Cayenne is a spicy pepper that belongs to the nightshade family. Technically, cayenne is a fruit but in cooking, it’s used similarly like other vegetables and as seasoning. Because it’s loaded with oleoresin capsaicin, cayenne offers a myriad of health benefits. Oleoresin capsaicin helps release neurotransmitter substance-p into the bloodstream. Substance-p helps prevent depression by stabilizing the mood and relieving extreme stress.
Cayenne is prized for its many health benefits that’s why it’s a popular ingredient in tinctures. Tinctures are liquid solutions that contain concentrated levels of the ingredient’s’ active compounds. In this case, substance-p.
A tincture’s base is vodka, gin, brandy and other types of 90-proof spirit. The alcohol dissolves the active nutrients of the ingredient for later use. Tinctures can be applied topically or diluted in water.
How to Make a Cayenne Tincture
You will need:
1-quart wide-mouthed jar with tight-fitting lid
1/2-pound cayenne peppers or
2 cups cayenne pepper powder
A pair of rubber gloves
90 to 100 proof vodka, gin or brandy
Small colored bottles
Wear a pair of gloves and pack cayenne peppers tightly in a 1-quart jar. If you’re using cayenne powder, fill the jar half-full. Then, add the spirit into the jar, stopping at within half an inch of the jar’s top. If you don’t want to use vodka or other spirits, you can use non-alcoholic alternatives such as apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin.
After mixing the solution well, seal the jar with its lid. Make sure the jar is airtight. Store the jar in a cool dark place for at least 6 weeks and up to 2 months.
Once the tincture has cured, drain the solution using a cheesecloth to remove the pepper bits. Pour the strained liquid into smaller, dark-colored bottles and seal each one with its cap. Label the bottles accordingly. Store the finished product in a cool, dry place.
The health benefits of cayenne tincture are directly linked to the pepper’s Scoville rating. Scoville rating measures the heat level of the peppers. Fresh cayenne measure between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville units. A potent cayenne tincture must have at least 20,000 Scoville units.
Storing the tincture properly is important to retain the potency of the solution. Ideally, you want to keep the bottles stored in a dark place, away from children’s reach.
How to Use Cayenne Tincture
For General Health
To maintain good health, add about 5 drops of cayenne tincture in your drinking water or juice. Take the solution three times per day for optimum health.
To Treat Wounds and Stop Bleeding
To treat a bleeding wound, just flush the affected area with cayenne tincture and apply gentle but constant pressure on the wound. Continue applying pressure until bleeding stops. Then, dress the wound. You can also take about 10 drops of cayenne tincture in water to reduce bleeding.
To Boost Drug Absorption
You can also use the cayenne tincture to increase the absorption of certain medications. But before you use the solution, consult a medical professional first. Do not use the tincture if you’re taking ACE inhibitors or antacids. The tincture could neutralize the effects of these drugs.