Master Tonic


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Master Tonic, also known as Fire Cider, is a powerful immune booster that has been around in some form or another for ages.  I recently saw a tiny bottle for sale in Brooklyn, for like, $25 or something ridiculous.  This is a recipe you can make at home from a few simple, yet potent ingredients.  It stores for ages, so make enough to get you through cold and flu season!

Onions, horseradish, ginger, garlic and hot peppers are combined with apple cider vinegar and herbs, then fermented for two weeks to create a tonic that could basically cure the plague.  All of these ingredients have known antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties and also stimulate circulation as well as detoxify the body.

A food processor or blender makes short work of this recipe, just blend the ingredients in batches.  Goggles are optional and you might want to open a window while you’re making it…or at least maybe don’t wear mascara the day you make it, especially if you’re sensitive to chopping onions.  The mason jars pictured here are a half gallon, but you can scale this to any size using equal parts of all the chopped ingredients and just enough vinegar to cover.

One part onions, diced 
One part horseradish, grated
One part ginger, minced
One part garlic, minced
One part hot peppers such as serrano or thai, minced
One bunch fresh oregano
Bragg's apple cider vinegar

Layer the first five ingredients in a mason jar. Slide sprigs of the oregano down the sides of the jar.  Pour the apple cider vinegar into the jar all the way up to the top.

Seal and store in a cool place away from direct sunlight for two weeks, turning over daily. After two weeks, strain the solids from the liquid. You may want to reserve the solids and use in salad dressings or marinades.

Drink 1-2 ounces twice daily for an immune boost, three to four times daily during times of imbalance. Cheers!


Turmeric, Ginger + Honey Tea

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I swear I was a medicine woman in a past life. Dr. Quinn, anyone? But seriously, unless I am on my death bed, and probably even then, I won’t touch over the counter meds.  The list of people who’ve experienced (and survived) one of my remedies is long, and I’m constantly conjuring up natural remedies to prevent and treat any ailment–ask anyone who knows me. Usually it’s some combination of garlic, ginger, lemon or vinegar that is almost intolerably spicy or strong, but it always does the trick. Knock on wood, I can’t remember the last time I had a cold or even a sniffle that lasted more than a day.

 This recipe does, of course, contain some of those elements. But it is also sweet, almost craveable, warming and balanced.  I made it one chilly morning this week when I woke up with possibly the worst stiff neck I’ve ever experienced, and sure enough, I was cured in less than a day. My boyfriend was nursing a cold at the time, so I threw in some extra ginger and a squeeze of lemon for his sake, and the result was one for the books.  Really good stuff, even if you’re not sick!

This tea is perfect for cold and flu season, for aches and pains and for cold winter mornings. It is sweet, spicy and invigorating. Fresh turmeric has a wealth of health benefits, and powder can absolutely be substituted if you cannot find fresh. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic and improves circulation.

Ginger aids in digestion and adds to the antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral value of this tea. Local honey acts to soothe the throat and when taken regularly can help with seasonal allergies.

Black pepper helps to increase the turmeric’s bioavailability and adds a nice layer of spice. Store a jar of this in the fridge and use throughout the cold winter months, or anytime really!

Makes one 16 ounce jar of syrup

4 Tablespoons fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or very finely minced
4 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated or very finely minced
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 cup raw local honey
hot water
lemon

Combine the grated turmeric and ginger with the honey. Add the black pepper and stir until uniform. Alternatively, the paste can be made in the blender, just make sure you clean the blender right away to avoid stains!

Store the paste in a mason jar in the fridge. As needed, mix 1-2 Tablespoons with 1 cup of hot water and a squeeze of lemon.

Note: Turmeric will stain anything it comes in contact with, including your fingernails, so be forewarned…or just enjoy the free bright yellow mani!