The Master Tonic: Natural Flu Antiviral

by Sarah Drinks and Tonics, Natural Remedies, RecipesComments: 127

master tonic
This post is about how to make the Master Tonic – an amazing, homemade, natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitical remedy. Note that the Master Tonic is not to be confused with the Master Cleanse.

Who needs Tamiflu with all its dangerous side effects when you have the Master Tonic, with no side effects, in your back cupboard?

I have a friend who coordinates missionaries overseas to third world countries who told me that the missionaries she knows always take this remedy with them when traveling.

The Master Tonic keeps forever, so make it now before you need it!

This tonic is extremely powerful because all the ingredients are fresh. Its power should not be underestimated. This formula is a modern day plague remedy and can cure the most chronic conditions and stubborn diseases. It stimulates maximum blood circulation, while putting the best detoxifying herbs into the blood.

The Master Tonic remedy is not just for the sniffles, it has helped to turn around the deadliest infections resistant to antibiotics and can be used in combination with conventional treatments as necessary.

The dosage for the Master Tonic is 1 or 2 ounces, two or more times daily. Swish and swallow. Don’t dilute with water.

For ordinary infections, a dose taken 5-6 times a day will deal with most conditions. It can be used during pregnancies, is safe for children (use smaller doses) and as a food is completely non-toxic.

Make up plenty as the Master Tonic does not need refrigeration and lasts indefinitely without any special storage conditions.

The Master Tonic


1 part fresh chopped garlic
1 part fresh chopped onion
1 part fresh grated ginger root
1 part fresh grated horseradish root
1 part fresh chopped cayenne peppers or any hot peppers seasonally available
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (sources)

*Use only fresh and preferably organically grown herbs if possible as this will make the most potent and effective Master Tonic. Substitute dried herbs only in an emergency if fresh is unavailable.


Fill a glass mason jar 3/4 of the way full with equal parts by volume of the above fresh chopped and grated herbs. Wear gloves when chopping the hot peppers.

Fill jar to the top with raw apple cider vinegar. Close the lid tightly and shake.

Shake at least once a day for two weeks, and then filter the Master Tonic mixture through a clean piece of cloth, bottle and label.

Make sure that when you make this tonic that you shake it every time you walk by it, a minimum of once per day. Remember that all the herbs and vegetables for the Master Tonic should be fresh and organically grown if possible. Use dried herbs only in an emergency.

More Information

Onion Poultice for Congestion

Power Shot: Best Green Juice for Congestion

The 11 Best Natural Antibiotics and How to Use Them

SSKI: The Best Expectorant You’ve Never Tried

Simple Elderberry Syrup to Boost Immunity


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Comments (127)

  • lesleyfromkent

    Just making my current batch for later this year (when flu season comes around) and I re-read all the posts. Really interesting – I started to wonder: do I leave the seeds in the chillis? Or not? And then it hit me, who cares? It really doesn’t matter. I make this with whatever “hot” spices I can get that are organic, and if there’s nothing organic around, I make it with whatever is available. Its obviously better if organic, but non-organic is better than nothing. If you like curries, this is a great tasting little tonic.
    There’s a lot of “what can I do with the left over residue” above here – as a constant stock-maker, I think I would just say “compost it”. I don’t reckon there’s much goodness left in it after its fermented, as with the residue from stock – you’ve transferred the ‘goodness’ into the liquid and what’s left is just, well, compost. Great for conditioning the soil, but it has no nutrition left to add because its all gone into the liquid.

    A question:- I know this is a ferment, but I rarely get anything to bubble – anybody got any; comments? Does that mean I’m constantly not achieving fermentation? Or just that the stuff I ferment hasn’t got any really active ‘bugs’ in it that actually ferment?

    June 11th, 2016 7:32 am Reply
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  • Camille

    I have adopted a fairly natural lifestyle by making my own toothpaste , shampoo, etc and drinking Solay and ACV daily. I want to start with Master Tonic however my biggest concern is the smell of garlic and onions. I workout and run and fear sweating !! Its more of a concern for those around me who may not want to after I start this…LOL Any thoughts m, or situations similar to this?

    December 15th, 2015 2:38 pm Reply
    • Lisa

      Follow it up with a 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and some water to kill the odor. 😊

      December 18th, 2015 7:28 am Reply
  • Ellen

    May I get your opinion? I am into day 5 of fermenting my Master Tonic and just realized the jar I used, from another ‘raw fermented product’, has a lid with a ‘styrofoam-type’ inner seal…because of all the shaking, I was wondering, because the Master Tonic is so strong, if it would have an adverse affect on the inner-seal; (i.e. degrade/breakdown the material).

