Cayenne pepper tea is a hot beverage made by mixing cayenne pepper into boiling water. Sometimes people add lemon or blackstrap molasses to the drink. These two ingredients, when mixed with cayenne pepper and cold water, make up the recipe for a very common lemonade fast. In this sense, the "tea" — which is really a tisane, since it does not contain tea leaves — can be consumed as a hot version of the fasting drink.
Many people find that drinking cayenne pepper tea gives them a boost of energy. For this reason, it is often consumed in the morning. The drink is believed to have a number of health benefits, and it has been reported to help treat ulcers and even fight cancer. The drink can clear the sinuses and is also believed to be good for the heart.
Some herbalists also report that cayenne pepper tea can help to boost the metabolism, increase blood flow to ailing organs, and help to cure the common cold. Most of the health benefits are believed to correlate directly to the pepper's ability to promote blood flow within the body. Some herbalists believe that cayenne pepper is one of the most important herbs of all when it comes to herbal healing.
One thing that makes this drink different from almost all other teas is the fact that it is spicy. The level of spiciness simply has to do with the ratio of pepper to water. For some people who drink the tea on a daily basis, as much as 1 teaspoon (1.8 g) of cayenne pepper may be added to a mug of hot water. This amount of cayenne pepper may be way too much for people who are just beginning to incorporate the tea into their diet. For people who are just beginning, it is probably best to start with 1/8 of a teaspoon (0.22 g) and work up from that.
It is possible to benefit from the healing properties of cayenne by taking the pepper as a capsule. Many herbalists believe, however, that the best way to ingest and absorb herbs is to drink them as a warm tea. While a tea does not protect the taste buds as a capsule does, some people drink it for the increased health benefits. Some people even come to enjoy the taste after drinking it over a period of time.