The cayenne pepper, also known as the Guinea spice, cow-horn pepper, aleva, bird pepper, or, especially in its powdered form, red pepper, is a cultivar of Capsicum annuum related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and others. The Capsicum genus is in the nightshade family (Solanaceae). It is a hot chili pepper used to flavor dishes. It remains green on the plant even when mature; once picked, it may or may not turn red. It is normally eaten red, but also eaten while still green.
Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin. With the consumption of cayenne peppers, the amount of heat the human body puts off is influenced. In animal studies, capsaicin has the ability to boost metabolism, which in turn causes weight loss. This increases circulation and blood flow to all major organs which facilitates oxygen and nutrient delivery. Cayenne pepper may support a healthy energy balance while suppressing appetite. Capsaicin has been shown to increase energy expenditure, so acts as a metabolism booster and is beneficial in long-term weight loss.
It is named for the city of Cayenne in nch Guiana.