Chili cayenne in bowl and fresh chili on wooden table

Aside from the cayenne pepper's heat, there are other more serious side effects from this incredibly spicy pepper. This article discusses many of these side effects, as well as potential risk factors involved when using cayenne pepper whether in powder or cream form. These statements are not meant to diagnose or treat any illnesses and as always, you should seek professional medical advice before administering any treatment.


While cayenne pepper has its benefits, such as weight loss and improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, there are several side effects you should be aware of. Adverse reactions range in severity; they provide enough discomfort and potential health hazards to merit serious consideration.

Dangerously Hot

While many people begin the popular water and cayenne pepper diet, they are unaware of the amount of discomfort they are about to subject themselves to. Not only does cayenne pepper burn on its way into your body, it burns just as intensely exiting the body. While the initial burning may be somewhat unexpected and uncomfortable, it does pass in time. Easing into this program will help you build up a tolerance to the heat. For hundreds of years, Native Americans have used cayenne pepper to treat stomach pains and constipation. Unfortunately, if excessive amounts of cayenne pepper are taken, it can induce even more intense stomach pain, vomiting and can worsen ulcers.

Cayenne Pepper and Food Allergies

People who are allergic to kiwis, bananas and avocados also may be allergic to cayenne pepper. Doctors can test for the specific allergy.

Cayenne Pepper and Medications

Cayenne pepper can adversely interact with blood thinners, antacids and aspirin. It is best to consult with a doctor to make sure there is no risk for such an encounter.


In its powdered form, cayenne pepper causes irritation to the mucus membranes and produces burning and stinging in and around the eyes, nose and mouth. When applied topically to the skin as an ointment, which would be used to ease the pain of arthritis, the treated area often experiences burning sensations.


Cayenne pepper should not be used on children under the age of two years old. As with all chemicals or potential food hazards, keep cayenne peppers, in any form away from children. Although there is no evidence of any side effects with use during pregnancy, it is best to consult with a physician or trained medical person who can provide insight to any possible trouble.


With proper research and professional consultation, it is easy to prevent any harmful interactions. Cayenne pepper can be a beneficial herbal treatment as long as care and consideration are practiced.