    Usually, fermented products don’t come in contact w/lids so often.

    Thanks for all you do…thanks for any help.

    October 13th, 2015 6:24 pm Reply
  • ellen

    I can’t find horseradish; is it ok to use ‘freeze-dried’ or organic horseradish mustard (i.e. horseradish, mustard seed, salt, ACV) …OR… should I just leave out the horseradish until I find some ‘fresh’?

    Thanks for any help.

    October 7th, 2015 12:11 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would leave it out if you can’t find fresh.

      October 7th, 2015 1:21 pm Reply
      • elen

        Thank you…appreciate your time. :)

        October 7th, 2015 5:43 pm Reply
  • Lee

    Thanks for this remedy. A friend told me about this concoction and found it to be very effective in fighting a cough. I wondered what size Mason jar you recommend and if you refrigerate it during the two weeks I’m assuming it ferments? Can you use prepared horseradish as I am having trouble finding it anywhere near where I live. Thanks in advance for your help!

    October 5th, 2015 1:41 am Reply
  • Lee

    Found a link to your page through a friend. Wondered what sized mason jar you use and if it is the be refrigerated while fernenting? Also, can you use prepared horseradish root as I cannot find it anywhere where I live. Thanks!

    October 5th, 2015 12:34 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No, do not refrigerate while fermenting.

      October 5th, 2015 8:58 am Reply
  • Miriam

    I was so surprisd this wasn’t mentioned – this recipe is insanely pungent, I had to air out the whole house, next time I’ll make it outside.

    If you make it inside, turn on your vent fan, open windows, wear safety goggles and a surgical mask. Seriously made me cry!

    August 8th, 2015 9:24 pm Reply
  • Freya

    Does anyone know if this helps with hormonal imbalances?
    In particular PCOS?
    I’m sick of drs telling me that birth conrtrol is the answer all the time, all it does is make me super angry all the time and make my periods more frequent ( although I have lost weight while on it)

    July 17th, 2015 7:21 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No, it doesn’t.

      July 17th, 2015 7:42 am Reply
    • morwennarose

      Hi there you must get shatavari !! It is a wonder herb for hormonal imbalances and eventually helps many things including skin/hair growth/pain/periods etc. I have been taking and feel better already. I also feel more confident and myself! Also when you have tried this you can get yourself on chlorella and spirulina and I always suggest cider vinegar! This can help with hormones alone! It has been known to cure women who haven’t been able to get preggers for years by having just 3 diluted glasses a day for only a few months to a year and have got pregnant!
      For the shatavari you want to stick with the powdered capsules and a make you can trust is PUKKA you must make sure they have the right dosage and are organic the ones i take aslo have seaweed, seagreens, spirulina and ginger root which is even better! I also take the spirulina and chlorella in tablet form, you;ll have to have a look online to see which are best maybe check on forums. I would highly reccomend you see a specialist like someone who does ayurvedic medicines so you can be put on the right start and find out your exact individual needs. Don’t go to the doctors they don’t study these things like ayurvedic “life knowlege” and even if they do they would not have the time or be aloud to help you with it unfortunately. ….You can be better :) good luck

      August 22nd, 2015 9:58 am Reply
      • morwennarose

        Oh, I know cider vinegar isn’t said to be useful for hormonal imbalance but that is not the point. For any part in or out of your body you have to start with the bottem line of your health which is acidity and alkaline balance (your diet) and if this is not in balance then it will be a chain reaction throughout your body to create dis-ease. So by balancing yourself with cider vinegar first and with your diet, your body will eventually work itself healthy through to your other problems. I have cured stomach ulcers and lots of other problems through diet alone e.g raw cabbage juice aloe juice and stopping drinking milk.
        I seriously urge you to look at diet first and to not take any drugs the doctors give you to always look for thew natural alternative, as they were given to us on this earth to use and we, after all are made from organic material. :)
        Take care

        August 22nd, 2015 10:07 am Reply
  • Laura

    I live in Costa Rica and can’t get horseradish, any thoughts (like wasabi powder?) I just found this article and am very interested in this. I just started a round of antibiotics for severe respiratory infection. I want to make this tonic, as I would so much prefer this over the Meds. Am also concerned with keeping my gut healthy, so any recommendations would be appreciated.

    July 16th, 2015 12:28 am Reply
  • Cheree

    Ask your local grocer to special order you some fresh horseradish and then you will be able to make some. That is what I did, my produce man was more than happy to order it for me.

    April 26th, 2015 7:25 pm Reply
  • Ann

    I made the Master Tonic on Saturday and it now has a green hue. Is this normal?

