Coughing is irritating. It can cause a sore throat and if you are coughing a lot your stomach muscles usually also start feeling it after a while. It can be embarrassing to cough if you are in public and it makes it hard to sleep.
If you have a dry cough, it’s likely that you have breathed something in that has irritated your lungs or throat, or perhaps have allergies, post-nasal drip, or a health condition like asthma. Wet coughs can be caused by some of the same things but also bacteria and viruses which usually result in colds and flu. Why not try cayenne pepper as a home remedy for cough.
Cayenne Pepper for Cough
It may seem counter-intuitive to use a hot spice like cayenne pepper to relieve a cough, but it actually is quite an effective remedy. If your throat is sore, you may want to be careful about this remedy, but you may find that it helps your sore throat too because of the following benefits:
Capsaicin, the compound in peppers that make them hot, is actually anti-inflammatory which can help your inflamed lungs and throat.
Capsaicin can also trick your body into natural pain relief by causing a natural desensitizing effect due to the burning sensation from the chili (or cayenne pepper)
If you have ever eaten a spicy dish and found your nose running, you will have seen for yourself how hot peppers like cayenne pepper can clear sinuses which helps with post-nasal drip too. It also helps to loosen the phlegm in your lungs to get rid of it.
Cayenne pepper also contains vitamin A which is good for keeping your mucous membranes healthy in your lungs and vitamin C which boosts your immune system helping it to fight off pathogens.
How To Make a Cayenne Pepper Cough Remedy
There are quite a few ways that you can use cayenne pepper to relieve your cough. These remedies are safer than conventional medicines which are proving to be harmful over time, especially to the digestive system. Using cayenne pepper home remedies also come without the side effects that come with medication such as tiredness and that foggy feeling.
1. Cayenne Pepper and Water
This remedy will provide you with all the inflammation lowering and decongestant effects of cayenne pepper as well as keep you well hydrated which is important especially during times of illness and when you have a lot of phlegm.
Simply add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a glass of water and stir.
It’s best to sip this throughout the day instead of drinking it all at once.
2. Cayenne Pepper and Ginger Tea
Ginger is also well-known for lowering inflammation, fighting colds and flu, and as a natural cough remedy. You may be able to find pre-packaged ginger and cayenne pepper tea but it’s also very simple to make at home:
Pour boiling water into a cup
Add a dash or two of cayenne pepper to a cup depending on how spicy you like it
Add a half a teaspoon of ground ginger or you can add about a teaspoon of grated ginger
Let it steep for a few minutes and then enjoy your cup of tea
If you prefer to just chop the ginger, you will need to brew it longer. You can also make this recipe in bulk on the stove.
Try these extra tips:
Sweeten it with raw or manuka honey as honey has antibacterial properties, but make sure the tea is room temperature so that the health properties of the honey are not destroyed by the heat.
Stevia or xylitol can also be used though this is more just to sweeten the tea
Add a squeeze of lemon for extra immune boosting properties and flavor
3. Cayenne Pepper Cough Syrup
Looking for a safe and natural cough syrup? While it may not taste great, this mixture is very effective. Mix the following together:
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
2 Tablespoons water
Take a teaspoon of this mixture for relief. Up to three teaspoons per day should work well.
4. Capsaicin Spray For Cough
Add the following ingredients together and add 1/3 of a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour before straining and adding to a spray bottle:
A dash or two of cayenne pepper (or half a teaspoon of chopped fresh cayenne pepper)
¼ cup raw or manuka honey
A dash or two of ground ginger (or up to a teaspoon and a half of grated fresh ginger)
A teaspoon and a half of slippery elm
Once it’s cool enough to use, you can spray it onto the back of your throat to soothe a sore throat and relieve coughing. This mixture should be stored in the fridge and will last for a few weeks before going off.
You can also add the following ingredients which also have anti-inflammatory properties and have long been used for coughs, sore throats, fever, and colds and flu:
5. Add Cayenne Pepper to Your Meals
Cayenne pepper can be used in a variety of dishes. You don’t have to add so much that it burns, but adding at least enough to your meals to bring a warmth to them can be helpful. If you have a fever too, rather eat soup since this is easier on your body during this time. You’ll find that cayenne pepper can be a great addition to soups as well.
Tips and Precautions When Using Cayenne Pepper For Cough
Do not rub your eyes if you have just been chopping fresh cayenne pepper as this will cause a painful burning sensation.
If you are sensitive to hot peppers like cayenne pepper, use only a minimal amount or use other remedies, such as honey, which are also very effective at treating coughs.
Large amounts of cayenne pepper or any other hot chili can cause burns to your mouth, throat, and stomach. While the amount of cayenne pepper in these home remedies and normal food amounts is safe, adding excessive amounts is not recommended.
If you plan to use these cayenne pepper remedies for your kids be aware that they may struggle with the heat of the cayenne pepper. If your child is younger than two years old, cayenne pepper is not recommended.
You may find that a mild tea or the syrup will work better than the spray for children as many don’t like the feeling of something being sprayed in their throats.
Do not add raw honey to your cayenne pepper remedies if you are allergic to pollen and note that honey should never be given to children under a year old.
If your symptoms persist for more than a few days despite using natural remedies, seeing the doctor is best.
If you have a fever, cayenne pepper can make it worse depending on how your body reacts to it.
If you are on blood thinners, cayenne pepper in medicinal quantities is not recommended as it also has a blood thinning effect.
Look out for quick increases in body temperature, a fever over 104 degrees, or coughing up green or yellow phlegm. While natural remedies are very effective and often safer than conventional medicine, sometimes medical treatment is necessary.
These cayenne pepper remedies should have you cough and congestion-free in no time. Do you have any remedies or recipes that ease coughing, colds, or flu? Please share them with us.
Jane Scott grew up on a farm in California and is a crossover between a country girl and an evangelist for healthier living. She’s a nutritionist who preaches that healthy living need not be complicated.
She believes that by exercising regularly, eating mostly non-processed foods (with plenty of vegetables), and using home remedies for the small things and doctor’s advice for the big things, almost anybody can feel great and live a happier and healthier life. She’s excited to share her knowledge of natural remedies and healthier living on HRFL.
In her spare time, Jane enjoys cooking and watching bad rom-coms. She also loves nuts, and is a bit of a nut herself when it comes to Yoga, which she’s a little too obsessed with in the opinion of her friends and family.