Tag Archives: natural remedies

DIAPERING & SKINCARE


This blog is an excerpt from another blog that I did all about Newborn & Baby Skincare.  If you would like to read the entire article click here.   This article will focus specifically on diapering and pampering your baby’s bottom.

DIAPERING

I must admit that I did not make an investment in Newborn cloth diapers.  I did receive 2 as a gift but obviously that isn’t enough for a full day.  You should actually have enough for 2 days incase something comes up and you can’t get to the wash, that means 24 minimum.  I did use the NB cloth diapers I had daily along with disposable ones.  Ok so this isn’t a blog about cloth vs disposable diapers (I’m working on that one too…so many blogs so little time) but I do need to address possible diaper allergies since we are on the topic of skincare.

Contact dermatitis

Disposable diapers are quite possibly the reason for your little ones red bum.  No seriously, they are filled with materials that are not only possible allergens but also known to be toxic.  Irritation caused by constant contact to these irritants or allergens is known as Contact dermatitis.

Common Allergens in Disposable Diapers that cause Contact dermatitis:

  • Dioxins-the residue left over after using chlorine to make the diaper material white.  According to the WHO (World Health Organization) Dioxins are highly carcinogenic and exposer can cause skin reactions, altered liver function and disrupts the immune, endocrine, nervous and reproductive functions.
  • Sodium Polyacrylate-this super absorbent compound is a mixture of cellulose from trees and crystals from polyacrylate.  You may have seen it before, it looks like little jelly crystals on the baby’s skin.  It was removed from tampons because of toxicity concerns, only to be reintroduced in diapers.  There are not long term studies but it is said to be linked to skin irritation and respiratory problems.
  • Tributyl-tin (TBT)-according to research published by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, tributyl-tin can trigger genes that promote the growth of fat cells, causing obesity in humans.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)-These include chemicals such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene and dipentene. According to the EPA, VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system. Some VOCs are even suspected of causing cancer in humans (EPA.gov).
  • Other Yucky Stuff-Other skin irritating chemicals often used in disposable diapers include dyes, fragrances, plastics, latex and petrolatum’s. Adhesive chemicals are used in the sticky tabs to close the diapers and dyes are used to color and make the patterns and labels that mark diapers. Perfumes and fragrances are used in some disposable diapers to help mask odors.

There are a few ways to tell if the irritation is caused by Contact dermatitis.

  • The rash can take up to 2 days to appear after contact with irritant
  • Redness is accompanied by bumps, puss or blisters that cannot be resolved with diaper rash
  • No matter how many times you change your little ones diaper or how dry he/she is, the irritation will not go away
  • Irritation is not limited to areas that pee and poo are present, ie the area on the tummy where the waist band rubs
  • Irritation is only present on contact areas and does not spread

This can most easily be remedied by changing the brand of diapers that you use.  We have been using Babyganics brand diapers, they are free of chlorine, latex, petroleum and fragrances.  I started with Honest and they work about the same but Babyganics is more pocket friendly.  Of course the best, most earth-friendly option will be the cloth diapers.  Cotton or Bamboo fabrics are best for babies sensitive skin.

Irritant Diaper Dermatitis better known as Diaper Rash

Irritant Diaper Dermatitis or Diaper Rash is caused when moisture is trapped between two skin surfaces.  It is due to infrequently changed diapers, diarrhea, new foods and allergies.  My lil guy goes through about 8-12 diapers a day.  I simply change him as needed when he is awake and every time he wakes up from a nap.  That being said, he still sometimes has a little red on his bottom after a poo.

Diaper rash usually clears up in 1-3 days when diaper is kept dry.  Topical ointments can be applied to provide a barrier from the moisture and to help soothe the irritation.  Most over the counter products will contain petroleum jelly.  Harmless right?  Wrong!!  Although it has been used as a cure all for many years, it is a by-product of the oil industry and has been known to have carcinogenic effects.  This simply stated means that it has the potential to cause cancer.  Its purity cannot be guaranteed as the refining is not regulated.  Petroleum jelly also clogs the pores not allowing skin to breathe, one of the skins most important functions.  So my take on this is stay away from it.  There are plenty of unharmful and renewable natural alternatives.

I like coconut oil because it is anti-bacterial  & anti-fungal and use it on a regular basis just for general maintenance.  It works great for minor irritations caused by wet diapers.  When my LO has his poopie days (breastfed babies do not necessarily go #2 everyday) he gets a little irritated on his bum.  On those days I use Baby Bee Bum Butter from Walnut Hollow Workshop.  Love this stuff, it makes his bum go from red to taupe in no time flat.  Even better all the ingredients are natural & beneficial.  You can get it from the Fredericksburg Farmers Market.

