Chili peppers are varieties of the berry-fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae, cultivated for their pungency. Chili peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add “heat” to dishes. Capsaicin and related compounds known as capsaicinoids are the substances giving chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically.
Cultivars grown in North America and Europe are believed to all derive from Capsicum annuum, and have white, yellow, red or purple to black fruits.
Capsaicin, found in spicy red pepper, has several biochemical and pharmacological properties including:
Hot red pepper can boost pancreatic and intestinal enzyme activity, and enhance bile acid secretion.[1:5]