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Sore Throat Cures

Last Modified on Mar 25, 2014

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Cayenne Pepper Sore Throat Remedy

Home Remedy Ingredients:

  • Cayenne Pepper - 1 teaspoon
  • Warm Water - Small Glass

Far and away the most popular sore throat remedy. Add a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper to a glass of warm water and repeatedly gargle with it. Sore throat pain vanishes, and other cold-like symptoms improve as well! (If your lips are raw, put on a little chapstick first to protect them.)

EC Contributor Instructions:

Penny from Fresno, California: "If it is too late, as in strep, it takes gargling with cayenne in water every fifteen minutes until it goes, and be patient, because it GOES. I haven't had a sore throat take hold in 15 years or more, though many have tried to start up, which also is a way for many illnesses to sprout. I generally will gargle cayenne in water at whatever strength I like and do it as much as I can until I tire of it, and then repeat every fifteen minutes, each time swallowing a tiny bit real slowly (not necessary). It only stings the tongue a little when spitting out, otherwise, no discomfort, you can get used to even the swallowing part when you see how well it works. I use the cheap Mexican stuff, but also keep on hand in refrigerator the pesticide free stuff from health store. Cayenne is a miracle cure for ulcers and so many other conditions, plus aids assimilation of nutrients and vitamins. I will keep cayenne in water in the bathroom in case I get up in the night, so I can gargle once in the night if I am very sick, but if it is in water, it will go bad quickly and needs to be put back in refridge in morning. Afterwards suck on a clove (see below). I have never seen a sore throat that won't succumb to it."

Cayenne doesn't always work within the first hour or two. If you've had a sore throat for days, you will need to keep up the gargling for at least one day if not two. Your lingering sore throat will disappear. Many of the folks who reported a NAY rating in the Cayenne section are reporting negative results after a very short period of time.

[YEA]  03/07/2006: Marilyn from Hanford, CA: "I have had a nagging cough after I got rid of the strep throat with ACV. But I kept coughing (some times I would have to vomit from coughing so much) and I couldn't get any sleep. I got on line today and read Penny's remedy and tried it and it burned I guess my throat was raw from the coughing. IT WORKED IMMEDIATELY NOT EVEN TWO MINUTES I MEAN RIGHT AWAY THE COUGHING STOPPED. Every now and then I have had a cough but nothing like before. My ribs are so sore from all the coughing. Thank you guys for all the sharing of these natural remedies. God Bless"

[YEA]  03/03/2006: Kendall from Atlantic, IA: "This worked great, i could feel the difference within ten minutes of my first time gargling."

[YEA]  02/11/2006: Aaron from New Port Richey, FL.: "Well, where to begin. I got up Sunday with a tickle in my throat. I was suppose to sing at church and by the time I arrive could not. By half time of Superbowl the sore throat an congestion had set in. Worked Mon, Tues and Wed thinking I could get through it, but after not sleeping Tues and Wed, I was simply put exhausted and tired of being sick. Called in sick Thurs, figuring I really needed to rest to beat this, since I had not been this sick in 5 years. Missed work again Fri. By Fri evening I decided to look online for natural remedies. My symptoms, sore (strep throat), hard packed congestion, coughing up the vilest green/yellow crap I have ever seen. Having diagnosed myself with strep throat, I search Dogpile with ("strep throat" "natural cures"). This is how I found the Earthclinic website, of which I consider myself blessed to have found. Under the "sore throat" section I read the "Penny's cayenne pepper remedy". I thought to myself, you have got to be kidding me. However, I was so miserable I figured what do I have to loose. So I sprinkled some cayenne in a glass, mixed in some warm water and gargled about 5 times (swallowing only a very small amount each time). By the time I was done I could tell there was something good happening. I waited 15 minutes and repeated the same procedure. When I finished I just couldn't believe it. My swollen sore glands were all but gone and the thick green/yellow was breaking up. I said "praise God", took a Melatonin (for sleeping) and crashed. I woke up about 3 hours later, hauked a few loogies (no where near as bad as before), gargled again and went back to sleep. When I got up in the morning I simply could not believe how good my throat felt, so I gargled again thinking if what I did makes me feel this good, doing it again will make me feel even better. However, my sinuses were still pretty packed and discharge still fairly green/yellow. By now Doris, my wife had arose around 6:00 a.m. (she had the same thing prior to my getting it and still had not fully recovered now almost 2 weeks after it started). I told her the above, she then asked where did I get the info and what do they say about sinus infections. We both looked at the site this morning and saw the info about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). We looked at each other in amazement, looked at the ACV on the top of the stove and made a couple of ACV cocktails for breakfast. Within an hour I had no more green/yellow snott. It is now 10:30 a.m. and my nose still runs abit but clear discharge verses the vile stuff previously mentioned. I simply cannot put into words how much better my throat feels. 12 hours earlier I told my wife the best thing I could use for my throat would be a knife. :-) I am still coughing a little but nothing like the 4 days prior that make your head ache and pound. Even sitting here finishing this script, I keep saying outloud to myself, "I can't believe how good my throat feels! I can't believe how good my throat feels! ..." I am a skeptic who has been turned into an advocate. The only thing you have to lose is sleepless nights and a smaller pay check. Are you with me??"