    April 6th, 2015 8:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, this is normal

      April 6th, 2015 9:07 pm Reply
      • Michele

        1) Does it matter the onion type?
        2) After you drain the juice off, do you throw out the dry ingredients, or reuse to make more tonic for a year?
        3) Does it matter the pepper type?
        Thank you!

        January 24th, 2016 8:04 pm Reply
  • Luiza Morris

    Sarah, please let your readers know that it is not safe during the first trimester of pregnancy. Horseradish can cause miscarriage during the first trimester.I just found out tonight after a few days of miscarriage sysmptoms with no previous of family history of miscarriage(this is my fifth pregnancy-I have four healthy wonderful sons).The spotting and gradually bleeding and cramping began after started taking the tonic 6days ago to deal with some cough that was getting us all. I am still cramping and light bleeding lightly and I am praying that God will have mercy on the child and I won’t miscarry,although His will be done, He knows best. Luiza, servant to Him who first loved us

    January 28th, 2015 10:26 pm Reply
    • Luiza

      Hi Sarah.I thought I would let you know that I did miscarry the next day after I wrote this comment. God alone knows all the details of the pregnancy as I was very early, about 6 weeks, and I hadn’t seen my midwife yet, but all the symptoms of cramping and spotting and eventually bleeding started a day after I started taking the master tonic that I have made from organic ingredients following this recipe.I wish I had connected the dots earlier when the cramping started not after 6 days…anyhow, I took a tablespoon at a time up to 4 a day. In total over the 3-4 days I took it I might have had 6 oz or so of the master tonic. I must have taken too much.I think now I should not have taken any. I had no idea that horseradish can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy. Please let your readers know, it is not safe during early pregnancy! On a happy note I am now 6 months pregnant with our fifth son and pregnancy is going great; Lord willing we will have a home birth with our team of midwives. I appreciate the good info you have on here. I trust most info you offer and I come often to your blog. Luiza

      August 24th, 2015 10:48 pm Reply
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  • Sherri

    Can anything be done with what’s left when you straight it?

    November 8th, 2014 6:08 pm Reply
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  • Angela W. Rogers via Facebook

    Got three quarts on the counter now!

    October 25th, 2014 11:02 pm Reply
  • DuchessandMarie

    We’ve been using this tonic for nearly 10 years… Attached is the recipe we use from Chet Day. His amounts are more definitive. Also, we don’t strain it…
    I mix mine in a Cuisinart and then pour half the mixture in two mason or Claussen pickle jars and fill the rest with Braggs ACV. As I drink the liquid from the top, I continue to add ACV and shake it until it loses its strength.
    We don’t add turmeric to the mixture but I take it on the side.
    I tried habeneros one year and had to remake it – it was awful and I love hot foods. I use jalepenos. Also, I am known to add a little extra shredded extra horseradish and ginger.
    Also, we do not keep it indefinitely… we make new batches twice a year so it’s fresh.

    October 25th, 2014 2:13 pm Reply
  • aneffie

    I’m not understanding the dosage. Is this a preventative or after you come down with something?

    October 24th, 2014 10:58 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      It’s to be used at the first sign of an issue. 1 to 2 ounces up to five times a day. I made some last year and it is still good. Have used it a few times.

      October 24th, 2014 6:20 pm Reply
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  • Hazel

    How much and how often should you drink when you feel an onset of something? Do you make a tea with lemon and honey and add this? Could you add fresh turmeric? – See more at:

    October 9th, 2014 10:59 am Reply
  • Nichole Diem via Facebook

    So can’t find horseradish root. Can u substitute horseradish root extract

    September 7th, 2014 9:32 pm Reply
    • Kyla

      I would substitute with creamed horseradish.

      September 27th, 2014 7:04 pm Reply
  • Elena Roberson via Facebook

    Is it safe to use by people with gastritis, with a sensitive stomach or suffering of digestive problems ?

    September 3rd, 2014 2:54 pm Reply
  • Debra Hagstrom via Facebook

    I have almost a quart left from last spring, it looks the same, what is the life of this stuff?

    September 3rd, 2014 2:15 pm Reply
  • Debbie Eisa via Facebook

    All finished making mine and I always add fresh turmeric to it as well. I also make elderberry syrup and this year for the 1st time, I am making an elderberry tincture. The tonic is some STRONG stuff and it’s always funny to see someone take their first shot…I still have the video of when my husband tried it! I even gave a bottle of each to my doctor :)

    September 3rd, 2014 1:51 pm Reply
    • rebecca

      How did your doctor react to that?

