If you suffer from migraine, you might be experiencing throbbing pain accompanied by vomiting, nausea and some tenderness in the scalp and neck. Around 42 million Americans suffer from these headaches, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.While most doctors may recommend painkillers that redirect blood flow in brain to control the problem, many practitioners of alternative medicine claim cayenne pepper may also offer lasting relief. It’s best to consult your doctor, before self-treating.
Cayenne is a perennial shrub that may reach three feet and bears red colored fruits with some white seeds. It’s grown in most parts of Central America, and offers benefits as toothache treatment, digestive aid and as a remedy for chills and heat stress. Steven Foster, author of famous book “National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature’s medicine,” capsaicin, which is active plant chemical found in cayenne, is mainly responsible for this herb’s powerful pain-relief abilities and healing powers.
Capsaicin works by desensitizing nerve endings by releasing some pain-inducing chemical (substance P), which is actually a neurotransmitter that transmits pain messages to brain. If you take it by mouth, its capsaicin content may overwhelm your nerves and may deplete them of substance P, so this action may stop pain transmission. According to Misa B. Balch, certified nutritional consultant in Texas and author of the book “Prescription for Herbal Healing,”, capsaicin also has the capability to reduce platelet aggregation factor (PAF), which contributes to the onset of migraine headaches by constricting blood circulation in the head.
If you want to treat your migraine, take some cayenne powder and mix it in some starch food. If you take it on a regular basis, it can interfere with liver enzyme activity called CYP1A2. This enzyme is necessary to eliminate some medications, so avoid taking cayenne if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, aspiring and theophylline, a drug used to control asthma. Cayenne may also lead to abdominal irritation, with excessive amounts leading to liver problems, stomach pain and in extreme cases kidney damage. Pregnant and nursing women or children and people with heartburn or ulcers should avoid this herb.