It’s that time of year when colds, flu and other respiratory concerns flourish. For me personally, I would much rather try preventative measures, such as this Fire Cider Recipe, containing natural ingredients, rather than wait to get struck by a nasty cold or even the flu. And let’s face it, natural preventative measures are always best for supporting one’s immune system. Many natural preventatives, such as Fire Cider, can also support your body’s natural healing process should a cold or the flu attack.
Fire Cider, also known as Cyclone Cider, Plague Tonic, Gunk, is an herbal folk remedy that is promoted for its capabilities to boost the immune system. Fire Cider was publicly shared by renowned herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, years ago focusing on enhancing immune function and digestion as well as for symptom relief of colds. The standard version of Fire Cider is a combination of vinegar infused with herbs and vegetables known to be anti-microbial, decongestant promoting, and spicy for promoting healthy circulation. Along with the standard recipe other herbs can be used depending upon the time of the year the recipe is made and availability of the herbs. I highly suggest using all organic ingredients as well as raw apple cider vinegar.
Fire Cider can be taken by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles and think non-alcoholic, health boosting bloody mary), added to fried rice, or drizzled on a salad with a good cold-pressed olive oil. The strained pulp can be saved and mixed with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries and spring rolls! The consensus is that 1 tbsp each morning is good for preventative measures. 3 tbsp daily is suggested when one feels a cold coming on.
I’m going to include several recipes from other sites because of variety, personal preferences and taste. Note that these recipes take about a month to “mature”, so plan accordingly.
Fire Cider – How-to video from renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar
Fire Cider Recipe
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp organic turmeric powder
1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder
organic apple cider vinegar
raw local honey to taste
Prepare all of your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.
The herbs and spices below can make a wonderful addition to your Fire Cider Recipe.
Beet Root Powder
Bird’s Eye Chili Powder
Whole Chili Peppers
Fresh orange, grapefruit, lime juice and peels
(The recipe above is from Mountain Rose Herbs and can be found here.)
Fire Cider Recipe
- ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced ginger root
- ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced horseradish root
- ½ cup peeled and diced turmeric OR 1/4 cup additional ginger and 1/4 cup additional horseradish
- ½ cup white onion, chopped
- ¼ cup minced or crushed garlic cloves
- 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
- Zest and juice from 2 organic lemons
- Raw apple cider vinegar
- Raw, organic honey to taste
- Several sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- Quart-sized glass jar
- Wax paper
Add the ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lemon juice/zest to a quart-sized jar. Pack them down lightly so that the jar is about 3/4 full. Use a fermenting weight to hold down the veggies/roots, or place heavy roots at the top so that they will weigh down the herbs and jalapenos (which float). Pour a generous amount apple cider vinegar over the roots/vegetables. You want everything to stay under the liquid to prevent spoilage. Keep in mind that some of the roots will expand a little so top it off well.
If you’re using a metal lid, line it with wax paper so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode it, then put the lid on. Place in a dark, room temperature cabinet for 2-4 weeks. (A month is best)
When the cider is ready, shake well and then strain the roots/veggies using a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Add honey to taste and store in the fridge.
(The recipe above is from Mommypotamus and can be found here.)
Flu and respiratory illness can be very serious especially in individuals who have underlying health issues as well as young children and seniors. Please see your healthcare practitioner of choice for any illness. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, please do not use Fire Cider Recipe without first consulting with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner.