Sinus Infection
Natural Remedies

Cayenne for Sinus Infection - The Spicy Solution

| Modified: Nov 25, 2020
Add New Post Cayenne for Sinus Infections

A number of different conditions have the potential to affect the nasal passages, but one of the telltale intruders is a sinus infection. One of the most troublesome health conditions, sinus infections cause pain and inflammation, not to mention excessive congestion in the sinuses. When experiencing nasal congestion, people reach to a lot of different remedies, often to no avail. But, one fail proof sinus infection treatment is cayenne.

The Issue with Medicated Sprays and Treatments

In an effort to clear the nasal passages and relieve congestion, people try several different treatments - one of those being medicated sprays. While such treatments are designed to treat nasal congestion, these treatments offer short-term relief. Even worse than limited relief, though, these sprays often create a "reliance" effect in the body under which the body requires more and more of the spray to achieve relief.

Cayenne Pepper for Sinus Infections

Consider the effect cayenne has on the senses at any point in time, and you'll understand why the peppery spice is so effective as a sinus infection treatment. The spice triggers the release of the sinuses and naturally relieves congestion.

How cayenne works:

Cayenne is a spice with a high concentration of capsaicin. This ingredient is what gives the spice its characteristic flavor as well as its natural effects. When cayenne enters the system, it triggers the release of liquids to cool or calm the senses, hence a release in the sinuses when cayenne is inserted in the nasal passage. The spice also functions to relieve inflammation and prevent infection.

How to use cayenne:

As a remedy, cayenne is "snorted" into the nostrils. Organic cayenne is always preferable, but any cayenne will do. To treat a sinus infection using cayenne, take a small pinch of cayenne pepper powder and snort it up each nostril. Allow the sinuses to drain into a tissue or the sink. The pepper can also be diluted in water and dipped on an ear swab and swabbed into the nose.

Potential Side Effects

Cayenne is a potent spice, do it does present potential side effects when used as a sinus treatment.

  • Nasal Burning: The treatment often burns the nose, so burning is normal. Use water to dilute the pepper if the sensation is too much.
  • Skin Irritation: The active ingredients in cayenne may cause minor skin irritation.

Relieving the sinuses can be difficult; however, cayenne facilitates immediate nasal relief with limited side effects. Continue reading below for more than 30 User Reviews from Earth Clinic readers who have tried cayenne to cure a sinus infection!

Tried this remedy? Let us know what you think!

Related Links:

Apple Cider Vinegar
Oil Pulling
Sinus Congestion
Sinus Infection

57 User Reviews

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, USA) on 09/08/2019 173 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I don't think people realize how big their sinus cavities are. When you snort a bit of cayenne, yes, you're going to clear the nasal cavity, which can be a lot, but you're ALSO going to loosen up all of the stuff up and out in the other areas of your sinuses which are HUGE and which some seem to be reporting as a rebounding pressure or a rebound congestion or even another infection. It is highly unlikely that it is any of this but, rather, stuff deeper in the sinuses that the cayenne has also loosened up. If you often have sinus infections, it is probably the SAME infection simply never getting cleared out in the first place and continuously spreading down into the nasal cavity. Google "sinus cavity" and look at the images. You are not going to clear that huge space of infection by merely clearing the nasal canal to the point you can breathe better and that infection is probably going to come right back down and hit you again.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, USA
173 posts

My ex brother-in-law's doctor told him to use his nasal spray and then tilt his head back until he could see where the ceiling meets the wall behind him to get the medicine up into that part of the sinus cavity. Then sit and tilt your head back - then turn it slowly to the right - then the left. You'll feel it. I've been mixing a shot glass of warm water and cayenne and dipping my finger in it, sticking it up my nose and sniffing the mixture up. I did this several times on both sides and then did the head tilting things and could feel the pressure all over the place. And I do NOT have a stuffy nose and never get sinus infections so I didn't get the same result by blowing my nose as I got yesterday. After, I poured a small amount of cold water in my hand and snuffled that up and did the tilting again. I think I'm going to do the same small amount in the palm with the cayenne mix, instead of using my finger, next time. If I ever get a problem up in there. At the moment it's still warm up in my nose and generating a little bit of new mucous.

Faithville, Us

I read a horror story about someone who did some tap water up the nose. Our guts have enzymes, acids, and bacteria to fight microbes. Our noses don't very careful.

Posted by Gwyneth (United States) on 07/02/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Grateful for relief! The cayenne works. I do, however, recommend aloe for the skin around the nose. It offers a cooling effect and keeps redness and burning sensation at a minimal. I CAN BREATHE! YAY!

Posted by J (Mn ) on 04/24/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Wow. So grateful for these reviews. I did it, and feel 1000x better than I have in days. Nasty sinus infection and a lot of blockage and pain. Cayenne cleared it out almost instantly. I'm a believer.

