Bitter and astringent, Cayenne, chili pepper, paprika, red pepper or in Latin Capsicum.
Chili peppers are an inevitable addition to cooking around the globe: from Spain to India and the Far East, to Mexico and North America. There are hundreds of different types of chili peppers, and they often look alike. They vary in colour, size, flavour and definitely in hotness.
Chili peppers are a member of the botanical family Solanaceae (nightshade). They can be consumed fresh or dried in its powdered form. On top of being used in cooking, chilli peppers are also used for ritualistic purposes, or for spicing up your love moments.
You might have noticed that when you are eating chili, your heart beat starts to rise, your circulation increases; your mouth swells, you start to sweat…sounds familiar? Ever felt this kind of feelings before?. O yes…all these sensations are similar symptoms as when enjoying “love” moments. This is why chili peppers are also used as a sexual stimulant.
So, we have chili in cooking, sex, rituals and a bit more.
In Serbia, a group of young students who live in a city called Leskovac (a famous chilli pepper city) wanted their hometown to gain even more fame. In a competition for young talents, they opted for chili peppers as their medical research experiment. The students extracted the component capsaicin from red chili peppers. This element is what gives spiciness to chili peppers. The youth then made aerosol and gave it a name “ljutko” (free translation: Mr. spicy or spicy heat). “Ljutko” has proved to have cooling effects and it can be used for different body parts to soothe pain or wounds in sports people. And in case you were wondering, the young and proud Serbian researchers and the “Ljutko” got the third prize.
Chili Pepper Benefits
As mentioned above, Capsaicin is the compound which makes chili peppers spicy. Capsaicin has an anti-inflammatory compound that helps with pain relief, and it is the key element when it comes to health benefits. Here are other benefits:
- Used as an anaesthetic
- Chili peppers help with stomach problems by killing the bacteria you eat (according to Dr OZ website, they do not cause stomach ulcers)
- They have vitamin A and C
- They boost your immunity
- Chili peppers suppress your appetite and help you lose weight
- They increase your metabolism
- Capsaicin found in chili helps with arthritis
- Chili peppers help with sinusitis
- Increases heart rate
- Excellent as a spicy aphrodisiac
Whether in soups or desserts, chili pepper will spice up your heart, circulation, and why not put some fire in your love life. And as young researchers say, it can heal some sports wounds. One friendly warning, when dealing with fresh chili peppers make sure you have gloves. The capsaicin which is found in red peppers seeds and white inner membranes is super hot and it can cause a burning sensation if it touches your skin or if it comes in contact with your eyes. One fact is sure: the hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.