BABY BEE BUM BUTTER
BABY BEE BUM BUTTER

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are full of the nasties…there are some good brands that have natural ingredients with out all the toxic ones.  I found an awesome blog from Safe Mama, that goes over all of the ‘Safer’ baby wipes.  These are however very expensive.  An alternative is to just make your own at home.

I don’t use anything special to wipe his bum only simple ingredients.  I mix some castile soap and water on a baby wash cloth (I use different wash cloths for diapering and bathing).  I wipe his bottom, let it air dry and toss the soiled wash cloth in a wet bag for washing within 48 hours.  I like this option for two reasons, 1) It is earth and tree friendly and 2) It is inexpensive.

That being said, disposable wipes are so convenient, especially when you are out and about and they still save tons of money.  Here is a recipe for Natural Homemade Baby Wipes from Wellness Mama that I just love.  I actually recommend you bookmark her site, it is great.  The most important thing to remember is that you need to always make small batches.  Enough for 1 to 2 days only, after 48 hours water will start to grow bacteria even with essential oils.

THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE…BOYS!  Just not their circumcisions…Ouch!!

No seriously!  I’m glad I have 2 boys.  Ok well except for the circumcision part…ouch!  I’m not going to get into my opinion on this but since it is such a common practice and it is skin, I will get into the care.  When my first son was born, he was circumcised in the hospital.  I can only imagine being whisked away from your mothers arms and taken into a room with strangers that hold you down and cut off a piece of your skin.  Only to be left with a raw, tender wound that is left to sit in a closed diaper, stinging every time you pee.

I’m not judging either way….one of my boys is circumcised, the other is not.  If you do choose circumcision it does require special cleaning & care for the first 7-10 days.  Since the wound will most surely come in contact with urine & poo, it is imperative that you clean the area well.  Do not use soap.  All you need is warm, NOT hot, WARM water.   You should come home with a peri bottle.

PERI BOTTLE

If you did not, you can get one from your local drug store.  Please don’t take the baby in a drug store, ever if you can avoid it.  Obviously because sick people go there to get medications & prescriptions.  Just put warm water into the peri bottle and squirt the area to remove any yucky bits.  Please be careful not to get the umbilical cord wet.  It is important that it dries, as noted earlier.

Let the area air dry, you can fan with a diaper too.  Change the diaper constantly,  sitting in urine is the worst thing for irritation.  It is very important to apply a lubricant that will keep urine off of the irritation as well as keep it from sticking to the diaper, ouch!  As noted previously I don’t use petroleum based products because of its carcinogenic nature.  Besides it is not a renewable resource therefore not earth friendly.  I don’t know about you but I would like my LO to have a planet to live on.  Anyways, enough on my tree hugging tangent…yes…I hug trees and so will my LO.

There are a few natural remedies to help calm the irritation and help the wound heal faster.  As I wrote earlier, Coconut Oil is like magic for irritation because of its calming & anti bacterial properties. You can simply dab some on a cotton make-up pad and apply to the tip at every change.  This will keep the area moisturized and from sticking to the diaper.  It will also keep the area germ free.

Coconut Oil & Organic Cotton Make-up Pads
Coconut Oil & Organic Cotton Make-up Pads

You can also melt some beeswax in a double boiler & add coconut oil for an extra barrier from moisture.  I would use a mixture of 1 part beeswax to 6 parts coconut oil.  You can adjust the formula but don’t make it too hard because you want it to smooth on easily with out much resistance on the skin.  Make sure you melt the beeswax first as it has a much higher melting point than the Coconut Oil.  Then add the Coconut Oil at the end.

Beeswax Melting with Coconut Oil
Beeswax Melting with Coconut Oil

Give it a good stir and pour into an airtight glass lid and it will keep for a year or two as long as you don’t introduce any water into it.  This mixture is great for a diaper rash ointment as well.

