Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nightshade-free Master Tonic (AIP)

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that when you purchase an item your price stays the same, but I make a small commission to help run my blog. See more information here.*

Well, hello again! My break this time around has been much too long. I initially took an unscheduled, but much needed digital vacation at the end of the year. My original intentions were to be back and running things smoothly by the first of the year. I got the flu, and then a severe upper respiratory infection/ear infection, which turned into laryngitis and lastly, bronchitis. So we can definitely say that I've had a rough last two weeks. And I'm VERY BEHIND on my blog.

The good news is that I'm almost back to normal, and getting this sick while AIP was a very educational experience for me. Being this sick taught me the importance of rest, medicine, and bone broth.

First of all, when it comes to rest, sitting in front of the tv isn't going to cut it. You have to turn the tv off and GET INTO BED! I learned that while it's hard for me to sit still and do nothing (especially when I'm feeling unwell), once I crawled into bed with no distractions, I actually slept more and rested better.

And when it comes to medicine? As much as I like to keep things all-natural and homeopathic, there comes a point when you have to realize what's working and what isn't. Being a martyr doesn't get you better. Sometimes you have to give in and go to the doctor and take what they prescribe. Yes, know all your options, but then know when to weigh out the risks and benefit and make an educated choice that will get you better. In this case, I had to put aside my short-term AIP-goals in order to get better sooner so that I could get back to focusing on my long-term healing goals: I took a steroid shot and oral steroids. This isn't ideal, but I had to get back on my feet.

The last thing I have to stress is just how important bone broth is in our healing journey. I have never doubted the healing benefits of bone broth. I thought I did a pretty good job incorporating bone broth into my diet. But I haven't made it a number one priority. And I didn't realize how much more I could be doing for myself until I got sick and had soup for most of my meals. And I was pretty impressed by the results. My normally flat and flimsy nails are nice and arched and strong. There is at least a 50% improvement of my nail plate and nail bed in the last two weeks. I wish I had before and after pictures to show you, but trust me when I say: "ADD MORE BONE BROTH TO YOUR DIET! DAILY IF POSSIBLE!" And don't forget to add in some gelatin and collagen supplements on the days you can't!

Now like I said before, I prefer to go to the doctor as a last resort. Usually, I have more success with all natural remedies like elderberry syrup or fermented garlic. My most recent discovery that usually helps is the Master Tonic. The Master Tonic is also known as Fire Cider and Witches Brew.

The Master Tonic is a traditional, natural remedy for any number of illnesses, infections, or plagues; while it's usually recommended for the common cold, it's been touted as healing even more than that. How? It’s naturally antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic. Some people have claimed that it can cure the most chronic conditions and persistent diseases. The most important part of making an effective Master Tonic is to use FRESH ingredients that stimulate blood circulation throughout the body.

Traditionally, the Master Tonic also uses a hot pepper like jalapeƱos or habaneros. Since this isn't an option for those of us following AIP, I chose to substitute lemongrass instead since it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Here are common health-benefits to the ingredients in the tonic.
  • Ginger is naturally antimicrobial and boosts your immune system. It has a warming effect on the body, which causes us to sweat and expel toxins. It is also known to calm the gastrointestinal tract and enhance blood flow. It can also help with chills, colds, and fever. 
  • Horseradish is naturally antibacterial and anti-parasitic, and it stimulates your immune system. It has warming properties and acts as an expectorant, so it’s a potent herb for your sinuses and lungs. It helps open up your sinus passages and increases circulation there, which is where the common cold and influenza commonly begins.
  • Onions are a good source of the antioxidant Quercetin, which is anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antiviral. Quercetin is also thought to have anti-cancer properties.
  • Garlic is antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. It can also enhance blood flow.
  • Turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory and is also warming. Turmeric is also known to have pain-relieving properties.
  • Lemongrass is mostly used to alleviate common respiratory conditions like laryngitis and sore throats. It is also known to be an anti-pyretic, which reduces high fevers (hence why it's called fevergrass in some cultures). Lemongrass has strong pain-relieving properties and can help to alleviate muscle spasms (All pain types like abdominal pain, headaches, joint pains, digestive tract spasms). Because of this pain-relieving property, lemongrass may even help to repair damaged connective tissue such as cartilage, ligaments and tendons (this makes me believe it's a good substitute for most of us with AI issues!)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: There are tons and tons and tons of uses for ACV. But the focus here is that it helps your body eliminate toxins. The fermentation process that creates ACV might also strengthen the immune system, promote digestion, and relieve sore throats, colds, and sinus infections.
Nightshade-free Master Tonic
3 oz chopped ginger
3 oz chopped horseradish
3 oz chopped onions
3 oz chopped garlic
3 oz chopped turmeric
3 oz chopped lemongrass
1 qt apple cider vinegar

*It is strongly recommended by traditional fermenters that the Master Tonic be made on the New Moon and strained on the Full Moon. This is said to encourage the most positive energy and healing properties of the Master Tonic. If you're superstitious or just believe in good vibes, I suggest following the schedule. If not, then the Master Tonic needs to sit for two weeks.*

Combine all the solids in a quart mason jar. This should fill the jar approximately half-way. Fill the remainder of the jar with apple cider vinegar (you won't use all of it). Secure the lid and place the jar in a dark cabinet out of direct light but where it is easily accessible. Shake the jar vigorously at least once a day for two weeks. After two weeks, strain the liquid into an airtight bottle. You can then use the solids in recipes or dehydrate them and then grind them into a seasoning powder (just wear gloves and goggles while grinding as the mixture is potent!).

To use the Master Tonic:
  • Gargle and swallow. Don’t dilute with water.
  • Take ½-1 oz, three times daily at the first signs of a cold
  • If you’re already sick, then take it six times daily
  • You can also use it as flavoring in soups for an extra kick!