An Herbaceous, 5-Ingredient DIY Tonic to Soothe & Revive

February  6, 2018

For the past week, my roommate has been coughing and wheezing and falling asleep at random times of the day. She can’t smell and shuffles around with a dazed look in her eyes. Basically, I’m living with a zombie, and you can bet I’m doing everything in my power to avoid her cold.

While my medicine cabinet is filled with long-expired syrups and pills, I can also turn to my pantry for a fresher DIY boost. Tanita de Ruijt, owner of popular London tonic company Jamu Kitchen, shares a simple, 20-minute recipe for homemade relief in her newest book, Tonic.

Throat tickles, begone! Photo by Ren Fuller

This tonic recipe builds off of classic throat soothers, honey and lemon, while also adding spices and herbs to open up the airways. To make your own, simply infuse olive oil with lemon slices, herbs (like sage, rosemary, or thyme), and ginger in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and after five minutes, remove and cool the mixture, then thoroughly mix in with honey.

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The tonic will keep on the counter for a month-and-a-half, and in the fridge for up to three months. Which is great because while I haven’t caught my roommate’s cold (yet), I’ll be ready with a jar the moment my throat starts to tickle.

What do you do when you feel a cold coming on? Tea? Soup? Share your favorites in the comments below!

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Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Elaine D. February 11, 2018
Mine is to pull some frozen broth out and thaw. Saute garlic, jalapenos and ginger in a little olive oil, then add a sprinkle of turmeric, black pepper and maybe saffron. Add the stock just to heat. I sipped through a gallon of this in the two weeks my husband fought the flu and never caught it.
Sarah J. February 6, 2018
How much of this are you supposed to take at a time?