Can Hot Sauce Relieve A Sore Throat?

While sore throats are a common health complaint, it's safe to say nobody likes having one. They're often itchy, scratchy, and can be quite painful — at times making it hard to get a quality night's rest or enjoy your favorite food. The most common causes of sore throats (also known as pharyngitis) stem from viral infections such as the flu or common cold, explains Mayo Clinic. Keep in mind that a sore throat usually resolves on its own. But if you're finding the pain unbearable, take heart — as there are plenty of at-home remedies to try. Believe it or not, one of these at-home remedies offers a spicy calmness to the throat. Let's give a warm welcome to hot sauce.

According to Michigan State University, U.S. hot sauce refers to any sauce or salsa that is mostly made up of chili peppers. These peppers belong to the Capsicum family and contain an active compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin gives peppers their fiery component and helps block pain receptors, explains Healthline. Research has shown that capsaicin can also help with a variety of health problems, ranging from musculoskeletal pain to postoperative sore throat and disorders related to swallowing (per StatPearls Publishing). But can hot sauce relieve a sore throat that's caused by the common cold?

How effective is hot sauce for treating a sore throat?

Since chili peppers that contain capsaicin have medicinal properties, some health experts believe hot sauce may also have medicinal properties. Penn Medicine explains if the hot sauce is made from chili peppers with high levels of capsaicin, then the sauce may fight inflammation and ease a sore throat. Some high capsaicin-containing peppers include cayenne peppers, tabasco peppers, serrano peppers, and habanero peppers.

Still, the evidence for hot sauce easing throat pain and sore throats is still up for debate. Rochester Regional Health points out that spicy food might temporarily alleviate some symptoms related to the common cold, but it's not a magical pill. In other words, it won't cure your ailments. More research is needed to confirm if it works.

Remember sore throat symptoms usually clear up on their own, but talk to your doctor if you're concerned. Nevertheless, if you're wanting to give this at-home remedy a whirl, be cautious, as hot sauce may be spicy and burn the throat. If you consume too much spicy food when you're feeling sick, it can lead to nausea and aggravate the stomach, shares Rochester Regional Health. Healthline suggests making a hot sauce tea by mixing warm water, a couple drops of hot sauce, and honey together. But if you don't have hot sauce, add a dash of cayenne pepper to your water instead. Drink it slowly or gargle this spicy concoction for some (potential) relief.