Jean's Famous Tomato Tea Remedy for Sinus Infections and Congestion

| Modified on Mar 27, 2024
Jean's Spicy Tomato Tea Cure

by Jean Woolhiser
First Published: April 16, 2002
Updated: September 21, 2020

7/16/2007: Jean Woolhiser from Franklin, WI writes: "I first sent in this tomato tea recipe to Earth Clinic in 2002, I think. I've been studying people's comments on it and have revised it accordingly. Thank you to everyone who has posted their comments. It really makes my day (and makes me cry! :) when I read how this recipe is helping others!

It works fast (in most cases) and tastes great!

These ingredients are well-known serious herbals for their medicinal properties... Used together they do wonders for sinus/ear infections, colds, coughing and sore throat. We've even found it to kill flu germs and strep throat (with no antibiotics).

Jean's Tomato Tea Recipe

2 cups V8 Juice
2-3 cloves Garlic crushed (use more if you can)
2 T Lemon Juice
Hot Sauce (the more the better, so as much as you can handle)

Mix and heat in a pan.

Sip slowly and re-warm as needed to get the full effects of the fumes. Let it sit in the back of your throat to bathe it. Suck the fumes through your sinuses and also down into your lungs. Its all natural and healthy, so drink as much of it as you want or need until you are SURE the infection is gone. This is past the time when you "feel better."

This appears to be the best recipe, but from the comments below, people often don't have the right ingredients. Don't let that hold you back. Use whatever you have available. Below are some substitutes that may not work as well or as fast, but will still help. I've listed them by their likely effectiveness:


V8 Juice - tomato juice, vegetable juice, canned or fresh tomatoes crushed, tomato soup (if really desperate, try another kind of fruit juice, vegetable soup or even chicken soup. You're aiming for high Vit C content)

Garlic - garlic in olive oil, dehydrated garlic, garlic salt (aiming for the strong anti-bacterial/fungal effects)

Lemon Juice - Fresh lemons, bottled juice, limes, lime juice, oranges, frozen lemonade

Hot Sauce - ANY kind of hot sauce works, fresh hot peppers, cayenne pepper, dried pepper flakes (if really desperate, try horseradish, black pepper or even mustard. You're aiming for the highly anti-bacterial/fungal properties of capsaicin which is found in hot peppers, and its effectiveness at clearing out the sinuses.)


1. Capsaicin (found in hot peppers) is actually soothing to the stomach. In addition, it's a pain killer (good for sore throats), and is also one of the main ingredients used in herbal recipes for killing fungal infections like Candida, which is closely related to all kinds of physical problems we have, including allergies.

2. You can add Worcestershire sauce and celery salt to make it taste just like a bloody mary mix.

3. Drink it just because it tastes good, and you probably won't get an infection in the first place. :)"

This remedy will build up your immune system, and in most cases, deals with the symptoms in a very short time. There is no limit to the amount you can have in a day... this isn't a pharmaceutical drug. These are natural ingredients... drink as much as you want as often as you want!"

Tomato Tea Version 2

6/21/2007: Wendi from Ft. Wayne, Indiana writes: "I came across an article on Tomato Tea (particularly for sinus infection). It really does work ! We have been using a similar recipe for 20 years. The recipe we have always used is as follows:

1 can/jug of V8
2 cloves of GARLIC
2 LEMONS juiced
2 tbsp HONEY
pinch of CAYENNE

Tips :
* African Cayenne if you can find it
* Fresh Lemons
* Put the clove of garlic under a wide knife and smash it-this seems to release the properties better than chopping
* V8 or Tomato juice- we always used V8 because it has more flavor
* Keep the concoction simmering on low and drink through out the day
* Alter amounts of ingredients as you see fit.

Continue reading below for feedback from Earth Clinic readers who have treated their colds and flu with Jean's Tomato Tea recipe!

Tomato Tea Reviews

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mrs P (Colorado) on 05/21/2022

Jean's Tomato Tea has worked every time! I keep coming back to this looking for the recipe, you would think I would keep it somewhere handy!

I use tomato juice, 2 garlic crushed, 2 T lemon juice, a dash of cayenne and 2 T honey. Simmer gently.

