My first herbalist mentor used to call Oxymels the "better flu shot." Oxymels are herb-infused ancient medicine (greek origin). The base is honey and vinegar...and after a bit of light cooking, the blend is stored in small ball jars and taken, literally, as a "flu shooter" as needed throughout the winter. Best and healthiest protection!
I'm a super Oxymel fan and make 4-6 small jars before the snow falls. (For earlier fall colds, I use my immune boost blends of tinctured Elderberry, Elderflower (root and leaf), Echinacea, Garlic, Ginger, Cinnamon and Cayenne.) The Oxymel is a milder sweetheart. I use local and organic cider vinegar—and local honey and herbs. The downside? These don't have the shelf life that the alcohol-based boosts do.
Ingredients: Local Honey and Cider (1:1 ratio), Medicinal Herbs (Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Cardamon, Fennel, Cayenne, Black Pepper), Orange Peel
How to: Mildly heat vinegar—just to a point which allows the honey to blend (never boil). Add the favored herbs. Cook, covered, lightly for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool. Place even amounts of liquid and matter into small ball jars. Seal, label and store in a dark cool area.