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Cayenne Pepper for Sore Throat

Puja Lalwani
Sore throats are irritating, and when down with it, all anyone wants is instant relief. That is what people claim cayenne pepper can provide. With its ability to irritate your internal organs and open up your throat and sinuses, and its antibacterial properties, homemade drinks using cayenne pepper are now becoming popular to help cure a sore throat.
Cayenne pepper's primary compound is capsaicin (that contributes to the spice in the pepper), which has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
A lot of people cannot bear to consume anything spicy, and the mere thought of cayenne pepper may have you feeling edgy and uncomfortable. However, before you run from it, you should know that this spice has been found to be helpful for a lot of conditions: from something as simple as curing a sore throat, to aiding weight loss, and detoxifying the body.
Yes, this spice appears to be a miracle ingredient in disguise, that can take care of a lot of your health problems, only of course, when consumed in moderation. Here, we will provide you with some solutions with cayenne that help relieve a sore throat.

Things to Consider

  • Cayenne pepper possesses 30,000 - 50,000 units of capsaicin, as established by the Scoville heat scale. In simple terms, it is extremely hot! So before you use it for your condition, keep the following points in mind.
  • It may cause a severe burning sensation on and around your lips and on your tongue.
  • Be careful while handling this spice; always wash your hands with soap immediately after you use it, even if you have used a spoon.
  • Consuming too much may cause heartburn over time.
  • An excess may also cause or aggravate stomach upset and lead to diarrhea.
  • The drinks mentioned below should be consumed only until your sore throat is relieved.
  • When consumed with a solution that also contains a little salt, its effect on a sore throat is known to be stronger. Capsaicin stimulates the mucous membranes and causes irritation. As such, it reduces the sensation of pain associated with the inflammation caused by a sore throat.

Cayenne Pepper Preparations for a Sore Throat

The recipes mentioned here give you a specific amount of cayenne pepper to be added to the concoctions. However, if you think it is too much, adjust it to the amount you will be able to bear. This may require some experimentation. Do not make the solution too mild as it may not provide any relief.
Recipe #1 - Cayenne Pepper Tea

Water, 1 cup
Cayenne Pepper Powder, ½ tsp
Juice of ½ Lemon, freshly squeezed
Honey, 1 tsp
Salt, dash (optional)

Boil the water and pour it into a cup. Add in the lemon juice, the pepper, and the honey and mix thoroughly. Keep stirring while you consume the drink so that the pepper does not settle at the bottom of the cup. Drinking this concoction thrice a day is known to eliminate all the irritation caused by a sore throat.
How it Benefits you

  • While honey is used to slightly neutralize the strong taste of the pepper, it is also known to help relieve a sore throat.
  • If you add salt, it will also aid the treatment of this condition as it has antibacterial properties.

Recipe #2 - Tomato/Chicken Soup with Cayenne Pepper


Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
Cayenne Pepper Powder, ½ tsp
Tomato Soup, 1 can OR Clear Chicken Soup, 1 bowl
Water, enough to give the canned soup a thin consistency
Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed, dash (optional)
Salt, dash (optional - do not use in case of canned soup)

In a saucepan, add all the ingredients, and bring the concoction to a boil. If you have used canned tomato soup, the drink should have a thin consistency. Once heated, pour it into a mug and drink the concoction while it is still hot. It is suggested that you drink the soup three times a day for effective relief.
How it Benefits you

  • The smell of garlic, along with the numbing properties of cayenne pepper, will relieve your throat almost immediately.
  • Garlic has anti-viral properties that will increase the benefits of this soup.
Recipe #3 - Cayenne Pepper Solution (for Gargling)


Warm Water, 1 cup
Cayenne Pepper Powder, ½ tsp
Juice of ½ Lemon, freshly squeezed
Salt, dash

Mix all the ingredients, and gargle with this solution every half an hour.
How it Benefits you

  • The cayenne pepper in this solution is known to increase circulation to the throat, and thus enhance the process of treating it.
  • Gargling with this solution is believed to provide instant relief, provided you do it persistently.
Note: The cayenne pepper tea is known to have greater benefits in curing a sore throat than the solution used for gargling. However, if you are unable to consume the tea because you cannot tolerate spice, you may resort to this solution.
If you do not have this throat reliever at hand, you may use a substitute. The home remedies prepared from these are usually almost as effective as cayenne pepper itself.
However, the heat levels among cayenne and the following are different. Substitute ½ tsp of cayenne pepper with the following.

  • Tabasco or any Hot Sauce (in the same amount)
  • Hot Paprika (1 tsp)
  • Black Pepper (1 tsp)
Keep in mind that cayenne pepper has the ability to soothe only a sore throat. The other aspects that are associated with the common cold may not be affected by it. If you seem to find no relief from these remedies, you probably are suffering from a different condition, for which you must immediately consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.