The Spirit of Cayenne

I am willing to change and grow in ways that are perfect for me.

I am totally free to move forward now.

pepper-662550_640Interestingly, recent research continues to support Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper, as an effective treatment for non-allergic rhinitis (a runny nose) when compared to conventional medical treatments. However, when we look deeply, cayenne is so much more.  As a kitchen spice most of us are familiar with the spicy addition of red pepper to our soups and sauces, but what if I told you that cayenne is useful for healing as well. Indeed, the white flowers of cayenne pepper have the ability to ignite transformation allowing for increased spiritual and emotional development.  The pepper itself is a powerful medicinal. woman-698990_1920

Let’s take a closer look.  While conventional medicine takes the perspective of seeking and finding the active ingredient of a plant like cayenne pepper, then using the active chemical isolated in blinded research protocols to measure objective outcomes, herbalist, homeopaths, flower essence practitioners and those who work directly with the plant spirits, instead develop a relationship with the plant to guide healing. For me, cayenne has many medicinal uses in my life. One of my favorites is the flower essence. The cayenne flower essence engages the fiery inward forces towards change and transformation.  I use this often when someone is stagnating emotionally and is unable to make changes in their life.

Essence RemediesHomeopathically cayenne is useful for burning pains, especially burning in the gastrointestinal system but also the respiratory system.  The person needing homeopathic cayenne is chilly, clumsy, overweight and rather indolent.  He or she is worse with cold or drafts of cold and she likes routines.  Actually, the homeopath notices homesickness is a key quality of the person needing cayenne.  Yes, the person needing cayenne often likes things just as they are, staying in familiar routines and close to home. Given this sluggishness of the system, it’s no wonder this person likes pungent foods or coffee.  She is difficult to arouse and any big changes in their life causes a flare-up of symptoms.

massage-389716_640As an herb, cayenne has been used for centuries as an antibacterial to fight infections.  With its stimulant properties it can improve circulation, thus stabilizing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol when used with companion herbs.  Loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, it’s no surprise that it’s useful for fighting off infections.  It’s often added to pain relieving combinations used for arthritis or sore muscles in general. I use it for back pain in combination with comfrey and horsetails as a bath.

When I close my eyes and settle my breath, opening my senses to everything around, I can connect to cayenne as a guide and as a friend. I see her as a spirit that ignites energetic change and I know her to be an ally when there is too much inertia in my body.  She offers the wisdom of fire when my body is clinging to earth or water.  When I feel heavy, overly connected to the material world, food, shelter, daily routines, and staying inside, and when my body gets sluggish and dull, cayenne offers a transformational spark that can ignite inner healing movement towards balance and light.

I invite you too to become and ally of the genius of cayenne.  She’s not hard to find, you just have to stop long enough to listen to her wisdom and notice how she can ignite healing when the days are cold and the nights are long.

If you want to meet cayenne and other common herbs,  my wife Dr. Wendy Buffett and I will be offering a two hour session this Sunday November 21st called Healing Traditions of Medicinal Plants @ Urban Adamah in Berkeley, CA. 


Capsaicin for non-allergic rhinitis. Gevorgyan A, Segboer C, Gorissen R, van Drunen CM, Fokkens W. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jul 14;7:CD010591. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010591.pub2.

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