Also known as: Mirchi, Paccha mulagu, Pachha molaga
Description: Chilli peppers are berries and are used fresh or dried. Chillies are dried to preserve them for long periods of time. The dried chillies can be powdered and stored. Chilli peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since 7500 BC. The substances that give chilli peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin.
Commonly used in: Chillies are used in many cuisines. Fresh or dried chillies are often used to make hot sauce, a bottled condiment to add spice to other dishes. Capsaicin extracted from chillies is used in a spray as a less lethal weapon.
Health Benefits: Capsaicin is a safe and effective topical analgesic in controlling arthritis pain, herpes zoster related pain, diabetic neuropathy, post mastectomy pain and headaches. Peppers are a good source of most B vitamins and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium, magnesium and iron. They have high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.