Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 12, 2016

Phytochemistry and gastrointestinal benefits of the medicinal spice, Capsicum annuum L. (Chilli): a review

Amal K. Maji and Pratim Banerji


Dietary spices and their active constituents provide various beneficial effects on the gastrointestinal system by variety of mechanisms such as influence of gastric emptying, stimulation of gastrointestinal defense and absorption, stimulation of salivary, intestinal, hepatic, and pancreatic secretions. Capsicum annuum (Solanaceae), commonly known as chilli, is a medicinal spice used in various Indian traditional systems of medicine and it has been acknowledged to treat various health ailments. Therapeutic potential of chilli and capsaicin were well documented; however, they act as double-edged sword in many physiological circumstances. In traditional medicine chilli has been used against various gastrointestinal complains such as dyspepsia, loss of appetite, gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastric ulcer, and so on. In chilli, more than 200 constituents have been identified and some of its active constituents play numerous beneficial roles in various gastrointestinal disorders such as stimulation of digestion and gastromucosal defense, reduction of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, inhibition of gastrointestinal pathogens, ulceration and cancers, regulation of gastrointestinal secretions and absorptions. However, further studies are warranted to determine the dose ceiling limit of chilli and its active constituents for their utilization as gastroprotective agents. This review summarizes the phytochemistry and various gastrointestinal benefits of chilli and its various active constituents.

Author contributions

All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2015-6-6
Accepted: 2015-12-3
Published Online: 2016-1-12
Published in Print: 2016-6-1

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