Usually 2 cups is good to clear things up. By the 3rd day I'm so much better, and no longer craving tomatoes and garlic ;-).

Tomato Tea User Reviews

243 User Reviews
5 star (213) 
4 star (4) 
3 star (6) 
1 star (19) 

Posted by Margaret (Sussex) on 09/21/2020

I have made a version of Jean's Tomato tea for many years for colds with mainly the same ingredients. I love her addition of lemon juice for alkalizing (?). I agree, the more hot sauce or cayenne pepper and garlic you add the better! It is very soothing and breaks up mucus fast. Garlic is great for immune boost.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Cheryl (Ny) on 09/21/2020

Alternatives for tomato tea.

Greetings, Having RA especially triggered by tomatos (which I love) I have managed to come up with alternative solutions.

My first line of defense is 1 tbls. 2x a day of collodial silver. coconut oil in my nose and ears. Best thing for respiratory I have found would be Ted's tea made with Mullein and lobelia with maybe a few drops of ceyenne pepper. Lemon and manuka honey warmed in cup of water. Always have the vaporizer with food grade h2o2 going. Spray back of throat with fd. grade h202 and inhale. No flu or colds in 6 years. Used to get bronchitis 2x a year along with husband. Grandchildren have visited with strep at least 4x infecting parents and friends while my husband and I remained healthy.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Sarah (Asheville) on 11/15/2017

Wow!! My mom used to make us a similar soup when I was a child when we were sick, but I don't think she added hot sauce! It DOES WORK. I CRAVE tomato sauce and garlic whenever my immune system is fighting a bug, so I am not surprised to read it helped so many people. Can't wait to make this hot sauce version of it..

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Marilyn Jones (Wisconsin) on 11/07/2017

I made the tomato tea when I caught a cold a few days ago and it definitely helped the general feeling of weakness and also cleared my sinuses really fast. Yummy and medicinal.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Armadillo17 (Chicago, Il) on 01/28/2017

Jean thanks so much for this tea! I waited until just before serving to add the lemon because I read somewhere that vitamin C is destroyed by cooking. It relieved my symptoms almost immediately! Fantastic!

Replied by Jean
(Marinette, WI)

It doesn't need to be "cooked"... just hot. :)

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Solomon (Whitefield, Bury, England) on 01/02/2017

Works Really Well - My Dad tried it and it had instant effects (unblocked nose, clearing of headache), when we got home he had another cup, but this time, blended, it was SO STRONG he started to SWEAT! After his third cup he felt better then ever.

BTW it tasted better, and was easier to drink (less spicy) when it was raw, and not blended, to do this, he squashed the garlic with hands and squashed the tomato with a bended spoon and knife.

To be honest, he didn't think it work at first, but he proved himself wrong after one sip.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Jengels (Encinitas, Ca) on 11/12/2016

I have a vitamix & used FRESH tomatoes to make my tomatoe tea. I was surpised that it tastes good. First time trying it but my throat feels better already!

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Michelle (Pampa, Texas) on 10/29/2016

I've suffered for the past week with an allergy attack that has now evolved into a sinus infection. Dry, nasty coughing fits that makes people think I'm about to puke; Sore throat; nasal congestion; major sinus pressure; headaches.

I've little to no sleep the past few nights despite using some OTC Sinus med. I refuse to go to the Dr and be put on another antibiotic.

I can across this site early this morning and found the Tomato Tea recipe. Luckily, I had all the ingredients on hand.

After sipping about 6 oz of the tea, I can breathe! I can still feel some pressure in the cavity but this is a MAJOR improvement in a very short time.

I will continue with the Tomato Tea, ACV, probiotics and tons of fluids.

You now have a faithful new follower!!

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Candance (Nebraska) on 09/07/2015

I get a cold at least once a year and when I do it always goes to my lungs and takes about a month to go away.

So when I got a cold last week I tried Jean's Tomato Tea. And within a day my head had cleared up. I drank the tea three times a day for three days and now my cold is basically gone. I always dreaded it when I got a cold. Now I have a way to knock it right out. Thank you!!

