Capsicum, which is also known as red pepper or chili pepper has wide range of medicinal values. As a herb, its fruit is used while preparing quite a lot of medicines for different ailments.
In general, capsicum is used for various stomach problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramps. Moreover, it is also used for treating certain heart diseases. But one of the most interesting question that a lot has been seeking answer to off late is regarding capsicum’s ability to treat migraine.
Can Capsicum Cure Chronic Headache?
While some people say that putting capsicum inside the nose can help tame fever and migraine headache, cluster headache, and sinus infections (sinusitis). Moreover, researchers are constantly studying on one form of capsicum as a drug for migraine, osteoarthritis, and other painful conditions.
However, not all capsicum are safe to use. One particular form of capsicum causes intense eye pain and other unpleasant effects when it comes in contact with the face. This form is used in making pepper sprays.
How Does It Work?
Capsicum plant contains a chemical called capsaicin, which seems to reduce pain sensations when applied to the skin.
Capsicum Cures Headaches
In one of the studies, researchers found that a man who was a long term victim of severe cluster headaches and chronic sinus congestion had discovered a simple way of curing his symptoms. He was sprayed with the capsicum spray used in self-defense and found that it immediately alleviated the headache he was suffering from at the time.
Extracts of the plant, including capsicum annuum and its constituent capsaicin, have for centuries been used as an analgesic and more recently, they have been studied in the treatment of severe nerve pain in conditions such as post shingles pain and diabetic neuropathy.
Intra-nasal Administration Of Capsaicin
Intranasal administration of extracts of capsicum annuum are thought to work locally in the nose by desensitizing the trigeminal nerve, resulting in the reduction (depletion) of CGRP (Calcitonin gene related peptide). CGRP is thought to be the proximate cause of pain in migraines and other trigemino-vascular headaches by causing vasodilation and inflammation in the cranial blood vessels. Since both these blood vessels and the sensory supply of the nose are from CN5 (the tri- geminal nerve), the desensitization of the trigeminal nerve is thought to result in the treatment of the pain in these headaches.
When administered locally in the nose, extracts of capsicum annuum will cause a stinging sensation (related to the local release of substance P) that indicates the action on the sensory nerve has taken place and that the treatment will begin to work to treat the headache.
Recent clinical data demonstrates that intranasal administration of capsicum annuum or its components like capsaicin can successfully treat pain associated with cluster headaches and migraine.
Even though research on capsicum as a drug for treating migraines and headache is quite in its nascent phase, it is somewhat close to the conclusion. According to several research conducted on the same subject, the use of capsicum is pretty likely to come to a positive conclusion.