Chili peppers are a staple in my kitchen, so we're examining this fiery fruit for this month's Herbs in Witchcraft series. Let's examine their healing and metaphysical properties, as well as their use in witchcraft. It's sure to be hot and spicy.
I'm a kitchen witch who loves spicy flavors, especially with a Mexican influence. I'm always looking for ways to add a bit of heat to my food. I've also got an astrological chart full of fire energy, so it makes sense that I use chili peppers in my craft on a regular basis. Let's examine their benefits and uses in witchcraft and herbalism.
Healing properties of chili peppers
Different types of chili peppers have been grown and eaten in the hotter parts of the world for ages. Some very serious study has been done on their medical properties. Chili peppers are high in vitamins, particularly vitamin C, but as they're so spicy, they tend not to be eaten in large enough quantities for you to get much from their nutritional benefits unless you're taking a supplement. They're high in antioxidants, those cancer-fighting compounds we all need.
Capsaicin, which makes chilies spicy, can actually be used in pain relief. So while chilies may burn to start out with, eating them can desensitize you to pain over time, especially for heartburn.
Chili peppers have also been studied for weight loss. It is believed that they may reduce appetite and increase fat burning. This doesn't seem to be effective across the board, though.
Chili peppers are also believed to improve circulation and aid digestion.
Magical properties of chili peppers
It almost doesn't need to be said the chili peppers are associated with fire. They've also been tied to fiery deities like Mars and Shango. Just as in cooking, chili is very powerful, and a little bit goes a long way. Call in this energy when you want to get things moving more quickly or remove blocks. Add a pinch of dried or powdered chili to any spell to speed it up or shake up stagnant energy.
Chili peppers are also commonly used in spells of protection. Place them around your home as if you were creating a wall of fire to keep negative energy out. Their phalic shape and many seeds also ties them to fertility magic, particularly for men. You can also use chili to bring a bit of fire to your sex life, though I wouldn't suggest actually getting them anywhere near your more sensitive parts.
Chili peppers can be used to remove the evil eye. Pass three red chili peppers around the head of the cursed person while chanting an incantation. Then throw the chilies into a fire and let them burn. You could also burn crossroads dust and a chili on charcoal to smoke out the evil eye, especially for children. Be careful with this one, as the smoke will likely be very irritating to the eyes.
A chili pepper can also be worn on a string to protect a man's fertility against the evil eye. Replace your amulet when the chili goes soft.
Chili peppers have also been used in spells to remove fever, keep your partner faithful, and protect your home.
Recipes for the Kitchen Witch
I'm always adding jalapenos, or crushed red pepper flakes to recipes to give them just a bit of a kick. There are dozens, if not hundreds of varieties of chili around the world, and you may find they have distinctive energy, just as they have distinctive flavors and heat levels. Follow your intuition when choosing your favorite chili pepper.
When working with especially hot chili peppers like habaneros, you may want to wear gloves, as they can cause a burning sensation on the skin. And always wash your hands after handling them, especially before touching your eyes.
But let's get cooking, kitchen witches. Here are a few of my favorite recipes featuring chili peppers.
- Whipped Ricotta - sprinkle chili flakes over the top for a bit of heat to get the energy flowing
- Black Pudding Hash - the diced red chilies in this recipe really bring it to life
- Cranberry Glazed Turkey Meatloaf - a bunch of Thai sweet chili sauce is added to the glaze for a bit of a kick
- Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels - buffalo sauce is loaded with spicy energy
- Gnocchi Chili - chili powder can definitely bring plenty of power to a spell
- Jalapeno Hush Puppies - spicy little fried dough balls that taste like they're straight from heaven
- Vegetarian Jalapeno Poppers - a chili pepper filled with cheese can only be good
Next time you're chopping a jalapeno, serrano, habanero, or any of your favorite chili peppers, remember their unique fiery energy. Use it with care and discernment, but don't be afraid of its power. Let it bring great things into your life. It's gonna be awesome.