Chilli / Pepper

Capsicum annuum (Solanaceae)

Characteristics

Shrubby, perennial herb, up to 60 cm tall. Stem densely branched. Flowers white (sometimes purplish). Botanically, the Chilli fruits are berries that may be green, yellow, orange or red when ripe. While Capsicum annuum can tolerate most frost-free climates, it is especially productive in warm and dry climates.

Distribution

Native to southern North America and northern South America. Cultivated around the world in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, both mild and hot, such as bell peppers, jalapenos and cayenne peppers.

Natural Medical Properties

The fruit of the hot, pungent cultivars is ant haemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts, antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic.
It is taken internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins, asthma and digestive problems.
Externally it is used in the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, pleurisy etc.It is an effective sea-sickness preventative.

Did you know?

Although the species name annuum means annual (Latin “annus”: year), the plant is not an annual but is frost tender. In the absence of winter frosts, it can survive several seasons and grow into a large perennial herb.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species