The best thing we can do for our health is to strengthen our immune system. Our bodies, when well cared for, can be much better at fighting off illnesses and budding diseases than pharmaceuticals. We often hand off responsibility for our health to our physicians, but being able to avoid those visits to the doctor in the first place is much better medicine. This Flu Tonic Recipe uses kombcha vinegar as it’s foundation. Being an avid kombucha maker (see recipe here), I often end up with more than I can drink, so every once in awhile I make some kombucha vinegar. You can also make this Flu Tonic/Fire Cider Recipe with Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) if you prefer.
In case you haven’t accidentally discovered how to make kombucha vinegar on your own, I’ll share a quick parallel. A teacher of mine once gave some simplified instructions on how to do a certain meditation which he referred to as the “non-doing meditation.” The point of the meditation is to simply pay attention to your experience, whatever it may be, and not monkey with it in any way. His guidance couldn’t have been more simple: “Put your butt on a cushion. End of instruction.” Making kombucha vinegar is a little like that. If you want to quote me, it’s: “Make kombucha. Wait until it turns to vinegar. End of instruction.” It may take 2-3 months for your kombucha to turn to vinegar, but once it makes your mouth pucker, you’ve got vinegar! If you want to measure the pH of your kombucha vinegar, you can you use this pH tester which I have or these disposable test strips work well. After sitting a long time, my kombucha vinegar registered a pH of 2.31 which was my new record for the lowest reading of anything I’ve ever made. I have an article on pH and kombucha if interested in reading further.
Once you have this vinegar, what to do with it? Aside from using it for dressings and sauces, this particular recipe is a great way to use up a bunch of vinegar and make something healthy for your immune system in the process. Add a little honey to make it more palatable for children, or turn it into a fun contest of who can make the most twisted face after they drink it!
This recipe is for a small amount, so you can test if you like it, but there’s no reason you couldn’t make much larger batches.
Commonly claimed benefits of the various ingredients in this tonic are:
- kombucha vinegar – probiotic, blood sugar balance
- ginger – reduce nausea and ease digestion, fights colds and chills
- horseradish – antioxidant, sinus clearing, cough, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
- onion – colds, bronchitis, antihistamine, high in vitamin C
- daikon radish – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, respiratory aid, liver support
- garlic – immunity, cardiovascular health, antibacterial
- jalapeno pepper – sinusitis, combat infection, breaks up mucous
- cayenne pepper – circulation, mucous breakup and fever relief
- turmeric – anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, liver support
If you are the kind of person who is a little more interested in the science of fermentation, the pH of this Kombucha Vinegar and thus this flu tonic is approximately 3.15. If you want to measure your pH in your ferments accurately, I use and recommend this accurate and easy to use pH tester.
Fire Cider Recipe
Some folks call this type of fermented beverage a Fire Tonic or Fire Cider and rightly so as It’s very warming on a cool winter’s day. So no matter the name you may call it, I encourage you to add whatever herb/root ingredient that your body is asking for. Ginseng and Echinacea would be nice additions to this recipe. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
And finally… “Drink a shot every morning once the chill of fall/winter sets in. End of Instruction.”