Posted by Don (British Columbia) on 03/26/2017
5 out of 5 stars

I have been suffering with sinus infections for years. It seems that every time I get sick I will soon have a sinus infection. I have tried a tonne of different things (netty pots, sinus rinses, vaporizers, sprays, tea 16 hours a day, ...). Long story short, I got sick this week, got very congested, teeth started to ache due to pressure (thats when I know that its a sinus infection for sure) and, so, I decided to try snorting some cayenne pepper.

I did just a pinch quickly in each nostril and it didn't take long for my eyes to tear up like crazy and for me to wish I hadn't done that as it burned like crazy! I decided to jump in the shower so the I could help loosen things up. And did it ever work. About an hour later, one side was still a little plugged so I decided to snort a little more in there (maybe 1/4 of a pinch). It didn't burn near as bad.

Anyways, it worked! Today I have woken up and am about 100% better. It was totally worth the pain as far as I am concerned. I think I might try having a shower to loosen things up before doing it the next time. The only other thing that worked for me is using a netty pot with a few tablespoons of peroxide in it. That too hurt like the dickens and you will literally foam out of your nostrils. It also took me quite a few days to have it be effective rather than just one! So if the cayenne thing won't work for you maybe give that a shot.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Don, snorting grey salt dissolved in warm water works well too.

Posted by Nosleepinellendale (Ellendale, North Dakota) on 02/11/2017
5 out of 5 stars

A Bakers Dozen Thumbs Up

I work at a grain elevator so you could imagine that sinus infections are nothing new for me. Well I didn't have time to make it to the doctor and was hoping my body could kick its butt on its own. Well, it didn't. I've had the sinus infection for a little over two weeks now. It was so bad to the point where when I first started the treatment I could barely even snort the cayenne pepper dust through a straw but after I gave my nose a few good hard blows to momentarily clear a passage I got the job done. I let it drain and then repeated the steps 2 or 3 more times. It burned like H-E-double hockey sticks but I just woke up from a two hour nap where all my sinuses drained down the back of my throat and for the first time in what feels like years I can finally breathe again. I will definitely be using this home remedy again in the future. #DontBeAWuss

Posted by Persephone (Ny) on 11/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I wanted to add some tips on relief during the burning:

1) in-breaths through the nose actually provide immediate temporary relief!

2) after 15 minutes I did a neti-pot (regular with salt, not with cayenne) and this finished off the pain. I recommend this if the pain feels like it's been too long (10-15 minutes)

I swabbed some cayenne directly from the top of the jar (no water) and did the insert Q-tip and breathe method.

Replied by Marlow
La Ca
5 out of 5 stars

Omg I am very pleased I'm happy. I Google information it works fast

Posted by Misspennylouise (Ohio) on 11/04/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have used cayenne pepper to clear the sinuses for several years, yes it will sting, maybe make you cough, but the results are great. Please don't use too much... I first just snorted it, then I have started to make a liquid and used the Q-tip is the results that must get the pepper into the sinus don't be hesitant when you inhale, plug the other nostril and inhale deep. I will always used it...I grow my own peppers...

Posted by Francis (British Columbia) on 06/27/2016
1 out of 5 stars

This is one of the stupidest things I have fallen for. Snorting cayenne did nothing but make me sneeze and inflamed my sinuses to the point where I lost all sense of smell and taste. I've also tried apple cider vinegar, garlic, colloidal silver, none have worked to even relieve my sinuses. Keep cayenne where it belongs: in food.

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U FRANCIS,,,,,,,,,,, first, I love you, but you just went into a rant that is contrary to what a bunch of folks all over the world would disagree.

So lets start over and you reread the posts on EC about your health problem. Pick out which the ones that suit you and do these. Let us then know how it this works out.

These folks want to help you, so give them a chance without all this anger.

I promise you that the folks on EC will give you the best shot at curing your health problems. Even better than your doctor.


Replied by Joy

Francis BC. This is not stupid, did you follow what you were supposed to do properly?? Many people write to this site with suggestions with what works for them, and nobody forces you to try anything, That's up to yourself but everyone who is kind enough to write in means well and is sincere.

Replied by Dretke
Bucks County


Cayenne is an herb and it therefore has MANY uses besides as a food ingredient.

Posted by Peter (Sydney) on 05/01/2016
4 out of 5 stars

Well I've just tried snorting cayenne for the first time. Maybe too much, it felt like my head was on fire spreading all the way to my ears for about 3 minutes, even got a bit dizzy. It got better after about 30 minutes. Yes it helped to clear my nose but think I'll need to do this several times a day to get it deep inside sinuses as my head still feels like a rock. I'm gonna keep snorting it but much less powder :-) it helps when sinus gets really bad so thanks muchly for the tip.

Posted by Little Willie (Mesa, Arizona) on 02/12/2016
5 out of 5 stars

My teeth were throbbing because of a Sinus Infection. I have at least one root right up there, but half the teeth in my mouth were throbbing. I thought I was going to go out of my mind. Sniffed the cayenne and the throbbing of the teeth quit.

