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Recipe: Immune-boosting oxymel tonic

Written by Tracy Gaibisso | Wednesday, 24 May 2023

immunity recipe winter

We all know that feeling ­– the tickle in your throat, the heaviness in your head, the sense that a cold or flu is about to take hold. It's not a pleasant feeling, and we'll do almost anything to ward off the impending illness.

We spoke to herbalist and naturopathy lecturer Tracy Gaibisso about some of her immune-boosting tips for the cold and flu season, and she also shared with us one of her go-to recipes for when you feel like you're about to get sick – hello oxymel tonic!

This garlic and vinegar-based herbal tonic is easy to make at home and is said to have immune-boosting properties that can help support your body's natural defences.

Oxymel tonic

This oxymel tonic will keep for a year plus.


  • 6-12 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup rosemary (fresh is best but can use dried)
  • ½ cup sage (fresh is best but can use dried)
  • ¼ cup of thyme (fresh is best but can use dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Apple cider vinegar


  1. Combine the garlic and herbs in a glass jar, pressing some of the herbs if using fresh
  2. Fill the jar with enough vinegar to cover the herbs, leaving an inch or so above them/ensuring all herbs are fully covered – Cover tightly and let the mixture sit in a warm spot for roughly three weeks (stirring daily)
  3. At the end of three weeks: Strain out the herbs, rebottle the vinegar and add 1/2-1 cup, honey – Stir well and store in a cool dark place.

Take 1-2 tablespoons daily or you can take it more frequently (every 3-4 hours) if you feel yourself coming down with a cold. You can also use this as a marinade or flavouring agent in dressings.

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Tracy Gaibisso

Tracy has been in clinical practice as a herbalist and Naturopath since 2002 with a special interest in pre-conception, fertility, women's hormones and reproductive health. In addition to her naturopathic qualifications, she has completed post-graduate training in wellness and has a Masters in reproductive medicine. She also currently sits on the Clinical Advisory Committee for Endometriosis Australia.

She offers couples the BEYOND FERTILITY ™ program to assist in achieving optimal outcomes for a healthy pregnancy and birth and offers other practitioners mentoring in the program. She also has her own range of herbal teas in this space.

She is a well-respected industry speaker and established workshop facilitator, speaking both nationally and internationally. In addition, she both supervises in the Clinic and lectures at Endeavour College of Natural Health Perth.

In her downtime, she is a self-confessed foodie and animal lover and you will often find her concocting recipes with medicinal herbs into teas, elixirs, oxymels, smoothies, oils and poultices and researching ways of resurrecting ancient healing knowledge into modern practice.

Read more by Tracy Gaibisso