A family member recently emailed me a recipe for a tonic she used with success last cold and flu season: Hair Raising Cider from Rosemary Gladstar’s book, Vibrant Health.
I read the recipe, and, not being one to shy away from a good home remedy (read my posts about Allergy Relief or Sore Throat remedies), I thought, “I’ll have to try something like that!” Of course, that was weeks ago. This morning, Hubs and I woke up with the cold that Little Bear must have caught from my mother, who works with pre-schoolers. (Those germs just spread and spread and spread, don’t they?) So, today was the day to make the cider, since it needs three weeks to steep. I don’t want to be caught without something the next time a cold runs through this house!
(Want to know how it turned out? See my reaction to tasting this stuff for the first time HERE.)
Here’s what I did:
I used a 2-Quart mixing bowl to combine my concoction:
Combine the vinegar, horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric and pinch or two of cayenne.
Add the spices. I prefer organic spices (there is so much of difference in quality and flavor) from Simply Organic and Frontier. You can find them at natural foods stores locally or online at Amazon.
Once I mixed the ingredients together, I poured most of it into a 1-quart Mason jar and the rest into a glass baby bottle, making sure the majority of the ingredients went to the larger batch.
Since I’m already dealing with a cold, I thought maybe I’d give the mixture a go, even though it isn’t full-strength. In all honesty, my body must have needed it, because I thought it tasted delicious! (It helps that I’m a huge horseradish fan.) I poured 1/4 c. into a teacup, covered with hot water, and added a teaspoon of raw honey. The horseradish clears out the nasal passages and the warmth of the liquid helped relieve my scratchy throat. The mixture is quite vinegary, but I have to admit that I love vinegar, too.
After drinking my cup-full, I felt better immediately. A few hours later, my symptoms were coming back, so I repeated the “tea.” Again, I started to feel better almost instantaneously. I have faith that this tonic will help us avoid over-the-counter medications should another bug show its funky face ’round here! Bring it, Cold Season!
Homemade Cold Remedy
- 1 Quart vinegar
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 head garlic peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly grated horseradish
- 2 T powdered turmeric
- cayenne pepper
- 1 C local honey or more to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric and pinch or two of cayenne.
- Add the spices and mix thoroughly.
- Cover the mixture and place in a warm area for 3-4 weeks. (I prefer to bottle it in a mason jar.)
- After 3-4 weeks, strain the mixture, add the honey, and rebottle.
- Take 1-2 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold, and continue every 2 hours until symptoms are lessened.
The best way to ward off cold and flu is to eat a healthy diet & keep a healthy home.
Save My Arse Disclaimer: Healthful Mama is no medical professional, so always consult your naturopath or physician before trying anything new.
Mare Pulido says
Hi, found you on MBC. Am sure glad I stopped by! Your blog is awesome, and just hilarious. “Hung like a horseradish,” bwahahahaha. That just killed me. It made my day. Actually, this sounds like a wonderful home remedy. Garlic is a great alterative herb, and Cayenne and Horseradish are fantastic stimulant herbs…how did the whole thing taste, though? Hair-raising? I’ll bet. I was going to go make this, but my child is still a baby and I am hesitant to use honey with her. Any modifications you might suggest that I could use instead of honey? I’m just worried about the botulism.
Mare, I’m no doctor, but I wouldn’t recommend giving this to babies. The honey acts to 1)sweeten the mixture and 2)provide antihistamines from local allergens, so a substitute may not work very well.
Ann P says
Do your kids like tomato juice? Sneak it in there. That’s how I like it. 🙂 Ann P in Wisconsin.
You mean sneak the cold remedy into tomato juice? Sounds good to me!
Wow, I am a little scared just reading the ingredients, but I might just make some for this winter. They have Simply Organic spices at Target, by the way.
Good to know, thanks!
How long will it last before going bad?
I don’t have an exact answer to that question, though since the concoction is mainly comprised of vinegar and the ingredients “pickled,” I would guess that it will last at least a year if kept tightly sealed and well refrigerated. However, use your judgement! If the mixture appears to be turning old, don’t use it.
The Crunchy Wife says
This is awesome! Totally going to have to try this 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
This looks fascinating! Did you use white vinegar and would it be recommended to use apple cider vinegar instead?
I used white vinegar but I would think apple cider vinegar, particularly a good quality one like Bragg’s, might be even more beneficial. Good question!
I just hit the 2 week mark on steeping. My family is in desperate need of something extra to help knock this sinus crud out of our system. Do you think it’s ok to just take out enough for us to add to some tea? Or do I need to wait another week or two?
Danika @ Your Organic Life says
In mine I used horseradish, white onion, garlic, ginger, jalepeno & serano peppers (next time I’ll use cayenne), rosemary, sage & powdered turmeric then topped it off with Raw ACV and let it sit for a minimum of 2 weeks shaking daily.
That sounds amazingly effective!
I’m horribly allergic to onions, do you think this would be as effective without them? Maybe sub in some ginger?
You could give it a try! I’d bet it would help in some way.
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