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Is Cayenne Pepper Effective in Treating Blood Clots?

Scientific evidence is too feeble to consider cayenne pepper as an effective way to improve blood circulation or prevent development of blood clots. Go through this HolisticZine article to know more about cayenne pepper and blood clots.
HolisticZine Staff
Did You Know?

Cayenne pepper is often referred to as the king of herbs as it is believed to have exceptional medicinal virtues.

When it comes to adding a spicy flavor to a dish, the first thing that comes to our mind is cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper can be added in different ways to your everyday dishes. You can grind cayenne pepper to a fine powder or simply chop and add it to up the spice quotient of any dish. However, usage of this hot chili goes beyond making spice blends and flavorful dishes. As claimed by various herbalists, cayenne pepper is touted to be a miraculous herb because of its astonishing healing properties. It has been an age-old remedy for a variety of common complaints including toothaches, joint pain, and digestive distress.

Amongst its many speculated benefits, one that has garnered a lot of attention from the medical fraternity is its ability to stimulate blood circulation and prevent blood clots. The following write-up discusses this benefit, including if the efficacy of cayenne pepper in treating blood clots is backed by scientific research.

Purported Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Capsaicin, an important constituent of cayenne pepper, is said to provide circulatory benefits. Taking cayenne pepper is believed to boost blood circulation and facilitate delivery of nutrients to different parts of the body. This benefit may be especially useful for people suffering from poor circulation. Capsaicin is said to display anti-clotting properties, hence the herb may be helpful in preventing formation of blood clots.

It is often referred to as a natural blood thinner that may resolve poor blood flow and lower the risk of blood clot occurrence in the veins and arteries. It is said to lower the concentration of fibrin, an insoluble protein that plays a key role in clot formation. Fibrin strands are an essential component of blood clot. Thus, including cayenne pepper in the diet may help to dissolve strands of this blood clotting protein. Capsaicin in cayenne pepper is believed to widen blood vessels that may help to bust the clot.

Scientific Evidence

▲ Although few studies on cayenne pepper do hint its ability to prevent blood clots and improve blood circulation, more research is needed before commenting on the effectiveness of cayenne pepper in treating blood clots. The evidence is inadequate to believe in its capacity of treating blood clots effectively. With current data available, it would be difficult to rate the effectiveness of cayenne pepper in treating blood circulation problems. So, using cayenne pepper is not yet a clinically proven way to prevent formation of blood clots.

▲ One research published in the New England Journal of Medicine observed that people of Thailand rarely suffer from blood clots, which has been attributed to their habit of eating cayenne pepper.

▲ As aforementioned, capsaicin in cayenne pepper that is believed to increase blood flow, may not only prevent but also stop an ongoing heart attack quickly. It is thought to stimulate blood circulation in seconds, which may help to clear blockages immediately and halt a heart attack in progress. For years, herbalists have been using cayenne pepper tea or its tincture to treat patients during a heart attack. They believe that cayenne pepper increases blood circulation within no time, especially in areas of restricted blood flow which contributes in stopping a heart attack in progress.

▲ Animal studies on mice also demonstrate the heart-protective properties of cayenne pepper. In a study conducted by researchers at the university of Cincinnati, topical form of capsaicin (found in cayenne) was applied to mice during a heart attack. As we all know, in a heart attack, cardiac cells begin to die as blood circulation is substantially cut off. However, due to external application of capsaicin, death of heart muscle cells decreased by a whopping 85%, thereby significantly reducing the damage to the heart. However, further research is warranted before coming to any conclusions.

Caution

Herbalists that regard cayenne pepper as an effective blood thinning agent advise people suffering from bleeding disorders to avoid taking this chili. The supposed anti-clotting activity of cayenne pepper may aggravate bleeding disorders. Herbalists also warn that cayenne pepper may also reduce the efficacy of anticoagulant drugs that help to clot blood.

A point to note here is that cayenne pepper has the reputation of making the dish spicier, which can leave you with watery eyes while consuming dishes containing cayenne pepper. If you are not comfortable eating spicy foods, yet want to include cayenne pepper in your diet, taking it in the form of supplements is a good option.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.