Do You Need An Herbal Flu Shot? Here’s How To Get One!

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

Aches, pains, fever, headache, weakness, cough, runny nose… none of it sounds good, and it definitely doesn’t feel good, yet these are your typical flu symptoms.

We’re still in the first half of flu season here in the US, and unfortunately we’re no where close to it’s end.

The CDC states that the flu season lasts from October to May, but it’s peak season is January and February each year. Thankfully, we’re not at peak season yet, and we have time to get prepared. You can take a look at this map to see which states are showing different levels of reported flu cases to see what it’s like in your area.

Now I don’t know about you, but with a husband that has his own business to run and has to be there to support his family, three small children and one more on the way, and myself having a household to run among my many other responsibilities… I definitely don’t want the flu to come visiting my house this year.

So today I want to talk about how we more naturally minded folks, that choose to skip the “flu vaccine,” are planning on preparing for the flu this year? This not only includes some basic information, but I’m even going to share a potent herbal remedy that I’ve started making each year when flu season is about to hit hard in our area to help us get our herbal flu shots ready to go.

#1 – Nutrition

I kind of feel like this doesn’t even need to be mentioned here since you probably already know how important nutrition is in keeping our bodies functioning at a high level allowing it to fight off bacteria and viruses that come our way.

For my family, we opt for a whole foods diet that is rich in homemade bone broth as well as healthy fats.

#2 – Immune Boosting Herbs

Another thing we make sure we do is to use immune boosting herbal supplements like herbal multi-vitamins and immune boosting tinctures. We use these two things year round so we almost always have them in our house. I try my best to keep tabs on these two things so that when I’m close to running out I can quickly make some more, but sometimes that’s easier said than done especially when it comes to the herbal multi-vitamin balls. My kids CONSUME them!

#3 – Cleanliness

You can’t skip this part. No matter how much you eat healthy, take supplements, and boost the immune system, if you aren’t practicing good hygiene habits, you can still get sick. Your skin is your first line of defense. Good hygiene is important!

First of all, wash your hands! This is number 1, and don’t forget to teach your kids how to wash their hands correctly too. Also, be sure to keep your home clean using homemade cleaners that have great disinfecting essential oils in them like this one. Lastly, if you or one of your children are sick, teach them how to cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw it away, and immediately wash their hands. This will cut down on the chances that the sickness is spread to someone else. And of course, if they have a fever… stay home!

So there you have it. 3 simple ways you can do your part to stay healthy and help your body keep from getting that nasty flu bug.

Now let’s move on to my new favorite little flu remedy. I suppose I need to mention here that this isn’t actually a flu shot. It’s not going to vaccinate you or your kids. It’s just a fun way to word this powerhouse herbal combination. Okay?

How To Make An Herbal Flu Shot (Flu Oxymel)

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

Now there are a lot of remedies floating around online for natural flu shots. Most of these consist of juicing and drinking different kinds of these juices for their health boosting benefits. These are all great and really good for you, but it fits in more with the nutrition section above.

What I’m about to show you today is how to make an “herbal flu shot” and it is powerful.

What you’ll be making is an herbal oxymel. An oxymel is a combination of vinegar, honey, and herbs and they’re commonly used for respiratory issues (which the flu is) as well as digestive issues like upset stomach or to help improve digestion.

This works by not only getting immune boosting, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial herbs directly into your body, but the vinegar preserves it as well as enhances the flavor among it’s many other great health-giving qualities. And we can’t forget the benefits of honey. Honey is also a preservative, an anti-bacterial, and it helps to sooth inflamed tissues and calm coughs. This remedy will get the blood flowing in your body, it’s good for the heart, and it’s fabulous at keeping infections and viruses at bay.

You’ll need the following:

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

First start by adding equal parts of each of your herbs to your glass jar. You can eyeball it like I do or you can actually measure it out. The exact measurement will vary depending upon the size of your jar, but you want to end up with your jar 1/4 full of herbs. Remember… these are dried herbs and over time they’ll expand as they absorb the liquid so don’t get too herb happy and over do it or your jar will be crammed!

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

Next, coarsely chop your garlic, onion, and ginger and add it to your jar. Use equal parts of each of these as well. These should total 1/4 of your jar as well, making your jar 1/2 full of herbs and food at this point. If you want, you can always add in horseradish, cayenne, and lemon to your mix as well. I typically do this if I’m making an oxymel for my husband and I and a separate one for the kids. If you want to add these things to yours, just add in equal amounts of horseradish and fresh lemon slices, and then add about 1/4 tsp. of powdered cayenne.

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

Next, pour in equal amounts of honey and ACV. If you like your drink more on the sour side, use more ACV, but if you like things sweet or you’ll be giving this to your kids as well as yourself like I do, equal parts  or more honey than vinegar are needed. Take a spoon and stir your mixture really well.

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

Finally, cut a piece of parchment paper to put between your liquid and your metal lid and ring. Vinegar will corrode metal and ruin your preparation. Seal your jar up and put it in a cabinet. Be sure to give it a good shake every day to mix everything well.

Let your oxymel sit for 2 week, shaking it daily. After 2 weeks, strain your herbs from your liquid and compost them. You can then taste your oxymel and see what you think. If it’s not sweet enough, add more honey to it. You can store it in your refrigerator, and it will last up to 2 years this way.

How to use your herbal flu shot oxymel:

  • For adults: Take one shot glass or 1 – 1.5 oz daily
  • For children: Take 1/2 shot glass or .5 – 1 oz daily

Herbal Flu Shot (Herbal Anti-Viral Oxymel)

What I do is I pour up a small amount of our herbal flu shots in little shot glasses, and we all drink them each morning after breakfast. The kids really don’t mind it as theirs is pretty sweet and they like the tangy, sour flavor of it as well. They like to sip on them.

