Look good and feel great throughout January and beyond! A Review of ‘Tonic’, By Tanita de Ruijt


If you’re looking for easy to make drinks that will have you looking and feeling great throughout January and beyond, then we’ve got just the book; ‘Tonic’, by Tanita de Ruijt. She’s not a doctor or a nutritionist, but rather, describes herself as a home cook, who’s fully invested in unlocking the flavour and medicinal properties of her ingredients.

A Dutch native that was born in Spain, Tanita’s culinary journey truly began when her travels took her to the East (more specifically, Bali), and it was here, where her eyes were opened to Jamu; the traditional system of medicine from Indonesia which relies on the use of local roots, spices, herbs, barks, plants and peels to support general wellbeing. Jamu’s magnificent array of natural products completely changed Tanita’s outlook on health with their excellent medicinal benefits.

This colourful and vibrant book showcases an incredible selection of homemade tonics, (all of which are super easy to make). Whether you’re stressed, tired, bloated, sick or even hungover, then these delicious and natural remedies will be sure to boost your health with zingy flavours, which will raise your energy levels and lift your mood.

I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of this book, and after much ado, I’ve selected one of my favourite tonics to discuss with you all a little further from the sick category, along with the recipe and method as seen in ‘Tonic’. This one definitely feels extremely relevant at present with all those nasty viruses’ going around!

DIY Cough Syrup

Hands up if you’ve had that irritating cough for what seems like eternity and it just doesn’t want to budge? If this sounds like a familiar story, then I strongly advise that you get yourself into the kitchen and mixing up this fabulous cough remedy. Created using a series of kitchen cupboard essentials, this simple concoction aims to ease that persistent rascal of a cough and reduce inflammation of the throat. Pour the mixture into a tablespoon and sip until your poorly throat feels content.

The honey and lemon element in this mixture is a winning combo which soothes, whilst the anti-fungal herbs will open up those airways and assists in loosening up that mucus, ready for you to cough up and expel from your lung (yes, writing that sounds gross, but we all do it!).


Makes 360ml (12 fl oz) Ready in 20 minutes

  • 180ml (6 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 lemons, sliced
  • Fresh sprigs of sage, rosemary and thyme
  • 180ml (6 fl oz) honey or fermented honey


  • Add in all the ingredients, except for the honey, to a small saucepan set over a medium heat. Infuse for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it cool.
  • Once cool, strain, and mix in the honey well, before storing in a sterilised Mason (preserving) jar (or any other container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • It will keep in the fridge for about three months, or will alternatively keep on your kitchen counter for about one and a half months.


  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of fresh turmeric or ginger root, grated

This of course, is just one of the many tonic remedies that this book has to offer, and there’s plenty more available to help tackle common ailments. This stunning book features striking photography and easy to read text, in addition to an extensive pantry list and a helpful ailment index. I really couldn’t recommend it more if you’d like to discover about ‘Jamu’ and create your very own DIY tonics to boost your health.

‘Tonic’ is published by Hardie Grant and retails at £12.99 and is available from Amazon.

Want to keep up to date with Tanita? Follow her on Twitter and Instragram @Jamukitchen    

Pippa Masson

Pippa is head of content at Suit Your Look and specialises in fashion and beauty.

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