Beeswax & Coconut Oil Mixture Cooled
Beeswax & Coconut Oil Mixture Cooled

NATURAL RAZOR BUMP REMEDIES

 

RAZOR BUMP REMEDIES

So I have often been accused of being a feminist since all of my blogs are mostly related to female related topics.  What can I say, I’m a girl so I can talk about girly stuff first hand.  Luckily I have men in my life and sometimes customers with special concerns that I get to address.  This time the topic is mostly masculine although females can suffer from razor bumps too, think bikini area & under arms.  However; this one will be geared mostly to the boys, so here we go…

The Dreaded Razor Bumps or Pseudofollicultis Barbae, can occur anytime you remove hair by shaving, waxing or plucking.  It happens when the hair begins to grow back without breaking through the skin.  When this happens, your body treats the ingrown hair as an invader and sends white blood cells in to attack.  Usually there is some kind of bacteria involved too, thus leaving you with irritated pussy bumps.  Let’s set aside how it looks, it is super uncomfortable, itchy & just plain annoying.

 

That’s enough of what it is…how do we get rid of it is more important.

Avoid it!!  You know me, always one to be pro-active and not re-active.  Dermatologists actually recommend that you don’t shave at all if you are prone to razor bumps or only 1x a week if you must shave.  This will allow your skin time to heal in between shaves.  However; with a consistent, healthy shaving routine you can help to stop them before they begin, if you have to shave.  So my opinion is don’t get them and you don’t have to treat them.  Here are a few tips on avoiding razor bumps & shaving irritation.

 

BEFORE YOU SHAVE

Know your hair & skin type.  Hair comes in all different colors and textures.  Curly textures tend to have more cases of Razor Bumps because the hair grows in different directions.  This makes it difficult to shave “with the grain”.   If you have this problem it is sometimes possible to “train” your hair, to grow in a specific direction.  Simply use a medium boar bristle brush and brush your hair in the direction you want it to grow.  This will only work if you stay on top of it, so keep the brush with you and brush through-out the day.  Also people with more melanin in their skin tend to have thicker skin, thus making it harder for the hair to escape the skin and ending in ingrown hairs. It is best to avoid shaving or keep it limited, to avoid ingrown hairs.

Gently exfoliate.  When you suffer from Razor Bumps it is imperative that you exfoliate at least every two days.  This will allow you to remove the dead surface layers of skin and make it easier for your hair to break through your skin.  Exfoliating will also give you a smooth even skin tone.  Bentonite Clay Facial Mask, Oily/Acne Formula is a product that I make to gently exfoliate the skin while moisturizing and detoxifying.

Detoxify.  With so many toxins from the food, to the water and even the air, it is also important to detoxify the skin.  The first step in detoxing is to stop putting toxins on or in your body.  Read the labels, what are the ingredients?  Are they all beneficial to your body and not just the shelf life of the product?  Do your research, if it has unnecessary, toxic ingredients…Don’t use it anymore!!  The second step is to get the toxins that you already have in you, out.  I have a Total Body Detox Program designed to help you detox from the inside out.  You can also detoxify with Bentonite Clay and other natural ingredients.  Bentonite Clay Facial Mask, Oily/Acne Formula is a product that I make to help detoxify and exfoliate the skin.  The ingredients are specifically designed to combat bacteria while still being gentle on inflamed skin.

You should use the mask 2 times a week on days that you are not shaving.

Make sure you have the proper shaving device.  Electric shavers, cartridge razors, double edge razors (aka safety razors), and straight razors, OH MY!!  Too many options…seriously I almost got a headache reading about them all.  I found a great article all about the pros & cons of each type of razor on a site called Tools of Men.  Check it out there is a lot of great info.  What I got from my research was the following:

  1. Both the Electric Razor & cartridge razors tend to increase razor bumps. You probably want to stay away from these types.
  2. Double Edge Razors (DE) & Straight Razors (SR) are more sanitary and do not cause razor bumps as much as the previously mentioned. They also give you a close shave with only one pass (thus avoiding irritation).  While this sounds great please be aware that there is a learning curve and you may slice yourself a few times in the process.
  3. Beard Trimmer is your best bet while fighting razor bumps. Since it doesn’t touch your skin, it avoids irritation and bumps.  I recommend this if you are having an outbreak of razor bumps it will give your skin much needed time to heal.  It will not give you a close shave, just a trim, but it is neater than not shaving at all.

Photo on Left: Hair cut with straight razor/Photo on Right: Hair cut with electric shaver

(source: www.toolsofmen.com)

Sanitize your tools.   Everything from your razor to the towel that you dry your face with after your shave, need to be as germ free as possible.  The razor is fairly easy to keep clean if you use a DE or SR, you can boil them as one way to sanitize.  You can use a mixture of 1 part white vinegar & 1 part water and soak for 30 minutes.  In both cases make sure that you dry the razor thoroughly to avoid rust.  Never use a razor that has rusted.

