Botanical name

Capsicum annuum

Common Names

Cayenne, chili, sweet or red pepper




Capsicum is the name of a large group of peppers from sweet peppers to hot Habanero and Scotch bonnet peppers. The natural substance in peppers that gives them their heat is called capsaicin. 

Food Use

Capsicum peppers have been used for centuries to add a hot, spicy piquant note to foods. 


Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

Known by all curry-lovers, capsicum helps clear the sinuses and keeps mucus thin. Regular ingestion can even help keep cluster headaches and migraines at bay, as capsicum contains a compound called capsaicin that has pain relieving qualities. If you have a sensitive stomach (when it comes to hot peppers) taking capsicum in tablet or capsule form will help. 

Key actions: Carminative (relieves flatulence), stimulant, antimicrobial, anticatarrhal, stimulant, sialogogue (promotes saliva), rubefacient (increases circulation). 

In clinic: Herbalists use this herb to treat conditions needing an immune boost (laryngitis, colds) and slow circulation (particularly to the hands and feet). 

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.


Infusion: Half a teaspoon to 1 of herb to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 4 drops (1:3 in 70% tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 25%. Take X ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 0.1 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.



None known.

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Solanaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

If sensitive, capsicum may cause or aggravate heartburn, acid reflux and gastric irritation. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

None known.

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information


There are currently no articles related to this herb.


Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.


Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagNapiers Bathgate Cayenne 500mg 120 Tablets £9.99

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