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Green Chilli: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more

Introduction: 

Green chillies are a common vegetable used in Indian kitchens for their spicy taste. Green chillies are scientifically known as Capsicum frutescens. The spiciness of green chillies comes from a chemical called capsaicin. Apart from providing a hot and spicy taste, capsaicin is responsible for numerous other health effects on the heart, stomach, and pain relief.1 Green chilli is one of the most widely used spices worldwide. Green chillies originated in America and are widely grown in Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean region.2  

green chilli benefits

To find out more about this hot and spicy fruit, continue reading! 

Nutritional Value of Green Chilli: 

Let me tell you a fact about the chilli plant. In Chinese traditional medicine, they have an interesting use for the leaves of the chilli plant. They might have been using these leaves to help alleviate toothaches.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Green chillies are a rich source of many nutrients. The bioactive compounds include alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolics, essential oils, tannins, steroids, and capsaicin.4 The nutritional components present in green chilli are given below. 

Nutritional Component Value  
Carbohydrates  9.46 g 
Proteins  2 g  
Fats  0.2 g  
Fibre  1.5 g  
Sugar  5.1 g  
Iron  1.2 mg  
Calcium  18 mg  
Phosphorous  46 mg   
Magnesium  25 mg  
Potassium  340 mg  
Copper  0.174 mg  
Zinc  0.3 mg  
Sodium  7 mg  
Manganese  0.237 mg 
Vitamin C 242 mg  
Thiamin (vitamin B1) 0.09 mg  
Niacin (vitamin B3) 0.95 mg 
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.09 mg  
Vitamin B6 0.278 mg  
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 0.061 mg  
Vitamin A  59 μg 
Folate  23 μg 
Energy  40 kcal 
Table 1: Nutritional value of green chillies per 100 g3 

Also Read: Brinjal: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Did you know?

Properties of Green Chilli: 

In my opinion, adding some chillies to your meals might be beneficial. In European medicine, chillies are known for their special ability to stimulate gastric juices. This might make them useful for treating certain digestive issues. They are considered carminative, meaning they may help dispel or reduce flatulence (gas) in the digestive system. Additionally, chillies are believed to have stimulant properties that might increase appetite.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

The bioactive compounds present in green chillies may have many valuable properties.  

  • It may show an antibacterial property. 
  • It may show antifungal activity. 
  • It may show an antioxidant property. 
  • It may show an anti-inflammatory property. 
  • It may help with stomach ulcers.  
  • It may help take care of the liver.  
  • It may act as an anthelmintic (killing worms).4  
  • It may help with pain relief.2  

Also Read: Potato: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Overall Health: 

Let me tell you a secret. Do you know that burning sensation you feel when you eat chilli? Well, it’s all because of the compound capsaicin. Here’s the thing: water may not help, but milk might! It has fat and a protein called casein that may dissolve and wash away the burning capsaicin. Cream and yoghurt might also help you to find relief in such situations.

Dr. Smita Barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Green chilli is a staple vegetable used in every Indian household with many health effects. The potential uses of green chilli in various health conditions are given below.  

1. Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Chronic Diseases: 

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals and stop the oxidation process. Free radicals are known to hinder the body’s metabolic pathways and cause alteration in the genetic structure. Antioxidants may reduce the risk of developing health-threatening conditions like cancer, heart diseases, and stroke. The potential antioxidant benefits of green chillies may be attributed to the chemicals like flavonoids, phenols, and proanthocyanidins.5  

2. Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Diabetes:  

Green chillies contain a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is an active ingredient responsible for numerous health benefits. Intake of green chillies could help reduce blood sugar levels, as indicated by a human trial. Capsaicin could also promote insulin secretion, thereby controlling glucose levels in the blood, as indicated by the study.1 Diabetes is a serious health condition that requires you to adhere strictly to the doctor’s advice and follow the treatment thoroughly. You should contact your doctor first before using any herb or vegetable for diabetes.  

3. Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Microbial Infections:  

The biological compounds present in green chilli might show good antimicrobial activity against several disease-causing bacteria like Staphylococcal aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, E. Coli, Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Shigella dysentriae. Taking green chillies in foods and dishes might be beneficial as a natural antibacterial agent.6 If you are suffering from any microbial infection, consult your doctor before using green chillies for their benefits. Infections, if not treated properly, can spread and become severe.  

4. Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Obesity:  

Green chillies may help reduce the buildup of body fat as per animal and human trials. They may improve fat metabolism. Regular intake of green chillies could help reduce body weight and help improve the metabolism of accumulated fat. Green chilli intake might be effective in assisting people in managing weight and reducing fat.2 Green chillies may help you manage your weight, but it is important that you use any herb or vegetables after consulting with your doctor or nutritionist.  

5. Potential Uses of Green Chilli for Stomach Ulcers: 

According to an animal study, green chilli extract could help manage stomach ulcers. There was a marked improvement in the severity of the ulcer, a reduction in the stomach acid secretion and an improvement in tissue changes. These benefits might aid in dealing with ulcers in the stomach.2 Care should be taken for consuming green chillies in excess if you have stomach ulcers as it can worsen the symptoms. You should consult with your healthcare provider before using any herb or vegetables as medicine.7  

6. Other Potential Uses of Green Chilli:  

Other uses of green chillies are: 

  • Green chilli extract may show pain-relieving properties against pain induced by external stimuli as per an animal study.  
  • Green chilli extract may also show anthelmintic activity against parasitic worms.  
  • Green chilli extract could prevent the aggregation of platelets in the blood and avoid the risk of heart diseases. The extract could also help break down existing blood clots, as indicated by lab studies.2  

There are various animal studies that have shown the good properties of green chillies for overall health. However, it is advised that you do not use green chillies or any other herbs for any disease condition without consulting with your doctor.  

