Capsicum frutescens, Linne' The dried ripe fruit, grown in Africa, with not more than 3 p.c. stems, calyxes, nor 1 p.c. other foreign organic matter, yielding not less than 12 p.c. non-volatile, ether-soluble extractive, nor more than 1.25 p.c. acid-insoluble ash.

Habitat. S. And C. America (Cayenne in Guiana), introduced into E. Indies, Java (by Portuguese), also into Africa; cultivated in United States, also in tropics.

Syn. Capsic., Cayenne Pepper, African Chillies, Spanish, Red, Bird, Garden, Cayenne Pepper, Chillies; Piper Hispanicum; Br. Capsici Fructus (C. minimum); Fr. Capsique, Piment (rouge) des jardins, Poivre de Cayenne-, Guinee or d'Inde; Ger. Fructus Capsici, Spanischer Pfeffer, Schlotenpfeffer.

Cap'si-cum. L. Capsa, a box -- i.e., shape of the fruit; or from Gr.. To bite--i.e., from its hot, pungent properties.

Fru-tes'cens. L. Frutex, shrub, bush -- i.e., somewhat shrub-like in habit and appearance.


Small, spreading shrub, .6-1 m. (2-3 degrees) high; stem much branched; leaves alternate, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-3') long, entire, glabrous; flowers 2-3 together in the bifurcations, greenish-yellow, July-Aug.; ovary 2-celled, many ovules.


oblong, conical, usually compressed, 10-25 Mm. (2/5-1') long, 4-8 Mm. (1/6-1/3') broad, 2-3-locular, dissepiments united to placenta at base of fruit, brownish-red, orange (pericarp), glabrous, dull, thin, shriveled, striate, membranous, 6-21 yellowish flattened seed, pointed micropyle; odor characteristic, sternutatory; taste intensely pungent.


yellowish-brown--thin-walled parenchyma with oil globules, epidermal cells of pericarp and seed-coat and stone cells of endocarp. Tests: 1. Fragments of pericarp with outer epidermis consisting of irregular cells not in rows but with strongly beaded radial walls and a hypodermis of angular cells with thickened, beaded walls--pres. of Japanese or East Indian capsicum. 2. Macerate 1 Gm. + alcohol 50 cc., 4 days, in a stoppered flask; add to .1 cc. Clear supernatant liquid 140 cc. distilled water containing 10 p.c. of sucrose; 5 cc. of this dilution swallowed--at once the pungent sensation of capsicum in the throat of two out of three individuals.



Fruits of allied species;


Red oxide of lead, colored sawdust, bran, etc.--the former recognized by adding diluted nitric acid to dissolve lead and precipitating same with sodium sulphate--the two latter by the microscope; corn meal, starch (iodine test), ash 15-18.4 p.c.

Commercial. -- Plant largely cultivated in our country to supply demand. Fruit is plucked, exposed to sun until dried, then packed in suitable shape for market; much imported from India, Africa -- Liberia, Zanzibar, Natal, Bombay, Penang, Pegu, Cayenne, etc.

Capsicum frutescens.


Capsaicin (capsacutin, capsicin) .02 p.c., Capsicine, Volatile oil, fixed oil, fatty acids (oleic, stearic, palmitic), resin, red coloring matter (cholesterin ester of the fatty acids), ash 7 p.c., of which 1 p.c. is insoluble in hydrochloric acid.

Capsaicin, CHON. -- Considered the chief active constituent--identical with capsacutin, resides mostly in the pericarp and placenta, and is obtained by adding diluted caustic alkali to the petroleum extract, passing CO through this alkaline solution, when it crystallizes out in colorless form.  It is soluble in alcohol, ether, benzene, fixed oils, and its vapors are intenssely acrid and irritating.  It has also been obtained as an oleoresin (capsicin capsicol), amorphous resin-like acid, to which the red coloring matter persistently adheres.  Dose gr. 1/10-1/4 (.006-.016 Gm.).

Capsicine. -- This occurs in small quantity; it is a volatile alkaloid, having odor of coniine -- devoid of pungency -- and is an oil liquid, not existing in the unripe fruit, but results from decomposition processes in ripening.

Volatile Oil. -- Obtained by distillation and gives to the fruit its odor.


1.  Oleoresina Capsici. Oleoresin of Capsicuum.  (Syn., Oleores. Capsic.; Fr. Oleoresine (Extrait ethere) de Capsique; Ger. Spanisch-pfeffer-oelharz.)


Percolate slowly, in a covered glass percolator, 100 Gm., with ether, added in successive portions, until 160 cc. of percolate obtained, reclaim most of the ether on water bath, transfer residue to a dish, allow remaining ether to evaporate spontaneously in a warm place, remote from a naked flame, pour off liquid portion, transfer remainder to a glass funnel with pledget of cotton; when separated fatty matter (which is to be rejected) has drained, mix liquid portions; yield 12-15 p.c.  Should be kept in wewll-stoppered   bottles.  Dose, m1/4-1 (.016-.06 cc.).

Capsicum Fruit: magnified. Fruit: cross-section, magnified annuum: fresh fruit one-half natural size.

Prep.: 1. Emplastrum Capsici. Capsicum Plaster. (Syn., Emp. Capsic.; Fr. Sparadra(pum) Capsici (de Capsique); Ger. Capsicumpflaster.


Apply oleoresin of capsicum to the surface of rubber plaster so as to form a thin, even coating, leaving a margin around the edges; each 15 Cm. Of spread plaster contains .25 Gm. Of oleoresin of capsicum--requiring about 6m; .4 cc.

2. Tinctura Capsici. Tincture of Capsicum. (Syn., Tr. Capsic.; Fr. Teinture de Piment des jardins; Ger. Spanischpfeffertinktur.)


10 p.c. Similar to Tinctura Veratri Viridis, page 104; menstruum: 95 p.c. alcohol. Dose, mx-60 (.6-4 cc.).

Preps.: 1. Mistura Chloroformi et Morphonae Composita, N.F., 2.5 2. Mistura Opii et Chloroformi Composita, N.F. 10 p.c. 3. Mistura Opii et Rhei Composita, N.F., 10 p.c.

3. Pulvis Aromaticus Rubefaciens, N.F., 20 p.c. 4. Pulvis Myricae Compositus, N.F., 5 p.c. 5. Tinctura Capsici et Myrrhae, N.F., 3 p.c. + myrrh 12, 90 p.c. alcohol q.s. Dose, mx-60 (.6-4 cc.).

Unoff. Preps.: Extract, gr. 1/2-2 (.03-.13 Gm.). Fluidextract (alcohol), mj-5 (.06-.3 cc.). Infusion, 5 p.c., 3ij-4 (8-15 cc). Ointment (Br.), 20 p.c.


Stimulant, stomachic, rubefacient, condiment diaphoretic; stimulates flow from salivary, gastric, and intestinal glands, also the stomach walls and heart. Long continuance may produce -- chronic gastritis, abdominal pain; large quantity -- acute gastritis, renal inflammation, strangury.


Indigestion, dyspepsia, atonic gout, alcoholism, delirium tremens, intermittents; flatulent colic, low fevers, cholera, menorrhagia, seasickness, tonsillitis, scarlet fever, diphtheria, hemorrhoids; externally--lumbago, rheumatism, neuralgia, chilblains, relaxed uvula. Was known to the Romans, and used in E. Indies from time immemorial.