Common names: African Chillies, Cayenne, Spanish Pepper, Red Pepper, Chile Pepper, Chillii
Siling-labuyo is ubiquitous in the Philippines. It is a native of tropical America, but is now pantropic. Siling Labuyo is a popular condiment. It is mixed with or made into pickles, and is a principal ingredient in all curies in India. The leaves are very extensively used as a green vegetable. They have a very pleasant, somewhat piquant flavor. The leaves are excellent sources of calcium, and iron and a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B, and vitamin A.
The fruit contains an active ingredient, capsaicin, 0.14 per cent; and capsaicin, 0.15 – 0.5 per cent; starch, 0.89 – 1.4 per cent; pentosans, 8.57 per cent; and pectin; 2.33 cent. The fruit is official in the Argentine and United States Pharmacopoeias; and also in the British, and Indian Pharmacopoeias.
According to Drury Cayenne, pepper is believed to be wholesome for persons of phlegmatic temperament, being considered stimulating. When eaten fresh, it is an excellent promoter of ligaments in tropical countries. The bruised berries are employed as powerful rubefacients, being preferred to sinapisms in sore throats. They are also given, with the best results, as a gargle. Chilli vinegar (made by pouring hot vinegar upon the fruit) is an excellent stomachic. Chillies are employed, in combination with cinchona, in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied with flatulence, tympanitis, and paralysis.
Warm fomentation of both leaves and fruit is applied for rheumatic pains. The leaves of some varieties are used as a dressing for wounds and sores. A strong infusion of the fruit of the hotter kinds is applied as a lotion for ringworm of the scalp.
Chillies are used in native practice in typhus intermittent fevers and dropsy; also in gout, dyspepsia, and cholera. Externally, they are used as a rubefacient and internally, as a stomachic.
Siling Labuyo Health Benefits
- Arthritis and rheumatism: Crush fruit, mix with oil and apply on affected part.
- Dyspepsia and flatulence: Eaten as condiment or drank as infusion as a stimulant and antispasmodic.
- Infusion of the fruit is stimulant, stomachic and antispasmodic; used for dyspepsia and flatulence. Infusion preparation: 3-10 grains every 2 hours to a cup of boiling water.
- Toothache: Juice of the pepper pressed into the tooth cavity.
- Rheumatism: Poutice of cayenne applied over affected parts.
- Scalp ringworm: Strong infusion of fruit applied as lotion.
- Chile vinegar, made from pouring hot vinegar upon the fruit) used as stomachic.
- Chillies, combined with cinchona, used for lethargic affections, atonic gout, dyspepsia with flatulence, tympanites and paralysis.
- As rubefacient, mixed with cotton-seed oil, applied as cataplasm or as liniment.
- Used in typhus intermittent fevers, gout, dyspepsia, cholera.
- Ancient Mayans used it for treatment of coughs, sore throat and coughs.
- In Jamaica, used by traditional healers to treat diabetes mellitus.
- Aztecs used chile pungency for toothaches
- In the Philippines, plant commonly used for dyeing in green shades.
Siling Labuyo Properties
Siling Labuyo Constituents
- Fruit contains the active principles: capsaicin, 0.14% and capsicin.
- Cayenne pepper contains fatty oil, 15-20%; some volatile oil; capsaicin, 0.15 – 0.5%; starch, 0.8-1.4%; pentosans, 8.57%; and pectin, 2.33%.
Siling Labuyo Clinical Studies
Capsaicin: Capsaicin for medicinal use comes from Capsicum fructescens and is the active ingredient in the extract of hot peppers. It is most concentrated in the rib or membrane, less in the seeds, least in the flesh. Capsaicin depletes substance P in the afferent type C sensory nerve fibers, affecting only proprioception. Unlike other treatments for neuropathy, such as local anesthetics, opiates, anti-seizure medications or tricyclic antidepressants, capsaicin specifically treats pain without impairing other aspects of the nervous system. In incomplete depletion of substance P from suboptimal use, it may cause parodoxical increase of pain.
Capsaicin Uses: Post-herpetic neuralgia, post-mastectomy pain, hemodialysis-associated pruritus, psoriatic itching and pain, painful neuropathies, especially diabetic neuropathy, arthritic pains,and other superficial neuropathies.
