Sore Throat
Natural Remedies

Cayenne Pepper for a Sore Throat

| Modified: Dec 21, 2018
Add New Post Cayenne Cure for a Sore Throat

The cayenne pepper cure for sore throat is the most effective and popular home remedy, thanks to its active ingredient, capsaicin. We're thankful that Penny from Fresno, California told us about this natural treatment. Very few people had heard of using cayenne pepper for a sore throat until we posted Penny's remedy on Earth Clinic in 2004. However, for over a decade now, thousands of people around the world have learned to cure a painful sore throat using this inexpensive and simple natural treatment!

What Causes a Sore Throat?

You wake up with a rough feeling in your throat like someone has rubbed sandpaper all over it, and you know what has a developed - a sore throat. But, what caused it? Most sore throats are caused by a viral infection such as the cold or flu. If your sore throat is linked to one of these causes, you will likely experience a runny or stuffy nose, cough, fever, and fatigue as well. A number of other conditions can also cause a sore throat, though, including strep or even an allergic reaction.

Can't I Just Use a Decongestant?

While a decongestant does relieve inflammation and mucus production in the nasal passages, a decongestant only cures a sore throat that is caused by a runny nose or postnasal drip. Likewise, these medications may cause a variety of adverse side effects.

Why Is Cayenne Better for Treating My Sore Throat?

Cayenne, on the other hand, treats a variety of causes of sore throat and has very limited side effects. Cayenne is a spice that relieves a sore throat naturally and effectively.

How cayenne works:

Cayenne contains a powerful ingredient called capsaicin. This compound is an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. When you take cayenne to treat your sore throat, you'll experience relief as far as reduced swelling but also healing as it eliminates infection.

How to Use Cayenne for a Sore Throat

Watch our fun video on 3 ways you can how to use cayenne pepper to relieve a sore throat fast.

Cayenne Pepper Cure for Sore Throat

Gargling With Cayenne

Penny from Fresno, California wrote Earth Clinic back in 2004 to report the amazing cure for sore throats.

Penny writes, "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 1 Thumb rating in the Cayenne section are reporting negative results after only trying cayenne once when they should have continued to gargle with it every few hours.

Continue reading feedback from over 500 Earth Clinic readers who have used the cayenne pepper miracle cure and let us know if it worked for you!

Related Links:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Cayenne Pepper
Sinus Congestion
Sinus Infection
Sore Throat
Tomato Tea

509 User Reviews

Posted by Carrie (Charleston, Sc) on 06/21/2018
5 out of 5 stars

I woke up in the middle of the night itchy, hot, generally uncomfortable and unable to sleep with a sore throat/cold I caught from my twin nieces (they were real cute though). First I took a hot shower for the steam. I had tried the cayenne remedy before but completely forgot (or blocked it out) until my boyfriend reminded me. I followed the instructions in your video pretty closely and did 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper in maybe 4 oz of warm water. I gargled the whole thing in separate gulps for 10 seconds each til it was gone. The great thing about this remedy is that the effect is tri-fold:

1) the (mild) discomfort of gargling cayenne water kind of makes you forget about the sore throat in the first place;

2) it relieves the soreness once you regain feeling in your throat; and

3) it completely clears out your sinuses (had to blow my nose several times and hocked up junk from my throat).

Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Posted by As (London) on 01/23/2018
5 out of 5 stars

For two days now I have suffered with the worst sore throat of my adult life. The pain was frightening. I was unable to speak or swallow and coughing caused terrible discomfort. I dosed heavily with Oil of Oregano and garlic. I took aspirin and finally my sons wanted me to take an ibuprofen and though I distrust and have read negative reports about it, I took one. Then I did the 3% hydrogen peroxide gargle, twice in a row with warm water rinse. I came back to my room and found the pain unchanged, roaring worse than before. I was afraid I might have damaged throat tissues. I came back to Earthclinic and read the cayenne for sore throat testimonies. I have a big bottle of the capsules. I opened one in the cup of ginger and honey tea my sons had made me. Swallowed a few largish swigs. Eyewatering pain. But in a few minutes it seemed to quiet down. I stirred and swallowed more. Right now...7 or 8 minutes later I feel better than I have for 2 days. Throat still aches but not in the same desperate way. I will continue tonight and have high hopes for tomorrow being a much better day. Thank Goodness.