You can also use your oxymel to make a delicious herbal salad dressing as well!


What are you doing to prevent your family from coming down with the flu this season? Got something different to share with us? Use the comment section below!

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23 Responses to Do You Need An Herbal Flu Shot? Here’s How To Get One!

  1. Denise December 24, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    I love this. I agree on all points as well about staying healthy. Diet is key. I have a chicken in the oven right now. Going to pull out the crock pot to make the bone broth.
    What an awesome concoction.
    Thank you for this Meagan.

    • Meagan December 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Welcome! Glad you liked it!

      • Ivette October 20, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

        I know I’m late on this, just came across this article because I’m currently pregnant and refuse to take the flu shot. Is this safe for women while pregnant? I’m all about herbs, teas, and tinctures, and this recipe sounds delicious!

        • Meagan October 22, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

          From my understanding, it is safe for pregnancy… just don’t over do it, and it’s always a good idea to ask your OB. Hope that helps Ivette!

      • Crystal farmer January 20, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

        Where can u order some of the things in the home made flu shots?

  2. Kristy December 31, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    Thank you for this, Meagan! What a great remedy. I’ll definitely be trying this, since the flu virus is going wild around here!

  3. Jill York January 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    Awesome recipe! Pinned!

  4. angelika January 3, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Can I take this being pregnant?

    • Meagan January 3, 2014 at 10:57 am #

      Yes Angelika! I’m pregnant and I take it… all of the herbs are immune building herbs that aren’t contraindicated in pregnancy.

  5. Rozlynn January 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    I am trying to figure out if I should make this in a quart jar or a half gallon jar. About how long do your shots last? I am looking for the rest of Jan, Feb, March, and April.

    • Meagan January 7, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      I’d make it in a quart jar first just to see if you like it and to tweak things if you need too… then definitely go to a gallon jar if you want it to last a good long while… I normally make mine by the gallon because we take it every day so it runs out fast!

  6. Deb January 7, 2014 at 8:08 am #

    Thanks for sharing this….sounds better to me than a flu shot. :} One question I had was with the herb Echinacea. Is is not important to give your body a break from that every couple weeks or so?

    • Meagan January 7, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      That’s a great question Deb. You know there are a lot of varying opinions on that, but I’ve never come across any solid information that shows it’s not good to take it on an ongoing basis. I know there was a study in Germany done that was misinterpreted, which supposedly is where that information came from. A lot of herbalists I respect have used it for lengthy amounts of time… especially in something like this where you want to keep the immune system boosted. If you are concerned with it, I’d make two batches… one with and one without the echinacea and just alternate them… it’s not problem at all.

  7. tina September 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I’ve make a similar fire tincture, what’s the difference between a tincture vs a tonic as far as benefits go I wonder?

    • Meagan September 27, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      Well, this isn’t a tincture, it’s actually an oxymel. An oxymel is a mixture of apple cider vinegar and honey where a tincture is alcohol, glycerin (usually called a glycerite), or vinegar. Tinctures tend to be for medicinal herbs, tonics tend to use nutritional herbs, and oxymels are usually both nutritional and medicinal. These aren’t hard and fast rules, but it’s typically what you’ll see. As far as benefits go, tinctures are normally taken when you’re trying to balance an issues out or stimulate the body to respond in a certain way, and they’re taken in increments according to dosage. Tonics are normally used for overall health and are taken in larger doses on a more consistent basis. Hope that helps!

  8. Leah October 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    I’m really looking forward to making this very soon. I’m just wondering when it comes time to strain the herbs out, should I use a cheesecloth or will a regular wire mesh sieve do the trick? Basically, is it important to get all the tiny particles out, or is it just a matter of preference?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Meagan October 24, 2014 at 6:38 am #

      It’s a matter of preference. Personally I like my tinctures and oxymels strained well so I strain through a mesh sieve first then I pour it through a paper towel or a muslin cloth. HTH!

      • Leah October 24, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

        Yes, that helps! Take care

  9. Anne Riggs January 13, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    I made this recipe and now I am afraid to drink it! I added a little bit of water maybe 1/4 cup, to fill up the jar, let the concoction sit in the cupboard for 2 weeks. I’m worried there might be “bad” bacteria in it. Does the vinegar keep that from happening? It smells really potent of garlic and vinegar, not a bad smell at all.

    • Meagan January 14, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      Yeah, vinegar is a type of preservative as is honey so you should be okay… plus garlic does a great job at keeping bacteria from growing. Anyway, many tinctures contain water as well, as do syrups, and I’ve heard some herbalists say they leave their syrups out at room temperature as long as they have a certain amount of sugar in them. I think you need no more than 30% water in a formula in order to leave it out at room temp. Anyway, once it’s finished macerating, strain the liquid off the herbs. Smell it, taste a bit… see what you think. Is it cloudy or have things floating in it… did it grow mold, etc. If it looks or tastes off in any way you may wanna dump it and start over, but my guess is that 1/4 c. of water won’t cause any problems.

  10. Smu July 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    I have noticed there are different species of Echinacea (echinacea angustifolia and echinacea purpurea). What is the difference the medicinal properties? Is it ok if I use any echinacea?

    • Meagan July 22, 2015 at 7:34 am #

      From my understanding the different species carry the same medicinal properties, but some are stronger than others. For example, E. angustifolia is thought to be stronger than E. purpurea, but E. purpurea is more available than E. angustifolia. You can use any variety you can find though. Perhaps you can try them all out and see which you prefer.


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