Cayenne pepper, also known as capsicum, is good when used for treatment of many minor ailments, such as indigestion, stomach pain, toothache and seasickness. As with any other herbal remedy, some people do experience side effects from how much capsicum is used, as well as from the methods of ingestion.
In addition to cayenne pepper being added to food to enhance flavor, it is often directly applied to the skin to relieve certain ailments. This includes pain associated with fibromyalgia and skin conditions such as prurigo nodularis. Capsicum can also be ingested directly through the nostril to relieve headaches and head pain, in addition to ingesting it by mouth.
Skin application of capsaicin, the active ingredient in capsicum, has FDA approval to be used as such. For treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, shingles and nerve pain associated with diabetes, cayenne pepper has been proven to be effective, according to WebMD. Applying capsicum to the skin or ingesting it by mouth is most likely safe, provided that the patient is a healthy adult.
Pregnant women and young children should always seek the advice of a medical professional before the application of topical creams. A person should also take care if applying cayenne directly to the skin. Ingesting capsicum via the nostril may be safe, but side effects of cayenne in the nostril can cause moderate irritation and pain.