Hydrochloric acid is needed in the stomach to aid in digestion and to adequately absorb many nutrients including iron, copper, zinc, calcium, vitamin B-12 , folic acid and protein.
Many of us suffer with a high stress life and so we supplement with B-12 to help strengthen our nervous system. However, what most of us don’t know is that our body cannot use or absorb B-12 without a proper amount of hydrochloric acid in our stomach. This is where cayenne comes in. Cayenne aids the body in creating this much needed acid so that we can benefit from the minerals and vitamins we eat in our diet.
Many people suffer from what is known as pernicious anemia. This sickness has many symptoms, but one of the most prevalent is not being able to absorb B-12 which is absolutely essential to maintaining a healthy body. Pernicious anemia as we know is an auto immune disorder so the stomach must be healed with a strict diet and healthy lifestyle. In these cases many individuals have seen great improvement with the use of cayenne.
Hydrochloric acid is also a crucial part of the immune system. The normal acid barrier of the stomach in healthy states easily and quickly kills bacteria and other bugs that enter the body. It also prevents bacteria in the intestines from migrating up and colonizing in the stomach.
Cayenne is one of the richest and most stable sources of vitamin E, which is why it is a great heart builder.
Many have used cayenne to heal their acid reflux because it helps produce hydrochloric acid. This may seem contradictory but it’s not. The reason we suffer with acid reflux is truly because we don’t have enough of this acid in our stomach. This causes the body to try to compensate by back washing intestinal fluid into our stomach to help break down our food for digestion.
Low stomach acid can be caused from low thyroid function, chronic stress and acid blocking medications, but of course the main reason is an unhealthy diet.
Cayenne can be taken in many forms. My personal favorite is adding it to my smoothies and fresh juices. Others love it added to their soups. It can also be very easily taken in capsule form.
Cayenne should be taken with food so it settles on the stomach easier without unpleasant burning. If you’re new to taking cayenne, you should start out with small amounts and work your way up to a stronger dose as it will be warm at first.
So whether you are looking to absorb your nutrients better, equalize your blood pressure, reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis, strengthen the heart or stop the bleeding of a wound you can do no better than cayenne.
Felicia Bardsley is a Master Herbalist Graduate from The School of Natural Healing.