Inspiration from Meghan

Cold and Flu Turmeric Tonic


Putting together my cookbook was a bit of a dance. It was this delicate balance as I strived to offer recipes using ingredients you already know and love, introduce a few new ones, but overall, keep the recipes familiar. I wanted it to be a book that invited you to simply upgrade the healthy/awesome factor in the recipes you already adore.

And then I pushed the limits a little. I added in a fermented nut cheese, a kombucha margarita and a real experiment: Jamu Juice.

The Jamu Juice recipe was based on a drink my husband and I had enjoyed when we were in Bali. The main ingredient, turmeric, is not part of the typical North American diet, and even many nutrition-loving folks aren’t quite sure the best way to consume it outside of a typical curry.

To my surprise and delight, the Jamu Juice recipe was a hit (and it’s actually available on Amazon! If you go to the page with my book and click “look inside” it’s one of the recipes available for preview). I think this recipe showed up more than any on instagram.

Jamu Juice UnDiet

I probably should have known better. Two of the most visited recipes on this website this year are:

  1. Turmeric Tea
  2. Turmeric Elixir

And so, in honour of this clearly beloved and well needed ingredient, and also because I required this drink more than anything, I came up with yet another new and delicious cold and flu turmeric tonic. This one is for cold and flu season.

Turmeric Juice

For the last two years, at this time of year, usually when the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program is wrapping up, I get hit with a terrible cold. This year had the potential to be no exception and so I called turmeric to the rescue as a preventative. At the first hint of a sore throat I knew it was now or never.

My cold and flu immune power plan included the following:

  • This tonic
  • Infrared saunas
  • Coffee enemas
  • Vitamin D
  • Probiotics
  • Rest

I did this for three days in a row – three days better spent resting and preventing than being a coughy-snotty-mess. And I got better. It’s no wonder, really. When we work to heal, instead of fight against, we recover.

Aside from supporting immune health, check out the magic induced by curcumin, one of the active ingredients in turmeric!

benefits Of Turmeric

  • Curcumin offsets the neurotoxic effects of fluoride. (Source)
  • “Curcumin has been shown in the last two decades to be a potent immunomodulatory agent that can modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells.” (Source)
  • Curcumin is more effective than NSAIDS in anti-inflammatory properties. (Source)
  • Research has documented that the physical structure of curcumin is able to bind to cells and reduce the entry of a virus into a cell. (Source)

This is truly the ultimate cold and flu tonic. Combining vitamin C-rich citrus with immune modulating herbs and a little fat to usher in the fat-soluble nutrients makes this a powerful option.

Ingredients are simple enough: turmeric root, ginger, orange and lemon.

Tonic ingredients

I put them through the juicer to make a concentrate of sorts.

Turmeric tonic recipe

Turmeric Juice recipe

You could absolutely shoot this back cold and flu turmeric tonic as a 1 oz shot, if you’re tough like me.Turmeric tea

But I love taking 1 oz of the concentrate, diluting it in a cup of hot water, and then stirring in raw honey and a little ghee or coconut oil.

Drink every two hours alongside a healthy dose of rest and your immune system will be giving you a warm hug of thanks, in the form of health through the holidays!

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Turmeric cold and flu recipe

Turmeric Cold and Flu Tonic

  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


A cold and flu fighting tonic using fresh immune modulating turmeric and ginger and vitamin C rich citrus.


  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger root or 1 Tbsp dried
  • 1/4 cup fresh turmeric root or 1 Tbsp dried
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • Water, honey and ghee/coconut oil as needed.


  1. Place all ingredients through your juicer. If using dry spices, juice the citrus and then add to a blender with 1/2 cup water and the dried spices and blend until smooth.

To prepare

  1. Mix 1oz of concentrated mix with 1 cup of hot water. Stir in raw honey, ghee or coconut oil.
  2. Sip.
  3. Repeat every 2 hours.
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Beverage

59 responses to “Cold and Flu Turmeric Tonic”

  1. Lisette says:

    Love my turmeric tea! But that last point about impairing tumor suppressor function is actually a bad thing… from the cited source: “These results are consistent with the observations that curcumin exhibits a modest carcinogenic risk (19) and antagonizes apoptosis [cell death] induced by p53-dependent chemotherapeutic agents used for breast cancer (22).” However, there is a larger and more current body of evidence that argues it’s anti-cancer benefits through a variety of mechanisms (just search Pubmed for “curcumin cancer prevention”).

