Why Some Think Cayenne Pepper Can Be Used For First Aid

Cayenne pepper is often touted as a healthy ingredient. According to Healthline, the spice is also known as Capsicum annuum and is believed to have a spicy taste that's best described as moderate. There are a few potential health perks that have been attributed to cayenne pepper in the past. It's high in nutrients, such as provitamin A and vitamin C, for example, and while experts need to look into this further, some studies have revealed that hot peppers can go a long way in reducing inflammation and help fight against health issues such as heart ailments.

There may be another unexpected benefit that can come from cayenne pepper: first-aid perks, to be precise. A user on Reddit wrote, "If you cut your hand while preparing food, sprinkle cayenne pepper into the wound and apply pressure." They say that this can help stop the bleeding in a minute or less, quickly giving you the opportunity to wrap a bandage around your wound. Is there any truth to their words?

This cayenne pepper healing hack is popular, but not proven

If you've accidentally hurt yourself in the kitchen and cannot spot a bandage or piece of absorbent cloth anywhere, don't despair. Per Mental Floss, cayenne pepper is indeed an effective solution that can help you tackle a bleeding wound in a jiffy. There are a couple of ways to approach this cayenne healing method. You can either dab a little bit of the spicy powder on your wound, or you can add some water to the powder before soaking a bandage with the mixture and wrapping yourself up. 

Why try this unexpected trick at all? Proponents say that cayenne pepper can normalize blood pressure, causing your blood to clot faster and stop rushing out of a wound. Others say that cayenne pepper can help reduce your pain after getting a cut. While several anecdotes support this theory, others have tried it and now offer words of caution. As one Reddit user detailed after their mom tried the trick, "The nurse had to scrub the pepper out of it before she bandaged the cut, very painful. She then mention coffee grounds came out much easier, and had similar results." Moreover, an expert from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute told Snopes that there's no evidence supporting cayenne's effect on blood. Perhaps there's no harm in trying the method next time you have a tiny paper cut. For serious injuries, though, you may want to seek medical attention from the doctor instead of the spice cabinet.