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!



  1. Meg from My Wholefood Romance says

    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! :)

    • says

      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 ;-)

  2. Shari Wakefield says

    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!

  3. Mother Down Under says

    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!

  4. Reannon Hope says

    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

  5. says

    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…

    • says

      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 :)

  6. Lisa Mckenzie says

    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

  7. says

    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!

  8. this brown wren says

    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

  9. Caitlin Jeffrey says

    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!

  10. Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo says

    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?

  11. says

    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.

  12. says

    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


Let's chat!