Pull this easy, cold-fighting drink together with just four common household ingredients for a naturally powerful immune boost. Originally published January 2018. Last updated February 2023.
I grew up in a good ol' Southern household where sayings like "God made dirt so dirt don't hurt." and "Drink some water and lie down!" abounded. I also have a playful Nigerian dad who believes that slapping an injury will make it better (more like momentarily distract you from the pain) or that drinking scalding hot water will improve a cough. My parents both worked the in medical field and gave us plenty of conventional remedies growing up but it's the unconventional methods that stuck with me, for some reason. Probably because they were often effective. So it shouldn't be surprising that I'm sharing a cayenne pepper tea recipe with you today: my 4-ingredient feel-better tea.
If you're looking for more natural immune support recipes, you'll also love my sparkling gingerade tonic and sweet orange smoothie!
More Favorite Warm Drink Recipes
My friends and family members call me a hippie because of my preference for natural cures over pharmaceuticals. And I call this a "tea" but there aren't any leaves or bags involved. It's simply a warm, comforting drink with notable benefits for when I'm feeling under the weather and here are a few more:
Quick How-to Video
When to drink it?
I recommend this it to all of my friends and family when colds strike and it's become something of a go-to in our circle. I whip up this tea at the first sign of a sniffle or throat tickle. Below are the simple steps to make it followed by the benefits of each ingredient. Obviously, I'm not a doctor or even a scientist so please don't take this as medical advice but rather a trick worth trying. Especially with the increased attention on immune support, my dad makes this as a ginger garlic cayenne pepper tea plus a few other things. We are not lacking in immune boosting drinks around here, ok?!
What You'll Need for this Recipe
There are just four cayenne pepper tea ingredients with some optional additions that we'll get into after the very short list. This is really a pantry recipe because you probably already have everything you need on hand!
- Raw Honey (preferably local)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Fresh Lemon
- Warm Water
Tips & Tools
As far as tools for this cayenne pepper lemon honey tea, grab a mug, a spoon, and maybe a tea kettle for the hot water. I bounce between a good old fashioned stovetop kettle and a ceramic one that I can pop into the microwave when I pressed for time. Also, feel free to heat up your cold and cough fighter tea by the mugful.
Four-Ingredient Feel-Better Tea Instructions
- Squeeze juice of half lemon into the mug then drop in the squeezed lemon as well.
2. Next add the raw honey.
3. Then add cayenne pepper to your mug.
4. Fill mug with warm water and finish by stirring to mix all ingredients.
Cayenne Tea Benefits
- Raw honey is an age-old folk remedy with many reported benefits ranging from wound care to antioxidant richness. I use it in this tea because of its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Raw honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide and is known to kill unwanted bacteria. I also use it for it's throat soothing properties. Additionally, raw honey contains phytonutrients, which help prevent inflammation.
- Cayenne pepper stimulates the mucus membranes of our nose and sinuses, which can lead to decreased congestion. Personally, I have found that it helps stimulate productive coughs.
- Lemon is obviously very rich in vitamin C and an immune boost doesn't hurt when you aren't feeling your best. Lemon juice also promotes hydration and reduces phlegm.
- Warm water is the vehicle that mixes and carries everything in this tea. There's a reason people tell you to hydrate when sick: fluids help thin out mucus and prevent dehydration, which takes energy away from your body's fight against a cold. I prefer warm or room temperature water to cold but it also helps dissolve and meld all the ingredients better.
What else can I add to this tea? I sometimes also add in garlic for its antiviral, antimicrobial, expectorant, and decongestant properties and ginger as it is another throat soother. These are optional and you will still get the benefits of cayenne pepper tea without them.
I hope this all-natural immunity tea recipe is a helpful addition to your cold-fighting routine. If you have any natural remedies you swear by, please drop them below. 🙂 And be sure to pin my natural immune support tea on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
How to Make Cayenne Pepper Tea
4-Ingredient Feel-Better Tea
- ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- warm water
- 1 clove garlic optional
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger optional
- Squeeze juice of ½ lemon into a mug then drop in squeezed lemon as well.
