-141. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2010.05.015
Harada N, Okajima K. Effects of capsaicin and isoflavone on blood pressure and serum levels of insulin-like growth factor-I in normotensive and hypertensive volunteers with alopecia. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009;73(6):1456-1459. doi:10.1271/bbb.80883
PharmaWiki: Capsaicin. URL: https://www.pharmawiki.ch/wiki/index.php?wiki=capsaicin. Stand: 02.09.2020.
Evangelista S. Novel therapeutics in the field of capsaicin and pain. Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2015;8(4):373-375. doi:10.1586/17512433.2015.1044438
Kang JY, Teng CH, Chen FC. Effect of capsaicin and cimetidine on the healing of acetic acid induced gastric ulceration in the rat. Gut. 1996;38(6):832-836. doi:10.1136/gut.38.6.832
Yeoh KG, Kang JY, Yap I, et al. Chili protects against aspirin-induced gastroduodenal mucosal injury in humans. Dig Dis Sci. 1995;40(3):580-583. doi:10.1007/BF02064374
Zhang R, Humphreys I, Sahu RP, Shi Y, Srivastava SK. In vitro and in vivo induction of apoptosis by capsaicin in pancreatic cancer cells is mediated through ROS generation and mitochondrial death pathway. Apoptosis. 2008;13(12):1465-1478. doi:10.1007/s10495-008-0278-6
Chapa-Oliver AM, Mejía-Teniente L. Capsaicin: From Plants to a Cancer-Suppressing Agent. Molecules. 2016;21(8):931. Published 2016 Jul 27. doi:10.3390/molecules21080931
"Ludy MJ, Moore GE, Mattes RD. The effects of capsaicin and capsiate
on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans.
Chem Senses. 2012;37(2):103-121. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjr100"
Abdel-Salam OM, Szolcsányi J, Mózsik G. Capsaicin and the stomach. A review of experimental and clinical data. J Physiol Paris. 1997;91(3-5):151-171. doi:10.1016/s0928-4257(97)89479-x
Boddhula SK, Boddhula S, Gunasekaran K, et alAn unusual cause of thunderclap headache after eating the hottest pepper in the world – “The Carolina Reaper”Case Reports 2018;2018:bcr-2017-224085.
Sogut O, Kaya H, Gokdemir MT, Sezen Y. Acute myocardial infarction and coronary vasospasm associated with the ingestion of cayenne pepper pills in a 25-year-old male. Int J Emerg Med. 2012;5:5. Published 2012 Jan 20. doi:10.1186/1865-1380-5-5