Sore Throat
Natural Remedies

Soothe Your Sore Throat Naturally with Cayenne Pepper

514 User Reviews

5 star (464) 
4 star (5) 
3 star (6) 
1 star (34) 

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.

Posted by Anon (Tel Aviv, Israel) on 04/22/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Cayenne for sore throat worked perfect for me. Thanks

Replied by Enfinite5
(Orange County, Ca)
5 out of 5 stars

SAVED THE DAY! Wow im blown away that this worked.... My throat was KILLING ME! Hurt so bad, felt like I swallowed a cheese grater. I kept using throat lozenges but they make me feel sick and only temporally fix the problem. So I saw all the posts on here and thought I would give it a try.... I gargled and swallowed a little bit of the cayenne pepper and water through out the day and it instantly took away the pain and the next morning woke up completely better!

Posted by Jaime (Sunnyvale, Ca) on 03/02/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Honestly I had doubts about this but some many people recommended this that I tried it and it literally to less then a minute go the pain to go away and less the 30 minutes for me to be completely rid of my sore throat. thank you all for this remedy.

Replied by Krista
(Wolcott, Ct)
5 out of 5 stars

I occasionally get those horribly painful sore throats where I feel like my throat is swollen way in the back- maybe my tonsils. I usually suffer through it, but the last time I had one, I was staying with a friend and she made me a mixture of hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup (she didn't have honey), and cayenne pepper. There was so much relief from it! The relief didn't last very long after I finished drinking it, though (maybe 20-30 minutes). I believe it shortened the time of my sore throat, though. I was also alternating that with gargling salt water.

Today I woke up with a sore throat and at lunch time I went to the store to get lemons, honey, and cayenne pepper. I've drunk two mugs of it (one whole lemon's worth) so far. The first time I put too much cayenne pepper in it. You really only have to put in enough so that you feel a tingle in your throat but not a burning. I'm not sure if it's all due to the cayenne pepper. It might be the combination with the lemon and the honey. But it really does work.

Replied by Alecia
(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)

How much of everything are you supposed to put for the hot water, lemon juice, honey(maple syrup), and cayenne? I would like to try this but don't want to end up more sick than I started :)

Replied by Marianne
(Los Angeles, Ca)

Have the same question as Alecia. How much of everything do we use?

Posted by Barb (Waterford, Mi) on 02/23/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I was suffering from a severe sore throat and was willing to try anything to relieve it... Even water was torturous to drink... So I tried cayenne pepper every 15 min. for an hour as suggested. Each time was extremely painful as I gargled with it and for about 30 seconds afterward... It offered about the same relief as a saltwater gargle after that. I kept it up for a day and did not experience any healing from it.... Don't put yourself through the agony of the gargle... it's gonna take a few days to get better inspite of anything you do.

Replied by Sickly
(Los Angeles, Ca)
1 out of 5 stars

Did not work for me, my throat burns really badly, not strep, no fever, but so much pain in my throat and congestion in head. I tried this last night and today, it did not work. I did the amounts mentioned here with warm water and poured it into the back of my throat and gargled 15 seconds, repeated until I finished the glasses. It felt better for a few minutes, which happens when I gargle with hot salt water anyways, and then mostly my mouth just hurt from the spice and my throat is still in the same amount of pain. It did not help for more than a few minutes, even gargling a glass every 15 minutes for an hour didn't do anything besides clear up my sinuses for a bit.

Replied by Chloe
(Rochester, Nh, Us)

While possibly an effective method for curing sore throats due to colds, etc. , I would NOT recommend this to anyone who suffers from soreness due to something like chronic tonsilitis. For a condition such as this, the cayenne acts purely as an irritant.

Posted by Saskia (..., New York ) on 02/10/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I tried this concotion immediatly, warming up some water and getting out a little shaker of cayenne. At first when I tried it, it didn't work at all. I thought that I was just one of the few with bad luck. But after it didn't work just gargling it, I decided to just add a little honey to the water and pepper mix and just sip it. It still didn't seem to work. Then I coughed and realized, "Hey! That doesn't hurt!" Already my throat is feeling better and I've only been sipping for an half an hour or so. I definitely recommed this to anyone with a sore throat, It works great!

Posted by Someone (Somewhere, Magic Fairy Land) on 02/04/2012
1 out of 5 stars

DO NOT USE!!!!! I tried this, with warm water and about a tsp of cayenne, and now not only does my throat hurt more than it did before, but my mouth is on fire too!!!!! Once again I repeat, DO NOT USE!!

Replied by Cory
(Oakville, Washington)

Anyone who puts a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup of water will most definitely feel like dying! I put a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in my taco recipe and with a pound of meat, it was still too hot! For those who try the cayenne, which really does work for most people, if done right, please, please use the cayenne SPARINGLY! I am talking like a tiny sprinkle to start, so you hardly even taste or feel anything!!

That said, my favorite remedy depends on what sounds the best at the moment. Hot water with cayenne and a dash of apple cider vinegar, hot water with lots of lemon and some honey, dill pickle brine... Also, the different remedies seem to work best when paired with the "right" sore throat. In other words, the reason I have the sore throat may be different from one time to the next (a cold, strep, just a post nasal drip without the cold... ) and sometimes one remedy works better than another. I haven't figured out what remedy goes with what cause, but who cares, as long as I can get rid of the sore throat!

