Capsaicin - a type of alkaloid in the red pepper Capsicum
 Capsaicin is one of the varieties of alkaloids, which in varying degrees, are rich in various kinds of peppers Capsicum (Capsicum).

Scope of capsaicin

Its scope is very extensive. Most often used capsaicin:

  • for medicinal and recreational purposes (in medicine it refers to a group of pharmaceutical products "irritant natural origin");
  • as irritant in gas pistols / revolvers;
  • as a filler for gas cartridges and other airborne means of individual self-defense;
  • as an insecticide for controlling molluscs, parasitic on the bottoms of floating funds, rats and other pests (powder added to paints and inks used for surface treatment);
  • as a deterrent for pets (such as to "wean" cat sharpening claws in the wrong place for this).

Features capsaicin

Capsaicin is vanililamid 8-methyl-6-nonenoic acid - chemically resistant material having a crystalline powder form. He has expressed the color, but has a very sharp taste, which is a simplified scale of Scoville pungency has the characteristic of "explosive» (explosif). The powder is melted at a temperature of 65 ° C. At 0, 01 mm Hg boiling point is 210-220 ° C. Milligrams of capsaicin in contact with human skin can cause severe chemical burns, comparable to the strength of its influence with effects on the skin with a hot iron.

Like most other alkaloids, capsaicin is a poorly water soluble material. However, highly soluble in various alcohols, chloroform, acetone, benzene, caustic alkalis. So, in case if a person ate very peppery foods help reduce the appearance of burning a small dose of alcohol (including beer), sweetened with cool water (20 ° C), or because it contained protein casein, milk.

Methods for the industrial preparation of

Commercially capsaicin extract of pepper varieties burning by extraction, using acetone as the auxiliary ingredient. The resulting extract usually has a pronounced orange or red color, and the content of capsaicin is from 5 to 10%.

Painful effect of substance

After contact with the mucous membranes (nose, eyes, upper respiratory tract) capsaicin provokes pain, severe burning, Department of mucus, watery. In some cases, it can cause bronchospasm and throat, which in turn can lead to even brief loss of speech. When a small amount of contact with skin burn, symptoms which appear from the increase and then, after about 40-60 minutes to disappear. For its removal from the skin is generally used vegetable oils, soda, vinegar, honey or milk.

In rare instances, after the application of capsaicin may be complications such as nausea, breathing problems, corneal lesions, dermatitis, nasal bleeding, neurological disorders.

If unpleasant symptoms persists even after several hours, it may be necessary symptomatic treatment.

Fatal to humans can cause a dose of capsaicin taken per 100 mg per 1 kg of body weight. That is, for a person weighing 60 kg fatal outcome can occur only at very fast eating 2 kg of hot peppers.

The use of capsaicin in medicine

For therapeutic purposes, capsaicin is used as a powerful tool to block pain. It actively affects substance P, which is the transmitter signals from nerves to the brain. He not only reduces the intensity of pain, but also contributes to the development of prostaglandins and collagenase, which relieve pain and remove inflammation symptoms.  Kapsikam - capsaicin ointment composed

Contained in the fruits of pepper, capsaicin is the active ingredient of many of ointments, creams and gels warming and anti-inflammatory action. It perfectly complements the therapy to the treatment of diseases of the heart and blood vessels (including preventing the formation of blood clots in them). It is administered in the drug relieves pain of arthritis and shingles, is indicated for use as a cream psoriasis patients, people suffering from itching and skin from diabetic neuropathy. On the basis of release of capsaicin ointment from frostbite. "Pepper" nasal sprays relieve the pain of migraine.

The use of food supplements or hot pepper on its basis to normalize the acidity of the stomach and digestive processes.

Capsaicin promotes the production of enzymes involved in fat burning, and accelerates the body's metabolic processes. Therefore, it is included in the diet sportsmen and simply those who want to lose weight.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Nottingham University, helped to make an important discovery that could resolve the issue of treatment of cancer. Thus, according to their statement, capsaicin is able to massively destroy cancer cells, affecting the mitochondria, which provide energy for the cells of this type. He also has no effect on healthy cells.

Contraindications to the use of capsaicin

Capsaicin is contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women, in case of hypersensitivity to the substance, ulcers. We can not allow him contact with open wounds and damaged skin.

In any case, before the use of drugs based on the substance, necessary to consult with your doctor.