      October 24th, 2014 6:22 pm Reply
    • Beckyjscc

      Elderberry tincture is the Bomb! I had a whole gallon of it, our house burnt down and lost all my “medicines” roots herbs everything! dearly missing it now, as I have been nailed/hit with the worst cold virus I have had in AGES! Soon as I can I am making this stuff! as I have everything fresh available! I do not care how strong it is, as long as it works ! do not ever want this cold/virus again!

      September 24th, 2015 2:46 am Reply
  • Amy Vitton via Facebook

    I just said to my husband yesterday I needed to look this up on your site so I could get it started!! Very timely post for me! :)

    September 3rd, 2014 1:43 pm Reply
  • Bri Andrews-Ross via Facebook

    Gonna make this!

    September 3rd, 2014 1:34 pm Reply
  • Erica Lynn Johnson via Facebook

    What if you’re allergic to cayenne? Can you just leave it out? Will the tonic still have some effect without it??

    September 3rd, 2014 12:58 pm Reply
    • Keshia

      I have made it before with jalapenos!

      September 13th, 2014 7:17 pm Reply
  • Terra Cohen via Facebook

    How much and how often should you drink when you feel an onset of something? Do you make a tea with lemon and honey and add this? Could you add fresh turmeric?

    September 3rd, 2014 12:43 pm Reply
    • Hazel

      Did you get an answer?

      October 9th, 2014 10:59 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      It says in the article and the comments. 1 to 2 ounces up to five times a day at first symptoms. Some people add tumeric. I wouldnt make a tea because it will be a bigger cup of something gross tasting. Take it as a shot and chase with tea if you want. The great thing about natural medicine is you can try some different things without worrying about horrible consequences or side effects that are present with usual medicine.

      October 24th, 2014 6:25 pm Reply
  • Debbie Robert-Moraal via Facebook

    i have NO doubt that this will work but for me if I took this tonic I would be doubled over in pain in 20 minutes

    September 3rd, 2014 12:20 pm Reply
  • Tammy Stottlemyre Childers via Facebook

    Finding horseradish root may be the biggest challenge for this recipe.

    September 3rd, 2014 12:08 pm Reply
    • Christin

      Have you looked in your local produce section? I didn’t know my local store had it until I looked anf there it was. Big old dirty looking root. I peeled it and shedded it. Easy.

      September 27th, 2015 6:23 pm Reply
  • Becca Stott via Facebook

    Interesting that you are not calling it Fire Cider, its traditional name. Is that because of the current controversy?

    September 3rd, 2014 12:05 pm Reply
  • Juliana Oushana via Facebook

    On it!

    September 3rd, 2014 12:03 pm Reply
  • Karen Messina via Facebook

    1 part is 1 unit of any size you choose, i.e., 1/2 cup of each, or ,1 cup of each.

    September 3rd, 2014 11:47 am Reply
  • Nicola Monroe via Facebook

    Ok this is a stupid question but how much is 1 part for each ingredient? I will be using a mason jar!

    September 3rd, 2014 11:34 am Reply
    • Tony

      1 part means equal amounts of everything. If you use 1 ounce of 1 thing, use 1 ounce of everything. For a 1 quart mason jar I would use 2 ounces of everything. For a gallon I would use a half cup or full cup of everything.

      September 11th, 2014 10:32 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      If you do 1 cup of each ingredient you will probably have enough for 2 or 3 mason jars, quart size.

      October 24th, 2014 6:27 pm Reply
  • Frederica Huxley via Facebook

    Dehydrate the strained solids for a delicious sprinkle for meats and veg!

    September 3rd, 2014 11:27 am Reply
    • Rebecca

      That is actually a fabulous idea!

      October 24th, 2014 6:30 pm Reply
  • Natalie Ivankovitser Rozinov via Facebook

    Is it safe to give to children? At what age?

    September 3rd, 2014 11:25 am Reply
  • David Fyhrie

    Thank you for your insightful article on antiviral properties of these natural foods. I really enjoy what Dr. Joel Fuhrman is producing for public tv about good nutrition and being healthy. He says many of the same things about these foods!
    My company extracts and purifies the antibodies (Immunoglobulin Y or IgY) from chicken egg yolk. antibodies bind to pathogens (bad bacteria, virus, parasites and cellular debris) to help your immune system with keeping you healthy and recovered from injuries as well as reducing inflammation. No other company has the processes we do and we can make it 50-99% pure! Try it, it works!. There are over 900 publications on PubMed for Immunoglobulin Y and all the amazing things it can do.

    August 25th, 2014 11:59 am Reply
  • Laura Winn

    My husband was recently diagnosed with Epstein Barr. Will this help him? I was also considering upping his intake on organic virgin coconut oil and raw garlic. I need suggestions/input/help!

    July 16th, 2014 3:03 pm Reply
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  • Jeff

    What do you store this in?
    It is carving up my mason jar lids.

    May 27th, 2014 11:43 pm Reply
    • Donna Vance

      Buy the storage jar lids for mason jars in use for anything other than canning. Plus all mayo jar lids fit small mouth mason jars.

      October 29th, 2014 8:51 am Reply
  • Mary Ann

    I just bottled my first batch. It’s definitely strong! I followed others’ suggestions and am dehydrating the solids though I’m sure hoping my dehydrator doesn’t permanently pick up that smell! I found it better to drink slowly than throwing it back all at once. Then honey afterwards and not mixed in. But that’s just my preference.
    My question is: Since this is fermented, what kind of affect would it have on gut bacteria? I take a probiotic every day and I’m just wondering if it would adversely interfere (because, boy is it strong) or if it would complement the probiotic that I take?
    I think I’ll probably save this for when I feel like I need it and not necessarily take it on a daily basis, but I was just wondering what others thought?

    Also, what do you use the dehydrated solids to season? Mostly soups? Other things too?
    Next time I will add more ginger…

    March 16th, 2014 4:20 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    How do you think this would be against hand foot and mouth for children? Two weeks later and older child still has it. She has celiac and we are currently on gluten for another round of tests. Don’t ask me why…. Because I don’t know :/ I’m sure her immune system is compromised.

    March 15th, 2014 10:35 am Reply
  • Gregory Lake via Facebook

    I like the Master Tonic HoneyGar facebook page.

    March 2nd, 2014 6:40 pm Reply
  • Danny N Gretchen Jones via Facebook

    I made a batch of that and have taken it twice when I thought I might be coming down with something. Whatever I was getting left immediately both times! {:0) Works for me!

    March 2nd, 2014 4:59 pm Reply
  • Ann Toloso-Salanky via Facebook

    I made some a few weeks ago. I tried it and it will knock your socks off! Very powerful. Glad I haven’t had to try it for the flu so far. It’s waiting just in case.

    March 2nd, 2014 3:29 pm Reply
  • Sara Russ via Facebook

    It looks like a DELICIOUS marinade!!

    March 2nd, 2014 2:48 pm Reply
  • Dawn McKinney via Facebook

    Just bottled mine up last night, and am dehydrating the pulp.. I also made a batch with turmeric!

    March 2nd, 2014 2:39 pm Reply
  • Clay Sturm via Facebook

    just made its way through our house for the past two weeks. all three kids and one pregnant momma with it. healthier diets definitely helped us all avoid pneumonia and other issues that come up with it- lauren

    March 2nd, 2014 2:29 pm Reply
  • Debbie Eisa via Facebook

    I have made this twice so far and did it with the Moons. I add some fresh Turmeric root along with all the other goodies. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system on the first taste and I’d love to share the video of my Husband when he tried it, but he’d be unhappy with me…shucks, cause it was funny! Before I forget, I wore gloves and had a fan going because for me, I needed good ventilation.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:44 pm Reply
  • Crystal Kornmeyer via Facebook

    I made some last month with this recipe from this post. My dad is actually coming to pick some up for my mom today because she’s sick right now.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:37 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Walton via Facebook

    I never get the flu shot but the last time my husband and kids got the flu, I had been taking this everyday for a week, then took 3 times a day while they were sick…got a little bit of an upset stomach but that was it…I usually get exactly what they get x 10.

    March 2nd, 2014 1:06 pm Reply
  • From Fatty to Fabulous and Everything in Between via Facebook

    I didn’t get the flu shot this year….dumb me. Then I got the flu. My fiancé had just got hurt at work and was immobile and I have a 4 1/2 year old who is very active. I found a recipe very similar to this and took it 4 times a day. Cut the white foods and sugars. I was OVER the flu in 4 days. Gods good grace and common sense prevailed.

    March 2nd, 2014 12:52 pm Reply
  • Leslie Lancaster

    The first site I searched when my son told me he had a headache and didn’t feel well was your site. I’m going to make this tonic this week. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge

    February 23rd, 2014 5:19 pm Reply
  • mark welch

    This tonic works great ,After fermenting for 2 weeks I take the strained solids and put them in the dehydrator. when dried the spices seem to have lost it’s heat so I add crushed red peppers ,a little salt then ground up in a coffee grinder and it makes the best spice for almost anything.