Thank Earthclinic!! X

Replied by Mary M.
Arcadia, Ca

Dear As,

I had such pain in my throat and nasal passages. I mixed 1/4 tsp of Apple cider Vinegar with the rest ph balanced or distilled water in a 3 oz bottle and sprayed it up my nose and sucked it up. In seconds I felt a slight burn in my nasal passages and throat and all pain was gone! I am hooked after years of taking things that did not help. Good luck to you.

I only did this for about three days!

Posted by All-natural-nut (Nj) on 06/10/2017
5 out of 5 stars

A severe sore throat hit me like a ton of bricks, all the sudden one morning--very severe, unbearable pain, and a fever came on within 12 hours. Based on a look in my throat, it could have been strep since there were streaks of white, but it's not like the strep that my kids have had, with spots of white, so I can't confirm with any certainty. I can just say that it knocked the living daylights out of me, and my throat felt like it was on fire.

I tried my usual, using homeopathy, which often stops it in it's tracks, but this one was stubborn and strong, and I wasn't able to find much of any relief, so I started looking here on Earth Clinic.

Here is what I tried before taking the plunge into the cayenne pepper. Most of these things gave some relief, but not significant or lasting. I have listed these in order of relief, with the best remedies at the top, except the cayenne which I will speak about afterward:

-onion poultice all around front and sides of the neck (slice a big onion thinly, place it on a thin cloth, warm it up to approx body temp, then bend your body forward and lift the cloth with onions up to your neck, and wrap it around. Secure with pins, or what I did was to wrap an old cashmere scarf around several times, to keep everything nice and warm.

-licorice tea (sip as needed)

-sinus rinse (which often goes down back of throat, plus I was getting a sinus infection within 1 day of the sore throat)--including salt, 1 drop of strong colloidal silver, 1 drop of grapefruit seed extract, and 3 drops of povidone iodine

-salt water gargles

Just to be thorough, I was also drinking massive amounts of fluids. Each day I drank about 2 quarts of homemade chicken broth, 2 quarts of water, and 1 quart of oatstraw and nettle infusion. I was not really eating because I felt so sick, so I used the opportunity to basically fast and get all the toxins out.

I also took enough magnesium supplementation to cause my stools to run, again, just to get those toxins out. Other supplements I was taking were: 1000 iu vitamin D (I'm very sensitive to it), lots of B-vitamins, multi-minerals, fish oil, probiotics, and about 1.5 tsp of camu camu powder for vitamin C.

I also took off work and my husband took the kids so that I could really rest.

When nothing was really bringing any lasting relief, I finally tried the cayenne pepper. I made it with 1/4 tsp to 1/4 cup water ratio. I also threw in a drop of strong colloidal silver, a drop of grapefruit seed extract, 4 drops of povidone iodine, and a couple drops of clove oil for numbing.

I rubbed Lansinoh all over my lips (the natural equivalent of vaseline), and I took a gulp-sized amount and gargled for as long as I could, and spit it out. Oh. My. God. The incredible PAIN this caused. I did not read about this anywhere here, and I actually have a pretty good tolerance for pain. My eyes were watering, and I was basically debilitated from pain for a full 2 minutes or so. BUT THEN, my throat felt better!! I had about 2 hours of reprieve before I felt that I needed to do it again!

Another interesting thing was that, during the painful part, the heat from the cayenne radiated into my ears. I felt like that was a good thing, since the throat, eustachian tubes, and sinuses are all connected.

As for the pain just after gargling, it has been gradually getting better, but not as fast as I wish.

Now for the past 24 hours, I've been repeating this every 2 hours or so (except while asleep). My fever broke during the night (after about 4 doses). I've been keeping up with the onion poultice on my neck also (replacing it twice a day), because I found that my throat got worse when I discontinued it at one point. I also continued the sinus rinses because I developed a sinus infection, and I found that it gave a slight irritation which made me sneeze a lot afterward, and that seemed to help my sinuses. I also continued to explore homeopathic remedies, and found minor relief, but nothing significant.

I'm not sure yet if this cayenne will be my final cure, but it gives me enough relief that it's bearable in the meantime, and the improvement has been slow and steady.

