Super spice duo conquers cancer and pain

Capsaicin, the component that gives chili peppers their kick, is one of the most popular natural pain relievers around.

And oddly enough it’s one of those natural remedies that even conventional doctors recognize the value of.

That’s why you can find capsaicin as the active ingredient in creams, patches and ointments that relieve your sore back or achy joints.

But a growing body of research suggests that adding a little spice to your daily diet not only lowers pain, but may help you live longer by also lowering cholesterol, inflammation — and your cancer risk.

When it comes to cancer, however, it has a split personality…

For starters, most of the research out there shows that capsaicin is a powerful cancer fighter. It can kill prostate cancer cells, bone cancer cells and pancreatic cancer cells, just to name a few.

But a handful of studies have also linked it to stomach, liver and skin cancers. And no one knows why it seems to prevent cancer in some cases and possibly contribute to it in others.

If you use capsaicin regularly to manage pain, that puts you in quite a conundrum…

But before you throw out the baby with the bathwater, researchers recently discovered a simple solution to your dilemma. And interestingly enough, it’s another powerful spice — ginger.

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According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, ginger can counteract the cancerous effects of capsaicin — and together appear to fight cancer even better.

In the study, researchers gave mice prone to liver cancer ginger, capsaicin or a combination of both. After twenty weeks, all the mice taking capsaicin developed liver tumors, while only half the mice taking ginger did. But here’s the kicker… only 20 percent of the mice taking both ginger and capsaicin developed tumors.

So that means capsaicin combined with ginger decreases your cancer risk more than ginger on its own. It’s hard to say why that’s the case. Researchers do know that both bind to the same cellular receptor in your body — one that plays a part in tumor growth.

The good news is you can still use capsaicin to relieve your pain… as long as you take your ginger too. Ginger itself is a powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. So it should only help your situation. You should also follow a few other guidelines when using it:

  • Don’t take more than three 30 to 120 mg doses per day.
  • Take capsaicin before or after meals. If you take it with a meal, it will increase your risk of an upset stomach.
  • If you’re applying the cream externally, get a cream that contains 0.025 percent to 0.075 percent.
  • Never apply capsaicin cream to raw or broken skin.
  • Always wash your hands after applying capsaicin cream. If you get it in your eyes, you’re in for a world of hurt.
  • If you want to get more of it from food, you can take 2.5 grams of hot peppers per day. That’s between an eighth and a quarter of a jalapeño.

Editor’s note: Natural cancer cures exist in nature. But the sad truth about the medical establishment’s biggest moneymaker is that most will never leave the research lab. Dr. Michael Cutler reveals how to escape outdated and useless conventional treatments and drug therapies — and lists dozens of the best vitamins, supplements and alternative therapies to prevent and treat cancer in his comprehensive guide, Surviving Cancer! To get your copy today — plus 3 FREE reports — click here!


  1. M. Chapa-Oliver, et al. “Capsaicin: From Plants to a Cancer-Suppressing Agent.” Molecules. 2016 Jul 27;21(8).
  2. M. Bode, et al. “The Two Faces of Capsaicin.” Cancer Research, 2011; 71(8).
  3. Geng, et al. Gingerol Reverses the Cancer-Promoting Effect of Capsaicin by Increased TRPV1 Level in a Urethane-Induced Lung Carcinogenic Model, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2016).
  4. “Can Taking Too Many Cayenne Pepper Capsules Be Harmful?” The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  5. “Cayenne.” Whole Health Chicago.
  6. “Cayenne.” University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
  7. “USDA National Nutrient Database.” United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved September 9, 2016.


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and