    February 6th, 2014 3:45 pm Reply
  • Brian

    Thank you so much for your loving sharing of your experience. I’m really jazzed – I made the master tonic last night and it’s ‘marinating now. I used a pound each of onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, horse-radish and ginger and figured some things out for myself for when I make it next time. Horse-radish CAN be grated in the food-processor; I used it to slice it. The ginger is better sliced, too fibrous to grate with the food processor. I have an odd question. I only tamped the mix down/ stirred to release air bubbles with plastic handled rubber-spatula and stuffed the components in the jar in layers with majority of the garlic as the last layer and Jalapeno before that. I have a bit of of a blue almost turquoise tinged dis-coloring ‘blooming’ from the garlic. Has anyone else seen this? I’m not concerned that it’s something I should be worried for – I know there are a few dishes which are prepared just for this slightly shocking effect. Thank you again, I’m delighted to count you as such a wonderful resource!

    January 29th, 2014 5:15 pm Reply
    • Rebecca

      I noticed the same purple blue on garlic. It lessens after a while. I know the same thing happens when pickling or fermenting garlic. Its normal.

      October 24th, 2014 6:36 pm Reply
  • Rebecca Campbell

    can anyone clarify how much to take? A tablespoon a day? Two tablespoons if really sick? anyone know that? thanks in advance.

    January 20th, 2014 10:36 pm Reply
    • Rebecca Campbell

      nevermind, I saw there is dosage listed. I also didn’t see the part about grating the horseradish and ginger. I chopped it up into about quarter inch pieces. Maybe I will have to let it infuse for longer. that’s what I get for trying to do things with kids swarming around me.

      January 21st, 2014 4:35 pm Reply
  • bella

    How much vinegar do you use if you go with 1/2 cup as one part? It seems to me I should use more then a quart jar or less spice mix per jar. Thank you!

    January 18th, 2014 9:17 pm Reply
    • Rebecca

      The more vinegar, the more tonic you are left with. Here’s what i did. I chopped everything up separately and put each ingredient into its own bowl. Then i took a cup of each thing and put it into a new bowl together. I had five cups total, one cup from each of the five solid ingredients, in otherwords. I mixed up the five different ingredients evenly. Then, from the bowl with everything evenly mixed, i took out of that and used it to fill my mason jar about one third of the way up. Then i filled the rest of the jar with vinegar. It made several jars. After fermenting, you strain all the solids out and it takes up less jars in the end. Hope that made sense.

      October 24th, 2014 6:43 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth

    When you first mix it, do you leave it on the counter or keep it in the fridge? I understand after it is mixed it should be kept in the fridge, but how about while it is brewing? And you are sure it keeps indefinitely? I am going to make a batch, I am a senior and this is my first year without a flu shot.

    January 16th, 2014 12:52 pm Reply
    • Rebecca

      Counter always, for every step. No fridge necessary. Or put it away in a pantry. Doesnt matter.

      October 24th, 2014 6:37 pm Reply
      • Michelle

        I am aware that this is an old post, and I am sorry. Just concerned. I have worked at a local County fair’share preserving and canning department for 16 years and this goes against all of my safety buttons. I am sure it is perfectly safe, but what keeps the “bad” guys out of the tonic? There is a reason people no longer leave pickles on their counters as a regular practice (except the fermenting pickles). I want to try this, but I am scared. It goes against 25 years of training and experience. Any advice?

        May 26th, 2016 12:29 am Reply
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  • Claire

    Great tip. I am going to try this! Do you refrigerate during the brewing stage or leave at room temperature? Thanks.

    January 13th, 2014 7:04 pm Reply
  • Molly

    Looking for organic horseradish root. Any suggestions? I have some growing in my garden but can’t harvest it till fall. We just harvested and made horseradish.

    January 12th, 2014 3:18 pm Reply
  • Bekah

    Is it possible to add raw honey to this when you take it?

    January 12th, 2014 12:30 am Reply
    • Nikki


      I have seen recipes stating to add raw honey after straining. The benefits of raw honey are numerous and if it makes it palatable then go for it! I prefer the Fire Cider (master tonic) straight up but my family likes it mixed with honey in some warm water.

      January 12th, 2014 9:14 pm Reply
    • Ashley H

      I chase it with raw honey when I shoot it- I think it takes the burn out of my throat more quickly that way.

      January 12th, 2014 10:30 pm Reply
  • Sherry Thrasher

    I was wondering if there is a speedy way to create this. I just found the recipe as a result of searching for quick flu warding or preventing information because we just found out our family was within the past two days exposed to people who have now tested positive for the flu.

    We have no symptoms, but I was looking for prevention help as well as a tonic I could make in case we do begin to show symptoms.

