Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of hot pepper or chili pepper
Hot pepper, spicy pepper, chili pepper are a type of fruit from different plants of the Potato family (Solanaceae) and Capsicum genus.
From a medicinal point of view, these fruits are powerful natural anti-inflammatories (both in external and internal use), natural antibiotics, analgesic and thermogenic effect (stimulates weight loss).
Properties of capsaicin in the treatment of pain
The medicinal properties of chili peppers or hot peppers are mainly due to their content in capsinoids or capsaicinoids (capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, nor-dihydrocapsaicin, homocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, etc.). Among them, the most important, for its properties, is capsaicin. This component is also responsible for the spicy flavor that these plants have.
There are numerous commercial creams with capsaicin or made from this principle, such as Qutenza (contains 8% capsaicin), or creams with zucapsaicin, such as Civanex and Zuacta. All of them are classified as topical analgesics.
How does capsaicin work?
The brain reacts to the signal of pain, produced by this substance, and produces endorphins substances, which are very similar in to morphine, a pain medication derived from opium used medically to decrease the feeling of pain.
On the other hand, besides “cheating pain”, it has been proved that capsaicin can neutralize substance P, in charge of the transmission of pain information into the central nervous system. By decreasing this substance, the brain does not receive enough pain signals from the affected area.
How is capsaicin applied to be used as an aid against pain?
The most important medicinal use of capsaicin refers to its use as an analgesic in the treatment of pain. In this case, mainly preparations in the form of cream, oils or ointments are used which, applied externally, can reduce the sensation of pain.
More information on capsaicin and hot peppers
6 June, 2019