Here is a great video that I found on cleaning your shaving brush, probably the hardest shaving tool to keep clean.

 

PROPER SHAVING PROCEEDURE

Thoroughly wet your skin & hair before shaving.  Never dry shave.  It is best to wash your face in the shower before shaving.  That way your hair will have time to soak up as much water as possible and the warmth will help open up your pores.  When hair is wet it is weaker & easier to shave.  If you can’t take a shower then simply wash your face & apply a warm, wet wash cloth for 5-10 minutes to help moisten hair and open up pores.

The Bentonite Clay Facial Mask, Oily/Acne Formula can be used as a face wash for this step.  Simply use less clay and more water, massage as you would any facial cleanser.  Don’t leave on longer than 2 minutes.  You should use as a mask on days you are not shaving but no more than 2-3x a week.

Use a shaving cream or balm.  This is a step not to miss, it gives your skin a critical layer of protection from the razor blade.  I recommend using a natural moisturizer like coconut oil, the blade will easily slide over it and it is naturally anti-bacterial.  I make a mixture of Coconut Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil infused with Peppermint & Tea Tree Essential Oil.  It isn’t in the store but e-mail me if you are interested in purchasing.  If you would rather make it on your own the recipe is below:

COCONUT MOISTURE

4tbsp Unrefined Coconut Oil

1tbsp Apricot Kernel Oil infused with Peppermint

35 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

 

Use a shaving brush.  Shaving brushes help to apply your shaving cream as well as helping your hairs stand up.  There are lots of different bristle types unfortunately most are made of animal hair & I can’t promote that.  So here is a link to an inexpensive synthetic shaving brush that is animal friendly & has good reviews.

Never pull your skin taught.  It is tempting to pull your skin when shaving to get a closer shave, this will only cause the hair to grow back into the skin causing painful bumps.  So just don’t do it.

Shave in the right direction.  Shaving against the grain will give you a very close shave, however it will also cause more irritation & unwanted razor bumps.  You should start with the sides of your face, then your moustache and lastly your chin.

Don’t over shave the same spot.  Going over the same spot too many times will cause unwanted irritation.  If you have to go over the same spot then it is a very good idea to reapply more shaving cream on that area.

Rinse your blade after 1 or 2 strokes.  It is a good idea to rinse the blade after every stroke, this is time consuming but will provide the best & least irritated skin.

Don’t press hard when you shave.  Make sure that you shave gently to avoid cutting your skin.  It helps to take shorter strokes and let the blade do the work.

 

AFTER SHAVING

Gently pat skin dry.  It may be tempting but you don’t want to rub your freshly shaven face with your clean towel.  It is best to simply pat the skin dry.

Apply after shave toner.    My son loves the Vodka Toner for this step.  It will give your skin an extra anti-bacterial boost, moisture & will help to tighten your pores.  I don’t have this one in the store either but you can e-mail me if you want to try it or you can make your own, the recipe is below:

VODKA TONER

1oz Aloe Vera Juice

1oz Witch Hazel

.5oz Lavender infused Vodka (90proof)

.5oz Calendula infused Vodka (90proof)

Moisturize.  This step is so important and often forgotten.  You really can use many different natural oils for this step.  Jojoba, Hemp Seed, Apricot Kernel, Sweet Almond & Coconut Oil are all great for after shaving.  I like Coconut Oil especially because it has the added anti-bacterial properties.  You can use the same Coconut Oil Recipe from the earlier section, Proper Shaving Procedure: Use a shaving cream or balm.  Again if you prefer I can make for you, simply shoot me an e-mail.  The mixture may be a bit more “oily” than you are used to.  Don’t freak out…it will soak in, it just takes a bit more time than the moisturizers with water & alcohol.  This will soak into your third layer of skin and nourish it, so just let it.

 

So what if you still get an ingrown hair?

Ok so you did everything right.  You sanitized your tools, followed the proper pre-shave routine, shaved with the grain & you still manage to get an ingrown hair.  Unfortunately, every time you shave you take that risk.  Keeping your skin clean & exfoliated will allow your hairs to grow through more easily but sometimes even without shaving, ingrown hairs can occur.  So then the question becomes, Do I pop it or leave it???

“…pop it or leave it?”

So before I give you my opinion on this, I think it necessary to give you some background.  So we have already gone over how bacteria & fungus plays a role in razor bumps & irritation.  It is important to know that there are thousands of different bacteria that we not only come into contact with daily but also that live on our skin and inside of us.  It’s kind of creepy when you think about it but I have come to the understanding that this symbiotic relationship is part of being a human.  I found this article Humans Carry More Bacterial Cells than Human Ones it goes into depth on the subject.

