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Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic

Robyn Openshaw - Sep 10, 2019 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Photo of cut lemons on wood cutting board from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

My grandma was a badass. Really, she’s the reason I’m here.

I don’t just mean she’s the reason I was born (also true).

What I mean is, she’s the reason I ditched 21 diagnosed diseases and 70 pounds, became a cancer and wellness researcher, and helped my dying "Failure to Thrive" baby end up a 6’3” All-State MVP pitcher.

And she almost died when I was only 15. I would have very few memories of her, had it all ended there.

I’m going to share with you a really practical recipe she taught me, that I think will help you. It has helped at least three Romney generations kill viruses that antibiotics won’t touch, as well as help us avoid antibiotics for bacterial infections. We call it "Mums' Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic."

In this article:

My Grandmother

Before I get into this magical antiviral hot drink she made, which has helped me knock down, oh, 200 viruses and bacterial infections over the course of 50 years of life and raising 4 kids for 25 year, may I tell you just a bit about this incredible woman?

Robyn Openshaw, her grandmother, "Mums," and her daughter, Emma.

Me, my daughter Emma, and my grandmother 17 years post cancer diagnosis, 20 years ago (1997)

My grandmother, Eleanor Brown Romney, was matriarch of the family that spawned Michigan’s famous governor, a runner-up for American President (Obama won instead), and yours truly. We called her Mums. She hated the name “Grama,” thought it was pedestrian.

We owned the Romney Produce Company, headquartered in El Paso, which distributed produce all over the Southwest from giant warehouses of lettuce, almonds, watermelon, and more.

(Most of us worked in the warehouses at some point. It was hard work, but if you dropped a watermelon, the rule was, you got to eat it, so it had its perks.)

Mums was Mormon, so she never tasted alcohol in her life, and because we always had more produce on hand than we could eat, she ate a mostly plant-based diet. (This is also true of my mother, me, and my own daughter. Our family was recruited to be in a large study of families who have never had a single incidence of heart disease.)

But my grandmother had a few risk factors, too.

First of all, Eleanor/Mums came from a childhood of horrific physical and emotional abuse, and her mother died suddenly when she was 14. Nowadays, evidence shows that unresolved trauma, lack of forgiveness, and unresolved negative emotion can as disease-causing as a crappy diet.

Mums was also a Dr. Pepper addict. Back then, we didn’t have volumes of published studies showing how drinking gallons of acid would eat our gastrointestinal lining and put us at risk for cancer, among other things.1

In 1981, at the age of 52, my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage III malignant melanoma. The cancer on her arm had tentacles all the way to her lungs and liver, and doctors told her it was in her lymphatic system and breasts.

She said no to chemo and radiation, even though oncologists at MD Anderson told her that without it, she’d be dead in a year. (You may now be calling her “crazy.” You wouldn’t be the only one. I stand by calling her a badass. Just wait.)

She went to the Gerson clinic across the border from El Paso, Texas, where my family is from. She stopped eating any animal products, sugar, and processed food.

She drank 11 glasses a day of green juice and carrot juice, and she also ate apricot pits. Why? Inside of apricot pits is a natural cyanide, which is cytotoxic to malignant cells, but not healthy cells. It’s also called Vitamin B17, or laetrile.

At the time, her treatment was illegal in the US, not because it doesn’t work, but because the medical monopoly didn’t want any competition.

Some of the doctors across the border in Mexico were Mexicans, and some were American doctors who graduated in the top of their class but were disgusted by how “standard of care” Western Medicine ignores everything except surgery, tech, radiation, and drugs in trying to help cancer patients.

She didn’t want the chemo and radiation. It was 1981, and at the time, you couldn’t find thousands of stories of people on the internet who have beaten cancer with the Gerson protocols and other non-toxic but effective treatments like you can today.

Photo of four peach halves in square formation with pits in from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

Peach pits contain a natural cyanide, Vitamin B17, which is cytotoxic to malignant cells but not healthy cells.

Almost no one in my family was supportive of her decision. They cried and told her it was too soon for her to die, and, please, please don’t be foolish, you haven’t met most of your grandchildren yet.

[Related: Tried-and-True Alternatives to Antibiotics]

[Related: What to Do After You’ve Taken Antibiotics]

But I’ll skip to the punchline of this really cool story. Using natural, cell-selective remedies, my grandmother detoxified herself, killed off all the cancer, and rebuilt her immune system. She was there when all four of my babies were born.

