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Mums’ Magical Antiviral Hot LemonAid Tonic

Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Updated: September 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,

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

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

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

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 cup at the first symptom of illness, and another cup every 2 hours, or as desired. 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.

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.



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


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.


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

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

Leave a Comment
  1. Sheila says:

    Thanks, Robyn, perfect timing as I have some bug! Your mums sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing her wonderful story and her magic tonic. Off to mix some Mums’ tonic.

  2. Going to try this tomorrow when I can get to the store. I have all 7 of the 7 immune boosters and viral killers that you recommend. Sounds like this should be number 8!

  3. Esther Stedman says:

    Esther Stedman here … you asked for a reason I am here. I have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and am scheduled to meet the surgeon on the 3rd of Jan., 2018. I will not have surgery nor the other horrifying treatments and have a Functional Doctor treating me as well.
    I am living in a senior community where organic food is outlawed and healthy food is not found. My meals are as follows:
    Smoothie for breakfast, lunch is yolk-only omelet with vegetables or cottage cheese and fruit; dinner is a large salad with avocado (a must) and grilled chicken strips with lots of water for all meals but one glass of red wine at dinner. It doesn’t vary. No sugar … no sweets … lots of nuts and coconut milk in smoothie.

    There is more but I do not wish to share on Facebook.

    1. Sandy says:

      Ester, my opinion is, after doing a lot of research (I also have breast cancer), you should eat only plant-based food, eliminating those egg yolks, cottage cheese, chicken, etc….. also, those with breast cancer should not be drinking wine or other alcohol.

  4. Laura says:

    We love the drink! Hot and cold.

  5. Tricia says:

    What exactly is the “flesh of a lemon”? Does that include the skin?
    Thank you

    1. Jannybug says:

      I believe the flesh is the white between the fruit and the peel. So you would use both the fruit and the white flesh.

      1. Darla says:

        The white is the pith, very bitter. The flesh is the fruit part, the sections. I know you can eat the rind but it can be too strong for most people.

  6. Jameelah Dorhosti says:

    Thanks form me too! This assemblage sounds like it could be used as a tonic. Small amount every day, to keep the nasties at bay.

  7. Susan Kuchman says:

    I have trouble believing stories when you don’t know what state your “uncle” was governor.

    1. Becky says:

      Maybe she misstated because he was born in Michigan…?

    2. George Romney was Governor of Michigan 1963-1969… well before the Massachusetts Governor.

    3. Kathy says:

      She’s not wrong. You’re thinking of the wrong Romney.

      1. Penguinlady says:

        “Runner-up for the Presidency”??? The “runner-up” is the one who lost. And if that’s the one she’s referring to, the one whose loss got us Obama instead, she’s talking about Mitt, not George. Mitt was gov. of Massachusetts. George was gov. of Michigan. So which one was she referring to?

        1. Esther says:

          Gov of Michigan is George, runner up is Mitt. She’s not listing qualities of the same person, but describing different relatives. It’s just not clearly written.

          It shouldn’t be such a combative issue. She’s related. period. Do you believe her grandma’s history and want to try it? Great. If not, fine. Move on.

          1. Rare says:

            Well said. As if that was the whole point of the article. Thanks for sharing Robyn.

    4. Suzanne says:

      Perhaps we can focus on the positive healing that she shared. Not look to edit. I’m already feeling better thanks to Her.

      1. Helen Blair says:

        so glad to hear this Suzanne 🙂

  8. Becky says:

    It seems like drinking a bit of this every day couldn’t hurt.

  9. Tiffany says:

    Do you think this could help with plantar warts virus?

    1. Lindsay says:

      I have healed plantar warts! Mix ACV with water (50%:50%), soak a cotton ball and attach to wart with a Band-Aid or other adhesive at bedtime and leave on at night. Do every night and within about 2 weeks (depending on how big the wart is) it should be gone. You want to make sure that the black root is all gone. Use a pumice stone once or twice a week to help remove the dead skin.

      I used this on my daughter’s huge wart and my own smaller one.

      1. Lillian says:

        What is ACV?

        1. Lindsay says:

          Apple Cider Vinegar, sorry!

  10. Lori says:

    With this year flu season in full gear, I going to make this today & see if I can stay flu free! Thank you for sharing your family with me.