The important thing to remember is that these bacteria are ok as long as they stay in the right place.  So anytime you pick, scratch or pop open your skin, you run the risk of allowing these bacteria into a place they don’t belong.   Then your body goes into action fighting the invader with white blood cells, bump grows….blah, blah you know the rest.  Sometimes the bacteria are “nicer” than others, meaning the aftermath is limited to a small puss filled bump with redness.  I know it doesn’t look great but it is better than bacteria like staph infection.  The point to all of this is that you be aware of the risk you take if you do decide to manually remove an ingrown hair or pop any bump.

So here we are with an infected ingrown hair, not only is it super painful but unsightly as well…what to do?  If the infection is minor then it may simply clear up on its own.  In this case you can use Tea Tree Oil or other antiseptics such as benzoyl peroxide, witch hazel, lemon or apple cider vinegar.  Simply apply to the area as needed until the irritation goes away.  Using a warm, wet compress will also help to open the pores to allow the hair to come to the top but will also promote drainage.

What about the cases where you feel like you just have to get in there to relieve the pressure on the skin and ultimately get the hair out?  Well kiddos this is the part where I have to refer you to my Medical Disclaimer before I go any further…ok did you read it?  Good…please proceed.

I must say that I am a little bit more unconventional than most (in case you hadn’t figured that out already), so when it looks to me like I need to intervene, I do.  That being said there are steps to take to safely remove the hair or help the infection drain.

  1. Make sure that all tools have been sanitized & wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Wet a clean wash cloth with warm water and apply a compress on the affected area. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes.  This will help the puss & hopefully the hair closer to the surface.
  3. Now comes the part where you want to be super careful, removing the rogue piece(s) of hair. Make sure you use something with a sharp tip like pointed tweezers (again make sure your tools are sanitized).  Be careful not to break the hair off at the skin or you will just have to go through the same thing in a few days when the hair grows back.  The longer the hair, the easier this will be.
  4. Next wash your face with an anti-bacterial face wash to kill any germs that may be on the surface. Remember you have an open wound on now & you must treat it as such.
  5. The next step is to help the inflammation that is inevitable after the process. You can use aloe vera, witch hazel, tea tree oil or rosewater (or a combination of them all).  It is best to keep the ingredients cold as that will add extra relief to the irritation.
  6. Make sure to keep the area clean and dry so it can heal. I recommend using Tea Tree Oil 2x daily until it heals.

Well that is all I have for you on this topic so far, I’ll update as I learn more.  Oh yeah…here is that Medical Disclaimer one more time.

Please leave your comments if you have any more tips or ideas.  I would love to hear what has worked for you.

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

CAYENNE

“If you master only one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any other.” Dr. Schulze

Scientific Name: Capsicum frutescens
Origin: India, Pakistan and China are the major producers, varieties originating from these countries are among the hottest types. Named after the high-heat chilies grown in the vicinity of the Cayenne River in French Guiana.
Parts Used: dried, ripened fruit pod
Color: Orange-Red to Red

These spicy lil peppers pack a powerful punch!
These spicy lil peppers pack a powerful punch!

Besides being a very popular spice in cooking, Capsaicin has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. Many herbalists believe that Capsaicin is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them. High in Vitamins A, C, B complex, calcium and potassium, Capsaicin is a wonderful healing aid for the digestive system since it acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other foods and herbs when used with them. It is also very healing for the heart and circulatory system. Studies have shown that Capsaicin can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines.

Cardiovascular-Capsaicin pepper is capable of a variety of beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It reduces the chance of developing atherosclerosis, reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also reduces platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity. Cultures that consume a lot of Capsaicin pepper have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

Topical Effects-When applied on the skin or mucous membranes, capsaicin stimulates and then blocks the pain fibers of small diameter which will deplete a neurotransmitter called substance P. Substance P is considered the major transmitter of pain impulses. It has’also been shown to activate inflammatory mediators in joint tissues, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Clinical Applications-Capsaicin lowers body temperature by stimulating the central cooling of the hypothalamus in the brain. It seems that people who live in the tropics covers high temperature by the use of pepper spray.
Capsaicin creams can also benefit from a number of conditions, including disorders (postamputation pain, postmastectomy pain, postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Topical capsaicin may be useful for the treatment psoriasis.

