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Friday, June 5, 2020

Cayenne Pepper - and Black Pepper - for Wound Healing

**DISCLAIMER -- For severe wounds, and/or if you have haemophilia or are on blood thinners, do seek immediate medical attention instead and do not attempt to remedy the situation yourself.**

In the simple first-aid kit I've had in my car, I've always included a sealed bottle of cayenne pepper.  Why, perhaps you're asking?  Years ago I read the book The Health Benefits of Cayenne by John Heinerman, in which he described the practice of applying cayenne pepper to minor wounds to accelerate the clotting process, minimize the risk of infection (as cayenne is highly anti-bacterial) and generally help the wound heal faster.  This methodology was further sold to me on occasions when I had a cut which was bleeding inconveniently, and I wished for it to "close up" sooner.  I sprinkled cayenne pepper liberally on the cut, and sure enough, the bleeding stopped very promptly.  Applying this to minor wounds, over repeated occurrences, was more than enough for me to establish its efficacy as a safe natural wound dressing.

More recently, I learned of another very common spice which is, apparently, surprisingly at least as effective as cayenne for the accelerated healing of minor wounds -- if not even more potent in this capacity than cayenne.  And this spice would be none other than ordinary black pepper.

There was a paper published back in 2014 in the UK Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biosciences by Chin Mee Wong and Jing Jing Ling entitled, "In Vitro Study of Wound Healing Potential in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.)"  Go here if you wish to read the full paper.  The authors mention therein, regarding black pepper, that:

"It also has vast medical potentials that are often being overlooked. For centuries, black pepper remains as a traditional cure for minor cut and wound. It is known to disinfect the wound and stimulates blood coagulation, and scab formation. Black pepper not only disinfects the injury and seals the wound, but it also helps the wound to heal faster and lessens the chances of scars as well."

The paper concludes with acknowledgement of the need for further studies to isolate the active components from black pepper which make it so effective for wound healing.  But indeed, their research indicates its effectiveness is far more than purely anecdotal.

Perhaps I will have to "upgrade" my first aid kit, and instead of including just pure cayenne pepper, it might be even better to use, say, a 50/50 mixture of cayenne and black pepper...for the best of both worlds!

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