  11. Dr. Fannie Finney says:

    This appears to be something you may need every day.

  12. Virginia Edwards says:

    I want to get a wheatgrass juicer. Do you have any recommendations? Low cost and high efficiency. I’m ok with manual or electric. I’ve been in the market, but its all so confusing. Any thoughts anyone?

    1. Barbara Charis says:

      About wheatgrass, nausea should indicate…avoid the food. Cows have 4 stomachs in order to digest grass. Also, excessive chlorophyll is not something required by humans. Any food that has to be processed in order to be eaten; is not a food designed by our Maker for humans.. Grass is not a food for our species to eat. If people had the instinct of animals and only ate as our Creator intended; there would be little, if any illness.

      1. Margo says:

        So right! I’ve been saying this for awhile now. GOD gave us all the food/medicine we need to be healthy. Just wish it was easier to find health practitioners who understand, research and disseminate the information that would turn modern medicine on it’s head.

        1. Barbara Charis says:

          Hi Margo: I ask for guidance in everything I do and at 84 (next month) have no physical problems Food is our best medicine.. When people see what’s in my cart at the grocery store, they ask, “Whose the monkey?” My primary food: bananas. They have almost total nutrition. Some people can’t handle them, but most only eat 1 daily. I eat about 2 pounds daily…and they are great for energy. I started doing stairs October 1, 2014 at 80, since then did over 3 million (1,000,000 in 2017). Studied the gorillas to get a handle on what mankind should eat. …fruit and greens.

  13. Doreen says:

    Have you given this to young children?

    1. Helen Blair says:

      Yes, it’s great for kids too 🙂

  14. Pam says:

    I made a similar recipe last winter and included turmeric and black pepper to help with frozen shoulders on both sides (at the same time). I’m convinced this is what finally started to get them to thaw. The pain reduction and the gains in range of motion were so noticeable once I started drinking this. I drank it as a tea once or twice per day. Have recommended it to friends with joint pain and they’ve had fantastic results also. 🙂

    1. Jan says:

      What is your recipe Pam? I have frozen should on left side.

  15. Del Hanover says:

    Where doe one buy raw apple cider vinegar and honey?

    1. Vicki Morrison says:

      I believe Bragg’s is the most known brand of raw apple cider vinegar. It is available at Walmart, grocery stores, and Sprouts here in Texas. Aldi and Walmart have a ‘store brand’ – just make sure it says on the bottle that it has ‘the mother’ in it. I’ve read that raw, unfiltered honey is best and better if it is from local bees. Right now all I can do is find one in the store that says raw, unfiltered and from Texas.

    2. Louise LK says:

      The word raw is totally inappropriate and falsely implies that a product hasn’t been heated. You should only buy a raw product that correctly states unheated on the label. This applied to honey, dairy and nuts.
      Many people buy raw milk cheese without knowing that the raw milk is heated to a high temperature so that the cheese will always taste the same. Nuts, such as almonds, are often pasteurized as noted on the ingredient list, but will be marked as raw on the labels face. However, some processers have now found that they can totally hide the heat damage to nuts by heating to what is known as a 4-log reduction. With this slight change the customer will only see the word raw on the label.
      Please remember, if it’s only labeled raw, and it’s dairy, nuts or honey, then it’s probably heat damaged.

  16. I have a frozen shoulder as well. What measurement of turmeric did you add to the tonic? Between the cayenne and the turmeric (&black pepper) I’m not sure I can handle the heat but I may give it a whirl if it works!

    1. Helen Blair says:

      It’s really delicious! Add about an inch of turmeric

  17. Esther says:

    A suggestion for those that want to make a batch, but want it warm each time (no reheating involved). Blend all EXCEPT the 4 cups of water. Then divide it into four parts, and add warm water to a part when you are ready to drink. That way it’s nice and warm, and the other parts can be stored in the frig until you are ready to add warm water!

    1. Such a good idea!! Thank you!

  18. Betty says:

    This sounds very interesting. I wish I had known about this in December. I had a respiratory virus and this would have been great.

