Herb or Spice
History, Folklore & Properties
First produced in Spain, Paprika is made from the grinding of bell peppers or chili peppers (Capsicum). Hungary (after the Turks brought the plant in the 16th century) is a major source of paprika and produces varieties ranging as follows:
– Special quality: the mildest, very sweet with a deep bright red color.
– Delicate: color from light to dark red, a mild paprika with a rich flavor.
– Exquisite Delicate: similar to Delicate, but more pungent.
– Pungent Exquisite Delicate: an even more pungent version of Delicate.
– Rose: pale red in color with strong aroma and mild pungency.
– Noble Sweet: the most commonly exported paprika; bright red and slightly pungent.
– Half-Sweet: A blend of mild and pungent paprikas; medium pungency.
– Strong: light brown in color, the hottest paprika.
Taste & Flavor
Most of the time people use this spice to color the tops of various foods. Although useful to decorate food, Paprika has a unique flavor that if used correctly can turn a great dish into the perfect meal. Ranging from mild to hot, Paprika’s flavor also varies from country to country. Paprika can also be used with henna to bring the reddish tint out.
Capsicum is very high in antioxidants; especially vitamin C. Paprika (specifically) is an antibacterial agent as well as a stimulant that can be used to help improve blood pressure, circulation, and increase the production of saliva and stomach acids and aid digestion.
It is said that Capsicum can also be used in the following manner:
– Used on an open wound, either in a fresh wound or an old ulcer
– Used in a poultice for sores and wounds
– Taken internally for rheumatism, inflammation, fevers and pleurisy
– Is a stimulant when taken internally as well as being an anti-spasmodic
– Good for kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and lockjaw
– Will heal a sore such as an ulcerated stomach
– Prevention and cure of the common cold and flu
– Works as a liniment when used alone as a cold press extract or mixed with 2 ounces gum myrrh, 1 ounce golden seal and ½ ounce ground red pepper. Mix into a quart of rubbing alcohol. Let stand 7 to 10 days, shake every day.
– Heals wounds, bruises, sprains, scalds, burns, sunburns, and pyorrhea of the gums, skin cancer etc.
Magic & Potions
Capsicum (or Paprika) is said to be useful in hex breaking, bringing fast love (infatuation – if used improperly). It may also be used in food served to your beloved as an aphrodisiac. It can be used to arouse the passions of your love interest but because this spice is so powerful it is cautioned that the capsicum be used in moderation as not to turn your love into a crazy obsession. In ancient times, if you placed a pinch of capsicum into the drink of someone you really liked, they would fall madly in love with you. The Capsicum powder may also be sprinkled around your home to break a spell cast against you.
In My Opinion
I am not sure if paprika actually has the power to ignite crazy infatuation. However, I have used paprika in many of my meals and not only does it bring fabulous color to dull meals but, if you use some of the spicier versions of paprika – it can be used as an aphrodisiac. 🙂
– The Book of Magical Herbs: Herbal History, Mystery and Folklore
– Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs
– Back to Eden