The Greatest Mums Takeaways

Mums lived more than 20 more years cancer-free and was a great influence on me. The brave decisions she made taught me this:

As Mums got better, she became an avid student of not just the great Dr. Max Gerson (whose nutritional protocols and therapies saved her life), but also Dr. Ann Wigmore, Dr. Bernard Jensen, and Adele Davis. These healers challenged “standard of care” medicine to discover the power of the human organism to triumph over disease, with a little help from powerful foods and substances in our ecosystem that are healing to our cells.

Photo of green vegetables and fruits with hand holding green juice from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

The Gerson therapy uses lots of varied fruits and vegetables to make powerful, healing juices.

When she became elderly, my grandmother gifted me her ragged old books by these greats in the field of natural medicine and human healing, and they are treasures on my book shelves. I've read them so many times that I can practically recite them from memory!

[Related Vibe Podcast Episode: Ep. 117: Understanding the Healing Vibrations of Food, Emotion, and Passion Interview with Dr. Brian Clement]

Mums To The Rescue

In 1997, my Mums agreed to meet with my dear friend Brenda, a mother of five young children who'd diagnosed with advanced colon cancer. Brenda’s younger sister had already died of the same disease.

Brenda had just emerged from Utah Valley Hospital, where a board sat around a huge table and voted unanimously that she should have chemo and radiation. Brenda didn’t want it. I said, “I want you to meet my Mums.”

Mums didn’t try to convince Brenda to do anything. She just told her story and answered Brenda’s questions.

Photo of green wheatgrass juice next to wheatgrass from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

Wheat grass can be made into incredibly healing juice (although it smells just as powerfully!)

Brenda chose not to do chemo and radiation after her surgery. Instead, she followed the Gerson protocols, just as Mums had years earlier.

I went to her garage every other day to juice wheat grass. I made two ounces for her, two ounces for an elderly friend suffering with Alzheimer's, and two ounces for me. (I promptly threw mine up a few times; the stuff is powerfully healing, but it smells wretched, and I was 2 months pregnant).

I’m pleased to tell you that Brenda raised her children to adulthood and is still enjoying life as a grandmother.

Detox Ad | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't?

What’s In the Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic, and Why

Let's get to the actual ingredients in Mums' Magic Elixir and why each one is so important and beneficial to your health!

  • Ginger: Ginger is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial, and it protects your liver against oxidative stress. Recent studies have found that it inhibits cancer growth and protects DNA. Bonus: it’s also soothing to your stomach when you’re not feeling well.
  • Lemon: Lemon juice hydrates and alkalizes the body, neutralizing the acidic condition you find yourself in when the body begins produces mucous, which often stagnates and becomes thick, an acidic condition allowing viral or bacterial cells to flourish. It’s also a highly bioavailable source of Vitamin C, which is part of why it's effective against cold and flu germs.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, which must be raw, is detoxifying in dozens of different ways and is one of the most studied healing substances in the history of nutrition research. Its malic acid is antiviral, and it also has an alkalizing effect, which optimizes the many parts of your immune regulation. The Bragg brand is very high integrity.

Photo of fresh apples and bowl of raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar from"Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most studied healing substances in the history of nutrition research.

  • Honey: Raw honey is a very effective antiviral and antibacterial. It makes your lemonAid taste lovely, and it keeps your blood sugar stable when you have a sore throat or headache and don’t feel like eating. Plus, the bee pollen in raw honey boosts your overall immunity. (This benefit is not found in heat-treated honey.)
  • Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne is an amplifier of natural medicines and substances, and dilates blood vessels, allowing more throughput in cleansing processes. Buy it organic, and in potent strength, if you can. Over 3,000 published studies have shown how powerful the medicinal effect is of its capsaicin. It creates heat, cleans the respiratory system, and prevents infection from spreading.
  • Garlic: Garlic is well known to stimulate immune cells and is often called a “natural antibiotic.” (Unlike drugs, it doesn’t kill the good bacteria in your gut.) It has also been proven effective against viruses (again, unlike drug antibiotics, which work only against bacteria). This is an optional ingredient, as it will make your elixir very strong-tasting, but it is incredibly beneficial.

Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Recipe

Photo of hot lemon drink in glass surrounded by honey lemons garlic and ginger from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl

Mums' magical antiviral hot lemonaid is best hot (but shouldn't be reheated).


  • 4 cups hot (not boiling) water
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (or blend the entire flesh of the lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey (raw is important!)
  • ½” to 1” fresh ginger root, peeled
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar (raw is important!)
  • Cayenne pepper (as much as you can tolerate)
  • Optional: 2 cloves fresh garlic


Blend all in a high-power blender. Drink 1/4 cup at the first symptom of illness, and another 1/4 cup every 2 hours, or as desired. You can dilute the drink if the taste is too strong, but do not re-heat the elixir, as this will damage enzymes and nutrients. Drink at room temperature or cold after you refrigerate the remaining portion. It will last a week in the fridge, but you can freeze portions in canning jars for future use.

Watch the recipe video for Mum's Hot Lemonaid Tonic here. Want a printable recipe? Let me send it to you!

Mums’ Magical Antiviral LemonAid Tonic

Read next: 10 Amazing Treatments By Europe’s Biological Medicine Doctors (You Can’t Get From Your U.S. Medical Doctor)

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Photo of cut lemons on wood cutting board with post's text from "Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic" by Green Smoothie Girl


  1. Vartanian, Lenny R et al. “Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” American journal of public health vol. 97,4 (2007): 667-75. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2005.08378

Posted in: Holistic Care, Natural Products, Natural Remedies, Preparedness, Recipes

23 thoughts on “Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic”

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  1. Joana says:

    Hi do you drink it without pass through a strainer?

    1. Elsa Anderson says:

      Hi Joana, You certainly can, there’s no harm in not straining, really it’s up to you on whether you want to eat the ginger and garlic while sipping the tonic.

  2. Data Sydney says:

    I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out some additional information.

    1. Elsa Anderson says:

      Hi Data, What would you like to know more about? We’d be happy to help.

  3. Virginia Alfonso says:

    Very intertesting. I w try it.

  4. Karina says:

    It works!!! My children and I were battling a cold (high fever, congestion, sore throat). Made the tonic and we were drinking it 2-3 times a day. Within a week all symptoms were gone. We drank the tonic an extra week just to make sure it was all cleared. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  5. Khaya Nkosi says:

    Hi there! Thanks for the recipe. Is it a problem if I have the entire lemonaid in one sitting, once a day? As apposed to having 2/3 cups over the course of the whole day. I’m just trying to make sure it won’t overwhelm my immune system or anything

    1. Rose Butler GSG says:

      Hi Khaya, it’s best to spread it out throughout the day so you flood your immune system with nutrients throughout the day versus just once. The directions are to have 1 cup at first sign of cold symptoms, then another cup every 2 hours or as desired.

  6. Michelle McGee says:

    I love you Robyn – you’ve taught me so much! Although I loved my "Floly, (we called her) instead of Florence, my beloved grandmother, I am a Texan girl, and am amazed you worked in El Paso growing up, cause I was actually born there! My dad’s law career started there, but Floly cooked standard Texas food. I had a interest in health, alternative as a teenager, when I started getting headaches, severe PMS, but my parents worshipped conventional doctors. I was a vegetarian only because I somehow even then( I’m 62 now) knew that eating them was wrong, I love animals , and now a vegan, eating a plant based healthful diet, because. years after less severe autoimmune disorders ( never knew my dad’s Type 1 Diabetes was a autoimmune illness probably due to a viral attack) diagnosed with slow aggressive MS almost three years ago. Your Mums sounds and looks very healthy and beautiful in the picture. Now I’m trying to help my cousins 75 year old husband, who had a malignant stomach tumor. (after taken out has spread every where) are taking and believe in the chemo route! I’m just so concerned after already since July had 4 rounds, and barely able to get down anything. He can drink broth, I told her a way to make no sugar non dairy homemade ice cream, and am sending him a care package and wonder if sending her this article may be something he could also try, maybe not the red pepper though. Isn’t the Gerson Therapy and Adele Davis the ones who discovered I think Assiac Tea ( sp.?) If I buy that tea, which brand is the very best, and is that what your Mims drank as part of the Gerson Therapy? He feels so tired, I can’t bombard them with to much of what I know myself, and I am sending him your new Vanilla Bone Broth because he’s a Vanilla person like me- I don’t think he would be able to get down your Vanilla Kiss Protien Powder, I love so much and use! He needs protien a lot though right now! Thanks for any answer about Assiac Tea and they asking their oncologist about every extra thing he’s eating or taking! I don’t like that, but can’t say anything. Wow- your in the Romney clan, and look how amazing Ann Romney does with her MS- she’s beautiful as you are too! God bless. I’m a Adventist Christian and we are mostly vegetarian or vegan because of God’s way he told us to eat in the Book of Genesis.☺☺

