Sore Throat
Natural Remedies

Cayenne Pepper for a Sore Throat

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Posted by Michael (Clifton Park, Ny) on 12/13/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I have used cayenne for sore throats for many years and I recently found a natural over the counter throat spray made with hot peppers and horseradish. It's great stuff. One spray and my sore throat is gone.

Replied by Rosa
Miami, FL

I was a little skeptical at first, but I was in such bad pain so I would try anything. So I just add cayenne pepper (powder) in a chicken broth and although it was super spicy I felt better. Good luck!

Posted by Ute (Albuquerque, NM) on 10/18/2014

I use cayenne pepper when I first notice a sore throat coming on. I put a little tap on a wet q tip and paint my throat with it, being careful not to get any on my tongue. So far this worked every time.

Replied by Patricia
Northampton, UK

Can I use it in my 6 year old daughter?

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Patricia,

I have used cayenne pepper in a gargle for a sore throat for a child as young as 9. It worked very well, but she was willing and my family is somewhat used to spicy foods.

If you want to try it, I would mix 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon clove powder in a cup with 4 ounces of water. Have the child put on lip balm first to avoid burning the lips and gargle a couple of times. (Perhaps have him gargle a couple of times with just water first so he knows what to do.)

You should try it yourself first and see how spicy it feels and gauge whether or not to have your child try it. For a child that is not very cooperative or hates spicy foods, this may be the best solution.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Martha (Hermosa Beach, California) on 05/07/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and looked online for natural remedies. Saw the cayenne pepper cure and tried a few shakes of cayenne in some warm water and then gargling. I felt better immediately, I can't believe it! I gargled 2 more times later in the day and my sore throat disappeared. Yea!!

Posted by Gina (Montana, Usa) on 12/11/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I woke up yesterday morning with a wicked bad sore throat that has been going around my kid's school. I saw the cayenne cure for sore throats and immediately started gargling with it. Not a fun burn, but it definitely worked! I did it 3 times yesterday - a few shakes of cayenne in hot water - and then once this morning and my sore throat is gone! Hopefully I kicked the virus out of my body too.

Posted by Wendy (Westport, Ct) on 10/01/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I started getting a sore throat yesterday afternoon and promptly looked on Earth Clinic for remedies. I couldn't believe how many people tried gargling cayenne pepper for a sore throat! Amazing. I added a few shakes of cayenne to a small amount of warm water and gargled with it. Spit it out, took a breather and gargled again. My sore throat felt better an hour after that. I did it again last night before going to bed and woke up this morning with no throat pain. YEA!

Posted by Sore Throat (Land Of, Oz) on 03/26/2013
5 out of 5 stars

This is almost immediate relief... I have one of the worst sore throats I have ever had. I tried tea with honey, smoothies with lots of antioxidants but the gargle with cayenne, salt and I used some raw honey. I gargled and swallowed.

Posted by Max (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) on 03/15/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I had a sore throat for 2 days and I'm finally healed on the 3rd day after reading some of the posts on this site. The gargle-and-sip technique worked for me. I used 1 teaspoon of Cayenne and half a teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of warm water. I gargled for 30 seconds, spit it out and sip a little bit of that mixture. I did it again (gargle spit and sip) and lo and behold, my regular voice came back 30 minutes later. Cayenne is so powerful.


Posted by Mary (Denver, Co) on 03/14/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Wow! It worked- cayenne pepper 2 tbsp, 1 tbsp acv, honey and warm water.. 50 min later I feel more alive than I have in the past 2 days being sick--- it burns my chest a little but the sore throat is going away and my energy is going way up!

Replied by Doddie
Lawrenceville, Georgia, Usa

Mary, are you sure you used 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper or was it 2 teaspooons ? I did not do it because I thought it was a bit too much so I used a teaspoon. Please let me know because I will use the 2T if I have to. Also did you just gargle with it or did you swallow it all. With 2Tlbs. how often did you have to do this. Thank you for your response, Clara

Replied by Karen

Oh heavens, do NOT use 2 TBS. I personally use 1/8 of teaspoon, and if I am brave I can amp it up to 1/4 teaspoon. The most I have seen anyone use is 1 teaspoon. You would have the hot runs if you survived drinking it. Oh my mouth hurts to think someone even attempted anything over 1 teaspoon.