Also Read: Drumstick: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Green Chilli? 

There are several ways you can make use of green chillies; some of them include: 

  • Green chillies are used in Indian households for their hot and spicy taste and to add flavour to foods and dishes like salads and soups.1  
  • Green chillies are also made into pickles.  

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an Ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Also Read: Chives vs Green Onions: A Comparison Guide Based on Nutritional Value and Culinary Use

Side Effects of Green Chilli: 

You may experience these side effects while using green chillies: 

Mild side effects: 

  • The clear sap preset in green chillies may irritate the eyes and skin upon direct contact. Contact with the skin might lead to redness of the skin.8  
  • Taking the fruit directly or chewing green chillies may cause a burning sensation on the tongue and mouth, which is mostly harmless.8  

Severe side effects:  

  • The capsaicin present in green chillies may cause symptoms like irritation, burning, redness, swelling or itching on the mucus membrane soon after initial contact. Sometimes, prolonged exposure to capsaicin may lead to blisters, swelling and redness on the skin.2  
  • Green chillies, if consumed in high quantities, may cause damage to the stomach, liver, and kidneys. It may also lead to brain toxicity.2  

Also Read: Radish: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Precautions to Take With Green Chilli: 

Here are some general precautions you need to take while using green chillies.   

  • For children:  

Green chillies should be kept out of reach of the children as they might ingest them directly. In addition, it may cause a burning sensation in the mouth and tongue.  

  • For pregnant and breastfeeding women: 

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to consult their doctors before using any herb as a medicine.  

  • For the elderly: 

Elderly people should use green chillies in moderation to prevent any severe toxic effects.  

Also Read: Jalapeno Pepper: Exploring Its Research-Backed Health Benefits

Interactions With Other Drugs: 

There is a lack of information regarding the interactions of green chillies with other drugs. However, if you are taking medicines for specific conditions, in that case, you can talk to your healthcare provider about the possible interactions of the medication with green chillies.   

Frequently Asked Questions:  

What are the benefits of eating green chillies? 

Eating green chillies in foods and dishes has many benefits for health. Eating green chillies might be good for the heart and stomach, and dealing with microbial infections. It can also help you lower the risk of stroke and cancer.1,2,5,6 Make sure you talk to your healthcare provider before you use green chillies or any other vegetables for their benefits against any disease conditions.  

What are the nutrients in green chillies? 

Green chillies may have nutritional benefits. Green chillies contain plenty of nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fibres and lipids. Green chillies also contain minerals like calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, zinc and copper. Vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B are also present. 3 

What are green chilli vitamins?  

Green chillies contain numerous vitamins. Vitamins like vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5 and C are present in green chillies.3   

What are the benefits of green chilli for weight loss? 

Green chillies intake might help with weight management. Taking green chillies may help you reduce weight and improve your fat metabolism. These benefits have been observed in human as well as animal trials. You may put green chillies in your foods and dishes to get the benefits.2  

What are the benefits of green chillies for stomach ulcers? 

Green chillies may be valuable in improving stomach ulcers, as per some animal studies. Green chilli extract could help deal with the ulcers and improve the tissue changes as per animal studies.2 However, before using green chillies for any health issue, you need to contact your healthcare provider. Taking green chillies if you suffer from ulcers may also worsen your symptoms.7 Therefore, you need to consult your doctor or healthcare provider and make well-informed choices. 

References: 

1. Chaiyasit K, Khovidhunkit W, Wittayalertpanya S. Pharmacokinetic and the effect of capsaicin in Capsicum frutescens on decreasing plasma glucose level. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet Thangphaet [Internet]. 2009 Jan 1 [cited 2022 Jun 10];92(1):108–13. Available from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/19260251 

2. G. M. Masud Parvez. Current Advances In Pharmacological Activity And Toxic Effetcs Of Various Capsicum Species. International Journal Of Pharmaceutical Sciences And Research [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 10];8(5):1900–12. Available from: https://ijpsr.com/bft-article/current-advances-in-pharmacological-activity-and-toxic-effetcs-of-various-capsicum-species/ 

3. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 10]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170497/nutrients 

4. Batiha GES, Alqahtani A, Ojo OA, Shaheen HM, Wasef L, Elzeiny M, et al. Biological Properties, Bioactive Constituents, and Pharmacokinetics of Some Capsicum spp. and Capsaicinoids. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2020 Aug 1 [cited 2022 Jun 10];21(15):1–35. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32707790/ 

5. Olatunji TL, Afolayan AJ. Comparative Quantitative Study on Phytochemical Contents and Antioxidant Activities of Capsicum annuum L. and Capsicum frutescens L. ScientificWorldJournal [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 Jun 10];2019. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31110468/ 

6. Koffi-Nevry R, Kouassi KC, Nanga ZY, Koussémon M, Loukou GY. Antibacterial Activity of Two Bell Pepper Extracts: Capsicum annuum L. and Capsicum frutescens. http://dx.doi.org/101080/109429122010509896 [Internet]. 2012 Sep 1 [cited 2022 Jun 13];15(5):961–71. Available from: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10942912.2010.509896 

7. Brigham And Women’s Hospital. Cayenne [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 14]. Available from: https://healthlibrary.brighamandwomens.org/conditions/Pregnancy/19,Cayenne 

8. Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service. Chilli pepper (Capsicum frutescens) [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 14]. Available from: https://www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/poisonous-plant-chilli-pepper-capsicum-frutescens/ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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