  2. Olga says:

    Hi Meghan. I have your book and have prepared your Jamu juice a couple of times. It’s delicious! How long would that concentrate keep in the fridge? Many thanks.

  3. Yvonne says:

    Just to let you know that the Jamu Juice recipe isn’t on preview on your book in Amazon.
    Hope you are having a great break.

  4. Jen says:

    I love this but you may want to check into the benefits of adding a little black pepper with the turmeric.

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I know. I should write that in. I’m very allergic to black pepper and so always forget about that connection.

  5. Mai Mai says:

    This is EXACTLY what I need today to help kick this sore throat to the curb. Thanks M!
    ~Bottoms up :)

  6. Gail Herson says:

    Hi Meghan,

    I am curious why you chose to not post my comment?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      If you are able to provide research to support the claim, I’d be happy to post it.

    • Elizabeth M. Bioty says:

      Wonderful taste. I like the shot better. Adding hot water and honey makes this yummy and soothing. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  7. Patty says:

    Thanks for the great recipe! I recently heard about turmeric being contaminated with lead to the point that a child in one family had elevated lead levels – yikes! Would choosing organic turmeric sidestep this problem, or do you know of any reliable spice companies that test for this in their spices?

  8. Barb says:

    I just finished making a batch of Turmeric cold and flu tonic. I must say it is delicious! Thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  9. Tanya says:

    I just made this and added a Tbsp of Surthrival colostrum powder to it. Wow! Orange creamsicle!

  10. Deb says:

    This is so delicious! I always make some when I feel like I could be getting a cold or if I’ve been around people with colds. It kicks that big away and tastes so good!

  11. amy says:

    Would you recommend taking a turmeric supplement?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I’m sorry but I am unable to make any supplement recommendation through my blog. Curcumin supplements can be helpful for those suffering from inflammation but there are also other recommendations needed for inflammatory conditions and it’s always best to consult with a natural health care practitioner you’re working with.

  12. nosa says:

    do I have to add fat?

    • Tania says:

      Yes to get the most from turmeric as it is fat soluble. Without fat, the active component in turmeric, curcumin, has a difficult time making it past the stomach, into the small intestine, and into the blood where it can offer the greatest benefits.

      • Anji says:

        Hi Meghan,
        Thanks for a fab sounding tonic. How much fat do you suggest adding please?

        • Meghan Telpner says:

          It depends on how much you like the taste of the fat you’re using! Anywhere from a 1/2 tsp to a tbsp is usually a good approximation.

  13. Debra M says:

    excellent tonic. worked well knocking my cold out

  14. Izzy says:

    How long does it have to be taken? One day, two days, a week?

  15. Aileen says:

    It sounds really promising! Do you have any ideas on what to do if you don’t have a juicer?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Aileen, if you don’t have a juicer, you can blend the ingredients in a blender and then strain the mixture using a fine cheese cloth. Enjoy!

  16. Devbabbar says:

    It’s a very informative post.As turmeric is highly rich in Curcumin and volatile oils which can treat the people suffering from cold and cough as Haldi has all antiviral and anti-bacterial activities to help your body to fight the infection. Thanks for sharing it. Keep going

  17. Jim Crawford says:

    Why don’t you use orange and lemon Peel?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Jim, thanks for your question! You can add the peels, however, this will make it much more bitter and your juicer may not be able to get too much content out of the peel.

      • Reggie Raman says:

        I usually slice the lemon & orange very thin with the peel and put it into a glass jar without putting it through the juicer. The peels have amazing health properties of its own. I then slice the turmeric and ginger very thin and add it to the jar. I then just squeeze out the juice of the lemon & orange with a spoon and place it in the fridge to rest.
        Take a teaspoon of the mixture with the peels, add some raw honey in a glass cup and add boiling water. Sip & enjoy while hot!
        If you can, consume the peels too.

  18. Annette says:

    curious why you juice this versus blend. any reason why I can’t use my Vitamix ? (I don’t have a juicer.

  19. Isaac says:

    Hi there everyone I am bodybuilder and I love Turmric it’s one of the best things out there, it made my bones extremely strong, and whenever I get sick I add lemon and 2 table spoons of Turmric and honey in water then put in microwave, and then I to this for 3 days and my cold is gone. People ask do u take steroids and I laugh and I tell them no I take Turmric it has helped me with recovery and heal my bones faster than anything in life I love Turmric!!!!!

