A Newbie’s Account of Surviving Her First Master Tonic Making Experience

A Newbie’s Account of Surviving Her First Master Tonic Making Experience

As you may have noticed in some of my recent posts, I’ve been experimenting a bit with some tinctures and the like.  There is the vanilla extract, the echinacea tincture and, if you follow me on facebook or instagram, you might also know about the apple cinnamon infused whiskey I recently made.  I’m on a roll and am super excited about all of the things that can be made at home that are fun as well as serve a purpose!  So, of course it makes sense then that I would try another new-to-me concoction just because I can!

So, last night, for the first time ever, I made a batch of Master Tonic (AKA Fire Cider).  Before a few weeks ago, I’d never even heard of such a thing, and yet, there I was chopping and crying and layering it all into a few mason jars, all by the light of the New Moon (because everything I’ve read says to do it that way) and every light in the kitchen.

Now, let me back up just a bit.

This whole thing started when I read a post on facebook about a Master Tonic straining party a couple of weeks ago on Heal Thyself’s page.  Intrigued, I clicked through to Pat’s website, found her original post (Master Tonic 101), learned about the healing properties of said tonic and made a note to make this crazy concoction with the next New Moon (this is a great piece on why one should make a tincture or tonic with the New Moon).  A couple of weeks passed, I mostly forgot about the intention I set to try this new experiment, and then suddenly, the New moon was upon us and I was reminded (again on facebook) that yesterday was the day to pull it all together and stick it on a shelf to steep for two weeks before straining and beginning to use it.

So, after a long day at work, we stopped at the health food store on the way home and proceeded to purchase $45 worth of

  • organic garlic
  • onions
  • ginger root
  • horseradish
  • jalapenos
  • apple cider vinegar

Apart from the vinegar, I purchased about a pound of each of the other items and completely misjudged how much tonic those five pounds would make!

Before I could start the process of chopping and blending and layering it all up,  though, there was dinner to make and eat and a Little One to help with.  Given all this, the actual process started at about 9pm, which is just about my bedtime (I kid you not, I’m old).

Finally, though, it was time, and there was no putting it off because the New moon is only “new” for one night before she gets old like me 😉  So, I changed my shirt, put my hair up, put some gloves on and started with the horseradish.  I chopped the large roots into smaller chunks and threw them into the blender.  Almost immediately I began to smell a warm wasabi-like aroma…my eyes started burning, swelling and dripping tears and my nose turned into something like a faucet.  Think about the biggest bite of wasabi you’ve taken and you might understand the level of explosiveness I was feeling in my entire face.  Holy cow was that painful!

Once I’d wiped my tears and blown my nose several times, I was able to move on to the ginger, jalapenos, garlic and onions (in that order),  I followed the same process I did with the horseradish (the chopping and the blending), dumping each item into mason jars once it was all chopped up in the blender.

Master Tonic AKA Fire Cider

Not a single other ingredient gave me the grief the horseradish did and now I wonder, was it better to do it first and get it over with or would it have been better the wait ’til the end and then walk out of the room? Who knows!

What I do know (and what any other newbie to this process might care to know) though is that this tonic is going to be an absolute beast and will pose a special challenge in trying to figure out how to swallow a bit on a regular basis! I keep reading about “chasers” when taking it. Oy.  I also know now that five pounds of freshness equals out to a full gallon of tonic, so I don’t think we’ll need to make any more for a long time! Oh!  Also, when using the blender, pouring in a bit of apple cider vinegar will help it all mix up a bit!

Now all we do is wait.  I placed the tonic on the pantry shelf next to our vanilla extract, whiskey and echinacea tincture and will do my best to remember to shake it a couple of times each day!



Here’s my report on how it all turned out, and here are some ways to use up all that pulp once it’s done it’s duty in the steeping process.

Written by Melissa @ Ever Growing Farm


  1. Christy

    I have made 3 batches of fire cider and as long as I add some unpasteurized local honey I can even get my kids to take a spoonful, which is saying a lot! I love the flavour (then again I love horseradish, wasabi and hot peppers). I use it as a base for vinegrette dressings and everyone who tries it likes it. A nice little bite in the flavour.

    Christy recently posted…Week One: 30 x 30 Nature ChallengeMy Profile

  2. Pingback: Master Tonic / Fire Cider Pulp Uses - Ever Growing Farm | Ever Growing Farm

  3. Pingback: Master Tonic Consumption - Straining, Crying & Drinking, Oh My!!! - Ever Growing Farm | Ever Growing Farm

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