Master Tonic for Cold & Flu Season


‘Master Tonic’ is supposed to be an amazing anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic tonic to take through the winter months or whenever you’re feeling under the weather. 

Also known as ‘Fire Cider’, Master Tonic is made with raw garlic, horseradish, turmeric, ginger, onion, hot peppers, lemon and apple cider vinegar.  All of these ingredients have pretty amazing medicinal properties on their own, and combined were are hoping for a winning natural medicine!  We’ve been avoiding ‘big pharma’ where we can these last couple of years, and this will just be one more thing to stockpile in our medicine cabinet!

There are many, many recipes online for this, some with less ingredients and some with more.  I’ve tried finding the history of this recipe, but no such luck so far.  Many people believe that this should be made with the moon cycles- make the tonic on the new moon and let it infuse until the full moon. For my recipe I chose what made sense and sounded good to me.



1/2 cup chopped and peeled fresh ginger

1/2 cup chopped and peeled fresh turmeric

1/2 cup chopped and peeled fresh horseradish

1/2 cup chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped white onion

1/2 cup chopped HOT peppers {I used jalapeño, go as hot as you can tolerate}

zest and juice of 2 lemons

apple cider vinegar {organic, with the ‘mother’}

  1. Use all organic ingredients if you can find it…the less chemicals, the better.  Bonus if you grow some of the ingredients yourself!!
  2. Add all of your chopped ingredients into a glass jar. I used a 1 gallon glass jar and it was about half full.
  3. Cover with ACV.  Some of the pieces will float to the top- use a plate, a fermenting weight…something to hold the bits under the ACV to prevent any spoilage. The chunky ingredients will absorb some liquid and expand, so make sure to top it off to account for this.
  4. Let this tonic sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks to infuse.  If you want to shake it up during this time and you are using a metal lid- make sure you have a barrier between the vinegar and the metal such as wax or parchment paper to avoid corrosion.
  5. After it has infused for at least 2 weeks, strain out the solids and store in a glass container.  This will store indefinitly at room temperature.
  6. The remaining chopped herbs and veggies can be used in other dishes to add flavor if you like.  I fed mine to the chickens hoping they get an immunity boost too!

If you would like to take this as a preventative measure, 1 tablespoon a day is a commonly used amount.  If you’re feeling under the weather, take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day until healthy. You can also add raw, local honey to taste if you need a bit of sweetness.

So how does it taste? Not bad!  It tastes better than it smells…sour and spicy.  I have not tried it mixed with honey yet, but I think raw honey is one of the best things to take when you are sick.

Make some Master Tonic and bottoms up! Here’s to a healthy ‘sick season’!

3 thoughts on “Master Tonic for Cold & Flu Season

  1. Yankee Homestead says:

    Is this the same as fire cider? I keep elderberry syrup on hand at all times, and my kids take it every day in the winter. I’m not sure I could get them to drink this tonic, but I might have to experiment with it for myself…thanks for the recipe!


    • flickerfarmblog says:

      Yes, also known as Fire Cider. I also make Elderberry Syrup to take as well. It’s definitely easier to get my daughter to take the syrup, she will not take the tonic. I will say though, a couple of weeks ago I worked 2 days in a row in her kindergarten class, tons of sick kids, a few days later I felt a cold coming on. I took this tonic 3x a day in hot water for 2 days and no cold ever appeared!


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