Capsaicin and Dyspepsia: In a small trial in Italy (Dr. Mauro Bortolotti et al, University of Bologna), 30 patients with functional dyspepsia were randomized on daily capsules of 2.5 g of red pepper or placebo. The capsaicin content (trans-8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) was 0.7 mg/g of red pepper power. After 3 weeks, upper gastrointestinal symptoms of epigastric pain, fullness, nausea and early satiety were all significantly reduced in the capsaicin group and not in the placebo group. The mechanism of action is believed to be the desensitization of gastric nociceptive C fibers, which carry pain sensations to the central nervous system. (NEJM.346:947-48,2002)
Capsicum Clinical Capsules
Chronic Low Back Pain: Study showed a capsicum plaster preparation to have application in chronic non-specific back pain.
Postoperative pain: Study showed capsicum plaster applied at Korean hand acupuncture points reduced postoperative sore throat.
Anti-H pylori / Anti-ulcer: Study to demonstrate in vitro activity of capsaicin on metronidazole-susceptible and -resistant H pylori showed bactericidal effect even at lowest concentration (25 ug ml). Capsaicin the active ingredient of hot pepper showed in vitro activity against H pylori and presents a possible alternative treatment strategy for antibiotic resistant strains of H pylori, a reasonable meal supplement for those with duodenal and gastric ulcer, and for developing countries, a cheaper alternative.
Study showed capsaicin to have a dose-dependent inhibition of the H pylori, suggesting chili ingestion as possibly protective against H. pylori-associated gastroduodenal disease.
Anti-inflammtory effect in H pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells: Study showed capsaicin inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-8 (IL-8) by H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells.
Hypoglycemic Principle: Study led to the extraction of the active principle, capsaicin. Results showed the capsaicin to be the major constituent of C frutescens that is responsible for the hypoglycemic episodes seen in dogs, an effect apparently mediated by insulin release.
Gastric Acid Secretion: Aqueous extracts of C annuum or C frutescens induced gastric acid secretion dose-dependently.
TPRV1 / Conflicting Glucose Effects: The action of capsaicin is mediated by TPRV1 (vanilliod receptor) belonging to the ion channel group. TPRV1 has been found on pancreatic beta cells, and activated by capsaicin to increase insulin secretion. However, another study reported pure capsaicin activating glucagon secreton and increasing plasma glucose. At present, capsaicin glucose effects are still conflicting.
Antibacterial / Anthelmintic: Phytochemical analysis of a methanol extract yielded saponins, tanins, alkaloids, glycosides and steroids. Study showed dose-dependent antibacterial and anthelmintic activity. Among the bacteria, Staph aureus was most susceptible, followed by K pneumonia and P aeruginosa. The anthelmintic effect al all concentrations was lesser when compared to standard. Results suggest the methanolic extract can be sued for bacterial and anthelmintic infections.
Capsaicin is available as fresh and dried peppers, and in many countries, in capsules, tablets, and tinctures and for external application in potencies ranging from 0.1% to 0.75%.
Siling Labuyo (Capsicum Frustecens) Cancer Study
Dr. Evelyn B. Rodriguez, a professor at the Institute of Chemistry at the University of the Philippines-Los Banos (UPLB), who stressed the siling labuyo’s huge potential for fighting cancer.
Known as chili pepper, siling labuyo is among the indigenous plants that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is promoting through the Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness RDE Program of BAR.
“Phytochemicals are what people need to stay healthy,” Rodriguez stressed. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables and other edible plant species. These compounds act as anti-oxidants that are capable of metabolizing free-radicals in the body that cause cell death. Carotenoids and phenolic acids are phytochemicals derived from siling labuyo.
Based on studies conducted by the team of Rodriguez, the anti-oxidant activity of siling labuyo extracts in terms of free radical scavenging activity is 60.1 percent, indicating its effectiveness as a treatment for certain medical conditions. Rodriguez encouraged eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to acquire the phytochemicals needed to promote health and wellness.
Moreover, Rodriguez pointed out that more studies should be done on other indigenous plants like malunggay. The potential disease-preventive mechanisms of pyhytochemicals in fruits and vegetables and their constituents are not limited to anti-oxidant activity alone.
Phytochemicals can also act in the modulation of detoxification enzymes, stimulation of the immune system, alteration of cholesterol mechanism and blood pressure reduction.
Siling Labuyo (Capsicum Frustecens) Research Links
Siling Labuyo (Capsicum Frustecens): Capsaicin for medicinal use comes from Capsicum fructescens and is the active ingredient in the extract of hot peppers.
‘Siling labuyo’ can be a potential shield vs cancer, expert says. (August 14, 2009) Manila Bulletin