    December 23rd, 2013 12:37 pm Reply
    • Erin

      I was wondering the same thing. I have the flu now, I started making it today but wanted to know if I will get any benefits sipping some in the next 24hrs.

      January 4th, 2014 12:45 pm Reply
      • mark

        I bet it wouldn’t hurt to take it after making it.

        January 7th, 2014 3:48 pm Reply
        • Reiven

          it’s a recipe for instant Fire Cider (master tonic)

          October 24th, 2014 12:55 pm Reply
      • Rebecca Campbell

        It takes a long time to infuse the vinegar with the ingredients. If you want relief right away, try eating the foods directly. Maybe make a paste and dilute it a bit with something like water, and then eat some of it. You will still get the benefits of those ingredients. The tonic makes it shelf stable and readily available at all times.

        October 24th, 2014 6:47 pm Reply
  • Tiffany

    First, I think I will try this, but, add one part fresh turmeric, and one part fresh papaya seeds.

    Second, I read the comments about Lyme Disease. This year, one of my children was diagnosed with LD. It is very serious. Thankfully, our pediatrician is ok with, and even prefers, treating naturally. My daughter was in an acute phase and risked organ failure to treat with antibiotics. Plus, the standard abx to treat with is doxycycline. Very scary drug and can permanently discolor teeth. It really is a bacterial infection. It is a bacteria without a cell wall, which is what makes it so serious and able to attack so much and basically create autoimmune disorders. We changed our diet, used a few homeopathic treatments, herbs, essential oils, and hot Epsom salt baths(as hot as can be tolerated and adding clay helps too). The real turning point was when we used a product called Limu. It was rather miraculous. I believe it is a seaweed kelp combo. It kills and flushes the bacteria responsible for LD. My kid has been back to her healthy self since July/August when we used it. One of her teachers noticed that her color is back to normal and she looks like herself again. I would not use Master Tonic as the be all end all/only treatment for LD, but anything to boost your immune system helps. My pediatrician and I both looked up allopathic and naturopathic ways of treating LD. It appears as though the natural way has way less side effects, actually gets rid of it, and you feel better faster. We were also told that ionic foot baths work great. I didn’t do this because of the expense. I would if I could, though. I’m really blessed to have been around knowledgeable people when this all happened. I hope this isn’t unsolicited or unwanted info. I just can’t keep what I know to myself. So many people suffer for years, unnecessarily, from LD. It was hardest for me because it was my child. I hope this helps someone.

    November 18th, 2013 4:52 pm Reply
    • Cally Doyle

      Thank you for this information. I cannot wait to tell my friend who was recently diagnosed with LD. (after her family thought she was nuts because she tested negative but she kept persisting). Thank you for this valuable info. Im glad that your daughter is better.

      November 19th, 2015 10:35 am Reply
  • Kallu

    Linda, Horseradish is available in wholdfoods.

    November 4th, 2013 9:27 am Reply
  • Elizabeth

    Hello! My Braggs ACV comes in a plastic bottle. Can I use this bottle to make and store Master Tonic or MUST it be glass? Thank you.

    September 17th, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
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  • Beth

    Thank you for this! Can you please tell me if the mixture can be reused once the initial liquid is drained off? ….or do I need to start an all new batch from the beginning for a second go-round?


    January 2nd, 2013 11:54 am Reply
    • Mark

      I would use new ingredients for every batch. I dehydrate the leftovers and use it a delicious spice

      January 7th, 2014 3:39 pm Reply
  • Adrienne

    Can I reuse the pulp for another batch or do I need to start over for a fresh batch? This is amazing stuff. My 15 year old says it gives him incredible energy and he wants to take it everyday.

    October 7th, 2012 8:52 pm Reply
  • Christina

    Hi Sarah,

    I was wondering if you could prepare this like a traditionally fermented sauerkraut (with salt, not vinegar (since I’m allergic to raw apples, including Bragg’s ACV)? Would it still have the same healing benefits?


    April 18th, 2012 11:58 am Reply
  • Linda

    I can’t find fresh horseradish…is it the time of year (November in Wisconsin)? Any ideas?

    November 8th, 2011 11:44 am Reply
  • Rl

    Hi Sarah, I ended up here after reading your Fever blog today, which I agree with. So, from your blog to the Westin Price page, now after a GoodSearch for the recipe, back to an old blog of yours! Does this recipe count as “and what I call the master tonic, a fermented brew of garlic and onion, for infections. ” ? (from the WP page)

    Does the vinegar make it fermented?


