2 Daily Tonics To Fight Inflammation, Indigestion, and the Common Cold

Tonics have long been a staple of a healthy diet. When you’re ready to give your wellness regimen a natural boost, here are two delicious tonics to try.

Fire Cider 

Don’t let this folksy tonic’s sudden trendiness scare you off. Ditto for its lengthy steeping time and pungent ingredient list. Its core components each have a kick, but they also have multifaceted health properties.

Fire cider’s apple cider vinegar base aids in digestion, for example, as does the inclusion of ginger. Onion and garlic give it antibacterial and antimicrobial “oomph.” Horseradish zaps congestion and tempers headaches, and cayenne pepper boosts blood flow throughout your body.

If all of that seems rather spicy, it’s because it is, and that’s where fire cider’s secret weapon comes in: honey. Add honey to balance out the drink’s spiciness while you reap the benefits of its sweet inflammation-fighting powers.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup grated horseradish
  • ½ cup grated ginger (peel it if skins aren’t your jam)
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Apple cider vinegar, preferably organic and unfiltered
  • 1/4 raw honey

Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a quart-sized glass container, mix together everything but the cider and honey.
  2. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar. All of the ingredients should be submerged.
  3. Cover the jar with a plastic lid. If the lid is metal, stick a piece of parchment paper in between the glass and the lid to prevent contact with the vinegar.
  4. Shake it up.
  5. Store the jar in your pantry or a similarly dark, cool place for at least one month and up to six weeks. Shake it up daily.
  6. Strain out the solids using a wire mesh strainer or cheesecloth, pouring the liquid into another jar. Dispose of the solids
  7. Add honey to the cider and stir. Taste the tonic and add more honey as necessary.
  8. Store your fresh fire cider in the refrigerator.

Drink up to two tablespoons daily to give your immune and digestive systems a boost. Fending off a cold? Fire cider can do wonders for those symptoms, too.

Solid Gold Flu-Fighter 

Looking for a simpler tonic? This bold citrus potion, while not quite as strong as fire cider, packs a wellness wallop that can kick your immune system into high gear.

Here’s what you need:

  • 10 lemons
  • 1 huge piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (think 6 ounces or so)
  • 3-inch piece of fresh turmeric root, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 4 cups distilled or filtered water

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cut the lemons in half and juice them. Add juice to a large pot, along with 6 lemon rinds.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and place it over medium heat.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Strain out the lemon rinds and other large solids. Allow remaining liquid to cool completely.
  5. Strain the mixture again, this time depositing the liquid into 10-ounce glass jars for storing and drinking. Store them in the fridge.

Drink by the glass, warmed up or straight out of the fridge, to give your immune system a lift whenever it needs it.

Home remedies have existed for centuries, or at least as long as there have been mothers and grandmothers armed with a garden and compassion. The next time you feel fatigued or suspect a cold or digestive trouble is on its way, don’t run straight for the pharmacy. Try your cupboard instead.

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