Capsicum. (Cayenne Pepper.)

Botanical name: 

Capsicum is a powerful topical stimulant; but its general influence is feeble. As Capsicum, it never gains admission to the circulation, and, in the process of digestion, it almost wholly loses its properties as a remedy.

Capsicum is used as a topical stimulant to the skin, and with advantage where the circulation is feeble, and there is need of such stimulation. It also exerts the revulsive influence of other rubefacients.

Its influence, when taken into the stomach, is of the same character. It excites the nerves, and calls an increased flow of blood to the part. In torpid states of the gastric mucous membrane, such action may be very desirable, may even be essential to life: as, in congestive intermittent. It is the topical action upon the gastric mucous membrane that is beneficial in some cases of delirium tremens.

The solar plexus, the most important of the vegetative nerve centers, may be thus influenced from the stomach. The stimulant influence of Capsicum may, therefore, be extended through this, and be of marked advantage in states of great and sudden prostration with tendency to congestion.

Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.