Here is a delightfully healthy cold weather thing to do!
Once we feel the changing of the seasons with its shorter, increasingly sunless days, we may notice a runny nose, a tickle, or a cough. So some of us old-timer do-it-yourselfers, get busy and make an amazing herbal folk remedy to warm and stimulate the well designed body to do amazing things!
It’s one of the best spicy and sweet seasonal remedies and preventatives. And it’s become trendy, too!
[This recipe has been shared by Portland illustrator Madison Safer (source). Visit Wildcraft Studio School where you will also find amazing basket weaving, natural dying, hand quilting, lovely stitchery, foraging, various classes and botanical beauty!]
Fire Cider is an increasingly popular herbal folk remedy that is a pleasant (when diluted in water) and easy way to boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and warm up on cold days. It is very similar to my vodka-based pepper juice recipe, but more complex.
During the cold months, I take some most mornings as a way to steer away colds. I’ve often put some in hot water with lemon and honey, used it in a salad dressings, used in stir fry, etc.
Because it is a folk preparation, I find the ingredients shift from year to year, adding and omitting specific herbs and ingredients.
However, it always includes:
- apple cider vinegar
- hot peppers
It typically is taken by the spoonful but can be adapted for taste and preference.
Fire Cider Ingredients
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 to 1 cup honey
- 1/2 cup horseradish
- 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 cup ginger
- 1 sliced jalapeño
- 1/2 cup fresh turmeric OR 1 tbsp dried turmeric (optional)
- 1/2 lemon (optional)
- 1/2 orange (optional)
- 1 tsp peppercorns (optional)
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks (optional)
- 2 rosemary sprigs (optional)
- 4 thyme sprigs (optional)
- Prepare ingredients and place them in a sterilized quart-sized glass jar.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar and honey in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches 1/2 inch from the jar’s top.
- You can use a glass fermentation weight on top to keep the ingredients submerged, but that is just a preference.
- Shake well.
- Store in a dark, cool place for a month, shaking daily. It’s in vinegar, so it won’t go bad!
- Once done, strain, bottle, and label.
Storage: It’s vinegar, so it keeps all winter and early spring (6 months) if left in a cool dark place. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 10 months.
How Much Fire Cider and How Often- What’s the Dosage?
It’s really up to you! You can take a dropperful every few hours, or I put 2 -3 droppers full into my biggest mug of hot water and drink that up.
Notes: This mixture is acidic, so remember to swish with clear water after a dose. Fire cider contains honey, so it is not for under 1 years of age.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and see why they are so beneficial:
Ginger root – Ginger contains gingerol, an antibacterial compound that promotes body warmth, helping to fight off cold symptoms.
Horseradish root – Horseradish strongly stimulates the digestion, increasing gastric secretions and appetite. It can be of use in both respiratory and urinary tract infections. Horseradish is a natural expectorant with natural antibacterial properties. It helps in easing throat and upper respiratory tract infections. Has been used to fight cancer naturally.
Jalapeño peppers – Useful for increasing circulation and to get mucus flowing. Anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and anti-irritant. It is used as a digestive aid to stimulates gastric juices.
Garlic – Boosts the immune function and opens pores of the skin to lower a fever. This herb’s antibacterial and antimicrobial properties make it useful in treating bladder and kidney infections, yeast infections, strep throats and ear infections.
Onion – Another cancer fighter, onion’s compound quercetin is a natural disease fighter.
Lemon – The levels of vitamin C found in the juice and peel are extremely effective against bacterial infections! Lemons act as a great potentiator in this cider recipe.
Rosemary Sprigs – This piney plant alleviates muscle pain, boosts the immune system, and relieves cough while you’re sick.
Turmeric – Turmeric increases the antioxidant capacity in your body. This means that all of the new antioxidants in this cider will have a home to live and work in!
Black peppercorns – Greatly boosts absorption of turmeric.
Apple Cider Vinegar – (Use organic) ACV kills multiple types of bacteria. When used in conjunction with the other herbs of this recipe, it becomes a powerhouse of health.
Local Raw Honey – Before becoming sick, local, raw honey helps your body fight off local infections and allergens. After becoming ill, it suppresses coughs and continues fighting off bacteria.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ~Hippocrates