You know you must be a little bit of a mad scientist when you enjoy making concoctions! I had been hearing about my friend Ingrid speak of their success in taking Pepper Juice to keep the whole family free of colds and flu. She told me the ingredients and that she chopped them up and came up with ‘Pepper Juice’!
5 ingredients: garlic, onions, habaneros, ginger and horseradish
Well, I just must not have been listening very closely (what happens when you are going deaf from too many sock-hops as a teen in the 60s) and missed the part about letting the chopped parts set in vodka for 3-5 weeks!
I love tinctures and understand how well they work…I just missed that point, or I certainly would have done it 🙂
It didn’t look much like ‘juice’, but I was not over-analyzing at that point.
So I started over! And made it the right way. Here is how you can be prepared for the cold and flu season, too.
Pepper Juice ingredients:
Equal parts of each ingredient washed and chopped:
Hot peppers (the hotter the better)
Plus, I added organic red and a few yellow beets because I had them on hand and because they are an excellent blood and liver cleanser. I feel it adds extra support to the liver during illness.
1.) You may want to wear gloves when cutting the hot peppers. Beware of rubbing your eyes.
2.) Fill a jar 2/3rds full with the cut up ingredients. We used a quart canning jar with a tight sealing lid to allow for shaking the jar periodically.
3.) Top up the jar with raw apple cider vinegar or 80 proof vodka, covering the pepper juice ingredients completely.
There are Three Main Reasons to use alcohol over ACV when making tinctures. If you’re concerned about the alcohol, you can place the tincture in a cup, pour boiling water into the cup, and the alcohol will evaporate within seconds. OR, you can add your dose (20-30 drops) to a cup of water and let the alcohol evaporate for a few minutes.
As I stated in my Elderberry tincture post, the amount of alcohol in the average dose of tincture is equal to the alcohol in a ripe banana.
4.) Seal and date your jar and let it sit in a dark cabinet at room temperature for at least 3 weeks. The longer it sits, up to 6 weeks, the more nutrients the vodka will pull out. Shake the jar every or every other day.
5.) Lastly, strain out the vegetables and pour the resulting tincture into a tincture bottle. Label it and keep it in a dark cupboard.
How to take it:
Adults~ During cold and flu season, take a dropper full every couple days to give your body the benefits of the ingredients of pepper juice. When there’s a bug ‘going-around’, and you know you will be exposed, increase it to every day or twice a day. Then at the slightest sign of a cold, cough, or sniffle bump it up to 3-4 times a day or more.
Taking Pepper Juice in water is no big deal. Yes, the ingredients are hot, but it is so diluted that it for us is a non-issue. But, you ask,“ What about the children?” I have friends who’s baby even takes it, but in a drastically reduced amount.
Older children~ They can squirt a full dropper (measures out to 1/4th teaspoon) into an inch of water in their cup and swallow it. If they wish they can drink some more water following that. I like to give it following a meal or with a small chunk of cheese. (That’s how we eat a whole garlic clove, too.)
The littler and younger their age, the less they need. Example, a four year-old would only get a 1/3 of a dropper. Likewise, a baby should only get 4-5 drops. It certainly is not not going to hurt them. They will likely take their cues from you, so don’t make it a big deal; I wouldn’t talk about it being ‘Hot’. We just put it into water and drink it down.
My friend Ingrid has been making and using this in her family for several years now. She said for 2 winters they have been spared the week-long bouts of cold and flu of wintertime, but have had a few short ones. All of her young boys take it in water.
Even though it is spring now, we pulled the Pepper Juice out this morning for a sudden overnight case of strep throat, and by evening (after a good nap this afternoon) it already seems to be helping our daughter. I like that these God-given remedies build the body and allow it to heal itself. We are very grateful that we have never had to use antibiotics for two our children and only once for a ‘supposed’ bone infection for another.
So, do you think you might make Pepper Juice for yourself?
(‘freshly made’ Pepper Juice steeping on the counter with my beet kvass)
Benefits of the Pepper Juice ingredients:
- Vitamin C, B6 and selenium, manganese
- improves immune function
- thins blood (to control blood pressure)
- increases anti-oxidants/fights free radicals in blood
Fight these diseases and issues with garlic:
- colds, flu, stomach viruses
- infections, including yeast infections
- can even kill some strains of bacteria (staph) that have become resistant to antibiotic drugs
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- high triglycerides, high cholesterol
- increase unborn babies’ weight gain
- helps prevent lots of kinds of cancers
- removes heavy metals from system
- prevent weight gain
- osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- prevents constipation
- increases blood circulation
- rich in chromium, Vitamin C
Fight these diseases and issues with onions:
- prevents cancers
- fights infections, colds, fevers
- heart health
- may lower blood pressure and triglycerides
- improves gastrointestinal health
- analgesic -an excellent pain killer and stimulates production of endorphins
- studies show it to relieve headaches and sinus inflammation
- increases circulatory blood flow to the extremities and to the stomach
- increases the body’s metabolism and oxygen consumption – this means your body is burning extra calories, which helps weight loss.
- increases production of acidic digestive juices
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces local inflammation when applied topically, helps arthritis pain
A little cayenne powder has been sprinkled inside boots of scientists researching in the Antarctic to help them bear the extreme cold – it really does keep feet warm. An internal dose (1/4 t. cayenne pepper in water) will bring warmth and circulation to feet and hands.
Dr. Ziment, a pulmonary specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, states that hot peppers are beneficial for the common cold, acting as an expectorant: “You’d be better off with hot salsa than menthol cough drops. Menthol cough drops not only dry out your throat, but paralyze the cilia – the tiny hair-like projections all along the airways.”
The Greeks and the Romans prized ginger. In medieval Britain, a pound of ginger was equal to the value to a sheep -only the wealthy could afford these.
Ginger is commonly used to treat various types of stomach problems, including motion sickness, morning sickness, colic, upset stomach, gas, diarrhea, nausea caused by cancer treatment, nausea and vomiting after surgery, as well as loss of appetite.
Other uses include pain relief from arthritis or muscle soreness, menstrual pain, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis. Ginger is also sometimes used for chest pain, low back pain, and stomach pain.
Another study was done by Phytotherapy Research Laboratory in Salt Lake City showing ginger more effective at relieving motion sickness than Dramamine.
- aids in weight reduction
- expectorant – promotes expulsion of phlegm and mucous
- anti-cancer agent
- increases circulation systemically
- stimulates blood flow locally- relieves joint and muscle pain for rheumatic and arthritic conditions
- anti-inflammatory – similar to aspirin but without the side effect
- enables drainage of sinus pressure and helps clear infection
- counter irritant -interferes with the transmission of pain messages from peripheral nerves to the brain
- increases perspiration (good for detoxing)
- diuretic -increases production and elimination of urine (helps treat edema and kidney stones)
- anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal -helps the body resist or destroy pathogenic micro-organisms
- increases appetite and stimulates digestion
- supports the liver as it detoxifies
Other tinctures I have written on:
- It’s Elderberry Time ~ Making Cough Syrup and Tincture
- Double-E Immune Booster/Making a Tincture
- Making Elderberry Tincture
- Make Vanilla Extract
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” ~3 John 1:2
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