The warm weather is here. 

With the arrival of the most anticipated of our four seasons, temperatures fluctuate. Summer is here– well, almost. As the seasons change, the weather is often dicey choosing between warm and sunny or rainy and bluster. It’s not surprising so that many of us end up saddled with a cold. 

We’ve all been there. You train hard through the winter for your spring goal race logging kilometres in sub-zero temperatures. So to end up sniffling with a scratchy throat when the weather is actually nice is a harsh reality. The otherwise welcome temperature changes can play games with your immune system and energy levels. I’ve experienced this ill-timed sickness enough that I truly fear it, and have researched my way into thwarting it altogether. My best solution: this health tonic drink. 

RELATED: Eating in-season with fresh, homemade rhubarb muffins

I created this concoction that is made up of many key sickness-fighting ingredients. It’s all natural and the benefits of each ingredient can be found in the description below. 

Health Tonic


  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Ginger

Ginger contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which help to boost up the immune system, and acts as an antihistamine and decongestant that helps to ease colds symptoms. It contains chemicals which specifically stop the common cold.

  • ½ tsp. Turmeric

Turmeric is rich in curcumin and volatile oils that have a protective as well as therapeutic action in those who are suffering from cough and cold.

  • 2 tsp. Elderberry Extract

Elderberry reduces swelling in the mucous membranes to help relieve congestion, and could shorten the duration of symptoms by about three days.

  • 2 tsp. Oil of Oregano

This potent oil contains Thymol, a natural antiseptic that can enhance the immune system. Also on the list of perks: Beta-caryophyllin, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits; Naringin, which enhances the antioxidants in oregano oil to ward off illness and Rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that also is a natural antihistamine.

  • ¼ cup Fresh Orange Juice

Though evidence is mostly inconclusive, vitamin C can’t hurt and candidly, this improves the flavour of the tonic.

  • Juice of One Lemon

Lemon decreases the strength of the cold and flu virus in the body and reduces phlegm.

  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne contains vitamin A, relieves congestion, and helps to warm your body from the inside out.

  • 2 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar – with the mother!

Quite possibly the most important ingredient, apple cider vinegar is purported to treat numerous health conditions. It eases digestion, prevents flu, reduces inflammation, kills fungus, regulates pH balance, and washes toxins from the body.

  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is considered a super food, and one of the most potent antioxidants in the world.

  • 1 tbsp. Honey

Honey contains antioxidant, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties that fight against the virus, bacteria, and fungus to treat the cold and its underlying symptoms. It also helps soothe a sore throat and sweetens the tonic’s flavour.


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