Capsaicin Sensation!

Capsaicin Sensation!_Yippee CayennePeppers are popular all over the world for that spicy jolt they give to your tastebuds. Though the experience can sometimes be painful, many love the almost addicting taste that peppers offer.

We have a different use for our peppers, but the reason we use them is the same. Peppers have a simple property that gives them that spicy taste and also gives Yippee Cayenne its soothing effect on sore throats: Capsaicin!

Capsaicin, as we mentioned in an earlier blog, is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in peppers. First discovered in 1816, innovators have found several creative ways to use this compound over the years. Read on to discover the ways you might come in contact with capsaicin without knowing it!

1. Food safety

When eaten, capsaicin triggers a release of stress hormones that causes skin reddening, sweating, and a case of the jitters. While this can be a rush for the quarter of the population that eats chilies daily, there is another reason to add peppers to food. As food spoils, microbes develop. For much of the world, proper refrigeration and storage can delay development long enough to protect eaters. For those without these options, capsaicin provides a natural way to avoid spoiling by stopping or slowing microbe growth. Many cultures have developed a taste for spicy food as a by-product of the days when the spice was needed to keep food safe!

2. Pepper spray

Ever wondered why pepper spray burns? Now you know! When capsaicin touches skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, it creates a powerful burning sensation that can deter people and animals from attacking.

3. Research

Because capsaicin has so many powerful effects on ailments, researchers use it for creams, nasal sprays, ointments, and more. This compound has been tested for its effects on cancer, psoriasis, joint pain, heart disease, and other maladies, though not all have been successful.

4. Pest control

Most mammals are repelled by capsaicin, so it has been used to deter pests from eating gardens, attacking, and becoming household nuisances. Birds are insensitive to capsaicin, so it is sometimes added to birdseed to repel rodents from bird feeders.

5. Equestrian sports

Capsaicin has a pain-relieving and hypersensitizing effect, which can boost the performance of a sport horse for competition. If a horse tests positive for capsaicin at an event, as did four horses at the 2008 Summer Olympics, it is disqualified.

Do you know of other uses for capsaicin? Share in the comments!

Headache Remedies

Headache Remedies_Yippee CayenneMaybe it starts as a low throb behind your eyes, or a sharp stab in your temples. They can make you nauseous, light-sensitive, distracted, and irritable. Whether you suffer them chronically or occasionally, headaches are painful and impossible to predict. You never know when you will get one and how long it will last.

Many pain medicines are able to ease head pains, but they aren’t always the best or most available option. And, as many people have learned the hard way, painkillers can be hard on your liver and stomach.

Instead, try one of these natural headache remedies to ease your head pain and give you relief.

1. Footbaths

Headaches are often caused by too much pressure in the blood vessels in the head. To ease the pressure, use a hot bath to soak your feet and draw the blood from your head to your toes. If you use essential oils, add a few drops of lavender and peppermint. If not, mix in some powdered mustard and try to relax as the pain eases.

2. Ginger Tea

Ginger tea is great for the pain and nausea that come with migraines. Grate 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, add 3 cups of boiling water, and let it steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain the ginger from the tea and sip it until your headache begins to fade.

3. Hot/Cold Compresses

Tension headaches (caused by high levels of stress, lack of sleep, and/or anxiety) and vascular headaches (such as migraines or cluster headaches) can be soothed by changes in temperature. For tension headaches, wet a cloth with hot water and place it on your head or the back of your neck to ease the tension in your muscles. For vascular headaches, use a cold wet cloth on your head or the back of your neck to constrict the blood vessels and reduce the pressure in your head. Use until the pain is gone.

4. Caffeine

Coffee drinkers, good news! Studies have found that drinking caffeine can help with headache pain. Try drinking a cup of coffee, tea, or (if nothing else is available) soda to relieve your headache. Don’t overdo it though, stick to one cup and try alternate methods if it doesn’t work.

Do you have any headache remedies you use? Share in the comments!