CAPSICUM, L. Cayenne Pepper. The C. baccatum wild in Florida. C. annuus cultivated every where. Axi of Haytians. Chile of Mexicans. Fruit a well known condiment, very strong stimulant, acrid and burning. The abuse or even use of it, often produce fevers and inflammatory disorders, liver complaints, obstructions, bloody piles, sores, &c. Useful in food only for flatulence, it is never of service to the healthy, but is medical to the sick, stimulating the stomach, exciting the nerves in lethargic and paralytic affections. Often used as a gargle in palsy of the tongue, putrid or ulcerated sore throat. Externally a good stimulant and rubefacient in chronic rheumatism, palsy, gout, tooth ache, dropsies, used in cataplasm or tincture rubbed on. Employed in the West Indies in the cachexy or morbid debility of negroes. A specific in the relaxed sore eyes, in a weak wash. The powder sprinkled on socks will cure the coldness of the feet. It has become a principal article in the practice of the empiric Thompson, to retain, as he says, the vital heat and cause a free perspiration: he boasts of having used it in all diseases, in doses of half to one teaspoon full, with good effect, to have cured agues, fevers, spotted fevers, &c. with it, and to have always found it harmless. This must be false, it cannot be harmless in inflammatory disorders, nay, rather pernicious. By Dr. Conwell's analysis, it contains a peculiar substance, Capsicine, azote, mucilage, nitrate of potash, a coloring matter, &c.
Medical Flora, or Manual of the Medical Botany of the United States of North America, Vol. 2, 1830, was written by C. S. Rafinesque.