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1. any tropical American plant of the solanaceous genus Capsicum, such as C. frutescens, having mild or pungent seeds enclosed in a pod-shaped or bell-shaped fruit
2. the fruit of any of these plants, used as a vegetable or ground to produce a condiment
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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One of the best circulation boosters there is. Seriously boosts circulation and body heat. Helps ease pain in joints and muscles. Helps the whole cardiovascular system, good for the heart. Great antiinflammatory. Carotenoids in red peppers have been shown clinically to improve lifespan in primates. Helps digestion, burn calories, lose weight. Capsicum cream is good for arthritis, neuralgia, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, sore & sprained muscles. Cayenne unblocks and brings life and vitality back to the whole body. Put it on cuts to stop bleeding (no it doesn't burn). In emergencies, it's helped save people who were having heart attacks, strokes or fainting. Regular usage is good for blood clots, heart disease. Helps reduce elevated blood sugars in diabetics. Hypoglycemics are advised to stay away from hot peppers though because it drops blood sugar levels. Helps boost immune system, fight shingles, is a natural antibiotic, increases digestive secretions, thus relieving gas and colic. Taking cayenne with anything else increases the power, absorption and effect of the other herbs. It’s advisable not to eat the flowers from peppers. (nightshade)

chilli pepper

see also Cayenne Very healthy for you. Good for pain relief, migraine and sinus headaches, congestion. Has antibacterial properties that help fight chronic sinus infections. Cancer fighter that drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves. Lowers high blood pressure. High in vitamins A, C, and bioflavonoids. More vitamin C than an orange. Protects heart (fewer heart attacks and strokes) and strengthens blood vessels, makes them more elastic and better able to adjust to blood pressure fluctuations. Reduces cholesterol, triglycerides and platelet aggregation, dissolves blood clots. Strong anti-inflammatory used to help for arthritis, psoriasis and diabetic neuropathy, sooth intestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps kill bacteria such as H. pylori. Helps burn fat by increasing body metabolism, generating heat. For cold feet, put powdered cayenne in your shoes.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a number of plant species of the genus Capsicum of the family Solanaceae. Capsicums are perennial subshrubs; they are cultivated as annual vegetable plants. The branching stem has a woody base and measures from 30 to 130 cm high. The entire leaves have long or short stalks and are solitary or gathered into rosettes; they range in color from green to dark olive. The large, axillary flowers are solitary or in fascicles. The corolla is violet, white, or greenish (sometimes with a yellow base and violet tinge). The fruits are hollow many-seeded berries; they are red, orange, yellow, or brown and range in shape and weight (from 0.25 to 190 g).

Capsicums grow wild in the tropical regions of America. The plants are cultivated in the temperate, subtropical, and tropical southern latitudes of all continents.

Capsicums require heat and moisture. The optimal temperature for growth and development is 18°–25°C. The plants grow best on highly fertile, structured soils. There are four cultivated species: C. angulosum, C. conicum, C. pubescens, and C. annuum; the last species is most common. In the USSR, C. annuum is grown in the Ukraine, the Northern Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Moldavia, and Middle Asia; it is cultivated everywhere on protected and heated soil. It has small fruits when cultivated as a house plant. Varieties have been developed for the open ground in central regions. The fruits are used as food at the stage of biological and, more often, market ripeness.

The mature fruit of C. annuum contains 4–8.5 percent sugar, approximately 1.5 percent proteins, up to 14 mg percent of carotene, 125–300 mg percent vitamin C, and small amounts of vitamins B1 and B2. There are sweet and bitter varieties. The bitterness is caused by the fruit’s content of the alkaloid capsaicine, which ranges from 0.007 to 1.9 percent. The fruits are canned and used in cooking; the bitter variety is used as a spice.

Capsicums are grown in hotbeds or, in the south, by sowing the seeds in the open ground. The seeds are sown in seedbeds and hothouses 45 to 55 days (in the northern regions, 60 to 75 days) prior to transplanting. Between 40,000 and 60,000 plants are cultivated per hectare (ha); square planting (70 X 70 cm) or row cultivation is used. Maintenance includes interrow tillage, application of fertilizer, and watering. The bitter varieties are harvested twice, when the fruits turn red; the sweet varieties are picked four to 15 times per summer, at the stage of market ripeness. The harvest of bitter capsicum is up to 200 quintals per ha, and the harvest of sweet capsicum is up to 300 quintals per ha. As much as 12 kg per sq m is harvested from protected soil. Pests include the beet armyworm, the bollworm, and nematodes. Diseases include molds, viruses, and wilts.


Gazenbush, V. L. “Perets.” In Sorta ovoshchnykh kul’tur SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Milovanova, L. “Biokhimiia pertsa.” In Biokhimiia ovoshchnykh kul’tur. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The fruit of a plant of the genus Capsicum, especially C. frutescens, cultivated in southern India and the tropics; a strong irritant to mucous membranes and eyes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the 1997 Census, about 4% of farms that produced sweet bell peppers accounted for 74% of the pepper area harvested.
According to industry data, about 50 million pounds of frozen sweet bell peppers are packed annually.
Type Description Varieties Sweet bell peppers Fruits may start out Ace' (70 days) (Capsicum annuum) green, lavender or California Wonder' yellow, and ripen to red, (75 days) 'Yum Yum orange or yellow.
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On one side are sweet bell peppers; on the other are red-hot chilies.