Last night I tried the Cayenne Pepper home remedy for sore throats.

The idea is pretty simple: boil some water, add a teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, gargle and repeat. Lots of people online claim this has worked, although I noted just before starting that all negative reports were dismissed as not having stuck with it for long enough – not a particularly scientific rebuttal.

The resulting broth is not the most inviting.

I gargled this for as long as I could stomach it and can report that mild tingling of the tongue is probably understating the effect of the Cayenne – if you don’t like spice don’t try this. Also: closing of eyes while gargling is pretty much essential as only a small amount in the eye produces a lot of discomfort. I speak from experience. It goes without saying the taste is vile.

After effects: aside from the eye not a great deal. As I stumbled through the kitchen, clutching my former optic nerves, it did occur to me that perhaps the cure involved a worse injury to distract from the soreness of the throat. The gargling helped remove the gunk from my throat but, to be honest, hot water on its own will do this – if gargled – and so I couldn’t say I noticed a difference. My chilli seemed to have more of an effect.

Anyway, I repeated the experiment this morning, just to be sure, and it just made me feel ill.

Tonight I will be trying Soy Sauce and Lime.