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For a common cold or cough mix 2 Tbsp of this tonic with warm water and drink on an empty stomach, 3 times daily; repeat until the cold and cough are gone

Many people know that vinegar and garlic are good for health. I would like to introduce a very good recipe which combines those two ingredients. It is practical, time-saving, and based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts. It can be used for health maintenance and medicine.

The recipe ingredients are vinegar (50%) and garlic (50%); the proportions are a one litre bottle of vinegar to five heads of garlic. However, the recipe can be cut by half or more for smaller portions, as long as the correct ratios are maintained.

Selection of Materials and Process

Garlic – The best garlic is the one with a purple skin.

Vinegar – Use organic, unpasteurized, apple cider vinegar from the health food store, or rice vinegar from an Oriental grocery store. The best Chinese vinegar is called Chinkiang Vinegar which got a gold medal in 1985 in France.

  1. Peel off the garlic skin and crack the garlic.
  2. In a large glass bowl, add the garlic to the vinegar, mix it up, and then pour the concoction into glass jars. Store the mixture in a dark place for at least two weeks. Then it is ready to use.

If you keep this juice in a cool place in a well sealed jar, usually it is good for 20 years or longer, especially if it contains the famous dark Chinese rice vinegar. You may take out the garlic after soaking it for one month and bring the tonic with you when travelling to places with a lot of contagious diseases.

Health Benefits of Garlic and Vinegar Tonic

For health maintenance: Take one tsp after each meal. You may mix it with salad or put it into food, such as noodles, but do not cook it at a high temperature because this would destroy the garlic’s medicinal properties.

For Obesity (Adiposis) – Take 2 to 4 Tbsp after each meal.

Common cold & cough –  Mix 2 Tbsp with warm water and drink on an empty stomach, 3 times daily. Repeat until the cold and cough are gone. Make sure to get enough rest and keep warm.

Fatigue & Stress  – Mix 2 Tbsp with warm water and 1 tsp of honey; take 3 times daily.

Heart disease – Mix 2 Tbsp with warm water and drink it on an empty stomach 3 times daily. Also, you can use it externally. Put a towel on the chest area where the pain is and pour the vinegar garlic juice on the top of the towel to make a poultice. Leave it for one hour, once a day. You may combine with gentle massage by kneading the chest. If there is any skin irritation, put some olive oil on the skin.

External injury, swelling caused by sprain, arthritis with fever and pain – You can use it for external application same as above.

Hemorrhoids – Take a half cup of the juice after each meal until the hemorrhoid improves. Then cut down to the maintenance dosage of 1 tsp after each meal.

Viral Hepatitis – Use the same way as for Hemorrhoids. In case of fatigue syndrome, you may add 1 tsp of honey until symptoms improve. Get plenty of rest during the recovering period.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis – Use the same way as for Hemorrhoids. Add intake of fresh crushed garlic, 3 to 5 cloves after each meal. Chew it and swallow with warm water.

Tumour – Same as Hemorrhoid.

Intestinal parasites – Same as Pulmonary Tuberculosis, until the condition clears.

Bacillary Dysentery – Same as Pulmonary Tuberculosis.

Below is a look at the role of garlic and vinegar based on the TCM concept and modern medical information.


Pharmaceutical name: Bulbus Alli Sativi

Botanical name: Allium sativum L.

English: Garlic Bulb

Mandarin: Da Suan

Literal English translation: “Big Garlic”

Properties: acrid, warm

Channels entered: Spleen, stomach, lung, large intestine

Functions and clinical use:

– Kills parasites: used for hookworm and pinworm diseases, and, in combination with other herbs, for other types of intestinal parasites.

– Detoxifies poison: used for diarrhea, dysentery, consumption, and sudden coughing.

– Also used for ringworm on the scalp.

Major combinations:

– With Semen Arecae Catechu (Bing Lang), Fructus Carpesii Abrotanoidis (He Shi) and Cortex Meliae Radicis (Ku Lian Gen Pi) to dislodge and expel hookworm and roundworm.

– With rice gruel for consumption

– With Mirabilitum (Mang Xiao) and Rhizoma Rhei (Da Huang), applied topically as a poultice, for acute Intestinal Abscess.

Cautions and contraindications:

– Contraindicated in Deficient Yin patterns with Heat signs.

– This herb is an irritant to the skin and should not be applied topically for extended periods.

Dosage – 3-5 cloves in decoctions; also eaten raw, toasted, or as a paste. For pinworms, it may be applied topically to the perianal area. This herb is also commonly made into a paste and rubbed on exposed areas of the body to prevent parasite infestation.

Major known ingredients:

Allicin, citral, geraniol, linalool, phellandrene, s-methyl-l-cysteine sulfoxide

Pharmacological and clinical research:

– Antiparasitic effect: preparations of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) have a strong in vitro inhibitory effect against amoeba.  Bulbs with purple skins are most effective.

– Treatment of amoebiasis: concentrated decoctions of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) were used in 100 cases of amoebic dysentery (also known as Traveller’s Diarrhea). The rate of cure was 88% and the average length of stay in the hospital was 7 days. In this clinical study, bulbs with purple skins were more effective than those with white skins. Patients were discharged on a regimen that included purple-skinned Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) in their daily diet.

