Interested in the uses, benefits and Scoville rating of the hot African Bird Pepper?
Then you’re in the right place!
Let’s dig right in and find out more…
What Is the African Bird Pepper used for?
The African Bird Pepper is a type of cayenne pepper that is known for being extremely spicy. It grows abundantly in the wild in Africa. Due to its savory flavor, it has been used by millions across the globe as a seasoning and spice to bring new life into their dishes.
It has also been widely known for its medicinal uses to naturally treat certain illnesses and a little later we’ll present some of the top health benefits of African Bird Pepper.
Due to its recent popularity, many countries like China, Mexico, India, Malawi, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are growing African Bird Pepper.
Since this particular cayenne pepper is now produced in so many geographic areas with different customs and languages, it’s known by many different names, including:
- African Chilies
- African Pepper
- Bird Pepper
- Capsicum Oleoresin
- Capsicum pubescens
- Cayenne Fruit
- Cayenne Pepper
- Garden Pepper
- Goat’s Pod
- Grains of Paradise
- Green Chili Pepper
- Green Pepper
- Hot Pepper
- Hungarian Pepper
- Ici Fructus
- Lal Mirchi
- Louisiana Long Pepper
- Mexican Chilies
- Piment de Cayenne
- Piment Fort
- Poivre de Cayenne
- Poivre de Zanzibar
- Poivre Rouge
- Red Pepper
- Sweet Pepper
- Tabasco Pepper
- Zanzibar Pepper
Top Health Benefits of African Bird Pepper
Other than its culinary value, it is also used as a folk cure for common ills and other medical problems. The secret behind the flavor and efficacy of the African bird pepper is capsaicin – a fantastic anti-inflammatory agent. This chemical is also used today as a treatment for a number of illnesses.
A growing number of alternative health practitioners, herbalists holistic healers use it to treat muscle pain, poor blood circulation, and many others.
There are those who use it as an all-natural healthy remedy the following:
- intestinal gas
- stomach pain, diarrhea and cramps;
- muscle spasms, back pain, shingles, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia (when applied on skin);
- laryngitis (when gargled); and
- malaria and fever
- Hay fever, migraine headache, cluster headache, and sinusitis (when placed inside the nose).
Besides the above-mentioned benefits, African bird pepper is also used to treat cardiovascular problems. Some even call it the ‘circulatory stimulant.’ It may help lower blood pressure. It may also lower the levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of this herb on the skin as a treatment for fibromyalgia .
There are other uses of this pepper. Its dried and powdered form is extremely painful when sprayed on the eyes. Some manufacturers of personal defense and security products have made pepper sprays using it.
Where to Buy African Bird Pepper
As a health supplement, African Bird Pepper is more commonly just called Cayenne and includes many dried powders and ground extracts typically taken as capsules and tablets.
How Hot Is African Bird Pepper on the Scoville Rating Scale?
On the Scoville Rating Scale, African Bird Pepper normally ranges from 28,000 to 95,000 Scoville Heat Units or SHU. However, some of the blistering peppers from Western Africa have measured at a very hot 150,000 to 300,000 SHU. The diversity in measurements has much to do with local soil and climate conditions where the peppers are grown.
What do Indian, Mexican, and some Asian cuisines have in common? Their dishes are often incorporated with any kind of chilli peppers, giving the meal an extra punch on the taste buds. If you are an avid fan of these kinds of dishes, then you might also want to try using chilli pepper for your medicinal needs.
Cayenne pepper, a close relative of the jalapeno pepper in the capsicum family, is a common chilli pepper that is known to have several health benefits. It originated from South and Central America and got its name from French Guiana’s capital city.
It is usually used in food and medical applications either in its natural form or in powdered form. Cayenne is known to have been beneficial to the Native Americans’ cuisine and medicine for thousands of years. The Chinese have also utilized the pepper in the same manner.
Today, Cayenne peppers are popularly known for their detoxifying properties and other qualities. Here’s a list of the benefits you can get from this spicy pepper:
- Aids in digestion
- Improves circulation of blood
- Pain relief (muscular)
- Relieves headaches and migraines
- Cold and flu aid
- Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
- Possible anti-cancer properties
- Weight loss
All chilli peppers, including Cayenne, contain an ingredient called capsaicin, which gives them their signature spiciness. Because of capsaicin’s spicy element, it can help those who are suffering from different muscle and joint pains, headaches, nerve pains, laryngitis, fungal infections, and other painful conditions contracted by the body.
As a digestive aid, it helps relieve stomach pain; this is usually done by applying oils infused with pepper extract. It also stimulates the digestive system by increasing the production of enzymes and gastric juices which can in turn help the body’s metabolism.
The spicy quality of Cayenne is also known to aid in getting rid of nasal mucus and sinusitis, hence also preventing colds and flu from attacking you. On another note, it promotes heart health and circulation, thus making it beneficial for people who suffer from high cholesterol, excessive blood clotting, and heart disease.
Other uses include treatment seasickness and alcoholism and to discourage thumb-sucking and nail-biting, especially among children. Capsaicin is also a potent ingredient in self-defense pepper sprays because it can be highly irritating when it comes in direct contact with the eyes.
Remember to wash your hands after coming in contact with Cayenne or any kind of chilli pepper and its products for it might cause you a burning discomfort, especially in your eyes.
What’s great about Cayenne pepper, aside from its wide array of health and even self-defense benefits, is that it can be easily bought in your local supermarket. And, if Cayenne isn’t available, there are a variety of chilli peppers to choose from which are just as beneficial as Cayenne. Chilli pepper-infused products are also available in pharmacies, though you can easily make such products in your kitchen.
Cayenne pepper is definitely a good, cheap alternative to your usual pain relievers and other medical aids. So, what are you waiting for? Go and give your lifestyle that spicy kick!