You can always grow your own medicinal herbs or source them from the wild. But if you could only have one medicinal herb in your survival bag, it should probably be cayenne pepper.
Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper that belongs to the nightshade family of flowering plants. Originally grown in Central and South America, cayenne peppers are also grown in Europe. Cayenne peppers are a popular spice used in various regional styles of cooking, but they have also been used as medicine for thousands of years.
This small but highly nutritious herb packs a punch against many health problems. For one, cayenne peppers have antibacterial and anti-viral properties. They can also be used as a sterilizer and can slow or stop bleeding. These peppers can also keep you warm, boost your metabolism, and energize you all at once. Its spicy flavor is also good for your digestive tract.
It doesn’t stop there. Cayenne peppers can also be used for the following:
- Clearing a stuffy nose.
- Suppressing fungal growth.
- Relieving migraines.
- Preventing mouth dryness.
- Preventing blood clot formation.
- Helping in detoxification.
- Relieving joint pain.
- Promoting longevity.
- Aiding in weight loss.
- Supporting heart health.
- Suppressing cancer cell growth.
All these health benefits of cayenne pepper can be attributed to its active ingredient known as capsaicin, which also gives these peppers their delicious heat. In addition, cayenne peppers can last for many years in storage, which makes them an even greater survival medicine.
Growing your own cayenne pepper
You can grow your own cayenne pepper, granted you have a long enough growing season. It is also not picky about fertilizer or water, except at the start.
You can start your seeds indoors eight weeks before planting time in 72-cell trays planted ¼ inches deep in a soilless medium. Once the pepper plants start showing roots at the bottom of the tray – usually about 30 days – put them in pots or any container that works for you. Place them near a sunny window. You only need to water the pepper plants once a week; sometimes rainwater is enough.
Using cayenne pepper
After harvesting your organic cayenne peppers, you can now make your own herbal remedies. One way is to use them as a tincture or extract. To do this, fill mason jars almost to the top with freshly picked cayenne peppers. Then, pour 100-proof Svedka vodka over them. Place the jars in a dark place. After eight weeks, your potent herbal medicine is ready. You can consume cayenne peppers for better health by mixing one dropper-full of tincture in an 8-ounce glass of water. If you have cayenne powder, you can also mix 1 teaspoon of the powder in an 8-ounce glass of water.
Adding cayenne pepper to your diet is also easy, especially because it is available in different forms – as a whole food, spice, and supplement. Try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper spice to many of your favorite foods, such as eggs and even marinades. You can also slice whole cayenne peppers and add them to your salad. You can dry cayenne peppers using a dehydrator or in the sun and add them to any dishes you want for some heat.
Cayenne pepper is an easy-to-grow, versatile, and potent herbal medicine that deserves a spot in your prepper bag.