Did you know that hot sauce can do a whole lot more than flavoring your food? If you have a bottle of the spicy stuff in your kitchen, you have a wealth of home remedies right at your fingertips.
Here are five of the many possible uses for hot sauce:
Joint and muscle pain
A primary component in all spicy peppers is capsaicin — the substance responsible for that fiery kick. Likely due to its anti-inflammatory nature, capsaicin has been linked to significant pain relief benefits. Since hot sauce is basically concentrated pepper — cayenne, sriracha or another type of hot pepper — it is loaded with capsaicin.
One type of pain that capsaicin may help to relieve is the joint and muscle pain of arthritis. A study published in 1991 by researchers at Case Western University in Ohio tested the effects of capsaicin cream on individuals with osteoarthritis. On their results, the study authors wrote:
“According to the global evaluations, 80% of the capsaicin-treated patients experienced a reduction in pain after two weeks of treatment … It is concluded that capsaicin cream is a safe and effective treatment for arthritis.”
If you need a joint or muscle pain remedy in a pinch, combine about a teaspoon of coconut oil with two or three drops of hot sauce. Spread onto the area. You may feel a bit of topical burn which is normal. However, if the reaction is severe, seek medical attention as you may have an allergy. Do not apply this mixture to broken skin.
Because capsaicin helps lower inflammation, it may be effective in reducing the pain of inflammatory headaches. A 1993 study published in Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache, found that capsaicin helped reduce “episodic cluster headaches” in some people. It was found to be less effective in chronic cluster headache circumstances.
Now, for this study, capsaicin was given to study participants through their noses, in an intranasal application. This is not something you want to try at home! Do not ever attempt to put hot sauce, or any hot pepper substance, in your nose without medical supervision!
However, adding a couple drops into a cup of herbal tea, or even applying highly diluted capsaicin onto your temples, may soothe the inflammation — depending on your headache. It’s worth a try.
If you have an itchy insect bite, considering the bite is not broken or bleeding, rub a little hot sauce diluted in coconut oil onto the bite — it may help soothe the pain and itch. The capsaicin, and the vinegar that many hot sauces contain, may work together for this purpose.
If you’re congested due to a cold or allergies, hot sauce may be able to help. The expectorant properties of capsaicin can help to break up phlegm and mucus that might be clogging up your sinuses or chest.
Simply flavor your meals with some hot sauce, or add a few drops to some hot tea. Add some lemon for the extra vitamin C factor. If you’re coughing, add some raw honey as well.
If you have a particularly painful sore throat, adding a few drops of hot sauce to a mug of warm water may help to ease the pain and inflammation. This gargle may burn a little while you are doing it, but your throat will feel better afterward. Again, if it burns too much, stop using it and consult a medical professional if the burning is severe: It may be an allergy or something more serious.
Do you have any home remedies that involve hot sauce? Please feel free to share!