With deep roots in folk medicine, this natural remedy has been passed down through the generations. The term Fire Cider was given to this legendary tonic by renowned herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar. Apple cider vinegar is infused with powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial, decongestant, and warming herbs that boost the circulatory and immune systems, stimulate digestion and warms you up on chilly days. It needs to be made in advance and with cold and flu season just around the corner, I made a batch today.
The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger and horseradish, but because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what’s growing around you. Some people like the added kick of jalapeño peppers. Other additions are star anise, rose hips, burdock, astragalas… the sky’s the limit. This season I added lemon slices, a few springs of rosemary, parsley, dill, black peppercorns and freshly chopped turmeric.
Fire Cider can be taken straight as a wellness shot throughout the fall and winter months as a preventative, or every three to four hours when symptoms are present. It may also be used as a marinade, drizzled on a salad with extra virgin olive oil, or sipped as a hot tea. Breathing in the steam will help to alleviate congestion. A clean cloth soaked in Fire Cider placed on a congested chest is especially nice for little ones, or a small amount can be added to freshly squeezed orange juice.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 10 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated or chopped ginger root
- 1/2 cup freshly grated or chopped horseradish root
- 1 tbsp freshly grated or chopped turmeric root
- Pinch of cayenne powder
- Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- Raw local honey to taste (to be used later)
- Place all ingredients (except the honey) in a quart sized jar. Pour apple cider vingar over the ingredients leaving an inch at the top. If you’re using a jar with a metal lid, use a piece of natural parchment paper or cloth under the lid to keep the vinegar from coming into contact with the metal. Shake well.
- Store in a dark, cool place for one to two months, or longer, and remember to give it a good shake daily.
- After at least one month, use a cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar based tonic into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. The extra pulp can be used in soups and stews.
- Add honey to taste and stir until incorporated. Cheers to good health!
Originally published March 1, 2015