A recent study suggests that a nasal spray containing the active ingredient in cayenne (Capsicum annum) and eucalyptus oil (eucalyptol) may reduce rhinitis symptoms.
Cayenne is a spice derived mainly from two cultivated species of the Capsicum genus, Capsicum annuum and Capsicum frutescens. There is currently limited clinical evidence that suggests nasal spray containing capsaicin, the main constituent of Capsicum, may help reduce nasal congestion in patients with chronic rhinitis; however evidence is not conclusive.
Although commonly used in non-prescription products as a decongestant and expectorant for upper respiratory tract infections or inflammations, there is currently inconclusive scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of eucalyptus oil or eucalyptol for such indications.
In a recent study, 42 individuals with non-allergic rhinitis were randomly assigned to receive a nasal spray containing a homeopathic preparation of Capsicum annum and eucalyptol or placebo twice daily for two weeks. Nasal symptoms were evaluated before and after treatment. Additional evaluated outcome measures included quality of life and average time to relief.
The researchers found that individuals on the homeopathic nasal spray exhibited significant improvements in nasal congestion, sinus pain and pressure, and headache when compared to placebo. Furthermore, individuals in the Capsicum group felt symptom-relief on average 52.6 seconds after the first treatment.
No differences in side effects between groups were noted.
Although promising, further research is necessary.
For more information about cayenne of eucalyptus oil, please visit Natural Standard's Foods, Herbs & Supplements database.