Veggie Mama cold and flu tonic


Sob. It’s that time again where I have felt like I was coming down with something. And it ain’t cool.

I find I get a bit wobbly with the change of seasons, and the coming of autumn here has been heralded by four days of rain. Four days of a tender throat and a general feeling of malaise which leads me to berate myself for not eating properly and looking after my health. Again. So I create my concoction and it makes me feel better, if even in my own head. Placebo, FTW!

cold-and-flu-concoctionWell placebo or no, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence (and even some research-based evidence) that each of the components of my tonic have medicinal or antibacterial properties. And while it looks like I’m getting ready to make a curry, I promise you this just tastes like lemon and ginger with a little honey. It’s nice. It’s good. It’ll help!

I originally started many years ago with just honey and lemon. Then eventually I added ginger. Then apple cider vinegar when I found out how useful it is. But the day I added cayenne, bells rang and angels sang and I couldn’t believe I had resisted for so long. It wasn’t the taste, I couldn’t taste anything (same as when I added the turmeric), but the mild heat from the spice counteracted the heat from my throat (and didn’t burn me to death like the time I actually did eat a curry with a sore throat – bad move), and it was actually soothing! Not to mention the little endorphin rush from the chilli. I got hooked. I drank like, fourteen a day. And I’m feeling a little better today so I’m entirely going to claim it was this tonic without any actual peer-reviewed double-blind studies with statistically significant results. That’s what people do on the internet with health information, isn’t it?

Ok, so you add the juice of half a lemon to a cup with four slices of fresh ginger, 1/8 teaspoon turmeric and a sprinkle (what you’re comfortable with) of cayenne. Add boiling water and apple-cider vinegar to steep several minutes. Sweeten with raw honey (the medicinal properties probably aren’t as good with honey that isn’t raw).

Hope it makes you feel better too!


Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

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  • Meg from My Wholefood Romance

    Fantastic!! You could even add Manuka honey for an extra antimicrobial punch! And have you tried adding garlic? I love that!! Natures antibiotic. You need to have your ‘full on’ pants on though. Hope you’re feeling better soon! :)

    • Veggie Mama

      Ha I nearly bought Manuka too! I usually get homemade from a fellow nearby, but he was all out :( I haven’t tried adding garlic as I’m too scared – I know I should and I know I’d probably like it. I was so close this weekend! I shall launder my ‘full on’ pants in readiness ;-)

  • Shari Wakefield

    I am a big fan of lemon, ginger and honey to help you get over a cold. Once whilst I was at uni I made an apple and ginger juice to kick a cold – too bad I juiced about 300 grams of ginger into the small cup of fresh apple juice. I popped a straw in and drank it quickly, only to have a throat on fire about 2 minutes later … not even 2 litres of water would sooth it. So my top tip is don’t over do the ginger!

    • Veggie Mama

      Oh boy, the ginger can really knock you out huh! I love it spicy so I put in a ton, but probably not quite that much! Poor you, what a shock!

  • Mother Down Under

    I hope that you are feeling better!

    I love lemon and ginger and honey….if I am feeling under the weather in the summer months I make a smoothie with those ingredients along with whatever fruit I have around.

    And if that doesn’t work than a shot of whiskey usually does the trick!

    • Veggie Mama

      I’m tempted to whisky up this concoction!

  • Reannon Hope

    I told Pip the other day about Tim’s remedy for feeling not so hot – Vegemite in hot water! I think it’s gross but he swears by it! We do the honey, lemon & hot water drink but had never thought to add anything else. Will have to remember for next time.

    Feel better soon lovely xx

    • Veggie Mama

      Vommmmm! I have heard of that too actually, it’s in some old recipe books. And beef tea! Man the vintage ladies loved beef tea.

  • Seana Smith

    Oh that sounds good. I try to start the day just with ginger tea and swear it makes me feel healthy ALL the time, in body if not in mind anyway… and then I forget and then get sick and start again. Have never added spices, but now that you’ve planted the notion…

    • Veggie Mama

      Oh yes, you’ve got to to the spices! I love ginger tea, but I drank so much of it when I had morning sickness with both pregnancies I sort of can’t do it as much any more! The lemon helps :)

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Thanyou for this recipe,I woke up this morning with a sore throat too,I usually get sick when change of seasons happen too IDK why,but I will give this a go,hope you feel all better very soon petal xx

    • Veggie Mama

      Today was a good day! I hope your lurgy doesn’t last long x

  • MyBrownPaperPackages

    I’ve had a horrible cold this week and have been sipping on lemon, ginger and honey concoctions from my kitchen but never thought to add anything spicy to it – an interesting thought for next time. But I am sincerely hoping that someone comes up with a cure for colds one day!

    • Veggie Mama

      Oh amen to that! It’s the worst sitting there and knowing you’ve just got to give it time. yuck.

  • this brown wren

    Fantastic! The recipe..not you getting a cold. We do the honey, lemon and apple cider vinegar but I’m going to whack in these other fellows to scare germies away. Thanks so much for sharing

    • Veggie Mama

      The cayenne… I can’t believe it. I’ve wasted so many years!

  • Caitlin Jeffrey

    Feel better! This is a great recipe, thanks for sharing! I love natural remedies. I’ve been finding a little boost of Vitamin B is helping with energy levels when fighting off the bugs and trying to keep on top of everything. Rest up and eat up!

    • Veggie Mama

      Oh vitamin b is great for that! I took it to help with my morning sickness… it was like a miracle!

  • Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo

    I am the biggest pain in the arse when I have a sore throat. That or a paper cut send my wailing to 11.

    So now I have something for a sore throat when I get one. Ta-ness. Today I got a paper cut. Got any cures for that?

    • Veggie Mama

      Get a maid. Prevention is better than cure! Or some fancy gloves.

  • SarahMac

    Sore throats are just ghastly. I will try this next time I feel one lurking. I usually gargle like a crazy with salt, it helps a little too. get well soon.

    • Veggie Mama

      Oh I wince my way through that too! I loathe it! I know it’s good for me, but this is so much nicer haha

  • Guest

    We’ve been a bit ‘bleh’ here too with the weather, I think I should try this tomorrow. By the way, we’ve now got a facebook group! Would love to have you, and share if you could share around that would be great. The more the merrier!

    • bettina_rae22

      Hmm, not sure what went wrong there?? Previous post was from me. Apparently Disqus thinks I am a ‘guest’.

      • Veggie Mama

        Ha sometimes it won’t even let me sign in as me and I have to pretend I’m a guest. Stupid disqus. and thanks for letting me join the group!

  • Christie Connelly

    Weird! I’ve been reading a few different things about sore throat remedies in the past few weeks because I had one recently and wanted a natural solution. Read about tumeric and was curious and I went out and bought apple cider vinegar (same brand you have) too. Will definitely be giving your version a go if it strikes again (but hopefully not!). Feel better soon lovely xx

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  • Melinda

    I’ve been stuck with a cold for the past two weeks. I’m going to make a bucket load of this stuff!

    • Veggie Mama

      Don’t skimp on the ginger!

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