The short answer is “no”, but chilli can help in other ways if you’re suffering from a cold. Here’s why…
Chilli is an effective decongestant. Think about it, when you eat really spicy foods it makes your nose run and your eyes water. The reason for this is that the capsaicin contained within the chilli irritates the mucous membranes in your nose and makes them become inflamed. As a natural defence this causes them to produce extra mucus to try and remove the irritant from your body, but this has the added bonus of making it easier for you to breathe.
Chilli contains vitamin C. A surprising amount actually – according to Wikipedia 100g hot red chilli contains 144mg of vitamin C compared to an orange containing only 53.2mg. While not strictly a cure for a cold, vitamin C can help boost the immune system making it easier for your body to fight off any infections.
Chilli can help a sore throat. Simply mixing a 1/4tsp of chilli powder with a class of pulpy orange juice can provide almost instant relief for those suffering with a sore throat
Chilli cools you down. Seriously. The capsaicin stimulates thermoreceptors in your body which makes it think that it’s hotter than it is. This causes gustatory sweating as the heat sensation is in the mouth, which concentrates the sweating around the forehead and neck. This is helpful if you’re suffering with a high temperature.
Chilli is a comfort food. When you’re ill there’s nothing better than eating some of your favourite food to perk you up a bit to get you through it. Chilli is one of those foods that do just that.
So there you have it, even if you have a love / hate relationship with the heat, there’s no denying that this wonder fruit can help you feel better when you’re t your worse. If you have any other reasons on how chillis can help you feel better when you’re suffering with a cold, then I’d love to hear them in the comments below!