Cayenne Pepper Scoville Units (SHU)
The Cayenne Pepper is a type of chili pepper that originated in South and Central America. They were given the name, Cayenne, for the town in which they were first discovered. The remainder of the world never knew of these peppers until the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Cayenne peppers soon replaced the more expensive black pepper from Asia. Today, Cayenne chili peppers are cultivated around the world. However, most commercial producing takes place in Mexico, Nigeria, China, and Spain. The Cayenne pepper can mature to nearly six inches in length and a width of nearly two inches. This large pepper has a brilliant red color with a moderate skin thickness. When ready for harvest, the skin will be slightly wrinkled. They have a Scoville heat scale rating of 30,000-50,000 SHU.
Cayenne peppers have been studied by researchers for many years. Many in the field of alternative medicine testify that the Cayenne pepper is the most useful of all vegetables. Some of these potential benefits are as follows:
- Boosting energy and stamina.
- Cleansing and detoxification.
- Improvement of circulation.
- Strengthens the heart.
- Relief of sinus and chest congestion.
- Treatment of ulcers in the stomach.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Pain relief.
- Relief of leg cramps.
- Rich in calcium and potassium.
Cayenne pepper should be taken internally in the form of a supplement. Individuals should be aware that the seeds of this chili pepper are sometimes toxic and should never be eaten or used in cooking.
With all of the possible benefits of the Cayenne pepper, there are some disadvantages. The main disadvantage, to this and other hot chili peppers, is the uncomfortable burning sensation that accompanies ingestion and skin contact. The mouth, throat, and stomach will immediately begin to burn upon consumption of the pepper. Drinking milk or other products, that are high in fat, will alleviate the sensation. Skin contact causes a painful burning as well. Individuals can wash the skin in milk or baby shampoo to get rid of the discomfort. Vegetable oil and petroleum jelly also work well. The fat in these products binds to the chemical compound in the pepper, Capsaicin, which causes the burning sensation, thus resulting in relief.