Allergies were getting the best of me recently, so I thought about ordering some. I get impatient waiting on deliveries, so I started experimenting with creating my own recipe so you donít have to go through the agony yourselves.
I am happy to report, I think Iíve stumbled on just the right mix that gives the benefit of the hot pepper without blasting my ďdang fool head off.Ē Disclaimer:
Although my research shows no ill effects from using this method, if you try it, do so at your own risk. I think itís about as dangerous as eating hot salsa and getting some up your nose. But still, since Iím not a doctor, if you use or misuse this and wind up losing an arm or something, donít call me Ė I am not recommending you do this. Iíve heard of asthmatics having attacks or dying from being sprayed with pepper spray Ė this purportedly could be
homemade pepper spray if you add too much pepper.
First, those of you who have read my article about nuking your sinuses with a neti pot, I am using the exact same method but with a twist of cayenne.
I first started experimenting with mixing ground red pepper into the water. I heard about others trying this. But I didnít have a measurement. I ended up trying 1/4 a teaspoon and it was way too much. Donít do this.
It burned alot
and I was coughing and sniffling through most of the morning. I think it didnít work because the little pepper bits were stuck in my nose. ouch!
But once I got the right recipe, I found it to be the opposite of agony. It was actually quite soothing. Iíd describe the feeling as a hot-pad applied directly to my headache as well as the swelling in my eyes. It felt as though the heat attacked the pain at the source.
There was not nearly the amount of drainage and sniffling as occurred with the ground pepper. In 15 or 20 minutes, my headache was gone and I did not feel the pressure behind my eyes.
Added benefit Ė Surprisingly, the day after this good pepper experience, my breathing was perfectly clear!
But what I found works much better is to make a pepper tea with some handy household items. I swiped my wifeís tea infuser and got to work.
What you need:
- Tea infuser
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (cayenne)
- normal neti mix (2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt)
Take your 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and put it in the dry tea infuser. Then shake the infuser over a sink or garbage can. You want to get any flakes that might go through the infuser to go out into the sink, not into your sinus mix.
Then, prepare your neti mix as normal. I microwave 2 cups of water in a Pyrex container for 1 minute to get it warm (not hot). Then I add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt. After that, I cover the container and shake vigorously.
To add some cayenne to the mix, just take the tea infuser and dip it into the neti mix for 15 seconds. Note: I have a high pain threshold so you might want to start with 5 seconds or 10 if you want to work up.
Then I shake the container vigorously again. I know itís right when the water has a slight pink tint to it.
Once youíve got your mix, just neti as normal. I found there wasnít much sting to it as compared to getting too much salt. Instead it was that ďhot-padĒ feeling. And overall, compared to my headache, very welcome relief.