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Master tonic, or fire cider as it’s interchangeably called, dates back to medieval times in Europe. Master tonic is a spicy, herbal, all-natural remedy that was historically used to combat viruses, fungi, parasites, plagues, and beyond. Master tonic is commonly consumed by itself but is also sometimes added to homemade soups too. Although many Americans tout the health benefits of master tonic, unfortunately, there’s not much research to support their claims. Take a look at some of the top purported claims of consuming master tonic and the scientific support as is available.
Important Note: All of the claims made herein are supported by the most current scientific research at the time of publication; unfortunately, the available research concerning master tonic is currently very limited and there isn’t much to back up any claimed benefits.
Good For Improving Immunity and Remediating Cold Symptoms
Master tonic was developed as a cure-all by medieval Europeans who suffered from all sorts of infirmaries. Historically it was used to cure everything from the common cold to the bubonic plague. In recent history, however, master tonic has made a comeback as an immunity booster and common cold preventative. Master tonic is made from a bevy of ingredients, such as garlic and ginger, each of which may or may not have scientifically-supported immunity claims. However, there is no specific research on master tonic as a whole. Nevertheless, some of the ingredients in this concoction may actually benefit immunity.
For starters, master tonic is made with apple cider which is known for its antibacterial properties. In both test tube and animal studies, apple cider vinegar has successfully destroyed bacteria as well as improved overall immunity. Another prominent ingredient in master tonic is raw garlic. One significant study showed that raw garlic consumption reduced the severity of common cold symptoms in 120 healthy subjects. Honey is another prevalent ingredient in master tonic; not only does honey have antimicrobial properties, but it’s long been used to treat cold and flu symptoms such as sore throat and coughing. Finally, horseradish and cayenne pepper, the two ingredients that give master tonic its spicy, pungent kick, may have therapeutic and immuno-supportive properties. Cayenne pepper contains a bioactive compound called capsaicin that has antibacterial and antiviral functions, both of which are supportive of a healthy immune system. The horseradish has been anecdotally credited with alleviating nasal and chest congestion associated with cold and flu symptoms.
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. While each of the master tonic ingredients noted above is supported by some degree of scientific research, there’s simply not much. Moreover, there is no research at all that draws any scientific conclusions about master tonic specifically.
Similar to the claims made about master tonic and immunity, there’s no scientific research about the claim that the concoction conclusively improves digestion. There is, however, science that supports some of the individual ingredients as beneficial to digestive health. Ginger, for instance, is deemed a safe and effective antidote to nausea, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. Ginger is also associated with stomach motility, the speed at which your stomach contents leave the stomach. Additionally, the apple cider vinegar in master tonic may be beneficial to digestive health. Human studies indicate that drinking apple cider vinegar before meals increases gastric acids as well as digestive enzymes, thereby improving digestion. Altogether, the only two ingredients found in master tonic that have any digestive properties are ginger and apple cider vinegar. Unfortunately, there’s not much scientific support on these two ingredients and none on master tonic as supportive of digestive health.
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. All of the claims made about master tonic’s digestive benefits are anecdotal; none are supported by scientific research.
Helps With Weight Loss
Again, there’s no scientific evidence that supports master tonic as beneficial to weight loss, however, its apple cider vinegar content may do so. For starters, apple cider vinegar is said to boost your metabolism. Some studies have shown a significant connection between apple cider vinegar and metabolism. Furthermore, by simply swapping out sugary, high-calorie beverages for master tonic, you might positively impact weight loss and -management.
General Consensus: 2/5 and here is why. While there is evidence that supports apple cider vinegar as a metabolism booster, there’s simply no research supporting master tonic as beneficial to weight loss.
Unlikely Benefits: Further Research Needed
May Support Heart Health and Circulation
General Consensus: 1/5 and here is why. While the capsaicin in cayenne pepper is loosely connected to heart health, there’s certainly not enough in master tonic even if the research was more conclusive.