'Tonic' has been a buzzing word in the wellness food industry for awhile, which literally means "a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being." In general, it's a super-charged, concentrated beverage with major health benefits. And it's REALLY simple to make one at home, for various ailments. We teamed up with Traci Donat of Simples Tonics in Santa Monica to get the method and recipes for her Fire Cider (goodbye, flu symptoms!) and Dandelion Herbal Infusion.

Simples makes concentrated plant tonics, made from nourishing herbs that are brewed over a period of hours to extract the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and constituents. The tonics rejuvenate all systems of the body, promoting overall good health and balance.

Watch the first episode below where Traci shares why you should start drinking Fire Cider and how to make it at-home!

This recipe has been around for centuries along with the idea that food is medicine. It's the concept of taking apple cider vinegar along with using immune-building plants to heal all ailments in the body, especially colds, the flu and more. "This is a way that you can take your own health into your own hands," says Traci.

You'll Need:

  • 1 part onion, it's antibacterial and the base of the cider
  • 1 part garlic
  • 1 part horseradish
  • 1/2 part ginger, for heat, antimicrobial and antiviral properties
  • Handful of chopped peppers, for circulation
  • Optional: turmeric, for anti-inflammatory
  • Optional: reishi, for immunity
  • Optional: astragalus, for immunity
  • Optional: lemongrass, antibacterial and antiviral
  • Optional: dried rosehips, high in vitamin C
  • Optional: chaga, for adrenal support
  • Optional: fresh oregano & fresh rosemary
  • Optional: 1 whole lemon with peel
  • Apple cider vinegar


  1. Grab a large mason jar with an airtight lid
  2. Add all of your ingredients (the first five plus ACV being the most important)
  3. Make sure your plant material is completely submerged with no air bubbles
  4. Before closing, use wax paper on top of the jar before you close the lid (so it doesn't corrode)
  5. Shake it up and let it sit for 4-6 weeks, room temperature in a dark space
  6. Label it and shake periodically
  7. Once you strain it, bottle it up and it will last 1 year or more

In the second episode, Traci is sharing how to make a Dandelion Herbal Infusion, which is basically a powerhouse of: potassium, iron and vitamins while being extremely healing for the liver, kidney, aiding in digestion and detoxification. "I have a special relationship with dandelion because of what it teaches us in life, a dandelion is a tiny seed that gets in a crack and can bust through the strongest concrete and becomes this beautiful flower. I think this resilience transfers to us," says Traci.

You'll Need:

  • 1 oz dandelion
  • Large mason jar
  • Hot water


  1. Add your dandelion root to a mason jar and fill to the brim with hot water
  2. Stir it around, cover and let it sit for at least 8 hours (preferably overnight)
  3. Strain, store in the fridge for up to 3 days

"Consistency is key!" Traci Donat, @simplestonics