– Treatment of pinworm: enemas made from decoctions of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) were used for 154 cases of pinworm in children 2 to 9 years of age. Treatments were repeated on the third and seventh days after the initial treatment. Tests for eggs around the anus became negative in 76% of the patients.

– Antimicrobial effect: allicin has a very strong antibiotic effect that is, however, quite variable.  It, as well as the juice and decoctions of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan), has a very strong inhibitory effect in vitro against many pathogenic bacteria that are resistant to penicillin, streptomycin, and chloramphenicol. These functions have not clearly been shown to have clinical value.

– Treatment of bacillary dysentery: in one clinical study, 130 patients with this disease were given enemas of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan). On follow-up colonoscopy, 126 showed total resolution of all pathological changes in 6.3 days. In other studies with many hundreds of patients, in which the criteria for efficacy were improvements in symptomology, the effectiveness of this herb against bacillary dysentery was over 95%. Purple-skinned garlic appeared to be more effective than white-skinned, and fresh bulbs more effective than old ones.

– Antifungal effect: preparations of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) have significant inhibitory effects in vitro against many pathogenic fungi.

– Treatment of mycosis: intravenous drip administration of preparations of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) were used in 20 cases of mycosis (disease caused by a fungus), primarily of the respiratory tract. Of these, 14 were markedly improved and another five improved. Oral administration of a sugared paste of this herb together with multivitamins were used for 40 cases of indigestion from Candida albicans in children, with success in 38 cases.

– Treatment of encephalitis: in one clinical study, 17 cases of encephalitis B were treated with an intravenous drip of preparations of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) and supportive care (except for one case that was given antibiotic therapy for persistent fever after having regained consciousness under the experimental therapy). Except for one fatality, all other cases recovered without significant sequelae.

– Cardiovascular effect: garlic oil inhibits the development of atherosclerosis in rabbits fed a high cholesterol diet. Water extractions of the herb do not have this effect.

– Treatment of appendicitis: a paste made of Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) and Mirabilitum (Mang Xiao) placed on McBurney’s point for two hours (with gauze placed between the paste and the skin to decrease the possibility of excess local irritation), followed by a paste made of Rhizoma Rhei (Da Huang) and vinegar, was used for over 200 cases of appendicitis with a resolution of the symptoms in over 90% and relapses in 10% of those. This method is most suitable for uncomplicated cases or those who are a poor risk for surgery, and should not be used in cases of perforation or gangrene. In normal clinical practice, this method is usually combined with acupuncture and/or oral administration of traditional Chinese herbal medicine.

– Toxicity: Bulbus Alli Sativi (Da Suan) is a local irritant. High concentrations can lead to hemolysis.


This is a liquid made from millet, apple, grapes, wheat, Chinese sorghum, distillers’ grains and others containing acetic acid. It is sour and bitter in flavour, and warm in nature, acting on the channels of the liver and stomach.

Efficiencies and indications – Dissipating blood stasis, arresting bleeding, clearing away toxic materials and destroying intestinal parasites. It is used for treatment of syncope (fainting) due to postpartum bleeding, masses in the abdomen, jaundice, tawny sweat, hematemesis, nose-bleeding, pruritus genitalium (genital itching), skin and external diseases. It can also remove the poisonous quality of fish, meat and vegetables.

Directions – To be used to cook meat and fish dishes, eaten together with rice or bread; it can be mixed with decoction or drugs for oral administration, or warmed up to fumigate offensive odour, rinse the mouth, or mixed with drugs for external application. It should be avoided by those who suffer from excessive dampness of the spleen and stomach, flaccidity, spasm of muscles, or for those showing symptoms of the initial stage of febrile diseases caused by exopathogen.

I have been using these recipes for a long time and my friends and patients have had good results from it.


Tom Fung is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and Acupuncturist in Markham, Ont. He received a diploma of modern Chinese medicine and Acupuncture in 1975. He established the Tom Fung Holistic Acupuncture Clinic in Toronto in 1979. He graduated as doctor of internal Chinese medicine, and received an Acupuncture certificate in Xiamen China University in 1985. Office: 179 Main St. N., Markham, ON. For information or appointment, email:, call: (905) 554-8849, or visit:


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  1. b
    February 01, 17:04 banana

    very good!!

    Reply this comment
  2. T
    April 21, 17:38 Tj

    So the garlic in the vinegar has turned brown and pretty much dissolved and makes the mixture cloudy. Is this ok?

    Reply this comment
    • J
      January 29, 14:06 Jj

      Hi. I followed all instructions and started the treatment for hemorrhoids. But the remedy feels like burning my tummy. I guess this is normal?

      Reply this comment
  3. S
    May 24, 09:54 Sandra

    Thanks for your helpful and informative instruction.

    Reply this comment
  4. C
    July 04, 10:51 Cambiati

    Is it okay that the garlic in the vinegar has turned brown and mostly dissolved, making the mixture cloudy?

    Reply this comment

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