The two major domesticated genera of capsicum in East Africa are C. annum (Long cayenne chilli) and C. frutescens (African bird’s eye chilli).
Capsicum contains different phytochemicals, vitamins (A, C, E and all the B complex vitamins) and minerals (iron, phosphorous and calcium).
Capsaicin is the chemical compound responsible for the pungency of pepper and also accounts for its medicinal properties.
Lycopene in red pepper is believed to possess anticancer properties, reducing risks of prostate cancer. Consumption of pepper also reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases, asthma, sore throat, diabetes, stomachaches, migraine, flatulence, muscle tension, psoriasis, heart diseases and headache.