There are more than 300 varieties of chillies. They vary in length from 5mm to over 300mm, some are long and narrow and others plump and globular and they vary in heat from mildly warm to mouth-blisteringly hot. All contain capsaicin, a biologically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. It is claimed to be effective in protecting against cancer. The chilli is a rich source of vitamin C, even more so than the lemon or orange. Even after cooking it only loses 30 percent of its vitamin C.