Replied by Tamara
5 out of 5 stars

The next week my husband got the same symptoms as me, and then my co-worker was confirmed with strep, so it seems quite certain that it was strep we were dealing with. I gave my husband the same cayenne gargle that I took, at the beginning stages, and he had the same response as me--initial terrible pain, but then it REALLY HELPED him a lot. His resolved very quickly though--he only did 2 gargles (evening and morning), and then the sore throat was gone. His fever was gone within 1 day, and the whole thing was gone within 2 days. I also had a well-matching homeopathic remedy for him, and very high doses of vitamin D, and zinc, vitamin C, lots of fluids, and lots of sleep. I'm not exactly sure what did the trick, but the cayenne gave temporary relief if nothing else.

Posted by Stanster (Wilmington, Nc- USA) on 12/12/2016
5 out of 5 stars

In addition to the tomato tea, I would also recommend the Sore Throat gargle recipe:

To a coffee cup of very warm, purified water, add

1 tsp ACV (natural, unfiltered apple cider vinegar)

squeeze a lemon slice, tsp of local honey,

1/4 tsp powdered cayenne pepper. Take a sip, lean head back and gargle in throat for 10 secs and then swallow. Do this 3 times a day, esp in morning and before bed. I did and my sore throat pain went away for 5 hours at a time. The second day it went away forever. This site is a blessing!

Posted by Mary (Macon) on 11/26/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I tried your q-tip method for a sore throat that I woke up with this morning. Wow, I felt better in 15 minutes! The pain was worse on my left side of my throat completely disappeared. I repeated the cayenne about half an hour later.

Okay, so I rolled a dry q-tip in organic cayenne and then rolled it as far back on my tongue as I could. Ughhh... be careful, that made me gag. It didn't burn like I thought it would though. It was a weirdly pleasant sensation as the cayenne started hitting the back of my throat. The second time I did it, I wet the q-tip first with water and then rolled it in cayenne to get more cayenne on the q-tip. And this time I rolled it about 3/4 of the way back on my tongue. Awesome! Gonna do this a few more times today just to make sure.

Posted by Zark (Emerald City) on 09/13/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Chilli powder worked nicely. Thanks.

I used some chilli in my juice with a dash of ACV and sipped from that regularly.

Posted by Margie (Apple Valley) on 05/30/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I've had a sore throat for 3 days. I've been awake since 3:00am barely being able to swallow water without pain. I read some cayenne pepper reviews on Earthclinic and tried the OJ and cayenne cure ( 1 cup OJ with pulp and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper). I whisked it together and slowly sipped it through a straw. I am happy to report that my throat felt better within minutes without any burning from the cayenne. I will do this again in a few hours.

Posted by Peterd (Everett, Wa) on 05/29/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I started feeling a sore throat coming on Friday. Saturday morning I had it pretty bad. I remembered EARTHCLINIC so I looked up a cure and started the Cayenne pepper treatment that morning. I frequently gargled throughout the day with a little bit form a glass half full with water and about 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne. Sometimes I would swallow just a tiny bit. I found that gargling was more effective if I used my voice box at the same time. This treatment was accompanied by prayer for healing Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure which was more effective, but by Saturday night my sore throat was completely healed. I kept up the gargling Sunday just to make sure. Cayenne pepper is my new friend!

Posted by Robert Smith (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/08/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had a mild sore throat for a week and it was not going away. I mixed 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of hot water and gargled every 2 hours and after 2 days it is completely gone. Also I do not feel weak anymore, since I think I may have had an infection when my throat was sore. I found the key thing to be is consistency, don't just do it once or twice because you immediately feel better. It can take time to completely remove whatever is bothering your throat.

Posted by Joanie (Ny) on 11/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had a severe sore throat last night so this morning I came on Earth clinic searching around for a home remedies...I saw where where quite a number of people say to use cayanne pepper to I decided to try a 1 green tea bag in 8 ounces of hot water with 1 tsp of honeyand 1 tsp of cayenne pepper so basically a drink at Cayanne pepper and green tea I let it cool down and sip on it ...and I have never seen anything work so fast ...within five minutes my sore throat pain went from a 10 to a 2 on the first cup.. I will be having another cup later.. I give it 5 yeas

Posted by Nateinmpls (Minneapolis, Minnesota) on 07/06/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Cayenne works! My local co-op has some really hot stuff, with a much higher scoville rating than regular cayenne. At first I gargled by drinking out of a glass however my mouth was on fire! I then thought of this trick: Get a drinking straw and suck up some of the cayenne water, then use your finger to plug the end you drink from, creating a vacuum. The water stays in the straw and you can tilt your head back and bypass your tongue! It worked great and the cayenne has already helped my throat after 15 minutes. I used a little water at a time and swallowed afterward.

