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SPICES : CHILLIES

Being pungent, hot and pungent post-digestively, chillies reduce kapha and increase pitta. At first their heat helps to control vata, but their pungency increases vata after long-term use. Though chillies are not native to India, they have enthusiastically adopted into its cuisine. Eating hot chillies in a hot climate helps to keep the body cool by inducing sweat production, but regular use eventually overheats the system. Chilli power is applied by villagers to dog and other animal bites, as it is believed to kill pathogens, including the rabies virus. It is also used internally as first aid in acute diarrhoea and cholera and for intestinal and uterine bleeding. Repeated use for these purposes will aggravate the problem it is trying to solve.

References:
Ayurveda Life Health and Longevity by Robert E. Svoboda - Penguin Books.

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