Be Well Series - Make Yourself a Fire Cider

October 13, 2019

 

A fire cider is a traditional immune-supporting remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. It is most popularly championed by my teacher, herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It is a zesty infused vinegar, packed with powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and circulatory herbs. The addition of hot peppers and a little local honey makes it both spicy and sweet, hence the name.

 

For tips on how to prepare for the flu season, read our other article.

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 3 heads garlic, chopped

  • 1 organic lemon with peel, diced

  • ½ cup fresh ginger root, grated

  • ½ cup fresh turmeric root, grated

  • ¼ cup fresh horseradish root, grated

  • ¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped

  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

  • A few fresh cayenne or jalapeño peppers (Note: depending on how spicy you want your fire cider, you might use more peppers, or omit them altogether - it’s better to err on the side of caution because you can always make it spicier later)

  • Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

  • Honey to taste

Directions

  • Place all the ingredients except honey in a half-gallon jar, cover with raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Be sure to cover the herbs by at least a few inches, then cut a square of parchment or wax paper and cover the jar before tightly capping it.

  • Store in a warm place (I like the top of the fridge) for a few weeks, shaking the jar daily.

  • After three weeks, your fire cider will pack a punch, but you can keep infusing for much longer if you like—I know herbalists that let their fire cider sit for months before straining it!

  • At this point, you can strain out the herbs from the liquid, but another option is to blend the whole batch in a blender or Vitamix and let it sit for an additional week (without shaking for the last few days to let the ingredients settle) before pouring off the liquid.

  • Either way, once you’ve finished infusing the herbs, add warmed raw honey to taste (I usually add about 1/3 cup), mix thoroughly, and bottle. This doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but it can’t hurt.

Remember—you can be really flexible in how you make the fire cider. These ingredients are a start, but you can add others. Some other great options are dried elderberries, cinnamon sticks, echinacea, astragalus root, even lavender flowers.

 

Usage varies based on body constitution - if you already have excessive heat (inflammation, hot hands and feet, constipation, dry mouth, dry eyes, coughing with yellow/green phlegm, cloudy and dark yellow urine, insomnia), dilute the cider with water. 1:1.

 

Try it out, and let us know what you think!

 

Source: theherbalacademy.com

 

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