SPICE. HEAT. FIRE. You may think these things are hard on your stomach, promote indigestion & other digestive issues, but the truth is, the properties of hot spice, actually do the OPPOSITE. That’s right. The OPPOSITE. Hot spice, like chilies, cayenne, curries etc. are actually ANTI-INFLAMMATORY (among other great things).
I decided to try this tincture, and experiment with my own aches and pains. I am a runner, and when you’re running 30+ kilometres weekly, it’s normal to feel a little sore from time to time. Especially in the mornings, the more I ran, the more stiff and achey I felt . . . . felt. As in past-tense. This tincture has relieved me of most, if not all, of that morning ache/stiffness. It takes a few weeks to make, but I assure you, you will notice a change right off the bat. I have also incorporated Hot Yoga, once a week, to help with flexibility, restoration, and relaxation. A combo of this tincture and Yoga can help you. Sore from exercise? Suffering from arthritis? This regimen is for YOU!
Here is how I made this fabulous tincture:
- Half a cup of dried chillies (the arrabiata dried chillies from Famous Foods is what I used)
- Whisk(e)y. That’s right … good ol’ sauce. Any type: scotch, bourbon, rye, Irish, etc.. any whisk(e)y will do
- Fill a 500 ml Mason Jar or decanter (I have an infuser bottle) with the chilis and whisk(e)y, and let it sit for 3 weeks
- Strain chillies
- Twice a day, add 1/2-1 tsp of chili whisk(e)y into 2 cups of hot water, and sip. You can divide up the mixture if it’s too spicy for you, and use 1/4-1/2 tsp 4x day. Recommended dose is 2 full tsp maximum per day. Divide however you see fit.
The whisk(e)y pulls the nutritional/medicinal properties out of the dried chillies, adding the benefits to the liquid.
I’m sure you can use other spirits as well, but I’m stickin’ with this particular sauce because a) it’s da bomb b) it works. Convinced yet? Read on…..
Spice Fights Inflammation
Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives peppers their characteristic pungency, producing mild to intense spice when eaten. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with the inflammatory response. The hotter the chili pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.
Capsaicin is being studied as an effective treatment for sensory nerve-fiber disorders, including pain associated with arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetic neuropathy.
Spice has Analgesic Properties (pain killers)
Topical capsaicin is now a recognized treatment option for osteoarthritis pain. Several review studies of pain management for diabetic neuropathy have listed the benefits of topical capsaicin to alleviate disabling pain associated with this condition.
In a double-blind placebo controlled trial, nearly 200 patients with psoriasis were given topical preparations containing either capsaicin or placebo. Patients who were given capsaicin reported significant improvement based on a severity score which traced symptoms associated with psoriasis.
Spice Benefits your Circulatory System
Red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots. Cultures where hot pepper is used liberally have a much lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism.
Spicing your meals with chili peppers may also protect the fats in your blood from damage by free radicals – a first step in the development of atherosclerosis (heart disease). In a randomized, crossover study involving 27 healthy subjects (14 women, 13 men), eating freshly chopped chili was found to increase the resistance of blood fats, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, to oxidation (free radical injury).
After eating the chili-containing diet, the rate of oxidation (free radical damage to cholesterol and triglycerides) was significantly lower in both men and women than that seen after eating the bland diet. In addition, after eating the chili-spiced diet, women had a longer lag time before any damage to cholesterol was seen compared to the lag time seen after eating the bland diet. In men, the chili-diet also lowered resting heart rate and increased the amount of blood reaching the heart.
Spice May Clear Congestion
Capsaicin not only reduces pain, but its peppery heat also stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs.
Spice Boosts Immunity
The bright color of red chili peppers signals its high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Just two teaspoons of red chili peppers provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C coupled with more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A. Often called the anti-infection vitamin, vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes, which line the nasal passages, lungs, intestinal tract and urinary tract and serve as the body’s first line of defence against invading pathogens.
Spice May Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Chili peppers have a bad—and mistaken—reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, they can help prevent them by killing bacteria you may have ingested, while stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective buffering juices.
Spice May Help You Lose Weight
All that heat you feel after eating hot chili peppers takes energy—and calories to produce. Even sweet red peppers have been found to contain substances that significantly increase thermogenesis (heat production) and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after they are eaten.
Spice May Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Making chili pepper a frequently enjoyed spice in your Healthiest Way of Eating could help reduce your risk of hyperinsulinemia (high blood levels of insulin)—a disorder associated with type 2 diabetes.
In a study published in the July 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Australian researchers show that the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar after a meal is reduced if the meal contains chili pepper. When chili-containing meals are a regular part of the diet, insulin requirements drop even lower.
Plus, chili’s beneficial effects on insulin needs get even better as body mass index (BMI, a measure of obesity) increases. In overweight people, not only do chili-containing meals significantly lower the amount of insulin required to lower blood sugar levels after a meal, but chili-containing meals also result in a lower ratio of C-peptide/ insulin, an indication that the rate at which the liver is clearing insulin has increased.
The amount of C-peptide in the blood also shows how much insulin is being produced by the pancreas. The pancreas produces proinsulin, which splits into insulin and C-peptide when secreted into the bloodstream. Each molecule of proinsulin breaks into one molecule of C-peptide and one molecule of insulin, so less C-peptide means less insulin has been secreted into the bloodstream.
Besides capsaicin, chilies contain antioxidants, including vitamin C and carotenoids, which might also help improve insulin regulation.
How to Select
Choose fresh chili peppers that have vivid, deep colours and glossy, firm and taut skins. Their stems should seem hardy and fresh. Peppers should not have any cracks near the stem end. Avoid those that are wrinkled or have soft areas or black spots.
When purchasing dried chili peppers look for ones that are still vivid in colour. If they’ve lost their colour, they’ve probably lost their flavour as well. Both fresh and dried chili peppers are available throughout the year in most areas.
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