Pain Relief-Capsaicin has been found to relieve pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster), a clinical condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. Clinical trials have shown that about 50% of those who were improved compared capsaicin, compared with 10% for placebo.
Topical application of capsaicin applied can be effective in reducing the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, a painful condition of the main nerve of the face is characterized by severe, stabbing pain affecting the cheeks, lips, gums or chin on one side face. In one study, over 80% of those treated with capsaicin responded favorably. This is remarkable because there are no drugs available for this condition, except for surgery. Capsaicin may help relieve pain after breast reconstruction or mastectomy.

Mouth pain due to chemotherapy or radiation-Capsaicin was found to reduce the pain of mouth sores resulting from chemotherapy or radiation treatment dramatically in a clinical trial

Diabetic Neuropathy-Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve disorder caused by prolonged diabetes. Capsaicin has been shown a significant benefit in relieving the pain of this
condition.

Cluster headaches-Cluster headaches are migraine headache types, characterized by severe pain, usually located around one eye. Double-blind studies have shown that intranasal applica

tion of capsaicin cream is a special given by the doctor may relieve cluster headaches. Episodic patients showed a more favorable treatment than the chronically ill patients.

Arthritis-Capsaicin can effectively relieve pain of osteoarthritis and or rheumatoid arthritis. But

Psoriasis-Capsaicin has been found to reduce the scale, the redness and severity of psoriasis.
Easy ways to use Capsaicin
Directly consuming the Capsaicin peBesides being a very popular spice in cooking, Capsaicin has also been used medicinally for thousands of years. Many herbalists believe that Capsaicin is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them. High in Vitamins A, C, B complex, calcium and potassium, Capsaicin is a wonderful healing aid for the digestive system since it acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other foods and herbs when used with them. It is also very healing for the heart and circulatory system. Studies have shown that Capsaicin can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and the peristaltic action in the intestines.

Cardiovascular-Capsaicin pepper is capable of a variety of beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. It reduces the chance of developing atherosclerosis, reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also reduces platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity. Cultures that consume a lot of Capsaicin pepper have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.

Topical Effects-When applied on the skin or mucous membranes, capsaicin stimulates and then blocks the pain fibers of small diameter which will deplete a neurotransmitter called substance P. Substance P is considered the major transmitter of pain impulses. It has’also been shown to activate inflammatory mediators in joint tissues, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Clinical Applications-Capsaicin lowers body temperature by stimulating the central cooling of the hypothalamus in the brain. It seems that people who live in the tropics covers high temperature by the use of pepper spray.
Capsaicin creams can also benefit from a number of conditions, including disorders (postamputation pain, postmastectomy pain, postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Topical capsaicin may be useful for the treatment psoriasis.

Pain Relief-Capsaicin has been found to relieve pain associated with shingles (herpes zoster), a clinical condition known as postherpetic neuralgia. Clinical trials have shown that about 50% of those who were improved compared capsaicin, compared with 10% for placebo.
Topical application of capsaicin applied can be effective in reducing the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, a painful condition of the main nerve of the face is characterized by severe, stabbing pain affecting the cheeks, lips, gums or chin on one side face. In one study, over 80% of those treated with capsaicin responded favorably. This is remarkable because there are no drugs available for this condition, except for surgery. Capsaicin may help relieve pain after breast reconstruction or mastectomy.

Mouth pain due to chemotherapy or radiation-Capsaicin was found to reduce the pain of mouth sores resulting from chemotherapy or radiation treatment dramatically in a clinical trial

Diabetic Neuropathy-Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve disorder caused by prolonged diabetes. Capsaicin has been shown a significant benefit in relieving the pain of this
condition.

Cluster headaches-Cluster headaches are migraine headache types, characterized by severe pain, usually located around one eye. Double-blind studies have shown that intranasal application of capsaicin cream is a special given by the doctor may relieve cluster headaches. Episodic patients showed a more favorable treatment than the chronically ill patients.

Arthritis-Capsaicin can effectively relieve pain of osteoarthritis and or rheumatoid arthritis.

Psoriasis-Capsaicin has been found to reduce the scale, the redness and severity of psoriasis.

Easy ways to use Capsaicin
Infusion: (a tea) by adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of powder to a cup of boiling water. This is the best way to get the most out of most herbs but especially Capsaicin

Capsaicin cream: may be applied directly to the affected area up to four times a day. May cause some initial burning or itching, but these symptoms should disappear quickly.

Capsaicin capsules:(30 to 120 mg, three times daily)

Directly consuming the Capsaicin pepper

 

*Source: Some of the information from this article comes from http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/NaturalFood/Cayenne.aspx