- Add in raw honey and cayenne pepper.
- Top up mug with warm water and stir until all ingredients are dissolved. Sip carefully.
I will take the all natural over a pill anyway. I have used this tea and it works wonderfully.
I've heard so many things about the benefits of cayenne pepper. I never thought to add it to tea, but I will definitely have to try it.
Marie, Mamma's Cooking says
This sounds perfect for me today! I'll have to try it.
this looks like a great all natural way to feel better!
Tanvi Rastogi says
That sounds like a great natural cure. Drugs are my last resource too.
I love tea remedies! i'm definitely giving this recipe a try this season! I love that there's cayenne pepper incorporated!
The cayenne pepper is KEY!
My mom always gave us this as kids and as a mother I use it as well. It sucks real bad if you over do the cayanne pepper, but it'll still knock a cold or whatever else out of you!
Katrina Adams says
Love a good hot toddy recipe!! I will be adding this to my recipe rolodex. Thank you for sharing!
This is what I have been looking for thank u
OMG!!! I am drinking this now. I grew up drinking this "tea" while sweating covered up by a large blanket, inhaling a boiling pot of water with lemon & orange peels as Maman pats up & down my back. I Googled the ingredients because I was curious to know if what I was taught as a child growing up in New Orleans just a "thing" or if others also enjoy this warm, comforting, rejuvenating drink. I'm glad that I've come across your article and learn of the immune boosting properties of each ingredient! <3
So glad to hear this. Thank you for sharing your story, Nita!
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS THE SMELL, TASTE AND BENEFITS. IT TRULY HELPS WITH MY BREATHING. I HAVE A CUP IN THE MORNING AND AT NIGHT.
I TAKE DIET ARIZONA GREEN TEA HEAT IT IN THE MICROWAVE AND ADD HONEY, GROUND GINGER, LEMON JUICE, AND CAYENNE PEPPER. IT'S SO DELICIOUSLY YUMMY 😄
Ferouza Naidoo says
How many cups per day
This came right on time. Everyone around me is getting sick and I'm trying everything to stay healthy. So, I've been sipping on this tea all week. I've made tweaks here and there and tried fresh grated ginger instead of ground ginger. Thank you for the recipe.
I've been battling congestion due to seasonal allergies and made this feel better tea to sip on tonight. That lemon and cayenne (I added the ginger, too) together cleared up my chest considerably. I'll be making it a couple of times tomorrow so I can hopefully knock it out completely. Great recipe!
Britney Brown-Chamberlain says
I made this tea after shoveling the snow and it was just what I needed to warm me right up!
I was coming down with a little something and wanted to get some extra vitamin C and antioxidants. Love this all natural cold fighting tea recipe. So good, the cayenne had a good kick in the best way.
I love the simple ingredients of this tea and how effective it is! I've been enjoying this each morning this week to stay warm and give my body a little nutrient kick! Thanks for the recipe
I struggle with sinus infections during the winter months, so finding this tea was a God-send. My sore throat got immediate relief.
Chenee Lewis says
I woke up with a slight sore throat yesterday and I'm so glad I found this tea! It was immediately soothing. Definitely going in the lineup next time I'm feeling sick!
It’s so cold in London right now so I’ve been looking for a drink to warm me up. This cayenne tea was the perfect fix and the flavors were spot on!
Sometimes if I feel bad I make something similar, but add a little aspirin in water and add to lemon, honey, cinnamon to tea with fresh mint leaves but if I have a sore throat I'll add ginger. May not be the best taste combination but it works very well.
Very delicious tea! And, most importantly, helpful. I always give this tea to my children when they catch a cold. For a better immune-protective effect, I add a couple of drops of Wellabs Zinc to already cooled tea