One remedy that may surprise you is using cayenne pepper for colds. The rather strong pepper may not immediately come to mind if you are suffering from a bad cold; however it has been used for many years to treat not only colds and sore throats, but such ailments as an upset stomach, constipation and muscle pains. Native Americans have been using it to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments for thousands of years. It is so effective for treating colds as it contains an abundance of vitamin C and can also be effective in unblocking sinus passages and clearing out mucus.
There are several ways that you can take cayenne pepper to help treat your cold. A quarter of a teaspoon of pepper can be stirred into a cup of hot water and then drank slowly; this method is particularly effective if you have a sore throat as well. You can add as much as a half teaspoon if you prefer, although you should only gargle and not swallow it. You can also add honey to taste.
A small amount of the pepper can also be added to lemon or honey tea; again this works wonders for a sore throat. If you want to somewhat dilute the taste of the pepper, you can add a small amount of peppermint, garlic and Echinacea. The pepper also comes in conveniently sized capsules, which are easily torn open and can be found in health food stores. If you don’t have cayenne on hand and you want to try a good cayenne pepper substitute, paprika may offer some of the same benefits and can make you feel a bit better until you can get to the supermarket.
Cayenne pepper is most effective against colds and sore throats, if you take it immediately when you feel the first signs of a cold coming on. Taken along with plenty of rest and a good night’s sleep, it may be the most effective treatment you take.
It may not sound appealing, but cayenne pepper really can treat that annoying cold just as well as all those lozenges, syrups and hot lemon drinks.