Posted by Theresa (Valparaiso, In) on 03/04/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I've had a killer sore throat--so bad that it kept me up 2 nights back--for a few days now. Honey, hot tea, etc etc have not been working for this one this time. So here I am and found this cayenne tip. WOW! I put 1 tsp in about 8oz of warm water and IMMEDIATELY my pain was gone. It's starting to make a slight return as I expected with this severe of discomfort, but I plan on gargling for a few times every hour until this subsides.

Posted by Press Gray (New Orleans, Louisiana ) on 01/17/2013
5 out of 5 stars

The cayenne pepper definitely works, I could not sleep so at 3am I found this and tried it out. It's like a miracle cure I can swallow with no problem already only 30 minutes later. No sore throat at all. I'm going to do it again in the morning before work just as a precaution.

Posted by Victor (San Antonio, Tx) on 11/22/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Hi I am an avid cayenne peper fan even have a garden in my back yard. any way I had a cough sore throat for 3 days but due to my laziness I fail to take my home remedie.

2 hours ago after staying home from thanksgiving celebrations finnaly broke down and chopped 2 garlic cloves saturated them with cayenne powder and chewed on them till they were all gone ate a peace of lemon and amen. Pain and cough is gone thank you for reading. if in doubt visit your doctor.

Posted by Anne H. (Santa Ana, Ca) on 11/21/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I woke up with a sore throat that I believe is related to a cold I think I am starting to come down with. Caught it from my oldest daughter. I tried the cayenne pepper. I put 1/4 tsp. in a 1/2 cup of warm water. I took a swallow and gargled, and then swallowed it. It really wasn't that bad. And it feels like the pain in my throat is 1/2 as bad.

Posted by Sebastian (Melbourne, Australia) on 06/03/2012
5 out of 5 stars

After coming down with a sore throat and chest cough, I tried every possible remedy I was recommended. For two days waking up every two hours with the worst throat and then losing my voice I tried betadine throat gargle, honey and lemon, lozenges, warm salty water and paracetamol. All these treatments would have an effect for a short term so I thought I would at least try cayenne pepper.

After mixing 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 lemon in 1/2 a cup of water and gargling every 15 min for 2 hours and then the rest every so often for the rest of the day, I wake up with no sore throat.

I would say to anyone before you go and spend a load of money on antibiotics give this a go and you may be as plesantly suprised as I was. I still have the cough and heavy chest but gone are the razor blades in my throat.

Replied by Cooper
Arvada, Colorado
1 out of 5 stars

not a good idea to use this. Started getting a sore throat and heard about this remedy so I tried it. I used half a teaspoon of cayenne with two tablespoons of warm water and gargled. With how hot the cayenne was I spit it out immidiately and it left my throat burning worse then before. do not use unless you have a very high heat tolerance in your throat and mouth.

Replied by Anja
Jacksonville, Florida

My family and I use cayenne for sore throat but we don't start out with a half teaspoon. We put a very small amount ( a pinch ) and increase it if it is not strong enough. It should be hot and burn especially if your throat is already sore but it wears off quickly and then your throat feels better than before, approx half hour. You repeat this every few hours for about 24 hours and you should be feeling a whole lot better. We usually don't have a need for it after that. On the flip side, I have used cayenne for pain. You just have to handle the initial heat.

Replied by Mia
Lyons, Ny

If you must, start out with less. It may burn but the cure certainly works. It cured me of the worst strep throat I'd ever had. My glands were so swollen, which caused extreme neck pain, it made me want to cry. Twelve hours after the first dose was I was almost completely well. Two days after that it was completely gone never to return and it's been two years since. Definitely don't knock cayenne. It works.

Replied by Jeegen
Pleasant Ridge, Michigan
5 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering from a sore throat now for five days, but the last two nights have been unbearable, tossing and turning, coughing, waking up my spouse, etc. This morning I couldn't speak. I rarely get sick or have sore throats, but this is awful. I just tried the above remedy, not 20 minutes ago and my pain has halved and I can talk. It IS very spicy, though I have a pretty low tolerence for spice, but I figure the worse it tastes the better it works? I also made myself swallow a teeny tiny bit after I read further below that it needs to coat the entire throat and not just the top.

