10 Unusual Uses for Pepper

Pepper does a lot more than spice up your salads and meat. The vitamin-rich spice, prized by ancients and moderns alike, has many health and household uses, too.

Pepper as Health Aid

1. Decongestant: Cayenne pepper warms the body and stimulates the release of mucus, which helps unclog nasal passages and lets you breathe easier. Get a DIY recipe here.†

2. Constipation relief: Cayenne pepper makes you feel hot, which provokes you to drink more water, which loosens stools. Mix a teaspoon of cayenne into a glass of warm water. Or, just add cayenne to soups and stews, which will also give them a taste kick.

3. Cough remedy: Cayenne can help loosen chest phlegm and sooth throat irritation. “Herbally Yours,” by Penny C. Royal, gives this recipe: Combine ľ teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and fresh ground ginger with 1 tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar. Take one teaspoon at a time as needed.

4. Ear ache relief: Black pepper can soothe ear aches in adults. Spread ground black pepper on a flattened cotton ball. Roll the cotton back into a ball, and place it in the outer ear (not the inner ear).

5. Sore throat cure: To relieve sore throats, mix 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 2 tablespoons of honey. Take a teaspoon of the mixture at a time.

Household Uses for Pepper

6. Insecticide: To get rid of garden gnats, mix 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper with 2 tablespoons each of dish detergent and vegetable oil. Add the mixture to a gallon a water, and shake. Transfer to a spray bottle, and douse infested plants. Repeat after rain.

7. Plug radiator holes: Got a leaky radiator? Pour black pepper into your radiator to temporarily seal holes.

8. Deer repellent: Deer donít like the stinging sensation of hot pepper and will learn to avoid plants sprayed with a cayenne/water solution. The stronger the better. Add a little liquid soap to the solution, which makes it adhere better to plants.

9. Squirrel repellent: Mix cayenne pepper with bird food. The birds donít mind the taste, and the Vitamin C in pepper actually improves their foliage. Squirrels, on the other hand, hate pepper and will avoid your feeder.

10. Rodent repellent: To keep rodents from chewing on outside wires and cables, coat them with liquid pepper. Rodents will stay away in droves.

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Melania Padilla
Melania P3 years ago

Love pepper!!

Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago


Arnold B.
arnold B4 years ago


Teresa W.
Teresa W4 years ago

thank you

Darren Woolsey
Darren Woolsey4 years ago

Good job I like my pepper!

Barb Hansen
Ba H4 years ago


Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

Dale O.

Some interesting and novel uses for pepper. Certainly, I have never heard of it being used for ear aches, don't think that I would want to put this rather potent spice anywhere near my ear.

I do love pepper in my food, freshly ground, but then, that is nothing surprising or unusual.