When the bartender lines up shot glasses in the snug bar at Oaklands Country Manor, you suspect things may get a little hectic. But the pale brown shooter contains no alcohol — it is a pungent mix of garlic, ginger and chilli. It’s called Fire Tonic and is hailed as being rich in probiotics to boost immune systems and act as a natural antibiotic to cure viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal diseases. Fire Tonic appears again at breakfast, with beet kvass and kombucha vinegar, all probiotic tonics to rebalance the gut before it is filled with homemade muesli, pastries and free-range ham and eggs. Oaklands Country Manor near Van Reenen in the central Drakensberg is run by sisters Caroline, Kathy and Annie and their brother Simon Tully. They are creating a thriving business with their tonics, medicinal herbs and organic food. About 55% of their guests are return visitors. Food used to contain many beneficial elements but now the goodness is sterilised out of it, while genetically modi...

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