Garlic Elixir recipe for strengthening immunity

Garlic garlic for nourishing and stimulating your immune system

“Garlic and vinegar have been prized for thousands of years for their amazing healing powers. Alone or in combination, these foods are powerful medicine.”

So starts the first chapter of Garlic and Vinegar: Nature’s Healing Twins by Julia Charles. One of my favorite remedies is Garlic Elixir, a tangy, pungent, yet slightly sweet combination of garlic, apple cider vinegar and honey; a delicious way to nourish and stimulate your immune system. It’s best to buy garlic and honey from local farms to make this tonic for sore throats, sinus congestion, colds and winter blues.

As you stroll through your local farmer’s market this summer, keep an eye out for garlic and honey to brew up some zesty Garlic Elixir.

Garlic Elixir Recipe

Makes: 1 quart; for smaller batch use same ratio
Prep time: 30 min + 6 weeks brewing time

10 oz garlic
16 oz apple cider vinegar (or another kind of vinegar)
5 oz honey


  1. Break apart several heads of garlic into individual cloves (leaving the skins on is fine) and roughly chop with a knife or minimally chop in a food processor.
  2. Fill a quart jar with chopped garlic, should be approximately two-thirds full.
  3. Mix together 3 parts vinegar to 1 part honey. If your honey is too thick to mix, warm it in a saucepan over low heat until it becomes liquidy thin.
  4. Pour the honey-vinegar mixture over the garlic until the jar is full. Use a plastic lid or cover the mouth of the jar with wax paper before securing the lid (the vinegar tends to rust metal lids).
  5. Tend your brew every couple of days for the first week, then once a week after that. Poke it with a spoon to release air bubbles, then top it off with the vinegar.
  6. After 6 weeks, strain out the garlic and enjoy!

Q: "I made a batch of Garlic Elixir and when I checked it the next day all the liquid and garlic had turned deep blue! What happened and is it still safe to eat?"

A: Garlic contains sulfides that react with copper compounds found in some utensils and water. This reaction will cause your Garlic Elixir to turn blue. It may be hard to avoid, since you probably don’t know which utensils have copper compounds or whether your water supply carries it. However, don’t be alarmed, even though it may look like a science experiment we know people who eat it anyway!

If you are interested in making your own herbal preparations including infusions, tinctures, vinegars, salves and oils, feel free to continue browsing my blog. You also may want to check out my handy one page Wise Woman Medicine Making Chart. My students love to hang it on the fridge as a concise reference to keep straight all the primary methods for making herbal medicines. Keep it close at hand with your garlic and other kitchen medicinals. Green blessings!

Corinna Woodseasoned teacher and mentor along the wise woman path–from herbs to self love

"I was initiated into the Wise Woman Tradition at the tender age of 22, by Susun Weed and a beloved patch of nettles. Today, I support women with inner growth and healing tools to ground you in your own innate wisdom, needs and desires. My teachings on heart and soul healing draw on earth wisdom of our foremothers––the shoulders on which we stand––to navigate the challenges we face as women in the world today."

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