Replied by James
(London, United Kingdom)
5 out of 5 stars

Cayenne pepper not only cured my sore throat and cough it also cleared up an ear infection that antibiotics could not. Again thanks

Replied by Ann
(Oakland, Ca, Usa)
5 out of 5 stars

After suffering for four days with each day being worse than the last I finally got the nerve to try the cayenne pepper. I had tried the apple vinegar cider and the warm salt water gargle - both somewhat soothing but still leaving me miserable. There is a bad viral infection going around and I had talked to a few people who had similar experience and they said the sore throat lasted for up to two weeks. My throat was swollen along with tongue and had pain along jawline and neck. Also had earache on occasion. I already had the pepper flakes but decided to buy the powdered cayenne pepper. Read several of the recipes but went with 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 cup of very warm water. Coated my lips with vaseline as someone recommended and gargled twice for about a minute each time. Yes it burns! However, after about two minutes you can feel it working. I gargled with the mixture about every 30 to 45 minutes for the evening. This morning I woke up and the swelling had decreased. It still hurts to swallow but not near as much. Teeth, jaw, sinus and tongue no longer ache. I want to post to let others know the misery can be reduced and almost eliminated with the cayenne pepper gargle.

Posted by Nikoo (Chronic Coast, California Usa) on 12/29/2011
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

I dont like doctors/hospitals and avoid at all costs. I have had a terrible misreable sore throat for almost a week. Felt like daggers when I swallowed.

Tried Cayenne pepper in warm water, cayenne in tea w lemon and honey, cayenne on my mashed potatoes, ACV cayenne lemon honey in hot water -- NOTHING WORKED. I had temporary relieve but sore throat would just not vanish. I think the remedies helped because I was hacking up all kinds of mucus but the pain did not go away. So finally as a last resort I went to see a doctor and she told me I had strep throat -- unfortantly this homeopathic cure could not overcome that kind of infection.

So I rate this remedy as a Kind of worked/temporary relief.

Will try again if I get a sore throat and post results then.

Replied by Davers84
(Mattoon, Il)
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

I have to admit I'm a bit surprised this was going to even work. But after reading all these responses, I figured the worst that would happen was I was going to throw up (which didn't happen). This remedy worked for me for about 6 hours. My throat has been like daggers though for the past 5 days, so it may be more sore than most that have been using this. However, it did numb the pain for some time and I was able to eat comfortably.

It did come back later though. And gargling more pepper water didn't do the trick. Since I was unable to eat a normal meal, I went out and bought two big cans of chicken noodle soup. I had always heard to eat this stuff when you are feeling sick. And I have to say, this worked better than the pepper water. I ate both cans (that's A LOT of soup but it worked for me) and more throat feels like it's back to normal and it's been about 8 hours now. Guess I'll find out tomorrow morning if it comes back or not.

So the cayenne pepper water does work, but only as a temporary relief for me. I can see it working for a minor sore throat completely though :)

Posted by Jufycoop (Mahwah, Nj, Usa) on 12/24/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I had sinus surgery 5 days ago and woke up from recovery with severe throat trauma from the intubation. My uvula was swollen to 4 times it's normal size, was covered with a white film, and the back of my throat felt like it had been sliced with razors. The sore throat pain has been so bad I could not eat, drink or even swallow saliva without tears. When I went to my first post- op visit yesterday, the Dr said the trauma will heal on its own and there was nothing that could be done. I found this website and believed from the other posts that the cayenne gargle could work for me. I tried 1/4 t cayenne, 1/4 t salt, a little honey and warm water and gargled 6 times over a half hour. The pain subsided enough for me to eat small salad!! I just gargled again 2 times and looked at the uvula, which is shrinking! Thank you everyone for your posts.

Replied by Zertu
(Multicultural Paradise, Ct)

Work wonders, I gargled 3 times for 1 minute. I used a quarter of a tbsp, a lot of lemon juice and a hint of salt. All a small glass of warm water I. E. like 2shots quantity...

Posted by Clorenita (Washington, Nj) on 12/22/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I have a bad strep throat, already on antibiotics but still wasnt able to eat. It was painful until I found this remedy on this site. I warm water in a coffe cup and added a tsb of the cayenne pepper. Half an hour later I was able to eat my lunch!!!

Replied by Donald
(Mount Sterling, Oh Usa)

Will Cayenne pepper capsules cure the sore throat? Can you take the medicine out of the capsules and mix with water and drink it that way? Or gargle with it?

Replied by Francisca
(Zug, Zug, Switzerland)

Donald, cayenne pepper in the capsules must be the same you use in the kitchen, it is not a medicine as such! You can buy the powder in the supermarket or in an Indian shop, for example, and it will cost a lot less! Be careful taking those capsules as when you take the powder, or better, mix it with your food your stomach is already expecting it when it goes down as it felt the heat first in the mouth. If you take the capsule the stomach gets a punch when it finally arrives and that can leave you feeling really bad!

Replied by Kat
(Comox, Bc)

I also have used cayenne. I found out it is best and recommended to pre mix the powder in warm water and drink, this way you avoid any stomach issues from a capsules dissolving in the stomach. It has so many uses... There's a book called " Left For Dead ' -anyone who is having heart issues, it's a great read.

Posted by Macadi (Memphis, Tn) on 12/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Wow, I gargled with just plain cayenne pepper and I could feel the burn in my throat and all the way up to my eardrums, I think! Felt good like I was burning out some really bad germs! I refused to rinse anything except my tongue. I feel a lot better already and am going to do it again before I go to bed. History: had this sore throat and post nasal drip for 2 weeks now (plus really bad cold/virus symptoms on top of it). Not strep.

Replied by Brian
(Totowa, Nj)
5 out of 5 stars

Tried the Cayenne and warm water gargle this morning and it was great. It's hot on the tongue but it goes away, thanks for the tip.

Replied by Matt
(Melbourne, Australia)
5 out of 5 stars

Amazing stuff, provided all most instant relief! I use to gargle alcohols which seem to work as well. But this seems to have done the trick! Thanks internet!

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