Cayenne Pepper Gargle for Sore Throats

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Did you know you can use a cayenne pepper gargle for sore throats? It may sound hard to believe, but this amazing trick makes a sore throat feel like velvet, at least for a few hours, and promotes healing of tissues damaged by coughing.

Crushed cayenne pepper in bowl with spoon

Once upon a time, I had a phone sales job that really depended on my voice, and I was suffering with a sore throat and cough. I tried tea with lemon and honey, homemade cough drops, Fisherman’s Friend cough drops, and Slippery Elm cough drops.

People kept suggesting remedies and bringing me products they had stashed in their desk drawers. We’d all been through it at some point.

All those remedies work just fine when you combine them with not talking for a while. That gives your throat a chance to heal. But none of them worked when I had to keep talking for the rest of an eight-hour shift.

Then one of my supervisors taught me the most amazing trick for giving my throat some relief that lasted several hours: a cayenne pepper gargle. Cayenne powder dissolved in warm water. (Not too hot: you don’t want it to burn your throat. Just warm will do.)

Trying Cayenne Pepper Gargle

I was wary at first. Wouldn’t it sting? And yes, it does sting your tongue and gums for just a second. But then as you toss it back and gargle, you just get this rush of warmth that feels great.

And then it seems to anesthetize your throat and all the other spots in your mouth it touched. Actually, it probably does anesthetize – cayenne pepper stimulates your body to produce endorphins which reduce pain.

But that’s not all it does: it’s also packed with Vitamin A, which is a powerful aid to healing, especially of skin and tissue. While it takes away the pain, this gargle is also stimulating healing.

After the stinging goes away – and it’s very mild – your whole mouth feels wonderful. Your throat feels like velvet.

The effect lasts for a few hours, even if you’re talking and working your throat the whole time. It’s amazing, and I’ve never found anything better.

How does it taste?

If you’re wondering about the taste… it’s weird. A little unpleasant. Much less so than a lot of sore throat remedies I’ve tried, though.

To get the sort of relief this remedy gives you, it’s easy to overlook the taste and feel. And after doing this a couple of times, you get used to it.

I don’t have any science on whether this cayenne pepper gargle speeds up the healing of a sore throat. I just know it makes it a lot more bearable.

And if you also have any sinus congestion, pepper spice also acts as a decongestant. It also works on nagging little throat itches that keep making you cough.

You may also want to check out my Cold-Fighting Broth recipe, which optionally contains cayenne sauce.

Cayenne Pepper Gargle

Crushed cayenne pepper in bowl with spoon

Cayenne Pepper Gargle for Sore Throats

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

This cayenne powder gargle soothes a sore throat like you wouldn't believe. Yes, it is a little unpleasant, but it beats having to talk with a sore throat.



  1. Mix the cayenne powder with the warm water, stirring thoroughly even though it won't fully dissolve.
  2. Take a swig of it and gargle it in the back of your throat for as long as you can - at least thirty seconds.

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