Capsaicin, the spicy compound that makes chili peppers hot, is actually a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Many topical pain relief creams actually use capsaicin because it helps increase blood flow to the injured areas such as muscle or joint pain. Just make sure not to put it on an open wound (ouch).
Cayenne pepper also contains a wide range of flavonoids and other phytonutrients. These are antioxidants that work at a cellular level and actually disarm free radicals that can lead to cellular inflammation.
The University of Maryland’s Medical Center recommends taking between 30 and 120 mg of cayenne pepper three times daily to experience beneficial effects.