    March 1st, 2011 4:13 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi RI, WOW!!! This is a really old post .. one of my very first ones! :)

      Yes, I believe what you are referring to from the WP page is exactly this recipe. The vinegar preserves the tonic and ferments it as well. It gets quite bubbly!

      March 1st, 2011 4:20 pm Reply
  • viagra online

    I'm glad to find such a fantastic natural recipe to cure the flue. Ingredients as onion, garlic and lime are my favorites because of their fabulous taste

    July 15th, 2010 5:42 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    No, pureeing doesn't work. You end up with mush and not a liquid tonic.

    May 17th, 2010 2:44 am Reply
  • Anonymous

    Instead of all that grating and chopping, can I just puree all the stuff in a food processor?

    May 17th, 2010 2:34 am Reply
    • James

      Food processors work grate for this (pun intened :)), just make sure you are using it to CHOP the ingredients and not puree them. I use one to make this and it does not turn to mush as long as you are using it to chop. After straining the tonic I run the residual mash through my Omega juicer to extract ALL the possible tonic…it works like a charm.

      June 27th, 2013 12:20 pm Reply
      • Sue

        I’ve been using the Master Tonic with great success for a couple of years. Never thought of running the strained ingredients through my Omega juicer. GREAT IDEA!!! Thanks!

        September 19th, 2013 11:25 pm Reply
      • Nikki

        Brilliant idea to put the pulp through the juicer James. Thanks!

        January 12th, 2014 9:10 pm Reply
  • true blessings

    hi,so is this to be taken daily or only when sick?~Thanks~

    March 30th, 2010 2:55 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I have a two year old daughter who was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She started displaying "symptoms" this past summer when she was 20 months old and had a bad cold virus that left her with a rash on her body for two weeks. I really feel that her body is still fighting this virus as she seems to catch a cold every couple of weeks. I am interested in trying a natural kid friendly antiviral, but not sure how she'd do with peppers. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

    January 27th, 2010 8:04 pm Reply
    • Gayle

      I make this but I add local honey until it is acceptable to the family’s palate. I goes away quickly so make plenty.

      January 16th, 2014 7:23 am Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Regarding Lyme disease, in my lay opinion, I don't believe the Master Tonic is the appropriate approach. It is my belief that Lyme disease as it is treated by conventional medicine is flawed. It is not an infection per se but simply a symptom of auto immune disease which has its roots in severe gut imbalance. Rebalancing the gut with proper diet and getting a therapeutic probiotic would be the best approach. I would suggest the book "Gut and Psychology Syndrome" by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD for guidance on how to resolve auto immune issues by rebalancing the gut.

    November 18th, 2009 11:06 pm Reply
    • Virginia Toorman

      Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease, meaning that it is carried from one host to another by an athropod that feeds on blood. This includes ticks and mosquitoes. It is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi.

      This is a micro-organism in the blood that is a parasite. Parasites need specific intervention to be irradiated.
      Make sure lyme disease is treated properly, or it will never go away. It will just get worse.

      January 12th, 2014 5:41 pm Reply
  • Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

    Yes, take it until you feel better and that your body has the infection under control.

    November 18th, 2009 11:02 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    How do you think this will do against a possible Lyme disease infection?

    November 18th, 2009 10:47 pm Reply
  • Jill Nienhiser

    How many days do you take it? Until you feel better?

    November 18th, 2009 6:11 pm Reply
  • Anonymous

    I've used this for years and my kids have slowly acclimated to the taste. I started out diluting it with filtered water, then upping the amounts. Now my oldest takes it straight.

    October 29th, 2009 11:24 pm Reply
  • melissa

    we use it all the time too. works great. had a friend kick mono n 3 days. another got rid of a serieous sinus infection when the doctors wanted to do surgery!

    September 18th, 2009 9:14 pm Reply
  • Joe Neri

    It sounds like a good concoction and I bet it works but you have to admit it's not going to do much for anyone's social life.

    August 29th, 2009 6:48 pm Reply
  • LLOG4752

    I have used this preparation for years. My family swears by it. They have a hard time with the taste and the heat of it though and they are grown children so I'm not sure how a young child would react. Definitely best not to go with a higher heat that Jalapeno or Cayenne peppers. The original recipe by Richard Schulze, University of Natural Healing, is based on a tonic by John Christopher and it said to use the hottest peppers available. LOL! I used a Habenero & Jalepeno mixture once and it was really nasty! I buy the jars of organic AC vinegar to use and then pour the finished "brew" back into them and label them accordingly. I usually make a 2 1/2 gallon pickle jar full and I think that comes out to about 7 vinegar jars when finished.

    May 6th, 2009 10:00 pm Reply

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