  19. Geri says:

    I loved your grandmother story. What always amazes me is ‘what’s old is new.’ I have been using natural remedies for years, but constantly research. I have a functional medicine doctor. I asked him why he decided to change his status, and he told me that when he was working in the ER and in the hospital, in general, he witnessed many situations that he felt were horrific and he didn’t agree with some of the healing procedures that were causing more harm than good. I have Hashimoto’s and it took me down. I have changed my lifestyle and am very slowly healing. I’ve heard about the Gerson method through my research. There is a plethora of information out there, one only has to take the time to research. I am goi g to add your grandmothers elixer to my new lifestyle. After all, I feel I am worth a better quality of life regardless of time of preparation, expense, and change in lifestyle. I pass this on to my adult children, and have them preparing bone broth. Thank you for passing on your knowledge. Life is an ongoing learning process.

  20. Sandy says:

    In your first photo, it looks cloudy. In the second photo, it is clear. So, which does it really look like?

    1. karen says:

      I am using this drink currently and am getting better

  21. Rina says:

    Can you use organic lemon juice purchased at the store instead of fresh lemon?

    1. Helen Blair says:

      sure that’s fine but remember the enzyme action is always going to be the strongest when just fresh squeezed and that’s what we need – enzyme benefits.

  22. Marie NZ says:

    Hi, this is a great old time remedy.
    However I must add that the water should not exceed 45deg C (104F.) or in simple terms, blood temp, meaning that you can easily stick your delicate pinky finger in the water. This is for two reasons.
    Firstly, temps above this will kill enzymes, make the honey bitter and it becomes becomes toxic. The ancient system of Ayurveda considers uncooked honey to be nectar and cooked honey as a poison. (Also research Hippocrates same statement) Feed a bee cooked honey and it will die.(I’m NOT suggesting that you experiment with this!) There is a good reason why the bees work so hard to keep their hive cool, it is not just for air conditioning as we would think of it.
    I only add honey (Raw Manuka here in NZ) after any cooking has cooled down to meet the pinky finger test – NEVER use in baking (You can use honey in a dehydrator set to the right low temp for crackers and other dried snacks) and watch out for honey in retail/processed foods that involve heating or cooking too. A lot of retail pots of honey are ignorantly heated in the processing, so research your Apiary source well. . .. or buy comb honey. Yes you can eat the ‘wax’ it is nice and crunchy.
    Secondly, high heat destroys Vit C.
    The idea above to mix it first minus the water and store sealed in the fridge until you add the blood temp water later sounds convenient as long as it is consumed quickly. Of course, nothing beats fresh, raw and UN-interfered with, just like Mother Nature delivers it. Good health to you all.

  23. Chelsea says:

    Is this something I can drink everyday? I am constantly having infections in my body due to a bladder mesh implant that went horribly wrong. I have a lot of problems from it. And I would love to rid my self of bacteria that seem to love to breed in me.

    1. Helen Blair says:

      Sure, this is a great daily tonic but I would also recommend two products to deal with infections: ACS and ACZ

  24. Shirley says:

    Thank you for shareing.

  25. Karen says:

    I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I used the entire lemons and I’ve been drinking at least a cup or 2 daily. I love it cold straight from the frig.

  26. Becky Coulter says:

    Looking for your grandma’s broth that she drank made with carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes kombu etc… can’t seem to find the recipe anywhere. Bought all the ingrediants and now can’t find. HELP

  27. DV Princess says:

    thank you Robin-it’s helping and so timely! Sundance kicked my butt this year.

  28. Cathy says:

    We have H3N2 in our family right now. Doctors have prescribed Tamiflu for 4 and 7 year old. Can this be taken also and with olive leaf extract? Thanks

    1. L says:

      I’m very sorry to hear this. I am no expert, but I have been reading a lot of people blaming Tamiflu for children dying this winter.
      Please be careful.

  29. Rachel says:

    I’ve had Athletes foot for like 20 years.I manage it with a topical cream with 1% Clotrimazole in it, 2x a day, Every day!! Is there something I can do or take to get rid of this fungus??

    1. GreenSmoothieGirl Support says:

      Hi Rachel, I’d recommend by doing a comprehensive detox, then follow up with Candida diet. We have a wonderful protocol for detoxing. Here’s a link for a free Detox Masterclass that will help you see the reasons we believe in detoxing our body at least 2 times a year to help eliminate toxic loads from within our cells. I bet more than your athletes foot will get addressed! 🙂

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