Posted by Rich (Atlanta) on 03/02/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Had sore throat from cold. Gargled with the cayenne and instantly felt relief. It took about 3 days for the sore throat to completely go away. I gargled 3-4 times per day.

Posted by Abbadackerygirl (Alabama, US) on 02/05/2015
5 out of 5 stars

This is a true account on my part: I had been battling a particularly bad case of strep throat with antibiotics and motrin 'round the clock. I had read that cayenne can help strep, but I was skeptical so I didn't even try it.

After a week of continuing to feel miserable, I forced myself out of bed to go with my family out to eat at a restaurant, and for some reason, the vegetable soup sounded like the only thing I wanted. I had never eaten at this restaurant before, so little did I know that the soup was SPICY! I usually don't eat spicy things, but I forced myself to eat the soup...then something magical happened. With each painful bite, I could actually feel my strength returning. As I continued to eat the warm broth, my aches and pains subsided, and I felt better and better...way better than I had in a week! Why was this soup making me feel so good, I wondered? Then I remembered the suggestion to use cayenne pepper...and I wondered if the chef used it to spice up the soup. He insisted that he didn't, instead he used a hot sauce...a lot of it, lol. I asked if I could read what was on the bottle, so he ran to the back and grabbed it for me to read. When I looked at it, low and behold, the first ingredient was...cayenne pepper.

I was sold. This wasn't a case of the placebo effect, as all I wanted to do was eat. I didn't think that this soup would cure me when I ordered it, but in the end, it helped so much that I ended up naming it, the Magic Feel-Better Soup. Ha ha...I wonder if they changed the name after I called it that, but I haven't been back to check.

Replied by Michele
Harrisburg, Pa
5 out of 5 stars

There was a nasty sore throat going around work, which incapacitated my workaholic boss for days. I started feeling it myself one morning, and knew I'd need to be aggressive with trying to kick it out before it became miserable. After reading this post, I decided to give the soup with cayenne a try. I've tried gargling with cayenne in the past, but it's not for me. I made the vegetable soup, but added the cayenne as I ate it, not putting it in the whole batch (in case I overdid it). That way I could also gradually reduce it as I got better. I really added it in heavily at first. That night, I didn't have any throat pain. The next day I ate more with the same amount of cayenne, which I couldn't tolerate as much so I diluted it a little with bouillon broth. That night I also didn't have any pain, nor have I had any since. I definitely have a cold, but the cayenne really seemed to help avert a sore throat crisis. Thanks so much for posting this! I would've never thought to put it in soup.

Posted by Miyo (Tennessee, US) on 01/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had had a chronic sore throat for about a month.. I had tried to kick it with fermented garlic ( which used to help quite a bit) and probiotics, and oregano, but had eventually gone to a conventional route and taken some antibiotics, which helped for a while. However, the sore throat crept back and I didn't want to do another round of antibiotics, so I tried gargling with cayenne ( a tsp) in a cup of warm water with salt- yes, it burned but a day and a half of this, gargling about three times total, has cured me of the sore throat.. Just want to say, thanks, Earth clinic people- you have save me another trip to the doctor!

Posted by Miyo (Tennessee, US) on 01/21/2015
5 out of 5 stars

I had had a chronic sore throat for about a month.. I had tried to kick it with fermented garlic ( which used to help quite a bit) and probiotics, and oregano, but had eventually gone to a conventional route and taken some antibiotics, which helped for a while. However, the sore throat crept back and I didn't want to do another round of antibiotics, so I tried gargling with cayenne ( a tsp) in a cup of warm water with salt- yes, it burned but a day and a half of this, gargling about three times total, has cured me of the sore throat.. Just want to say, thanks, Earth clinic people- you have save me another trip to the doctor!