Capsine (Capsaicin)

Capsicum, also called red pepper, cayenne pepper, or chillies, is an annual herbaceous native to tropical America. The plant can reach one meter high. Its leaves are oval and lanceolate. The white or yellowish flowers are solitary, regular, star-shaped with a five-lobe calyx and a one piece deciduous corolla. The fruit is a fleshy yellow-brown to red or red-brown drupe, cone-shaped and pointed, containing many seeds. It is smooth, shiny, a little odorous though its taste is very hot. The name Capsicum was probably derived from the Greek word « kapso » meaning to bite and referring the pungency of its fruits. 
This pungent taste has now been explained on the basis of the thermogenic properties of capsaicin, one of the fruit’s active ingredients, that is the property to increase body heat production. The ancient Mayan folk-healers used capsicum for the treatment of toothache and general body pain. In modern Western medicine, capsaicin has been used to treat pain associated with arthritis, post operative pain and neuralgia.

CAPSINE is standardised for 10 % Capsaicin, which, when appropriately applied to the skin, produces a sensation of heat and acts as a topical analgesic providing pain relief. The mechanism is as follows: when applied on the skin, the capsaicin may inhibit the synthesis, transport and release of substance P, a neurotransmitter of pain.
The fact that capsaicin has no side effects, toxicity or interaction with other drugs prompted a research group from the Department of Clinical Research in Cleveland to suggest that topical capsaicin should be used as a safe and effective analgesic. In a double blind study, 32 elderly patients with chronic post herpetic neuralgia were treated with either capsaicin cream or placebo cream alone for a six weeks period. Based on statistical evaluation of self assessment questionnaires, significantly greater relief in the capsaicin-treated group was observed (Watson, C.P.N. & al. Post-herpetic neuralgia and topical capsaicin. Pain 33; 333-340; 1988).
Capsaicin is also a vasodilator which may favour the penetration of other ingredients.

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