Capsaicin is a herbal medicine which is extracted from chilli peppers (genus Capsicum family). Its other synonyms or names include Axsain, Zacin, chilli, pepper gel and cayenne. Capsaicin, which is the main medicinally active component of chilli peppers, is extracted from the placental tissue and internal membranes of the plant.
How Capsaicin works – Mode of action in arthritis
Several studies have found that capsaicin can deplete Substance P, which plays an important role in the transmission of pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and is involved in activating inflammatory substances in joints.
Scientific evidence for use in arthritis
A review article summarized results of three clinical trials that have been published up to 1994 which investigate the effectiveness of capsaicin as a herbal ingredients in treating patients with osteoarthritis (OA) when compared to placebo. In these three trials capsaicin (0.025 per cent in two trials and 0.075 per cent in one) was given four times/day for a treatment period ranging between four and 12 weeks.
Capsaicin was found to be more effective than placebo in all three trials, and when data from the trials were analyzed together in order to get a single estimate of effectiveness, it was found that capsaicin was four times more effective in improving pain and joint tenderness in patients with OA as compared to placebo. In a trial which was published in 1994 and not included in the previously mentioned review, 113 OA patients were randomly selected to administer either capsaicin or placebo to the affected joint four times/day for a period of 12 weeks. At the end of the trial period, significantly more patients using capsaicin had reduction in both self-reported and doctor-judged pain. In addition, the severity of pain and joint tenderness was significantly reduced in patients using capsaicin
Interactions: There have been no reported drug interactions of Capsaicin with any other herbal supplements or medical drugs.
Capsaicin, which is extracted from chilli peppers, is one of main key ingredients in Provailen, a safe and effective herbal arthritis supplement. The mechanism of action of Capsaicin is mainly related to its ability to deplete Substance P, which is a pain transmitter in human nerves. Results from clinical trials evaluating its role in treating patients with arthritis indicate that it has no major safety problems and can be effective in reducing pain and tenderness in affected joints.