I have just returned from a week in northern California where apparently I missed one heck of a Northeastern blizzard (I know, I don’t feel bad for me either). Power outages and sore shoveling shoulders aside, I suppose this means we can look forward to an earlier than expected cold and flu season ….
Luckily there is the power of the pepper, cayenne pepper that is. Made from dried ground cayenne chilies, cayenne pepper is loaded with capsaicin, the miracle substance known for staving off winter congestion and sore throats. Capsaicin is what gives peppers their fiery heat, and if you’ve ever tried a cayenne chili on its own, you know what I’m talking about. This capsaicin, so apparent in cayenne pepper, not only soothes a sore throat better than any lozenge I’ve ever used, it breaks up congestion faster than you can say NyQuil. A small taste of cayenne pepper releases fluids in the mouth, throat, and nasal passages that thin mucus, break up congestion, and flush out bacteria. So if snow in October has you feeling under the weather, add a dash of cayenne to ginger tea along with a squeeze of lemon and honey for a quick and easy natural remedy. You can also add it to hot cocoa, spiced nuts, sautéed greens, curries, dry rubs and bbq sauce, soups and stews, roasted sweet potatoes, or your favorite bean dip.