Cayenne peppers and other hot peppers are marvellous medicine for pain, both taken internally and used externally. Cayenne is in many of the heating patches and creams you can buy at the store. You can eat the hot peppers straight and hot sauce if you have the taste and stomach for it. On the other end, you can get cayenne in pills, so you don’t taste it at all.
I live in the in-between zone. I like medium hot, but do not have time to cook food to balance the peppers. A friend gave me a jar of hot pepper honey. It went great in my herbal tea and eased my pain a bit. I reverse engineered it, and am putting the recipe below.
Putting cayenne in tea can help ease pain and inflammation. However, heat tolerance varies greatly from person to person. If you are a hothead, fill the jar with as many whole peppers as can gently fit. For a medium hot, put 4-6 small peppers in the jar. For the mildest flavor, remove all seeds from the peppers before putting them in the honey. You may have to experiment before you find the perfect amount.
Note: You can buy dried hot peppers cheaply at an international foods store or anywhere that sells Latinx foods.
Cayenne pepper honey
1 small clean jar
Cayenne or other favorite hot peppers—dried
Honey to fill
Place your peppers in the jar (see note above). Fill the jar with honey so it covers the peppers. (You may need to cut your peppers in half first.
Let the jar sit for at least a week. Taste it and determine its heat. If it is not hot enough for you, let it sit longer. I let it sit for a month.
When it is hot enough, strain out the peppers. (The peppers can grow mold even in antibacterial honey.)
Put a spoonful in your cup of tea—or on other honeyed items.
I think strong teas taste best with cayenne pepper honey:
Chai—or any tea with strong warming spices
Strong warming spices are also great for pain and inflammation. These include:
Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cardamom, cloves
Turmeric tea with black pepper
Hot honey and turmeric go together perfectly. The sour and bitter turmeric changes tone when you add the heat and the sweet.
Coffee substitutes—roasted herbs have a strong taste that rises to meet the hone
chicory, carob, dandelion root, burdock root, cacao nibs
Strong, dark tea—If the British would have it for breakfast, it is good.
Berry tea—you can make a “tea” out of dried berries – and the leaves of raspberry plants
Rosehips, hawthorn berries, elderberries, currants, hibiscus (not a berry), blueberries, raspberries
Ginger-lemon tea—If you have a cold or sore throat, ginger lemon tea is the best. You can buy tea bags or make it by putting sliced ginger and sliced lemon in a cup and pouring hot water over them. The honey is good for the throat and the cayenne is good for pain. I live by ginger-lemon tea with hot honey in the winter.