Cayenne pepper is popular as a herbal remedy for all sorts of things. A claim has been spreading around the internet that cayenne pepper will even stop serious bleeding when applied to a wound or ingested.
What Is Cayenne Pepper?
Powdered cayenne pepper is a spice made from a type of capiscum annuum hot pepper. It contains the chemical capsaicin, which is responsible for the heat or spiciness.
What Is The Claimed Benefit of Cayenne Pepper?
A number of websites and social media posts claim that cayenne pepper can stop bleeding. According to them, cayenne pepper applied directly to a wound or taken orally will stop a wound bleeding.
Does Cayenne Pepper Stop Bleeding When Applied To A Wound?
The claim suggests that if cayenne pepper is applied directly to a bleeding wound, the heat will cauterise the wound and stop the bleeding.
Cayenne pepper does not actually generate heat. The feeling of ‘heat’ that we experience from eating cayenne pepper is because capsaicin binds to a specific pain receptor that mimics the sensation of heat. Applying cayenne pepper to a wound will not cauterise the wound or stop the bleeding.
Does Cayenne Pepper Stop Bleeding When Taken Orally?
This part of the claim says that taking cayenne pepper orally will “equalise blood pressure”, which will stop the bleeding. While the phrase “equalise blood pressure” is seemingly meaningless, there are scientific studies showing that capsaicin can affect blood pressure. Raising or lowering blood pressure, however, will have no effect at all on a bleeding wound. There is some evidence to suggest that cayenne pepper might actually increase bleeding in some cases.
Taking cayenne pepper orally will not stop a wound from bleeding.
How To Stop A Wound Bleeding
The best first aid treatment for a bleeding wound is to apply pressure. Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If possible (i.e. if the wound is on a limb), raise the wound above the heart to slow bleeding. Keep the gauze or cloth held tightly in place until the bleeding stops. If blood begins to soak through, don’t remove the original gauze or cloth, just add more on top and keep applying pressure.
Once bleeding has stopped, clean the wound, apply antibiotic cream and dress with a sterile dressing.
Does Cayenne Pepper Have Any Medicinal Use?
Several studies have shown that capsaicin can sometimes reduce pain by depleting a chemical in nerves that transmits pain. This makes cayenne pepper a useful pain reliever for various types of pain when applied to the skin.