Sore Throat
Health Benefits

Tabasco Sauce - A Spicy Sore Throat Remedy

| Modified on Feb 26, 2024

Whether you've developed a sore throat from yelling too much at a sporting event or it's just an unpleasant symptom of the cold you caught somewhere, it only takes the right natural treatment to start feeling better. We've reviewed multiple home treatment options and came up with a few good home cures. One of the most unusual on the list is tabasco sauce, but surprising as it may be, it works.

What Is a Sore Throat?

A painful and annoying condition, sore throats are caused by inflammation in the throat, usually caused by a viral infection. Most of the time, the sore throat is a symptom of the common cold, but there could be another cause. Mono, the flu, strep, tonsillitis, allergies, a dry environment, and acid reflux can all cause soreness and an inflamed throat.

Can I Use Over-the-Counter Medication?

If you?re like most people, you may first consider common over-the-counter treatment options to relieve your sore throat. While ibuprofen and other pain relievers do reduce the soreness associated with a scratchy throat, they do little to actually treat the underlying cause.

Does Tabasco Sauce Really Relieve a Sore Throat?

As unusual as it sounds, tabasco sauce is actually and effective home remedy for a sore throat. This spicy red sauce seems like the exact opposite of what you?d want to use to treat a sore throat; however, it is actually one of the most best home remedies for a sore throat.

How Does It Work?

Tabasco sauce is made from a unique combination of distilled vinegar, red pepper, and salt. Each of these ingredients functions in specific ways to treat a sore throat. Vinegar works to balance the pH in the body and eliminate infection. Red pepper contains capsaicin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, reducing pain and infection at the same time. And, salt functions to cleanse the throat and reduce infection.

How Do I Use It?

You use tabasco sauce in almost the same way as a cough drop or medicine. Place 20 drops of the sauce on your tongue and then swallow. Do this a couple of times a day or whenever you have a "coughing fit."

We have discovered some of the best treatments in the most unlikely spots. Tabasco sauce does sound pretty strange, we'll admit, but it's actually very effective. Let us know what you think.

Scroll down the page to read about how tabasco sauce worked as a natural cure for sore throats for Earth Clinic posters.

Related Links:

10 Best Natural Remedies for Soothing a Sore Throat
10 Cold and Flu Home Remedies
Apple Cider Vinegar: Uses, Health Benefits and FAQ
Cayenne Pepper Health Benefits: Unlocking Capsaicin's Power
Natural Allergy Relief: Top 13 Home Remedies
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Relief
Natural Remedies for Mono: Coconut Oil and More
Natural Remedies for Strep Throat Relief
Tonsillitis Remedies
Top 10 Natural Remedies for Flu

28 User Reviews

5 star (24) 
4 star (2) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Rod (VIC) on 08/22/2022

After visiting this site l tried the tobasco sauce for a sore throat. I have had covid for a few days and a severely sore throat unbearably painful especially when swallowing. I put 20 drops on a table spoon and bingo within a few minutes it took all the pain away. It does wear off after 40 minutes but it does give you some relief. Absolutely 1st go to for a sore throat. Amazing

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Kamal (Malaysia) on 10/24/2014

I have a bad flu and sore throat, I can't find cayenne powder, so I took tabasco and raw garlic. Within minutes, my throat irritation was gone and my nose was clear.

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Rob (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 11/10/2012

Wow! Was sceptical at first, but tried a teaspoon of Tabasco and honey mixture. Felt some relief, then gargled a cup of warm water mixed with a good 15-20 shakes of Tabasco. Slight burning sensation in the mouth, it disapates after awhile. Finally some relief after 6 days!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Angie (Yulee, Florida) on 04/11/2012

OMG! I couldn't sleep last night. My throat was so sore! I tried mixing 1 cup of beef bouillon and 5 shakes of hot sauce.... First couple of swallows and I can now swallow with very little pain!!! This stuff is great! Thank you everyone! I will continue because it tastes great too!!!!!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Jessaka (Tahlequah, Ok, U.s.a.) on 01/10/2011

I have been using Tabasco Sauce since 1988. My chiropractor told me about it. The first time I had a sore throat I did what he said, 20 drops on my tongue and swallow. I did this a few times a day. You do get used to it, and it isn't hot after a while. Well, this being my first sore throat I noticed that I was still sick and so went to the Dr. The Dr. said, "This must be the worse sore throat you have ever had. " I said, "No, I didn't know I still had one. I just came in because I am sick. " He then said, "You have strep throat," and put me on antibiotics. Since then I learned to go to the Dr. If I am not getting well. I also carry Tabasco Sauce in my purse, probably the only one that does. If I start coughing in public due to a tickle or allergy or whatever, I use it, and then I am okay.

