Flu Shots: How to Make a Flu Prevention Tonic

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On Monday I gave you the ingredient list to get your Flu Prevention Tonic together. Catch up on the post and then pop back here to get your tonic together.

Learn how to make this amazing Flu Tonic that will keep you healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Even when we were directly exposed, we didn't get the flu!

I want to remind you that the ingredients in the tonic have powerful smells that can burn your eyes. Think turbo-onion. The hot peppers can sting and burn your skin, so I suggest getting some latex gloves.

Learn how to make this amazing Flu Tonic that will keep you healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Even when we were directly exposed, we didn't get the flu!


1 part White Onion (white ones are usually the hottest)

1 part Garlic

1 part Horseradish Root (I got mine at Whole Foods. Most grocery stores will carry horse radish root, it is usually near the ginger and looks like a branch off of a tree)

1 part Grated Ginger

1 part Hot Peppers (Cayenne, Jalapeno, Habanero ~ I use jalapeno because I grow them)

1 Bottle of Raw, Unbleached, Non-distilled Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother (Braggs, Eden, Spectrum ~ available at most grocery stores and health food markets)


It is recommended that you start your tonic on the New Moon . I’m not sure why this makes a difference, but our family stayed well after I started my tonic on the New Moon. You will strain your tonic on the Full Moon. (approximately 14 days). Mark those calendars. If you let your tonic go longer it could get really strong and burn going down. Remember ~ 14 days!

I used a food processor to chop individual ingredients. A blender will work as well or you can hand chop everything. All of the ingredients will be layered into a half-gallon mason jar. Any large jar with a lid will do for this ~ even those with wire clamps.

Use a kitchen scale if you have one to weigh the ingredients. My ingredients were approximately five to six ounces each. What matters most is that the ingredients are similar amounts. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, then determine a dry measurement amount, such as 1/2 C., and add the ingredients in that amount.

I used a food processor to individually chop my ingredients. See picture #1 and #2 below. I added the onion to the food processor and processed until it was finely chopped. Once it was in small bits, I added the chopped onion to the bottom of the jar.

In pictures #3 and #4 I did the same thing with the garlic, only I added it on top of the onion.

The horseradish requires a couple of extra steps. First, horseradish is very pungent and can burn and sting your eyes so use caution when handling. Use a potato peeler to remove the outer layer. In picture #5 you can see the white flesh beneath the peel. Once peeled, rough chop the horseradish and then put it in the food processor. Process until it is finely chopped (pictures #6 and #7). Add the chopped horseradish on top of the garlic (picture #8).

The ginger also needs to be peeled and rough chopped (picture #9) before adding to the food processor. Once it has been chopped, add it on top of the horseradish (picture #10).

When you handle the peppers I strongly suggest you use latex gloves. The oils in the seeds are very strong and can cause your skin to burn for quite some time. I suggest you chop off the tops of the peppers and then add them to the food processor (pictures #11). Once they are finely chopped add them on top of the ginger (picture #12).

Learn how to make this amazing Flu Tonic that will keep you healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Even when we were directly exposed, we didn't get the flu!
Flu Tonic
Learn how to make this amazing Flu Tonic that will keep you healthy throughout the cold and flu season. Even when we were directly exposed, we didn't get the flu!

The ingredients do not need to be mashed down, just layered. Once they are all in the jar, then fill the jar with apple cider vinegar (picture #13), leaving a little head space at the top. Give the jar a good shake to mix up the ingredients (picture #14).

While your tonic is brewing, you will want to keep the jar covered because light will cause the potency to deteriorate. I suggest wrapping it in a kitchen towel or setting it in a paper bag. Keeping it in a pantry or cabinet would work, too. The most important thing to remember is to keep it out of the light.

The only other thing to do for the next 14 days is shake your tonic at least once a day, but I recommend giving it a little shake every time you walk by.

Now, what happens if your family gets the flu right in the middle of your tonic brewing process? This is what happened to us and we made a classic mistake. I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.

If someone in your family gets the flu during the two-week brewing time, then strain your tonic before taking. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT start skimming tonic off the top without straining. Every time you do this you increase the potency.

This is what happened to Kitty and she got a serious gulp of super hot tonic because the jalapenos kept making the tonic stronger and stronger as she was skimming tonic off the top. Even after chasing it with a ton of milk, it was very painful for a couple of hours. Think of it like taking an ounce of super-hot jalapeño juice!

In two weeks (or the Full Moon) I will return with a post about straining and storing your tonic. If you need to start taking tonic because the flu is at your house, then go ahead and strain the tonic and start taking 1/2 to 1 ounce two or more times daily {this is an adult dosage and we did not try it on children!}. That is what we did and the adults in our family avoided the flu even though we were caring for flu patients.

We find it goes down a lot better when mixed in orange juice!

Update: All of the instructions for finishing the Flu Prevention Tonic are now available HERE.

Before starting your own tonic, please read my disclosure below.

Flu Tonic Disclosure

What to do if the flu is raging in your community. As a preventative I’ve been taking a little bit of homemade Elderberry Syrup which I keep in a jar and take a little bit everyday. It can be made up in less than an hour.

Let me know if you have your own tonic brewing!

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    1. We’ve been drinking so much tonic that Mr. Seasoned Homemaker is starting to acquire a taste for it. I, on the other hand, am still adjusting.

  1. I swear by garlic! Twice now this season I have taken garlic when I get fever and a sore throat, I even got body aches on one occasion. I took two garlic supplements in the evening, two more before bed, and woke up fine. Never got more than a runny nose and sneezing, that’s it! Granted I do take vitamin supplements and an immune booster every day, but still the garlic is what zaps it when it comes on. And so far knock on wood we have been flu free! Flu is really bad here too-hospitals are on code white and even office personnel are being asked to come in to help. But I love the tonic idea-good stuff!

  2. How awesome is this! We may have to try this soon before our runny noses get worse! 🙂 You are a featured favorite this week on Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! Thanks so much for sharing last week; we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to this week!
    Mackenzie 🙂

  3. Great recipe! We’ve been drinking water with lemon juice and cayenne pepper every day so we don’t get sick. My husband and I wok together in our medical office so we have to make sure we don’t get what everyone else has.
    I’ll have to send my sister your recipe since they’re always sick.

  4. Leslie, this is pretty awesome and I am definitely trying this! Thank you so much for sharing and joining us at Best of the Weekend! Pinning to our party board. Hope you are having a fabulous week and look forward to seeing you at the party tomorrow night!

  5. Wow, this tonic sounds really interesting. Unfortunately where I live I can’t find horseradish root. Do you think that it would still work ok even without that? Maybe I’ll just try out one of the other natural mixes in the comments that don’t take horseradish. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂 Lisa

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