How to Start Supplementing with Cayenne Pepper
If you are considering supplementing with Capsicum or
cayenne to get its benefits but have a few questions, this webpage is for you
One of the most common questions I get these days is, "How do I start using cayenne pepper?" That's
not the only question I receive by health enthusiasts but it's the most common. (Cayenne is also called
Some of the other beginner questions I receive are:
- How do I start?
- How much should I start with?
- What is the optimal level and amounts?
- Can I combine it with garlic or turmeric or apple cider vinegar? Can I add other herbs or spices to it?
- Can I drink it in V8 juice?
- Can I drink it in cold water?
- What is the most optimal way to take it?
- Can't I just take it in capsule form?
- How do I know I'm ready to "graduate" from 35,000 or 50,000 SHU Capsicum to 90,000 SHU Capsicum? How
do I know when to move up to more cayenne?
- Can't I just sprinkle it on my food, dude?
In the interest of clarity, let's take these questions one at a time.
"How do I start?" & "How much should I start with?"
If you are interested in supplementing with Capsicum, I recommend starting with either 1/16th or 1/8th of a
teaspoon using 35,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) to 50,000 SHU in warm water.
If the water is difficult with you, or, to mask its taste and burning, try V8 juice, tomato juice, or orange
juice. That will help tremendously (especially the V8 juice or tomato juice). For typical side effects or normal
physiological responses, see the the side effects page within this site.
So, then what? Gradually seek to get up to one teaspoon of Capsicum powder into a three-to-five ounce glass of
your liquid of choice.
Serious users will seek to get to one teaspoon in three-to-five ounces of liquid at a time using the liquid of
their choice whether it be warm water, orange juice, or V8 juice.
What is the optimal level and amounts?
The most correct answer is dependent on your goals. Getting to one teaspoon of Capsicum using 35k to 50k
SHU Capsicum is a great achievement. I personally believe that getting to 90k SHU Capsicum once a day is just fine
for the vast majority of people, and that is a worthwhile goal.
That said, the famed medicinal herbalist and naturopathic doctor, Dr. John R. Christopher, took one heaping
teaspoon of Capsicum powder three times a day drinking it in an eight-ounce glass of water.
If I had a heart issue or a clogged artery or heart disease or varicose veins or Reynauld's disease, I would
take it two times a day minimum. Probably three.
If I were an athlete who wanted to really scale my cardiovascular fitness, I would work up to three times a day
with one teaspoon of Capsicum powder in three-to-five ounces in warm water.
Why warm water? The most optimal way to take Capsicum is in very warm water. Many opt for drinking it in other
liquids, and I personally understand that. And it can be very effective to drink it that way -- especially with
orange juice. However, the optimal way to supplement with it is to drink it in very warm water, as warm as you can
Can I combine it with garlic or turmeric or apple cider vinegar? Can I add other herbs or spices to it?
Yes, certainly. Especially garlic. Garlic is amazing. So is turmeric, too. Adding them will be a terrific combination. An added bonus is that Capsicum
is an accentuator spice meaning it will increase the nutritional valence or potency of the foods it is taken
with (basically all herbs and spices are foods). That's one of the reasons, by the way, that Dr. John R.
Christopher put Capsicum in almost all of his herbal combinations. So, yes, as a general principle, Capsicum is
fine with other superfoods or supplements. That said, as mentioned before, Capsicum is optimal by
Can I drink it in V8 juice?
Yes, of course. This is the way I mostly take it, by the way. It adds a nice "kick" to the natural flavor of the
V8 juice, which juice is a commercially available juice. Just mix a little Capsicum (the amount you're acclimated
to) and drink. You'll like it.
Can I drink it in cold water?
Yes, certainly. Will it be as effective as drinking it in warm water or as "cayenne tea"? No, for that is the
optimal way as I've written many times throughout this site and on this page, too. However, it is still
very beneficial with many therapeutic benefits.
What is the most optimal way to take Capsicum?
Drinking it in very warm water. You may have heard of the term, "Capsicum tea" perhaps. If you warm up the water
so that it's hot but still drinkable without burning your mouth and tongue, that is the optimal way to drink it. Who says? Dr. Christopher said so I defer to his greater knowledge. How
do you prepare it? Start heating up the water on a stove. Before it boils, pull it off. Pour some in a glass
(three-to-five ounces), mix in the amount of Capsicum you can handle, drink. If you do boil the water by
accident, no problem. Let the water cool enough to where you can drink it without burning your mouth and
Can't I just take it in capsule form?
You certainly can. Many like Dick Quinn of Left for Dead fame have gained many benefits by taking it in capsule form alone. If you would
like more information on the pros and cons of capsules versus drinking it, check out this page within this site. It should answer every question you have regarding the
Capsicum capsule versus drinking it options.
How do I know I'm ready to "graduate" from 35,000 or 50,000 SHU Capsicum powder to 90,000 SHU Capsicum?
How do I know when to move up to more potent cayenne, and what should I expect?
When you can drink a teaspoon of Capsicum powder in three-to-five ounces of liquid without too much difficulty,
you are ready for the 90,000 SHU Capsicum. If you do go to the 90k SHU Capsicum, I recommend organic Capsicum. You
can see good options for Capsicum to buy here.
Bear in mind, though, that each time you increase the amount of Capsicum powder, it will cause an effect in your
body. You may feel it burn in your intestines a little (don't worry it's not hurting you); it may cause you to have
a bowel movement and it may come out hot; it may be hotter than usual when drinking it causing your eyes to water
and your throat to burn. All those are normal "side effects."
Just remember that each time you drink more Capsicum powder, it will be unnatural and cause your body to seek to
acclimate to it. That's why I so heartily recommend creeping upwards to your goal of one teaspoon a day. You may be
interested to know that even when you take time off from supplementing with it, you will have to re-acclimate
yourself to it. Don't worry, though. The body acclimates quite quickly.
Can't I just sprinkle it on my food, dude, to get the therapeutic effect? I'd prefer doing that than drinking
it but what do you think?
First, thanks for calling me dude. Yes, you can, of course. For therapeutic benefit, though,
the powder is concentrated and will help you if you drink it or take it in capsule form. If you sprinkle
Capsicum on food, that is mostly for culinary purposes but for supplementation purposes, you should strongly
consider taking it in a tonic drink or by taking it in capsule form.
In conclusion, if you're interested in buying Capsicum to supplement with, you can get more information about
buying good quality Capsicum at this article within this site. Or, for a full product list, go to this page.
I hope this article has been helpful to you.
Yours in health,