What is capsaicin?

What is capsaicin?

Have you heard the one about the chili pepper helping with pain?  It may sound as far-fetched as an apple a day keeping the doctor away. However, in this instance, it’s true thanks to a compound in chili peppers called capsaicin. As big fans of natural ingredients that ease aches, pains, and tension, we were immediately interested in learning more about capsaicin.  And once we did, we worked to incorporate it in a few of our pain-relieving products.  Here’s the deal on capsaicin.


How does it work?


Simply put, capsaicin works by decreasing a naturally occurring chemical in your body that communicates pain signals to the brain. In essence, capsaicin decreases your body’s perception of pain.


Capsaicin was first approved as a topical pain reliever by the FDA in 2009 in the form of a patch as a treatment for neuropathic pain. Since then, companies have developed various formats for capsaicin such as creams, sprays, gels and roll-ons. Studies show that capsaicin can help relieve pain caused by:

  • Joint conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Migraines and other severe headaches
  • Surgery1


Pretty amazing, right?  Capsaicin is also a great ingredient to pair with magnesium (and you know we LOVE body-balancing magnesium at Asutra).  And for those that prefer heat for pain relief over ice, capsaicin is a great choice over cooling menthol (our other favorite naturally derived pain reliever to pair with magnesium).  


Is it safe? Will it burn?

We get asked about burning and skin sensitivity with capsaicin. Some users do experience a slight burning or itching sensation when they first try the products but that subsides after a few uses.  It is hard to know if it is the magnesium or the capsaicin or the combination that is yielding the sensation.  Our best advice is to start small and build up the amount you use.  But you should take care to avoid your eyes and other mucous membranes as well as any scrapes or wounds.  And  make sure to wash your hands carefully and thoroughly after applying (remember – it comes from the chili pepper – no one wants to rub chili pepper on their eyes!).

Research also shows that pain may increase at first but then decreases after initial use. Expert guidance is that you can use capsaicin up to 4 times a day as needed.2


How do you pronounce it?

This is a very common question and a very valid one!  General guidance is to pronounce it kap-SAY-sn.  

How Team Asutra uses capsaicin:

Kate:  One of the products I use daily is Spray Pain Away magnesium oil with capsaicin.  I use it pre-workout on my knees (5 sprays each) and because I spend a lot of time on my computer another 5 sprays on neck/shoulders.  And then I repeat at the end of the day before bed.  Not only does this 30 second ritual replenish my daily magnesium requirement, it is also a great way to limber up for a workout and minimize soreness/stiffness afterwards.

Don’t just take a Team Asutra member’s word for it.  See what other users are saying: 

Real user advice and reviews:

Review fromTarget.com:


Reviews from Grove.co:


Review from Asutra.com:



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