Cayenne Pepper for kitchen cuts

By Scott Anthony

A few days ago I prepared to slice some less than fresh bread by sharpening my knife. Gripping the crusty loaf, the blade slipped and knicked my index finger. It felt like a pretty deep cut and I rushed to the kitchen sink, creating some new words along the way.

Mrs. Anthony came in from the laundry room, took one look at me and left.
She came back with a little bag of brown powder and said, “Cayenne’s good for kitchen cuts.” I pulled my bleeding finger away in fear, “Is the severing of my favorite finger not good enough…you want to burn it too!?”
She tipped her head and gave me a half smile and said, “Don’t try to be funny when your bleeding…this herb will stop the bleeding and it won’t hurt a bit..hold still.”

She dumped a goodly amount right over the half-inch long cut and we watched as the powdered herb soaked up the mess and within a few moments, amazingly, the bleeding stopped. I was expecting a burning sensation, but felt none whatsoever. Cayenne pepper, the stuff I sprinkle on my pizza. Who’d a thunk it?
Apparently, lots of people thunk it.

This from a website called ‘’:
‘Cayenne pepper should be in everyone's first aid kit.  If you have a  cut which is bleeding profusely, apply cayenne pepper, a powerful styptic, directly to the wound.  The cayenne will equalize the blood pressure and start the coagulating of blood immediately.  It is a powerful disinfectant so there is no need to worry about infection setting in.  My family has been using cayenne in this manner for years and, as a result, take what others consider miraculous results for granted.’
And granted, this is folklore and purely anecdotal, but I also found this excerpt from The University of Maryland Medical Center website on the propensities of cayenne:
‘Capsaicin in cayenne pepper has very powerful pain-relieving properties when applied to the surface of the skin. Laboratory studies have found that capsaicin relieves pain by destroying a chemical known as substance P that normally carries pain messages to the brain.’
 And this, from another herbal website: ‘Dr. John Christopher, famous natural healer, praised the use of Cayenne throughout the time of his practice. He had this to say in his Newsletter titled "Cayenne", Vol 1, Number 12

"In 35 years of practice, and working with the people and teaching, I have never on house calls lost one heart attack patient and the reason is, whenever I go in--if they are still breathing--I pour down them a cup of cayenne tea (a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water, and within minutes they are up and around). This is one of the fastest acting aids we could ever give for the heart, because it feeds that heart immediately. Most hearts are suffering from malnutrition because of processed food we are eating, but here it gets a good powerful dose of real food and it's something that has brought people in time after time. This is something that everyone should know how great it is, because a heart attack can come to your friends or loved ones any time. And even yourself. The warm tea is faster working than tablets, capsules, cold tea, because the warm tea opens up the cell structure--makes it expand and accept the cayenne that much faster, and it goes directly to the heart, through the artery system, and feeds it in powerful food.’

Now for the disclaimer.

Your doctor would likely have some heart pains himself if he or she were to read this, so I would never recommend this to anyone who has a cut or is experiencing a heart attack as I am NOT a doctor or even much good with a bread knife.

You should contact your physician or go to an emergency room if you are cut or are having symptoms of heart attack.

That said, there is my own experience that tells me that bleeding from a minor cut on the finger can be brought under control with the use of cayenne pepper powder. One side effect: After Mrs. Anthony swabbed my injured digit and applied some neosporin and a fresh bandage, I had a strong urge for pizza. This was ok with me, the bread was getting stale anyway.

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