[YEA]  Edwin from Brooklyn, NY: "I tried gargling 1 tbls of cayenne pepper with very warm water for about 10 min straight and it helped me so much with my sore throat and cough."

Cayenne and Blood Thinning

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)
NAY (1)

[NAY]  06/01/2007: Karenna from SF, CA: "Cayenne is NOT unsafe per one of your feedback customers. I recently found your website in some research I am doing on Cayenne and Lymph, but was a little disconcerted to see that you published someone's testimonial warning others not to use cayenne if they do not want their blood thinned.

Cayenne is used in midwifery and in other instances when needed to stop hemorrhaging, and has the ability to correct and balance both ends of many circulation issues. It will assist in dissolving clots as well as stopping bleeding, and it will -- over time -- correct both high and low blood pressure.

I suggest to all readers that when it comes to benefits and contraindications of herbs and medications, that they exhaustive research, or at least more than they think is necessary, to discover what they need to know for their particular situation or those for whom they are caring."

[YEA]  02/18/2007: Amy from New Haven, CT: "Love your site but wanted to let you know that the reason you are supposed to stop taking cayenne pepper before surgery has nothing whatsoever to do with inflammation (which in most cases it doesn't cause anyhow). The reason is that Cayenne Pepper is a very effective blood thinner and so, like aspirin, you don't take it prior to surgery, to ensure minimal blood loss."

Cayenne and Garlic

Approval Ratings
YEA (1)

[YEA]  11/22/2012: Victor from San Antonio, Tx: "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."

Cayenne Pepper Recipes

Approval Ratings
YEA (17)

[YEA]  01/13/2013: Armadillo17 from Chicago, Il: "I am so grateful I went to your site! I mixed about 1/2 tsp red cayenne pepper powder with a Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup warm water and about 1/2 tsp salt. I too was worried about teh cayenne buring my mouth, since this had happened to me years before, but it did nto happen this time. (Perhaps the salt neutralized it?) Anyhow, aftert the first 2-3 gargles I saw about 50% improvement in the pain. This convinced me to continue and now I have some hpe I will banish this miserable sore throat before I must return to work (tomorrow! )

Also, I brewed some tea with ginger, lemon, honey and Earl Grey and this is helping too. Let me add that this is by far the NASTIEST sore throat I have ever had---the phlegm has like, CHUNKS of greening yellow stuff in it. Eeeew! But I did obtain some relief and will definitely re-gargle shortly with the same mixture."

[YEA]  02/01/2011: Kayla from Dallas, Tx: "If I ever have a sore throat or just need a boost, I LOVE this recipe.

Boil 1.5 cups water

add fresh grated ginger (I used about 3 Tablespoons)

add fresh garlic (2-3 cloves chopped)

add cayenne (to taste, I use a lot)

add turmeric

add fresh lemon (whole, then throw peal in there)

add about 1 tablespoon honey or agave.

This is a great detoxifier and a sore throat cure!"

[YEA]  07/10/2010: Annelle from Princes Town, Trinidad : "Developed a sore throat after getting wet in the rain, because I (foolishly) kept my wet shoes on at work in the air conditioning. When I got home I boiled 4 cloves of garlic (crushed), 6 teaspoons of cayenne powder, and a tablespoon of peeled, sliced ginger. I let it cool, and because it was such a hot concoction, I put it in my blender with one cucumber, 4 teaspoons of cinnamon powder and a stick of celery. Also half a carrot for taste. Added an additional 1/2 cup of water, blended it and drank. Within 2 hrs, my sore throat was 95% gone. A 2nd dose will definitely get rid of the sore throat 100%."

10/02/2008: Tammy from Port Deposit, MD: "Try adding cayenne to Ramen soup. Add a pinch or two depending on your sensitivity to the hot water or add when you put in seasoning packet. Mix it up good and make sure you drink the broth. Not only will it heal your throat it will start your sinus's draining as well."

