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The Wonder Pill

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Coincidental Cures
Remedy: Cayenne/Chili pepper
heart and pain

Photo of cayenne peppersOne mouthful of four-alarm chili and you won't wonder why people attribute a long list of powers to the cayenne pepper. The burning sensation, often accompanied by perspiration, tears, a runny nose and an animated lunge towards a beverage, earned the pepper it's centuries-old reputation as a stimulant, fever reducer and purgative. ased analgesic cream for topical use.

In Asia, the potent fruit of the Capsicum frutescens plant was thought to benefit the kidney, lungs, stomach and heart. Introduced to Europe via India in 1548, Europeans believed it could cure a skin disease called "the King's Evil." Like most brightly colored fruits and vegetables, Cayenne peppers are loaded with beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Modern researchers have discovered the compound responsible for the cascade of physical sensation caused by peppers- a chemical called capsaicin. But scientists also discovered that the compound only burns at first, and then actually deadens the pain sensors in the mouth. Anesthesiologist Wendye Robbins found it could have the same effects elsewhere in the body and developed a capsaicin-based analgesic cream for topical use.

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