The recipe for this herbal elixir has been around for many generations, I first came across recipes similar to this one described here while I was studying herbal medicine and have since developed my own favourite formula. Made with a combination of culinary and medicinal herbs in a base of apple cider vinegar, this Herbal Immune Elixir will last several months in your fridge once prepared.
Medicinal herbs at home
Not for the faint-hearted! This combination of herbs has quite a kick, and used in a base of apple cider vinegar this at-home herbal formula is great to have on hand in winter. Garlic is known for its natural antimicrobial and antibiotic qualities. Ginger is soothing for digestion and warming for the circulatory system. Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory and immune enhancing, also aiding digestion. Cayenne pepper is beneficial for sore throats and boosting circulation. These ingredients, combined with the expectorant qualities of onion and the alkalising qualities of apple cider vinegar make a great all-round immune-boosting elixir.
How to use your Herbal Immune Elixir
My favourite way of using this herbal elixir is simply dressing for foods; I will pour a teaspoon or more over a salad to give it an extra kick of flavour or pour over steamed vegetables.
You can mix your Herbal Immune Elixir with warm apple juice for a delicious nighttime hot toddy. During the winter months, blend this herbal elixir with a bit of water and gargle for a sore throat. Those who are brave enough may wish to dose this herbal elixir straight off the spoon.
Tips and Tricks
Turmeric is not always available fresh, so I try to take advantage of the availability of this herbal ingredient when it is in abundance, I will also freeze whole turmeric and ginger to use when these ingredients are not available.
I usually prepare a couple of bottles of this Herbal Immune Elixir at a time so we always have some on hand at any time of the year. It is wise to wear gloves when preparing the herbs for this formula, especially when preparing the turmeric.
Once you have made your first batch of this Herbal Immune Elixir, you may wonder how you have managed without it.
Herbal Immune Elixir Recipe
Simple, delicious and easy to prepare at home, this Herbal Immune Elixir can be used year round to add to foods, in winter to boost the immune system or as a tonic for overall health and vitality.
Optional - add after maceration
Start with peeling, chopping and grating the garlic, onion, ginger and turmeric.
Add all of your chopped and grated ingredients to a wide mouth jar.
Add the apple cider vinegar into the jar with the grated herbs and cayenne pepper. If you're making either of the variations with additional herbs - this is where you will add them.
Next, you'll want to secure the lid on your jar and give it a good shake up. Leave the herbs to macerate for two weeks. Keep the jar in your kitchen and shake it every day to distribute the herbs through the mixture.
After two weeks, your Herbal Immune Elixir will be ready to bottle. Pour the mixture through a sieve or a cloth, making sure to collect all of the liquid - that's your elixir. I like to use a large bowl or jug to collect the liquid in this step.
Next, you'll want to grab your funnel to help pour your Herbal Immune Elixir into your vinegar bottle.
If you are adding honey to your elixir (which I strongly recommend), I will find it easier to add it after the mixture is in your bottle - that way, you can shake it up vigorously to distribute it through the elixir.
Add a label with a date to your bottle and pop your Herbal Immune Elixir into the fridge.
It will keep for several months if refrigerated.
Keep the leftovers of grated onions, garlic, ginger and turmeric in a jar in the fridge to use as a quick flavour punch for stir-fries, kimchi or other homemade dishes.