Among the substances thought to have aphrodisiacal properties, spices and spicy foods have always held great prominence. Just like the spicy foods stimulate the senses of smell, taste and color, they are also believed to stimulate sexual desire and heat up the body for love. Cayenne is one such food which has been used for centuries not only for a variety of therapeutic purposes but also to boost the libido, particularly among men.
Cayenne is a kind of hot red pepper whose cultivated variety is botanically known as Capsicum annum. Cayenne is closely related to bell peppers, jalapenos and other types of chili peppers of the genus Capsicum which belong to the Solaceae family. Cayenne pepper gets its name from the city of Cayenne in French Guiana since the original habitat of the pepper was Central and South America. After the colonials discovered its use in flavoring and preserving foods, it came to be used and cultivated in almost all parts of the world. Because of its spiciness, it is generally rated at 40,000 to 90,000 Scoville Units, depending upon the particular variety of the pepper.
TIP: Read about the Man Diet which boosts the stamina of men!
Cayenne as an aphrodisiac
The key to cayenne’s reputation as a male libido booster may lie in its effect on the body’s circulatory system. Cayenne and other chili peppers contain a chemical known as capsaicin which may act as a vasodilator. The dilation of the blood vessels in turn vastly improves the circulation of blood in arteries and veins. This means increased blood flow throughout the body including to the sex organs. The penis especially needs uninterrupted and prompt blood supply in order to achieve an erection and maintain it for longer periods of time. It is this effect of cayenne that perhaps led to the belief in some traditional cultures that ingestion of the pepper leads to longer lasting erections, stronger ejaculations and more intense orgasms.
Yet another reason for cayenne’s reputation as a love aid may be due to the belief that its ingestion leads to the release of endorphins in the body. Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that reduce the body’s sensation of pain and lead to euphoric feelings. And only when you are feeling good about yourself, can you take pleasure in sex. In this way, release of endorphins brought on by the use of cayenne plays a vital role in the setting the mood for love.
Cayenne is also a rich source of many important vitamins and minerals which are essential nutrients for a healthy sex life. It is particularly loaded with Vitamin C which has been proven to boost up the immune system of the body and maintain vigor and vitality. A body needs to be healthy and free from infections if it is to take pleasure in sex and, though indirectly, use of cayenne may help it to do just that.
Besides its direct and indirect effect on the libido, cayenne has also been used for various other medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It has been known to provide relief in some disorders of the gastro-intestinal tract like stomachaches, cramping pain and gas. In some cases, poultices including cayenne have been used as a counter-irritant in the treatment of rheumatic an arthritic pains. A counter-irritant is a substance which causes irritation on the area where it is applied and in the process distracts the nerves from feeling the original pain such as joint pain in the case of arthritis.
How is cayenne used? Cayenne is a very hot and spicy type of pepper and because of this, it figures an important flavoring agent in a variety of cuisines. It may be used to season dishes in the dried and powdered form or finely chopped in the fresh state. It may also be used whole to flavor dishes as in Szechuan cuisine. As a supplement, cayenne is ingested in the form of capsules or liquid tinctures of its extracts. If using cayenne as a supplement it is best to start with small doses in order to get your body used to it. In the capsule form the usual dosage is 500 to 800 mgs of powdered cayenne taken two to three times a day. As a tincture, you may take 0.3 to 1 ml three times a day. There are certain topical creams which contain 0.025 to 75% capsaicin but using it externally always be sure to go through directions. The cream should never be used on broken skin and always wash your hands after application. An infusion of cayenne is also used in some parts of the world. This requires pouring one cup of boiling water on half to one teaspoon of cayenne powder and then letting it stand for ten minutes. A teaspoon of the infusion can be mixed with water and taken three or four times a day.
Possible side effects of using cayenne
The level of capsaicin in cayenne which gives the chili its fiery taste may be too hot for some people to endure. Overdose of the pepper may also lead to increased sweating, a jump in the heart rate and rate of respiration. While these symptoms mimic feelings of sexual arousal, skeptics believe that they are actually the consequence of a chemical irritant which induces discomfort rather than pleasurable feeling. Whatever side of opinion you choose to take, it is always best to be guided by your own tolerance level if using cayenne as a spice and by your healthcare provider if using the extract for its medicinal properties.
Traditionally known for its heating effect on the body, use of cayenne can leave you with a mouth on fire, flushed appearance and a madly racing heart – in fact the most common symptoms of sharing a passionate kiss or getting the hots for your partner. So go ahead and have as much of the fiery little devil as you can stand and it may actually warm you up for a lively romp with your lover.