Hot pepper

Hot pepper

Hot pepper

Specification & Spread

Hot pepper fruits — fructus capsici
Hot pepper — capsicum annuum l.
Solanaceous — solanaceae

In culture, it is an annual herbaceous plant, in the native country it is a subshrub with branchy stems up to 1.5 m tall, woody at the bottom.

The leaves are ovate or broadly lanceolate, acuminate at the apex, with a wedge-shaped base, long-petiolate, the lower – alternate, the upper – approximate in pairs. The edge of the leaves is solid or slightly notched.

The flowers are solitary, rarely 2-3, located in the ruins of stems on erect or drooping pedicels, with a double pentamerous perianth (green calyx, remaining under the fruits, and white, yellowish or purple wheel-like corolla), 5 stamens and pistil with the upper ovary.

The fruits – leathery swollen berries, very varying in shape, size, color and taste, with numerous flat reniform seeds. It forms with conical and elongated-conical (sometimes slightly curved) fruits predominate, but in some varieties the berries are almost round.

Spreading. The country – Central America, where the culture of this vegetable plant has several millennia. After the discovery of America, it began to be grown by amateurs in Europe, and then spread throughout the world and now occupies a prominent place among vegetable crops, especially in regions with a fairly warm climate.

Habitat. The hot pepper is cultivated as an annual plant, which has time to go through the full development cycle in one growing season. Many varieties have been developed, which are combined into two groups: vegetable – with large fleshy fruits, used for food unripe, and spicy – with smaller fruits, sharp in taste, used as spice. In Russia, hot pepper is grown on an industrial scale in the south of the European part of the country, but in individual gardens it can be seen in the Non-Black Earth Region and in the south of Siberia. There is an indoor culture of this plant, specially selected forms with proper care bloom and form mature fruits on the window sills.


The fruits of hot pepper contain:

  • alkaloids, derivatives of vanililamide (capsaicinoids), the main of which is capsaicin – decylenic vanillyl amide acid.
  • The amount of hot pepper is up to 15%.

Other groups of substances:

  • carotenoids up to 0.4%
  • essential oil up to 1.5%,
  • ascorbic acid to 0.4%,
  • fatty oil (in seeds up to 10%),
  • flavonoids, steroid saponins.

The fruits concentrate:

  • copper,
  • zinc,
  • selenium.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. The raw materials are harvested by hand, breaking off ripe fruit. Harvesters remove the admixture of leaves, stems, flowers and buds.
Security measures. It is not carried out, as the plant is cultivated.

Drying. It is dried in air or heat dryers at temperatures up to 50 ºС. After drying, the raw materials are brought to a standard state, removing brown fruit and other impurities. When working with the fruits of hot pepper, it is necessary to use dust masks, as dust causes severe irritation of the mucous membranes.

The fruits are from 5 to 12 cm long, at the base wide from 2 to 4 cm, conical, slightly flattened, often slightly curved.
The calyx is flat with five to seven short teeth, often with fruit left curved stem. The wall of the fruit is thin, fragile, smooth and shiny on the outside.

The fruit is hollow inside, in the upper part is single-celled, below divided into two cavities by the placenta, to which are attached numerous flat reniform seeds with a diameter of 3 to 5 mm.

The colour of the fruit is dark red, red or orange-red, the seed is yellowish, the calyx is brownish-green.
The taste is very hot. The smell is not determined(!).

Properties and application

Papillary preparations possess:

  • annoying and
  • distraction caused by capsaicin.

Application of hot pepper

From the fruit is prepared tincture (1:10) on 90% ethyl alcohol containing 0.1-1% capsaicin, which is used externally in the form of rubbing as an irritant and distracting agent for:

  • neuralgia,
  • radiculitis,
  • myositis.

The tincture is also taken as bitterness to whet the appetite.
It has bactericidal properties, so it is useful in acute gastrointestinal disorders.

Tincture, extractives and capsaicin are part of a large number of complex preparations that are used as external irritants and distractions for rheumatic pains in the joints, neuralgia, radiculitis, muscle inflammation (myositis).

The pharmaceutical industry produces pepper patch for this purpose, the active component of which is a thick extract from the fruits of paprika.

  • Increased individual sensitivity to the components of the preparation.
  • Dermatological diseases at the infusion site;
  • violation of the integrity of the skin.