Thank you Zoebess. I live in Guyana and we do have lots of 'bird pepper' around. This makes it much easier as, I don't see much powdered cayenne in the shops (got it from one place and it was frightfully expensive - subsequently brought some in from Canada when I came back home.
But my friend dried some bird pepper and ground it and I could tell you it's much hotter than cayenne powder; we were just concerned about the medicinal qualities but you have cleared that up.
I could also get fresh cane juice but not too sure of the hygenic conditions under which it is pressed. I could get young cane (i live near a cane field) and wonder whether my home juicer could handle this.