Inspiration from Meghan

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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 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 CNE 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:

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!

Magic 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 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!

Turmeric Cold and Flu Tonic


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 4 servings

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

  • ¼ cup fresh ginger root or 1 Tbsp dried
  • ¼ cup fresh turmeric root or 1 Tbsp dried
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • Water, honey and ghee/coconut oil as needed.

Make It Like So
  1. Place all ingredients through your juicer. If using dry spices, juice the citrus and then add to a blender with ½ 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.


57 Responses to “Cold and Flu Turmeric Tonic”

  1. Darcy said…
    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 said…
      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.
  2. Lulu said…
    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.
  3. Julie said…
    Doesn’t tumeric require black pepper to be fully effective?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      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!
  4. Joanna said…
    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 said…
      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.
  5. Nila said…
    Great recipe! Easy to make in the Vitamix and tastes great.
  6. Kristina said…
    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 said…
      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.
  7. Denise said…
    I’m on day 2 of the tonic! Thank you,..on the road to recovery. Your overall cold & flu plan has coffee enemas I just read your updated post on them. Assuming this is removed? Do you find a more useful elimination support?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Glad to hear that the tonic is helping! Coffee enemas used to be part of my regime, but as you read in that updated post I haven't done one for years. There are plenty of other ways to support elimination - there are some great tips in this video:
  8. peggy said…
    I started to get bronchitis so I mixed turmeric powder, black pepper, cayenne, raw honey together...take a teaspoon when you start exact amounts just for the taste you like...would have added ginger powder but didn't have any.
  9. Susan Bernstein said… October 22, 2019
    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!
    • 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.
  10. Sheryl-ann Thomas-scott said… November 19, 2019
    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
    • 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!

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