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Hot pepper, properties and virtues


The use of thehot pepperit dates back at least ten thousand years ago, when it was already famous asfood-medicine. Theproperties of hot pepperhave made this food very popular infolk medicinewhere it fulfills the role ofnatural remedysuitable for the treatment of various ailments.

Hot pepper, a bit of history
Thehot pepperarrived inEuropeonly following shipments ofChristopher Columbusin the Americas, between the 15th and 16th centuries. Thanks to its ease ofcultivation, managed to spread rapidly reaching, after Europe, also the East, landing in countries such as Indica, China and Japan.

Today, there is no gastronomic culture in the world or culinary tradition that does not include the use of this spice. The sauces based on hot pepper are numerous, from the traditionalllajuaAndalusian (used to accompany meat dishes and soups, the recipe can be found in the article dedicated to Quinoa soup) up to Calabrian nduja.

There are many varieties ofhot peppers which differ in shape, color and intensity of spiciness.

Hot pepper, properties

In folk medicine it is used asnatural remedyfor multiple dysfunctions. Over the centuries, thehot pepperwas used asremedyof thedecreased sexual desire, to combat hypotension, capillary fragility, gastric and duodenal ulcer, excess cholesterol and psoriasis. It is also among thenatural remediesfor allergies and asthma and even against stiff neck, gout, colitis, depression, pharyngitis, water retention, sprains ...

In fact we do not know if the uses in the field offolk medicinewere appropriate but we can report the results of some scientific research together with the surprising onespropertynutritional.

In recent decades, many studies with sound scientific foundations have been published. First of all we can say that thehot pepperis an excellent source ofantioxidantssuch as flavonoids, phenolic acids, carotenoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, tocopherols, capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin (the substances responsible for the spicy taste).

Anti-inflammatory action
Thanks to the high amount of antioxidant substances, thehot pepperreduces inflammatory processes and protects the body's cells from cancerous degeneration.

Boost your metabolism
The use of thehot pepperit would also seem to affect various aspects of metabolism (see how to speed up the metabolism) managing to increase theenergy consumption for the first half hour after the meal. Thanks to its active ingredients, thehot pepperappreciably reduces appetite.

Protects the stomach
A study conducted on healthy subjects has shown that the use ofhot pepperexerts clear protection against the development of gastric ulcers, a similar study found that thechili pepper manages to mitigate the effects on the stomach mucosa of some notoriously aggressive drugs (such asaspirin); despite these publications, in clinical practice thehot pepperis strongly discouraged (contraindications) to subjects suffering from digestive or intestinal disorders.

Protects the garden
Lovers of the organic method can use thehot pepperas a natural repellent to eliminate parasites from plants, or as a natural pesticide for the garden.

Hot pepper, cultivation

Thehot pepperit's easy tocultivate. Therecultivation of hot peppersit can be started both in the garden (in the ground) and in pots. To grow chilies in pots, you will need to choose large enough containers. The peppers should be planted in pots of at least 15-20 kilograms of soil and supported with stakes. Learn more aboutHow to grow chilli in pots.

Another related article of ours that we recommend you read is Medicinal plants: list and fact sheets.

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