Replied by Itsmimolove
(Columbia, Sc, United States)

I eat Tabasco hot sauce on basically everything on a daily basis, so when I got sick with a terrible sore throat and aching body, I made myself some chicken noodle soup and basically poured Tabasco into it and my throat feels so much better. For those of you who can't gargle to save your life, I highly suggest just making some soup and dousing it with Tabasco, you'll feel A LOT better :)

Replied by Pablo
(Westminster, California)

yes, the hot sauce will work, as will the chicken soup. Together, it's great. The only problem is some of the hot sauces have a large amount of sodium and with the chicken noodle soup already having a ton of salt in it you get an overdose of salt and it's just really nasty. find a mostly pepper-based sauce with as little salt in it as possible.

Replied by Jenna
(Visalia, Ca)

I tried putting ten drops of Tabasco into a tall glass of water. This way I was getting the dose of Tabasco, but it wasn't overwhelming. However, I have a LOW tolerance for anything hot. I mean, I can't have a few hot cheetos unless they're accompanied by a bottle of water. I took a sip, and had to dump the whole glass out. I think this is a good idea if it works and you can tolerate it. It's just not for me. ;)

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Zach (Lakewood, Colorado, Usa) on 09/04/2010

Tabasco Sauce cured my sore throat in a matter of hours. I was happy to see Tabasco on the list because I simply don't have cayenne peppers laying around the house. I used diluted Tabasco for gargling, but the real magic came afterwards when I took 2 straight shots of Tabasco afterwards. Please do not try this if you are not confident you can, I practically eat Tabasco a couple times a week. Not only did it help my sore throat, but it got my nasal congestion running. Thanks for the remedy!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Hayden (Boerne, Texas) on 05/23/2009

I read the feedback and was thinking no way is this going to work so i went downstairs poured 1 tsp of Tabasco and filled an oj glass to about a 4th gargled that burned but i kept gargling and eventualy i was able to drink it slowly ( be warned if youre not use to spicy food its best to have a glass of milk next to it in case anything goes wrong ) it worked for the back of my throat but not the sides which was were all the mucus was ( ear infection ) but it completely cleared the mucus that was in the back of my throat and coughing a little.

thanks for the cure =)

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Kristen (Lincoln, NE) on 01/03/2009

I had the worst sore throat of my life, so bad it was waking me up at night to take more advil. At 2:00 this morning I googled sore throat cure and found the cayenne pepper cure, I was skeptical but thought what do I have to lose. I put 5 to 6 shakes of tabasco sauce in hot water and gargled it over about 5 minutes. My lips were on fire from spitting it out. I also put some in orange juice as was described by someone else and swallowed it to get lower in my throat. I then went to sleep and 5 hours later my sore throat pain had gone from a 10 to a 2. I gargled again first thing the morning and now I don't have a sore throat! (at least not that I could complain about) It was amazing! I would tell anyone to give it a try! It worked for me and I already had it on hand at 2am.

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Jacob (Birmingham, AL, USA) on 12/03/2008


I tried about 10 drops of tabasco in warm water for my terrible sore throat. Not a high concentration, but I figured it was a start.
Well, my gargling technique may not be completely up to snuff. I think I let the liquid get too far down "the wrong tube," as it were. It triggered a reaction that closed up my airway and left me unable to breathe for about ten seconds, then gasping and barely able to breathe for thirty seconds after that.

After the world started spinning again, I regained my composure and proceded to simply drink the mixture. It definitely reduced the sore throat pain by about fifty percent, enough to make me able to go to work today, but that not breathing thing is a terrible feeling.

Be careful when trying this!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Jessica (Edinburg, TX) on 10/07/2008

tabassco and tsp of honey . it worked alright numbed my throat right away there's still some pain but not as bad as before where it was horrible. i can even swallow food , were i couldn't even pass anything before this.