  20. Gloria says:

    Best thing to take for what ails me

  21. Darcy says:

    How are you measuring the 1/4 cup of the roots? Are you suppose to juice the tumeric and ginger first to get that measurement?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Darcy! I measure before juicing, with the turmeric and ginger roughly chopped into chunks. It’s a flexible recipe, but if you want to be exact you can use the dried option.

  22. Lulu says:

    Hi Meghan, this recipe couldn’t have come at a better time for me and I improvised with whatever I had available.

    I whirled together 1 peeled lemon, water, and a 1/2″ chunk of ginger in my NutriBullet, strained it and then whirled some of that mixture together with hot water, coconut oil, dried turmeric, and honey. (I was tempted too add cinnamon bark or matcha but didn’t.) It’s lovely :-)

    I’ll follow up on how it affects my impending cold.

  23. Julie says:

    Doesn’t tumeric require black pepper to be fully effective?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Black pepper helps with turmeric absorption, but you can still receive the benefits of turmeric without it. I’m allergic to black pepper so I never combine it with turmeric, though I have turmeric all the time!

  24. Joanna says:

    Is this turmeric tonic basically the same idea as Moonshine Mama’s Turmeric Elixir? Would you suggest including some of the lemon zest too?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I haven’t had that product before, so I’m not sure if they are the same! You could add the lemon zest in here if you’d like – you could also leave a bit of the lemon peel on when you juice it.

  25. Nila says:

    Great recipe! Easy to make in the Vitamix and tastes great.

  26. Kristina says:

    Just made this! I must say et made me feel better instantly. My only question is how and for how long do you store it? :)

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I’m happy to hear this helped! You can store it in the fridge. This recipe is for four servings, so you should get through it fairly quickly if you are sipping it every two hours. However, it should last for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

  27. Denise says:

    I’m on day 2 of the tonic! Thank you,..on the road to recovery. Your overall cold & flu plan has coffee enemas listed…it I just read your updated post on them. Assuming this is removed? Do you find a more useful elimination support?

  28. peggy says:

    I started to get bronchitis so I mixed turmeric powder, black pepper, cayenne, raw honey together…take a teaspoon when you start coughing…no exact amounts just for the taste you like…would have added ginger powder but didn’t have any.

  29. Susan Bernstein says:

    Do you use the juicer or Vitamix for this? When I used the juicer, I noticed how much discard there was (I made a big batch). I didn’t want to waste this. So I added water to the discard so that it can steep like a switchel. Do you have any other recommendations for the discard? Thanks!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I use a juicer for this recipe, Susan. It sounds like you made good use of the pulp by steeping it! Some people also try using juice pulp in baked goods like crackers and muffins. You could try this in a high-speed blender too if you wanted to keep the pulp.

  30. Sheryl-ann Thomas-scott says:

    Can this be given to a 13 month old? He has been battling a cold since September and the medications including Antibiotics just not working. I need to figure out how to boost his immune system

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      I’m sorry that your little one is sick. I can’t give personal recommendations in this forum, so I recommend working with a health care practitioner who can take a full health history of your son. I hope he gets better soon!

  31. Elizabeth Erichsen says:

    I am going to use the dried ingredient do I have to do it warm can I just mix it with green tea cold

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You can have this warm or cold, though I find having it warm is more soothing if you have a cold or flu.

  32. Teresa Cowan says:

    Absolutely delicious ! I found it to be amazing.

  33. M says:

    I don’t have a juicer so can I just blend the ingredients together ?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      You’ll get quite a bit of pulp if you blend everything together. I’d squeeze the juice out of the citrus fruits manually (just cut in half and squeeze the juice out over a strainer) and then choose the dried ginger and dried turmeric option.

  34. Ruth says:

    Can you tell me how long this will last and should it be stored in the fridge

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Ruth! As this is fresh pressed juice, it won’t last more than 3 days in the fridge – and is probably most effective when consumed within a day or two. This recipe only makes 4 servings, which makes it easier to consume it within a short time frame. Definitely store this in the fridge in a well-sealed container.

  35. Linda M Wiley says:

    Looks good. I make a hot cider that is very effective, but is much more complicated to make. Just one small question, from everything I’ve read about turmeric, I thought adding black pepper was required to make the curcumin more absorbable by the body?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      There are studies about black pepper and curcumin absorption, but high doses of curcumin supplements aren’t the same as whole-food turmeric sources. You don’t need black pepper to get the benefits (I’m allergic to black pepper, so I never use it along with turmeric – and I consume fresh and dried turmeric a lot. This article goes into this in more detail:

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