Fire cider is a delicious immune-boosting tonic with tremendous healing power and a long history of use dating back to Medieval Europe, when it is said that a version of it called Four Thieves Vinegar was used to ward off the plague. It has strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties, and has been used successfully for all types of infections, and for strengthening the immune system to help ward off infections, any time of year.
It is also a great digestive tonic taken prior to meals to help boost your digestion and assist in the breakdown of foods for better nutrient absorption.
Fire cider is made using a variety of anti-microbial ingredients which are steeped in raw apple cider vinegar for at least 2 weeks (and up to several months) to extract the medicinal properties of the contents.
The classic base for fire cider starts with onions, garlic, ginger and/or turmeric, citrus, and something for heat: horseradish, chili peppers, black pepper, and/or cayenne.
[Note: The classic base also usually includes a sweetener such as honey, but I strongly recommend against that, as sweeteners are inflammatory and strain the immune system, feeding infections and making seasonal allergies worse, which of course defeats the purpose of the tonic!]
Additional ingredients are also often added to the classic base to change the flavor and/or medicinal properties, to be in sync with the seasons, and/or to use what is currently available.
Some popular add-ons are oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cinnamon, beets, rosehips, reishi, chaga, astragalus, elderberry, burdock, lemongrass, echinacea, tulsi, and more. So get creative with your mixes and have fun! And if you really get into making fire ciders, you might enjoy this book of 101 unique fire cider recipes by renowned herbalist and fire cider proponent Rosemary Gladstar: Fire Cider!
Now, let’s make some fire cider!
Immune-Boosting Fire Cider
- 2 whole bulbs garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion peeled and coarsely chopped; I like to use red onion for the extra quercetin and anthocyanins!
- 3 in turmeric root fresh root and chopped (leave peel on), or 1 Tbsp turmeric powder
- 3 in fresh ginger root chopped (leave peel on), or 2 Tbsp ginger powder
- 1 hot pepper coarsely chopped, or ¼ tsp cayenne or chipotle powder (or to taste)
- 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 organic lemon or lime sliced (leave peel on)
- 24 ozs apple cider vinegar organic and raw; such as Bragg’s
- Add all ingredients except apple cider vinegar to a clean quart (32 oz) glass jar.
- Pour in apple cider vinegar until jar is full, leaving 1″ of room at top. (You might not need all 24 ozs of the vinegar to fill the jar).
- Store in a cool dark place for at least 2 weeks (and up to several months), shaking daily for the first 2 weeks.
- Continue to store it in a cool dark place, ongoing.
Take 1 Tablespoon (or more) daily, either straight or diluted in water to taste. You can also add it to soups, stews, salad dressings, and sauces for some extra zing!
And if you’d like to just buy some fire cider ready-made rather than making it yourself, here are 2 versions that I really like because they are organic, and do not contain any sweetener:
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