Capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers that makes spicy foods hot, can relieve pain. It can also make you less sensitive to the irritation that causes coughing, according to a recent study.
Another benefit of capsaicin is relief from nasal congestion. It breaks up mucus and clears out the sinus passages, although this can make your nose run. Avoid spicy foods if you have an upset stomach.