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by B (Celebration, F) on 05/08/2008

Amazingly, this stuff works. If you can handle the heat that is. I did what another post advised and slid the teaspoon to the back of my tongue and tipped it down, swallowing. It was a bit rough because of the scratchy throat, but I was already in pain anyway (this was a better type of pain for me). I had tried high doses of naproxen, ibuprofen, tylenol, and aspirin, throat drops too. Nothing worked. In a few minutes after taking the Tobasco I could speak without making a horrible face (it hurt to talk). I had also been up 2 nights in a row because it hurt to swallow. I was able to finally get some sleep. It works!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Gene (Gatineau, QC, Canada) on 04/29/2008


Please post this question on the site. Hi, Having been stuck with a bad flu and an especially sore throat for a few days, I Googled and found this site, read every single post in the thread and decided I should try Tabasco Sauce, which is basically Cayenne but in a liquid form. At dinner last night, I sprinkled a generous amount of the sauce on my steak (20-25 drops) and even though I felt like dipping my tongue in ice water, I could feel my sinuses clearing up and the tenderness in my throat fading away. Mind you, every time I eat spicy food (on very rare occasions), I break out in a sweat and can feel a rush, like my blood is rushing through my body at accelerated speed. An hour after dinner, I sprinkled about 15 drops of Tabasco sauce in a glass of hot water and gargled with it, swallowing a bit at each gargle. A short while after my spicy dinner the gargling session, I experienced a severe panic attack which subsided in about an hour. Capsaicin provokes a rush of endorphins, thus counterbalancing the effect of the Clonazepam (explained below) which I take for chronic Panic Disorder and Epilepsy. "CLONAZEPAM which is a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines belong to a group of medicines that slow down the central nervous system. Clonazepam is effective in treating certain types of seizures (convulsions, Petit Mal) and is also used for a mental health condition called Panic Disorder by working on the nerve cells in the brain to enhance the effects of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA slows down nerve cell activity to cause relaxation and decrease nerve excitement." Later on: "Capsaicin helps prevent and heals stomach ulcers and has anti-inflammatory properties" Contrary to the above, I had severe heartburn in the middle of the night. "Cayenne is safe if used in moderation but can cause problems in people with stomach problems and ulcers." Something I read elsewhere which confirms what I experienced last night and is contradictory to the above quoted statement. "Some practitioners recommend mixing a small amount (starting with one sixteenth of a teaspoon, and working up to one teaspoon) of Cayenne powder in warm water to take 3 times a day. This is so the mouth experiences the hot spice and the stomach prepares itself. The mouth also absorbs much of the goodness itself, giving an immediate effect." In conclusion, I would like to try the experience again but I think I'll follow the above paragraph's advice, go easy at first and observe any reaction I might experience. Thoughts anyone? I don't really want to go to a clinic, wait 3 hours in a roomful of coughing people only to get a prescription for an antibiotic whose side effects are worse than the benefits.

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Kjalvalr Helvetesokeren (Afjord, Norge) on 04/20/2008

Tabasco Sauce cured my sore Throat. I had not had it for long, less than a Day, but usually my sore Throats don't last until I wake up. So, not wanting to take any Pills, I looked up natural Cures for a sore Throat and was led to this Site. I decided to use the tabasco Sauce, since I knew that Item to be on Hand. Unfortunately, I didn't get the Teaspoon all the Way to beyond my Tongue, so some of my Mouth is in Pain from the Capsaicin, but my sore Throat is completely gone.

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Rochellef (Oconomowoc, WI) on 03/04/2008

Thanks to your site, as I'd been suffering from an increasingly worstening sore throat and associated nasal congestion. After ready some testimonials, I mixed up a solution of 1/2 teaspoon of tabasco with one cup of warm water. I gargled with it, while swollowing a small amount in the end of each round. After just 4 gargles and about 3 minutes my throat was soothed while the inflamation in my nasal passage cleared. The nasal congestion returned but was the severity was lessoned and I felt quite a bit better! Thanks to homeapothy....a bit of God's wisdom passed on through tradition and good people keeping it alive!

Tabasco Sauce
Posted by Audrey (Minneapolis, MN) on 03/02/2008

my throat has been sore for two days and i'm starting to lose my voice, so i tried the tobasco and honey in hot water, within 5 minutes my throat felt much better! i just put about five drops of tobasco and a drop of honey in some hot tap water.

Replied by Rob
(N. Massapequa, New York)

Well, Im not so much of a Tabasco fan so I chose one of my many hot sauces I have. Its called Sudden Death. This sauce will set your whole body on fire with the smallest drop in anything you eat. I actually put 3 small drops in a glass of warm water and gargled it. Right now, not only is my mouth on fire but as well as my lips. Im waiting for it to really do its job to my throat, but I can tell you. My throat is better then before with just one swig! If you end up buying this hot sauce, I advise you to be careful with it. There is about 3 warning lables on it, that should get the point across.

1 2