Red Hot Pain Relief

How many of you out there enjoy a good red hot chili pepper with your meal? No, I’m not talking about the band (I like their music too! ). I’m talking about the red little pepper that for most, is more about suffering than spice. But whether you like them with dinner or not you may be shocked to know that what burns like crazy in your mouth can bring incredible pain relief that many prescription medications cannot even do! Capsaicin, which is the active component of chili peppers, is actually an irritant to us humans and produces a burning sensation to any tissue that it touches. It works by depleting a chemical involved in transmitting pain impulses to the brain and its properties make it a great option for relieving pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy. It actually acts by binding to a receptor in the cell wall of nerve endings and triggering an influx of calcium ions into the neuron. The nervous system interprets this as pain or heat, depending on which nerves are stimulated. I think what is most amazing about capsaicin is that the research has been out there for some time already to support it’s use.

For example: one German study compared a capsaicin plaster with a placebo for 3 weeks in 154 patients with chronic back pain and after just three weeks, 60. 8% of patients in the capsaicin group had at least a 30% reduction in pain, compared to 42. 1% in the placebo group. Another study out of Case Western Reserve University examined the use of capsaicin cream in 70 patients with osteoarthritis and 31 with rheumatoid arthritis. After 4 weeks of applying a 0. 025% cream or placebo to painful knees, the capsaicin patients had significantly more pain relief; rheumatoid arthritis patients had 57% pain reduction and osteoarthritis patients had 33% pain reduction-both were considered more effective than placebo.

Folks, this is pretty amazing stuff for a hot chili pepper, don’t you think?! What I want to know is, why have we not heard much more about it than we have? Especially for those with arthritic pain and chronic back pain this stuff is nothing short of a miracle…

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