Capsicum Annum

143

Description : An attractive, upright shrub usually less than 1 m tall, with small, white, pendent flowers and elongated, yellow, orange or red fruits (berries). It can be distinguished from other types of domesticated peppers by flowers that are solitary rather than in groups, and filaments (thread-like stalks supporting the anther) that are not purple.

Capsicum annuum can be difficult to separate from the cultivated C. chinense (the hottest pepper) and C. frutescens (Tabasco pepper) and their morphological features can overlap. These three species share the same ancestral gene pool and are sometimes called the ‘annuum-chinense-frutescens complex’.

The varieties and cultivars of Capsicum annuumare classified on the basis of their fruit shapes. There are so many different kinds (several thousand) that nobody knows exactly how many there are. More and more local variants are appearing in cultivation across the world because existing varieties cross-pollinate easily.

Uses : Capsicum fruits have been part of the human diet for at least 10,000 years. The fruits of non-pungent (sweet) varieties are eaten raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. They are rich sources of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin A.

Pungent types, including chillies, are used as a condiment or spice for seasoning. The dried fruits are ground to a powder (paprika) and used as an ingredient in curry powder. The pungency is mainly due to the presence of chemical compounds called capsaicinoids, which deter most mammals from eating the fruit. Birds, however, will eat them without harm (and indeed help to disperse the seeds).

Pepper extracts are used to flavour ginger beer, and are used in pharmaceutical products for treating conditions such as athlete’s foot and arthritis. Maya Indians used pepper spray as a weapon against their enemies, and today some police forces around the world use it to control unruly individuals.

Benefits :

  • Cayenne is used to heal ulcers, improve circulation, boost the immune system, aid digestion, nausea,scrofula, herpes, shingles, rheumatism, arthritis, pleurisy, Raynauds disease, bunions, psoriasis, pleuritis and pericarditis.
  • It is used as a tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach, and has been indicated for preventing heart disease. Cayenne can be used as a general stimulant to build up resistance at the beginning of a cold, tonsillitis, laryngitis, hoarseness, shingles, and for swollen lymph glands.
  • It is known to combat chills. It is also said to increase fertility and delay senility.
  • Recently, cayenne has been used successfully to treat patients with cluster headaches, a particularly painful type of headache. Studies have also shown that Cayenne Pepper can raise metabolic rates by as much as 25%. Used with Lobeliait can also help soothe nerves.

 

CAPSICUM ANNUM ( LAL MIRCH, CHILLIES )
PRODUCT CODE: NE/CA/028
DESCRIPTION BROWN COLOURED POWDER WITH CHARACTERISTIC ODOUR
SOLUBILITY
WATER
SOLUBLE
HERB EXTRACT RATIO 8: 1
WATER SOLUBLE EXTRACTIVES AS PER I.P.66 84%
LOSS ON DRYING 1.89%