Replied by Barbi
St Paul, Mn
5 out of 5 stars

For many years I have used this remedy . Equal parts Golden Seal and Bayberry Bark Powder, and as much Cayenne Powder as you take, over time you will get braver and add more Cayenne. Do salt solution first than take as much powder as you can handle.

Posted by Vee (Texas, Usa) on 12/28/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Not sure what caused my sinus infection this time, I ate a slush-ee and washed my hair and accidentally fell asleep with my ceiling fan on. Woke up a few hours later to a sore throat and sinus pain.

Cayenne pepper was my first thought. I dabbed a q-tip in the pepper and put it up my nose and snorted. It burned, I cried and sneezed for about 4 times back to back. After blowing my nose after a few minutes, my pain was lessened by about 50%. I had to do it a few more times throughout the day.

I also put cayenne pepper in orange juice and gargled a few times throughout the day and it helped some. Whenever I get sick, which is rare, its usually with a sinus infection, but it seemed like the cayenne pepper didn't work as well as it did in the past.

Posted by Mingokatz (Ca., US) on 03/09/2015
5 out of 5 stars

This has been a miracle for me!!! I've been in so much pain I couldn't even sit down without getting severe sinus pressure. I was a little chicken of more pain lol, so I dumped some cayenne pepper on my phone screen, and took a Q-tip and barely touched the pepper. Then I put it far up into my nostril also...That was about two hours ago, and I've been too busy doing things from having almost NO PAIN to post my results until now!!! : ) I'm free, I can sit, I can walk lol it may sound silly but that's how bad the pressure and pain WAS..That was just a few spreckles of cayenne pepper on the end of a Q-tip, one for each nostril. That small of an amount and it worked and it barely worse than adding too much salt to a Neti Pot (oppsies! : ) )...thank you guys, my sanity and happiness is back!!!! : ) ( :

Replied by Mahrie
Bc Canada

Y'know, diluting sea salt (the most potent natural antibiotic known to man) in water (preferably distilled), at the rate of one quarter teaspoon to a 30 ml nasal spray bottle (buy some Rhinaris and dump it, if you have to) will keep your sinuses clean, clear, and free of infection.

I used to suffer horribly with sinusitis until I gave this a try about three decades ago. I haven't had a sinus infection since and now recommend this therapy to all my patients (and friends). :)

Cayenne is wonderful for many applications, but it's a little harsh to be applying to your nasal membranes, especially if you plan to use it as a long-term therapy.

All Good Things, Mahrie.

Posted by Nicole (Pearland, Tx) on 02/10/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Breathing at last, breathing at last, thank God Almighty I can breathe at last! I applied cayenne pepper on the tip of a q-tip and inserted the q-tip as far into my nostril as I could and then snorted. Yes it burned like I don't know what for a good 3 to 4 minutes. But I can breathe now!!!

Posted by Sinusklr (Chicago) on 10/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

I could not believe what I was reading and watched videos on youtube and I said nothing else is working for me. So I tried a bump of Cayenne and! BAM! It was instant pain, probably because of my sinus infection. I thought this would be a stupid idea but I have done a lot of other worse stupid things so I gave it a shot. Pain lasts a little 2-5 minutes, tears about 1 minute and then you are cleared out! Really works I will find out if my infection is fixed. I wonder how many times I have to do this?

Replied by Michele
Austin, US
5 out of 5 stars

Cayenne works. Just remember to remove your contacts before trying it!

Replied by Renee
Warren, Michigan

Pain was UNBEARABLE! The cayenne pepper went through my throat and made it sooo hard to breathe without crying EVEN more than I already was.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Renee, obviously you took to large of a dose for you.

Posted by Patricia (Roseburg, Oregon) on 08/31/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Years ago I read the book, Curing With Cayenne, by Sam Biser. Our family uses cayenne for many things, but particularly for the nose and sinuses. We make cayenne tincture from Biser's recipe. At the first sign of a cold, or any nose irritation, we put a few drops into cold water and use a Q-tip to swab it all around, way up into the nose. It helps a great deal to prevent colds and flu. I believe that when the germs first get into the nose and begin to grow, that is the best time to clean them out and prevent th

If you don't have cayenne tincture, the powder works fine to just put some in water and let it set a bit, then use the q-tips. For an established infection, snorting it or using it in a neti pot might be needed.

Also, after cleaning out the nose, add a bit of water and then drink the rest, gargling at the end. This helps the throat and body to fight the infection. Cayenne also eases the pain associated with the virus. Or any pain, for that matter.

I used to get a lot of colds and sinus infections. I haven't had one now for along time. And the last few times I did get colds, they went away quickly and didn't turn into sinus infections.

I believe that it is true that if there is one herb we master, it should be cayenne. Another herb equally important is garlic. If you had no other medicine but those two things, you could probably stay healthy.