Preparing for the Season of Colds: Master Tonic

I don’t know about you, but I like to be as prepared as possible for the cold and flu season. A few of my favorite things to start ‘brewing’ are immune boosting tinctures, get-better syrups, good ol’ fashioned chicken broth and the newest addition… a “Master Tonic”.


Some of you may already know of the age-old tonic made from root herbs and peppers. It’s known as the modern-age “plague” tonic since it has the ability to help heal many stubborn illnesses and diseases. While I can’t prove it helps all the things many claim it does, I do know that it is packed with crazy amounts of anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic properties; not to mention it’s great for your circulatory system , clearing your sinuses and it helps your blood get all the good stuff where it needs to go.

Do be warned! This stuff is NOT for sissies, young children, or those on anti-coagulate medications. If you are generally healthy to begin with and need to kick a cold, flu or other acute illness quickly, then go ahead and give this a try!

Master Tonic Ingredients

Garlic: One of the most popular herbs used because of its undeniable antibiotic strength. Garlic can get rid of even the nastiest infections, without harming your good bacterial flora. It also improves blood flow and boosts the immune system; protecting against viruses, fungus, and other diseases.

Ginger Root: This root’s enzymes have the ability to not only to improve the movement of food through the digestive tract, but also counteract inflammation, increase blood flow and circulation, relieve pain and warm the body. Great herb to combat chills from the flu.

Onion: One of my favorite additions to many meals cooked in my kitchen, onions help stimulate your immune system. They have amazing anti-septic properties that will help keep those nasties at bay!

Hot Peppers: These contain capsicum… a phytochemical that blocks the body chemical that transmits pain impulses to the brain. It also significantly reduces pain and discomfort caused by a number of conditions. Hot peppers are also known as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and digestive aid herb. {I used dried cayenne, but you can use jalapeno, serrano, habanero, etc.}

Horseradish: {I didn’t have any for this batch, so just pretend it’s there ;) } This is one of the most potent herbs you can use for clear sinus congestion, one whiff and your done! Horseradish is a strong expectorant and contains anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties.


How To Make Your Master Tonic

You will need:

  • Equal parts of garlic, ginger, onion, hot peppers and horseradish {about 3/4 cup each for small batch and up to 2 cups each for large batch}
  • Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar {enough to completely cover herbs}
  • Gloves {if you are handling fresh hot peppers}
  • Blender, food processor or grater
  • Glass jars with snug fitting lids

I used my old {really-should-retire-that-thing} blender to save time, tears and burning sensations. ;) You should use whatever you have available at your home. These directions are for a blender or food processor.

  1. Coarsely chop onions, ginger and horseradish. Separate garlic to individual cloves, no need to remove the skin. Leave peppers whole.
  2. Place all ingredients in blender. You may need to do this in stages depending on how big of a batch you are going to do. My little batch just fit in my blender.
  3. Add enough raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs.
  4. Blend until there are no large chunks. No worries, it’s not going to be smooth!
  5. Pour into clean glass jars and secure lid tightly.
  6. Place in a cool, dark place {cupboard work great} for 2-6 weeks. Shake jar at least once a week.
  7. Once tonic has reached at least two weeks you can strain out the herbs and store liquid in small glass bottles. Or you can just leave the herbs in there… this is totally a personal preference. I, for one, don’t care for chunks while consuming my tonic :P
  8. You can make a huge batch if you want since it won’t need refrigeration and it will store indefinitely without any special conditions.


How To Use the Master Tonic

**Again, this ain’t for the faint of heart y’all! Just a whiff of it is enough for some people!

Take 1/2 – 2 ounces of the tonic, two or more times daily at the first signs of a cold.

If you’re fighting an illness, take the above dosage 5-6 daily. It can be used during pregnancy and it’s safe for children (use smaller doses) since food is completely non-toxic.

Some say diluting it in water may reduce its potency, but I am not so sure about that. I say try to get it down any way you can. A few helpful suggestions I found include:

  • Add to your morning vegetable/green juice.
  • Add to your favorite soup, sort of like a condiment.
  • Mix with raw honey to give to children over the age of 2 years.

So, what do you think? Are you brave enough to try your own batch of Master Tonic? What other things will you use to prepare for the upcoming flu season?

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About Jasmine

Jasmine is a God-fearing, always-learning, stay-at-home-wife to the best husband in the world! In the past couple of years, her new found loves have become herbal fix ‘ems and things “all natural”! She is continually learning to slow down, enjoying the important, simple things in life…like naturally taking care of her home, husband and health. She really enjoys creating things “home-made” and showing others how to do the same! You can also connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Preparing for the Season of Colds: Master Tonic — 21 Comments

  1. I make the tonic each fall as we go in to the cold and flu season. I keep it on the counter in a dark green wine bottle that has a cork on the top. My kids know it’s there and will go and take what they need when they feel a bug coming on. Some of my younger kids do not like the taste and say that they would rather be sick than drink it. But we try to find new ways to disguise the taste. One mom shared with me that it tasted pretty good in V-8 juice. So I may give that a try.

  2. This ought to do it! We make a similar concoction and find that while it’s enough to knock you socks off on the way down, it really helps all around! thanks for sharing!

  3. This sounds like you could add it to a salsa or make a salsa type of condiment to be able to get it down…it actually sounds pretty good! Thanks for the recipe!

    Nancy at

  4. wow! Just the thought of all those ingredients together makes my eyes water :) This is for sure not for sissies, which I think I qualify as. DH would probably think it is jibberish, but I seriously think you are on to something here! Natural ingredients to ward off colds and flus are so much better than over the counter meds!!

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  6. This is a great idea. I chop up fresh garlic every night and take it with water. I increase garlic in my cooking in the winter and up the dosage when I feel a bug coming on. I’m looking forward to trying this as well! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. I just found your website today and it’s AWESOME!!! Thank You!! Do you think it’s okay to use this year round? Just as a immunity booster? Or is it better reserved for cold and flu season?

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  10. I have read this article and this tonic seems very interesting. I will definitely make some and keep it in my home. It sounds like a great antidote for sickness and diseases. My son travels to the cold country at times so I will give him some in a bottle to walk with.

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