I might add, I had just canned tomatoes so instead of using V8. I opened up a jar of tomatoes and put them in the blender with some fresh jalapenos, garlic (I used more than the recipe called for) squirt of lemon juice and some seasonings.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Julie (Los Angeles, Ca) on 03/14/2015

I tried the tomato tea for cold/sinus issues and I am singing hallelujah over here!!!! I had total congestion/sinus pain and only half way through the tea did I begin to experience relief! It's tasty (like a bloody mary) and super simple to make. I've been steaming with and ingesting ACV, as well as mega-doses of Vitamin C (1000-2000 mg/day), and all of those work, but not quite as powerfully or immediately as the tea. I'm a total fan~ will keep this on my regular go-to for anything related to congestion! THANK YOU!

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Medina (England, Uk) on 02/13/2014

This stuff is working as I type. I'm down with a cold at the moment & thought I'd try this, and I'm happy to say it works. I can breathe through both nostrils again. :) I tinkered with the recipe a little, by adding a chopped onion, softened in a little olive oil, & some turmeric, black seed (nigella), black pepper & cumin. The result tastes really great which is an added incentive to keep drinking the stuff until cured. Many thanks for sharing this useful recipe.

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Lilly (Chacago,il) on 12/01/2013

The first time I halved a tomato, but because I had no lemon, orange juice, ect I skipped that part. I didn't have any garlic, so I used Minced onion instead Ii used chili powder as well. I sprinkled that on the halved tomato and ate it, it tasted weird but worked instantly.

The second time (not long after the first) I used vegetarian vegable soup, with the same things as last time only warmed it in the micwowave for one minute. Worked just as well

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Carol (Yarmouth, Maine) on 02/27/2013

I live in Maine and have been suffering from a sinus infection for over a month. I'm on my second antibiotic and have had no relief. I saw this recipe and decided to try it. I used canned tomatoes, chopped garlic from a jar, lemon juice from a plastic lemon, and Tabasco sauce. Since I don't like anything "hot" I used as much as I could. Within 10 minutes of finishing a mug, I am blowing my nose and feel my sinuses crackling. This is amazing. I am very thankful for all the sharing and comments that convinced me to try this!!

Tomato Tea User Reviews
Posted by Sunds (Manila, Philippines) on 12/02/2012

I owe it to Jean to give my feedback and all of you who shared their experiences as well.

It's an astounding 'YES' it worked.

I have allergic rhinitis for about 8 years now. I've always taken synthetic drugs, at first the drowsy antihistamines, then steroid sprays and recently Montelukast. They somehow helped one way or another but it's either I got sleepy or they can't be used for a long term period as maintainance med.

Last month I decided to go natural. It's safer and as effective I thought. I tried a herbal supplement with cinnamon, spanish needles and acerola cherry as main ingredients. It wonderfully worked but unfortunately my body hyper-reacted to it, possibly to cinnamon or to silicon dioxide (preservative), and I got itches and rashes and had to stop.

I searched for other natural alternatives and found garlic, which eventually led me here. I tried it today 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the afternoon. I noticed the clearing effect in my sinus around 30mins after I finished the whole cup. My sinus felt lighter. From 1-10, 1 being the lowest effect (clearing of sinus) and 10 the highest, I'd rate it 9.5). Same results when I drank in the morning and in the afternoon. Indeed my voice sounded better too when I sang!

I used tomato juice, freshly extracted from the wonderful vegetable simmering 7 pcs of them in 2 glasses of water. I have allergy to orange and lemons so I used Calamansi about 6 pcs (about 2-3 Tbsp). I used 2 red hot chilli peppers instead of hot sauce (although I feel I could bear adding a couple more- this for a person who dislikes spicy). Then 2 Tbsp of honey and 2pinches of salt for flavor (I'm still curious about the Worcestershire sauce).

I was at home today, Sunday. I'm bringing 2 glasses tomorrow at the office, where my allergic rhinitis is usually worse. I hope to give you feedback on what happens tomorrow and the following days.

Thank you very much Jean for sharing this and to all for sharing your experiences as well. This is a great blessing indeed.

Replied by JeannieW
(Marinette, WI)

Worcestershire sauce just gives the drink the flavor of a bloody mary... no medicinal use as far as I know. :)