Frugal cure for a sore throat

Frugal cure for a sore throat

I’ve been sick for most of the week and last couple days I have had a really bad sore throat. I had been sucking on cough drops and other common things to try to relieve my sore throat, but it kept getting worse and worse, to the point where I could barely manage to swallow. As a kid I had tonsillitis and strep throat probably on average 5-6 times a year, but back then it was taboo to take your tonsils out so I spent a fair share of my time at the doctors office and on amoxicillin and other antibiotics. Well I hadn’t had strep in a long time and was worried that this had to be strep again. I was just dying so as usual I went to the internet to find a solution.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I am only posting this because I heard such great things about it and had such wonderful results myself, please consult with your physician before trying this magical elixir.

image by: André Karwath aka Aka

What I found was what appears to be a pretty fail safe cure for a sore throat over at They recommend that you you gargle with Cayenne Powder. Now before you think it’s crazy, go ahead and read the 135 people or so that have commented on the site about their amazing results. Believe me I was a little skeptical at first too and the thought of gargling with cayenne pepper powder makes you cringe, but honestly it is not that bad, not even near as bad as a common sore throat. You don’t really taste the cayenne at all and the only part that burns a little is when you spit it out the tip of your tongue burns a little bit and if you get it on your lips it will also burn a little, but nothing unbearable at all and nothing that won’t go away with a quick rinse of fresh water (note don’t gargle the fresh water as you want the cayenne to stay on your throat and work its magic.)

My Recipe
I don’t think there is really a science to this thing as if you read around there are tons of different recipes and all seem to have very good results. So here is what I did to make my cayenne sore throat elixir.

  • 1 standard drinking glass of hot to warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne powder
  • a couple pinches of salt for good measure (most people say its not necessary but it won’t hurt)

That’s it! Just simply take a mouthful and gargle away. There are two things that I want to point out though. One you will need to constantly stir the elixir right before you gargle as the cayenne likes to settle at the bottom and two you may want to gargle with your eyes closed as maybe I’m just a bad gargler, but one time I did gargle some of the mixture into my eye (note: cayenne pepper in the eye burns)

My Results
Like I said I was to the point where I could not swallow anymore. Within minutes of gargling the cayenne powder and water I could feel a marked improvement. I kept gargling my glass of water and cayenne powder on and off for about 45 minutes and my sore throat kept dissipating and dissipating. When I woke up this morning I noticed two things. One my sore throat was essentially gone and two my sinuses and throat were completely free of any kind of gunk you get when you are sick. I feel so clear and so good I just had to let others in on this little miracle. Certainly this remedy should not take the place of seeing your doctor if your conditions do not get any better, but for about 10 cents of cayenne powder it’s worth a try to see if you can save a costly trip to the doctor. I can’t think of a cheaper remedy to a common ailment that has such excellent results. In fact the next time I get a head cold I am going to try some cayenne gargling because it really does clear everything out and the process is not nearly as bad as it sounds. I honestly feel amazing today compared with how I felt last night and the 3 days before that.

Other options from Earth Clinic
Hot Apple Cider Vinegar & Cayenne Pepper
I did not try this one, but it seems to have similar success. This one you actually drink rather than gargle and again people feel great. The recipe is found on the same page as the cayenne gargling.

Again all of the credit goes to the wonderful people at Earth Clinic for posting this cure and commenting on the results.

Cayenne Pepper – It’s the cure for what ails you (other supposed benefits of cayenne)
Again consult your physician before using cayenne and I have no personal evidence that any of the below are true

  • Improved blood flow (note: it does thin your blood so don’t use before surgery)
  • Improved digestion
  • Relieves chronic pain including
    • Pain for diabeties
    • headaches
    • toothaches
    • post-surgical pain
    • Muscle pain due to fibromylagia
    • Nerve pain
    • Osteoarthritis pain
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis pain
  • Relieves gas
  • Raises metabolism
  • Stop heart attack (again don’t believe everything you read and consult with physician just reporting because I found it in quite a few areas and found it interesting)
  • Anna

    Couldn’t sleep for 2 nights, then only less then an hour at a time waking up choking on saliva or post nasal drip. It would not stop discharging with really painful sore throat, worse when I had to cough it up. Tried NyQuil Advil salt water, Loreneges, cough drop, warm honey water, childrens electrolyte pops, mucinex, amoxillian, exedrin, and even sleeping sitting up. Last one in combination of several things I managed to sleep for couple hours but throat felt like I got beat up all throughout the body and coughing up was so painful I could have fainted. I was reading this post and reviews on it all night, while trying it. Throat was still so painful but I had to sleep. I slept about 3 hrs, throat is still painful but not enough for me to choke on saliva/discharge and wake up. I had to cough up/clear out lot of build up but unlike before it came out. (all sounds so gross)
    So long story short, if u say salt water works, obviously don’t know the pain that you are willing to go through to anything to get rid of.
    This worked, when gargled several times repeataly. It still hurts but its much better and I can feel its healing.