  7. Kerry says:

    I am wondering at what point Robyn freezes the tonic since it does say not to reheat it. Do you leave out the honey and add it at the end so that’s not reheated as well. I’m thrilled I can freeze it but am a bit confused as to the process. Thanks in advance for the answer, it works like a wonderful charm!

    1. Marwa says:

      Hi Robyn! Thanks for sharing this 🙂 Before I have it I have two questions.
      One, how does it taste? Anyone who has tasted it, please let me know. The more opinions, the better.
      Two, if I’m breastfeeding and I drink this, would the vitamins and immune-boosting goodies go to my baby?


      1. Rose Butler GSG says:

        Hi Marwa, our team thinks it tastes like a warming refreshing drink. It tastes as you would think the ingredients would taste. We encourage you to give it a try. The immune-boosting goodies will be given to your baby while breastfeeding. You may have heard that raw honey isn’t safe for babies and that’s true. Honey can contain bacteria which can germinate in a baby’s gut and cause infant botulism, a rare but potentially fatal illness. However, there are no studies (that we know of) on the safety of raw honey during pregnancy or breastfeeding, but there’s no reason to believe it’s unsafe. Actually many articles I’ve read say you can have raw honey while breastfeeding. You can check with your practitioner to help guide you with this ingredient.

    2. Rose Butler GSG says:

      Hi Kerry, Robyn thaws her tonic and brings it up to about 100 degrees just to take the chill off but it’s not too hot to destroy the enzymes.

  8. Lynn says:

    Robyn, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe! I’ll make it for sure as I regularly get colds and bronchitis and fight it the best I can using therapeutic oils. Will be great to have this in my arsenal for when the time comes!
    Thank you so much for all you share and teach us!

  9. Molly Mathew says:

    Thank you Robyn for sharing you recipe and also for the information you shared in the past. I have been taking a similar tonic for the past several years and amazingly, I have had no cold or flu for several years. It works well. I do run marathons and work in my garden (all year long and grow ginger, turmeric, garlic and several other spices) and a full time job. Keeping cold, flu and other illness is extremely important for anyone. I tried a few of your smoothie recipes as well. Wonderful!!!
    Thank you again.

  10. Nicole says:

    Thank you for sharing. Doesn’t freezing it kill the enzymes?

    1. Rose Butler GSG says:

      Hi Nicole, no, Robyn thaws her tonic and brings it up to about 100 degrees just to take the chill off but it’s not too hot to destroy the enzymes. You have live enzymes in the honey as well as in the lemon. Even when you make the recipe fresh, you’re not making it so hot that you’re killing the enzymes

  11. Amy says:

    I love this drink! I make it for my whole family, and we drink it regularly. I can barely keep up with making it! It’s like lemonade with a kick. I make extra and freeze it in ice cube trays. When frozen I put them in a plastic bag. When I need them, I put them in my water as my ice cube trays. However, when we are actually sick or feel something coming on, I make fresh. I don’t use the garlic unless I am sick.
    On a happy side note, I find if I am drinking this in a diluted way, it helps my reflux. I have a low acid stomach, and this definitely helped me. My husband decided to try it and it helps him as well. He is very skeptical of many things I do, but he loves this!

  12. I staved off a cold my son’s friend started passing around. I also highly recommend rinsing with sterile saline (always sterile) and xylitol spray. Works every time if you rinse and spray 3-4 times a day. Now with this added elixir we are set. Thank you.

    1. Valerie Cantrell says:

      Please remember xylitol is very toxic to dogs and I assume other animals.

  13. Melissa says:

    Is this safe to drink during pregnancy?

  14. Jen says:

    The instructions say you can blend the entire flesh of the lemon, does that include the rind? Or is it just the insides of the lemon?

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