Improves Your DigestionOne of the best Thanksgivings I ever had was way out in Grants, New Mexico. I was settling into a new town far from home, and was invited to a family dinner by a new friend. With my "in-the-same-boat" roommate in tow, I drove way out into the desert for the event. Thanksgiving dinner in New Mexico is essentially the same typical "American" fare- turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, the works, with one, major difference. Chili. Each and every item from cornbread to yam casserole was covered in smoky, hot red chili sauce. An avid lover of chili, I helped myself, easily ate too much, and deposited myself on the couch to recover. I was surprised by the sequence of events. Not much time went by before I felt my full belly become more comfortable again. I felt happy and at ease as this huge meal easily assimilated into my body.
With a little research and Ayurvedic assessment, I realized that the effect was no mystery. Chili speeds up digestion. In fact, capsaicin increases the secretion of digestive fluids like gastric acid, and dramatically improves your ability to digest. It's antibiotic effect protects you from dysentery and diarrhea. Too much chili has consequences of course, but in the context of Thanksgiving, it's effects were quite welcome.
Come On, Get HappyHave you ever noticed that it's rare to see a group of somber people eating spicy food? Spicy food is the inspiration for our phrase "spicy personality." It makes you feel wide awake, powerful, maybe a little hot-tempered, and it makes some people pretty darn happy. Eating chili makes you feel a happy natural high thanks to its painful burn. This burning sensation induced by chili peppers is a type of pain. When enough burning pain is sensed by your neurons, your body releases endorphins to make it more manageable. This sensation is comparable to a runner's high, an induced sense of euphoria caused by discomfort.
Topical Use: Hurt So GoodChili pepper can be used topically as a painkiller for arthritis, strains, sprains, and muscle pain. It can easily be added to creams, ointments, and nasal sprays (to clear sinus congestion). You can easily apply a large bandages (plasters), or chili pepper paste to a painful area. It works quite well on your lower back. It's blood moving effects help with pre-menstrual cramping.
Protect Your Lungs from Winter ColdHave you noticed that when getting down on some green chili your nose begins to run? Capsaicin thins mucus in your sinuses, allowing thick, stuffy congestion to run free! This effect may reach as deep as the lungs, helping you breathe deeper. My Saved Articles | Most Popular
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Questions, Comments & Impressions of 'some like it hot: chili pepper's secret ingredient'?Is there something you'd like to know about 'some like it hot: chili pepper's secret ingredient'?
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I really appreciate your article but am a bit confused about chilis and vata dosha. Your site lists red pepper flakes and green chilis as ok for Vata, but red chilis and jalapenos as not ok. I'm wondering when a chili is ok and when not. Thank you.
A little bit of pungency is ok for Vata - it warms them up. But too much is overstimulating and too drying for Vata types.