  • Kathleen


    1. I couldn’t really gargle this stuff because it hurt too much, and I didn’t feel as if it was going all the way to the back of my throat. So I took a mouthful of it and laid down on my back. I stood up about 30 seconds later when I felt it breach my nasal cavities. I felt as if it had reached the back of my throat, including the top which the gargling wasn’t hitting. Someone had to, right?

    2. While I wouldn’t describe how I feel this morning as good, I slept well and feel as if I turned the corner in the night.

    3. Second to chicken soup, here’s the best sore throat recipe ever, and something you can make even if you’re sick: a nice thick unflavored unsweetened yogurt, a few drops of sweetener of your choice, a dollop of honey, half-tsp or so of cinnamon, and sliced frozen strawberries. Followed this with a couple of echineacea/goldenseal tablets. Throwing everything at this. Will give the three C’s and an E regimen a whirl as well.

  • Cayenne is not just anti-inflammatory-It’s also anti-bacterial AND anti-viral and also a pain-killer. Better than any antibiotic you’ll find.

    I’ve had mono and possibly a secondary strep infection for about 5 days, with all the symptoms, and everybody was telling me there was no cure for mono and that it was going to take me at least 4 weeks to start feeling better. I was on antibiotics and started developing a rash from it, so they took me off the antibiotics. I felt like I was just starting to go into the bad phase, and because my family has a history of thick blood I wanted something to thin my blood while I was resting. So I made lemonade and put a decent amount of cayenne in it (I love it, I’ve built up a very high tolerance to spicy food so I can put in like a tablespoon without even tasting it) and drank it before bed. Immediately, my sore throat felt quite a bit better, and it was a welcome relief. I went to sleep, and in the morning, my fever was gone, I felt amazingly well, and for the first time I had the energy to get up. All my symptoms were gone. It was an incredible recovery, I’ve never recovered that quickly from anything.

    But it makes plenty of sense. Antibiotics don’t kill viruses, just bacteria. Mono is a virus. Cayenne is anti-viral.

  • rob

    I have been sleeping about 3 hours each night for the past three nights — i had a minor break through this afternoon when my fever seemed to break and i could finally breathe through my nose. I was getting excited, because even my sore throat was managable…Up until today it was like swallowing razor blades, and carried a cup so i didn’t have to swallow my own saliva. Then when I thought had turned a corner, within an hour of peeking through the clouds it began to rain razor blades, once again. I have been drinking tea with lemon, honey, ginger, halls losenges, tsp. of straight raw honey, gargle with salt water…I came across this and i can’t go through a fourth sleepless night. I am a wimp when it comes to heat. I cry, my tongue burns, eyes/nose water – i still will eat it but know that i will pay the price, and choose to do so at the comfort of home…
    I ran to the grocery store to find cayenne powder. I fortunately noticed that the powder does settle so i stirred it just before I gargled. It took me about 5-7 gulps to get through the 8 oz or water/cayenned mixture and I gargled about 10-15 seconds each time – or thereabouts. Definitely clears up the sinuses, too. The tip of my tongue was on fire by the end. I swished with some water and spat it out, and popped in a losenge. My throat is sensitive now, and it has been about 15-20 minutes since I finished. But I can swallow my own saliva with a mild amount of pain. I will do it again before going to bed if improvement dwindles. At least I can sip water/tea without cringing. Thank you and I wish I had seen this 2 days ago. Glad I found it but I am hopeful that I won’t need to do this tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

  • nico

    Personally i found cayenne pepper to be the most effective way of eradicating a sore throat. I first found this natural remedy on a website and was skeptical at first ,but due to the intense pain and discomfort caused by my sore throat I decided to give it a go. After a hour and about 3 gargles, my throat felt much better and the soreness diminished with every gargle.

  • bob

    Sucking on a garlic clove works wonders as well. Take a raw garlic clove, break the sheath off of it, pop it in your mouth and just roll it around or bruise it with your teeth. Acts in a similar fashion to the cayenne and is a great alternate to use in conjunction with honey, cayenne, ginger tea gargle. +1 to drinking it after gargling. You want the full effect.

  • Catherine Dougherty

    As natural health consultant and compound herbalist, I find cayenne to be very beneficial. Having a URI and any associated sickness, gargling with cayenne can be very beneficial. Also, you’ll notice how cold you feel, (extremities)…Drinking a cup of warm water with a pinch of cayenne helps warm the circulation,so it may cooperate with your wellness efforts. Remember, though, that cayenne is a stimulant, and drinking it in the evening may create a sleepless night!

  • Wired Whale

    Human stupidity is 9 times more likely than establishment conspiracy.

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