Replied by Eddie95
Liverpool, Uk
1 out of 5 stars

well its a NAY from me, been trying this for a few hours cant say anything is improving except for a burning mouth. I assume this works the same as the salt water trick in that osmosis draws water out of your inflamed throat, reducing the swelling slightly, and temporarily. but it does not "kill the bug", "disinfect the disease" etc.

most of us have flu viruses. You can't kill that with salt or antibiotics or anything. The only thing that really makes swallowing less painful is just to keep eating and swallowing. It only gets really painful if you try and stop swallowing for ages. so the more spaced out your swallows, the more they will hurt.

people are saying this definitely works, because after two days the sore throat has cleared - well duh, it would probably have cleared by then anyway, most sore throats do get significantly better after about 2 days. so you can take whatever you want and give credit to that, or you can just accept your body just got rid of it the underlying cause (because our bodies are actually pretty good at sorting things out themselves! ), and the "remedies" did nothing but maybe fractional temporary relief.

Replied by Jane R.
Boston, Ma
5 out of 5 stars

OMG I can't believe this worked. I am 51 and had a sore throat for 2 weeks that wouldn't go away and was going in for a medical procedure that you can't be sick for so I was in a panic. I rinsed with the Ground Cayenne Pepper (found in the spice aisle in the alphabetical section under P for Hot Pepper). I used 1/4 teaspoon in a cup of water every 3 hours or so for a total of 3 times. I didn't feel any different the first day but I was completely pain free the next day. It is now day 3 and I still don't have a sore throat. So weird that this hot spice cools a burning throat.

Replied by Mia
Formerly Of Lyons, Ny

Reply to Eddie95: I've never had strep throat clear up within two days with the exception of taking antibiotics. It does not get better on it's own. Also, within hours of the first dose there was a marked improvement in my case.

Replied by Michael
Crested Butte, Colorado
5 out of 5 stars

In reading this thread and seeing that people seem very surprised that cayenne pepper works for their sore throat, I can give you a solid pharmacological explanation of why that is: the chemical in hot peppers such as cayenne that makes them hot is called capsacin (spelling correct?), and believe it or not it is the main active ingredient in a great many ARTHRITIS medications. The science behind it has to do with something along the lines of causing the nerves to fire too much to a point where they finally turn off, so to speak (this is a dumbed-down and probably not wholly acurate explanation of the science, however the fact remains that Capsacin does have pain-dulling properties and this is no doubt why it works well in a gargle for sore throats). Thus although the cayenne feels hot at first, eventually the user experiences relief!

Replied by Lynn
St. Clair Shores, Michigan

Maybe using cold water with the cayenne would be better than warm. Perhaps there would be less burning. I'm trying 1/8 tsp. Cayenne with 1/2 cup of cold water. My sore throat is caused from itching due to allergies and sinus drainage. We'll see how this remedy works for this type of sore throat.

Replied by Andrea C
Cardiff, Wales

You have to use WARM WATER with Cayene pepper Clair xxxxxx It switches on a neouron that lets the body know ITS COMINING!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol xxxxxxxxxxx Its also to do with 'BRAIN CHEMICALS xxxxxxxxx Colds water, negatives the efffect of CAYYENE PEPPER XXXXXXXXXXXXX So do not use COLD WATER it MUST be as hit as you can stand the water xxxxxxxx Love Andrea C

Replied by Dara
Los Angeles, Ca

I've used Cayenne for about 5 years for my sore throats but I use liquid and the little bits don't get caught in my throat I dont have to wait for it to disolve and it is a much more pleasant experience. Hope this helps.

For my throat cure I use 2 fresh lemons, cayenne liquid, and I add a bit of agave warm water & it makes a delightful tea that I can sip throughout the day.

Replied by Apple Schmidt
Twin Falls, Idaho
5 out of 5 stars

It definitely does not suprise me how well this worked for me today. I have been an all natural freak my whole life and never ended up with something other than a broken nose and folded septum that needed a doctor's attention. (I actually straitened it my self, 2 days later, it required surgery. ) This includes, well, you name it. Cayenne is something I heard about years ago from the mother of a cousin who is 99 years old and can still whoop anyone's ass. I used 1/2 tsp. in a coffee cup of warm water, and pretty much instant relif.

Posted by Cath (Ottawa, On, Canada) on 05/29/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I just had to give it one more YEA vote in case it helps give even one more person the relief it gave me. THANK YOU!

Posted by Tyler (Wylie, Texas) on 05/25/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I have suffered for about one year with a indescribable discomfort/throbbing pain on one side of my tongue. I have visited a few different doctors who could not find anything wrong with me. Anyone going through this same kind of thing has probably had the same horrible fears and emotions I have - worrying that it might be something serious such as cancer.

