My aunty asked me why many detox programs include chili or cayenne pepper, which is made from the dried pods of chili peppers. Many off the shelf detox programs include these ingredients, so I did a bit of research to find out if these ingredients actually help the body to detoxify, or not.
The main medicinal properties of chili are derived from the chemical capsaicin. It's the capsaicin that gives chili the heat and the hotter the chili, the more capsaicin it contains. Indian and Chinese medicine practitioners often use chili to treat digestive ailments as it stimulates the flow of stomach secretions and saliva which help to digest food.
Chili increases blood flow in the body, and increased blood flow to the liver is important during detox. The liver is the bodies detoxification organ. It removes toxins from the body. If blood flow to the liver is impaired, nutrients don't reach the liver and the liver has problems removing waste materials. Chili is therefore included in detox programs to help the detoxifying function of the liver.
As well as stimulating the body to create the feeling of heat, capsaicin increases body temperature and metabolism. Increased metabolism increases the number of kilojoules your body burns. Therefore chili is included in detox programs that claim to assist with weight loss.