I woke up with congestion in my head; the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection. I really hate the feeling of not being able to breathe through my nose. I immediately got out the neti pot. I put in 6 ounces of boiled cooled water, 1 capful of hydrogen peroxide, and 1/2 t. sea salt. I love that remedy for my sinuses and it always works well. But lo and behold, my sinuses were blocked so much the water would not go through them.
I got a q-tip and put water on it. I dipped it into some cayenne pepper and put that in my nostril. It brought about an immediate sneeze. Then many sneezes. And voila! My sinuses were open. I was able to use the neti pot. I was able to blow my nose. (And blow and blow - but always gently lest you get your ears stopped up.)
It DID STING! My kids were pretty horrified. I had considered eating a hot pepper since we have plenty from the garden (one of the only things I actually grew this year.) But I didn't think a hot pepper would sit well in my empty stomach, or go well with my morning oatmeal when I got around to fixing it.
Using the neti pot likely drove some cayenne into my sinus cavities but that didn't bother me. Just the nose interior. But it wasn't unbearable and didn't last terribly long. And it was totally worth it.
Hours later I can still breathe through my nose.
I love cayenne pepper. It is amazing.
~Mama to Many~