[YEA]  08/24/2008: India from Coral Springs, Florida: "I used the idea of Jess J of Boca Raton, Florida, only I upped the dose of cayenne pepper to 1/2 a teaspoon.

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of honey
12-16 ounces of hot water
And a teabag of your choice for flavor.

I barely took a sip because I thought it would burn or taste terrible, but it really didn't! It was a subtle spicy and it tingled and felt really good. I barely took a sip, and already I could feel my voice coming back (I had a horrible sore throat, in which it hurt to swallow etc) It didn't immediately cure the hurting to swallow, but I've still got a whole cup to go. I think it'll help. Thanks Earth Clinic and everyone for posting these remedies!"

12/24/2012: Cherokeeandproud from Somewhere A Time, Somewhere A Place replies: "Want to know why cayenne relieves a sore throat? It's the capsaicin. You can make an ointment or liniment our of cayenne and make your own headache reliever. The capsaicin acts much like Cepacol in the sense that it essentially becomes a "local anesthetic". This is why you will get relief but have to do it several times for it to "stick". I love cayenne. It's a great immune booster, it works great on heartburn, it tastes amazing on food, if you make an ointment or liniment it makes an amazing headache/migraine reliever. I've been using cayenne probably longer than this site has been around. That being said, I just tried the cayenne pepper gargle since it's Christmas Eve and a few days ago my husband was kind enough to share his germs and now I have a sore throat. I also added a little bit of salt just for good measure. Let me say that, having had to drink valerian root tea, which literally tastes like dirt, this concoction is absolutely the most foul, vile tasting thing I have ever experienced. The sore throat is still present but it is not as bad. I can now swallow and it's basically just that "scratchy" throat feeling you get when a cold is beginning to creep up on you or when you have some annoying, allergy related sinus drainage down the back of your throat. So I think I am going to say this method, though it's absolutely disgusting, works really well because this sore throat got into my subconscious and into my dreams before waking me up after a mere 4. 5 hours of sleep.

A tip to all that do this: ONLY USE 1/8 OF A TEASPOON! I think that may be why it tasted so horrible. I used about 1/2 a teaspoon, not realizing it. Also, I would recommend probably 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. It's still going to taste absolutely disgusting but I think it won't be as "strong" of a taste while still working just as well. To get rid of the scratchy feeling, if you're still left with that afterward, I recommend simply gargling with regular salt water and a cup of warm, herbal tea."

[YEA]  03/28/2008: Eric from London, UK: "cayenne pepper works for a sore throat. I did this-heat qtr cup of lemonade, juice of one whole lemon, 2tbsps honey, 1/4 tsp cayenne. heat until just before it boils, stirring. sip whilst still hot from cup. Works almost immediately."

[YEA]  03/27/2008: Jennifer from Louisburg, NC: "I first came across the Cayenene Pepper sore throat remedy on this site about a year ago, when I had pain in my throat so bad I felt like I was swallowing glass. Nothing had helped for over 2 weeks.

I thought cayenne pepper sounded ridiculous, but I was willing to try anything. I couldn't stomach the thought of gargling with it, so I made some ramen noodles and sprinkled cayenne pepper over it. It worked amazingly well. By morning, my sore throat was gone.

I have since found that adding the cayenne pepper to any warm soup broth and drinking like tea works wonders. Tastes much better, too."

[YEA]  02/05/2008: June from KC, KS: "I came back to EarthClinic to read about flu and sore throat cures and saw lots of feedback on cayenne pepper for sore throat.

I recently tried cayenne in an ACV drink recipe here that was so disgusting I had to pour the whole thing down the sink. It tasted foul and burned my mouth, so using cayenne for my sore throat was a last resort. But so many people said it was The Cure, so I had to try it. Here's what I did:

I emptied one capsule of cayenne into 3/4 cup of hot water and let it steep for a while like tea. I then drained the mixture through a coffee filter and into a small spray bottle. Then I sprayed the mixture on the back of my throat, gargled a bit, then swallowed. The spray completely bypassed my mouth, so no unnecessary burning. The burning in my throat actually felt kind of soothing and effective. And, what a miracle cure!!! What iodine, h2o2, colloidal silver and salt water could not do in 4 days, CAYENNE PEPPER DID IN 2 HOURS!!! It completely took away the sore throat and I continued to use it periodically for the next several days to ensure the sore throat did not take hold again"



Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.