Two days ago I decided to use cayenne pepper as a mouthwash for a sore throat. Not only is my sore throat cured, but the tongue pain goes away for hours after using it. It does not just improve - the pain completely dissipates. Even opiate painkillers do not provide relief like this.

Here is what I do: I put one-half of a teaspoon of very hot cayenne pepper into a mouthful (2 tablespoons) of warm water. I then rinse my mouth, thoroughly, and gargle deep into the back of my throat, for about two minutes. This burns intensely the first few times.

After two minutes I spit and rinse my mouth out with water. The tongue pain worsens for about two minutes, and then goes away, completely, for several hours. Each time I go back and rinse with more cayenne, the pain goes away for a longer period of time. I have a feeling that this is somehow improving the blood flow into the tiny blood vessels in the tongue and soon I might be entirely cured.

Another thing I have done differently is I have started to brush with a little bit of coconut oil twice a day. It's very moisturizing to your oral tissue. Anyone suffering from burning tongue issues probably chews on their tongue or rubs it against their teeth, which is a constant source of irritation. The coconut oil helps soothe the irritation to a degree.

Anyway, give cayenne a shot. You have to do it regularly, but it's incredible and I feel like I have my life back. For the first time in a year I have been able to enjoy the day without constantly thinking about my tongue.

P.S. - Burning Mouth disorder has been known to drive people to insanity and even suicide. This is a serious problem and a serious source of constant pain, discomfort and irritation which can cause serious depression. If cayenne seems to be working for you, leave a reply to help others learn about this cure.

Replied by Wplush
Honolulu, Hi

Did you try ACV for your BMS? Where can you get Cayenne Pepper? Do you have any other problems such as digestive or skin issues? Is the Cayenne still working for you?

Replied by Tyler
Wylie, Texas

You can get Cayenne pepper at most grocery stores - it's sold in the spice aisle. If given the choice between "mild" and "hot, " always pick the hot. In fact, get the spiciest type available. I have used ACV for about a year. It only seemed to help my BMS for about a week, although it does have a positive effect on the emotions and depression involved with BMS.

I used to suffer from very bad acne and took accutane (regret that decision). I have, basically, perfect skin now aside from freckles.

The cayenne is still working. I only have to use it about once a day now, and the degree of my BMS weakens each day. My life is great again for the first time in a year. I think many people suffering from this condition might be skeptical or think I'm crazy, but the cayenne really works wonders for me for this issue.

Again, the first day I had to take it every few hours. Now I only have to do it once per day. The cayenne has so many benefits anyway that I would use it even if I didn't have BMS - it's good for your gums and oral tissue because it stimulates blood flow to the area.

Replied by Mama T
Sparks, Nv

For years I have suffered from geographic tongue and sores on my tongue. Reactions to foods, white coating, sores that look like ringworm, cracks, and sometimes bleeding. Several years ago I started taking Enduracin, slow release niacin that is encapsulated in parafin so it won't cause the hot flashes. My husband takes it to lower his cholesterol, one before every meal. I started taking one 250mg per night as a B12 supplement. After a few weeks I noticed that my tongue was not hurting anymore! It was a healthy color and no cracks. There have been a few times when I have gone without taking it for a few days and my old symptoms return quickly. It is especially noticable if I am traveling and don't bring along my supplements and I eat out and my tongue will flare up at the restaurant making it very uncomfortable to even eat and the symtoms will last all night and cracks start to appear. I am thankful that I realized what the solution was so I can share it with you!

Replied by October
Berea, Oh
5 out of 5 stars

I don't know what I have, it seems like allergies because it happens seasonal or so. It started with watery eyes and a dry scratchy throat. I took it easy and managed to keep those feelings at bay then I woke up in the middle of the night with my throat a little more scratchy & a bit sore. I got up and immediately started in on the warm salt water and I've been trying to fight it off that way. Last night I lost the battle and my throat was really bad this morning and relief lasted briefly even with hot tea.

I came here and saw this post so I tried it. I have rinsed twice now only to follow these suggestions and I feel like I will be fine at least a few hours. I will probably do it twice more this evening and try to drink as much water as possible. I know haven't had enough water and that doesn't help. Need to keep the tissues lubricated. I hope it goes away soon because I am in no mood to wait this out... Thanks for the suggestions! In the least I will settle for relief, I feel much better now : )

Replied by Dana
Kennewick, WA

Have you been tested for b12 deficiency? Burning tongue can be a sign that you need b12 shots to replenish a seriously depleted store of b12 in your body.