It's Fire Cider Time! Learn How to Make This Classic Tonic Folk Herbal Health Remedy with This Easy Recipe that Boosts Your Immunity
Here’s my version of this famous tonic folk herbal remedy recipe and immune system booster for health—especially in the cold, dark months of fall and winter. It’s good to keep on hand, ready to go; or drink a bit every day for your family’s wellness. It’s easy to make and adjust for your own needs, too!
School days seem so far away, don't they? After all--we are just getting ready to inch into July and the hot summer months will be upon us for awhile. But guess what? That means it's time to start getting your immune-boosting homemade Fire Cider ready for the Fall!
My version of this traditional herbal folk recipe for health is a tonic that is easy to make and unusually delicious. All you need to make it is a little time and some easy-to-find ingredients.
Here, we'll talk about all the benefits of Fire Cider, is the stuff really healthy? And how you can use it, even with kids! Plus, my recipe that is quite adjustable, as are all fire cider recipe variations.
In fact, Rosemary Gladstar has a new book coming out with lots of different versions of Fire Cider! It will be an addition to my own library when it comes out in October, 2019.
**If you are reading this and we happen to be well into Fall or Winter---no problem! Go ahead and get some Fire Cider going anyway!
Note: This article has been edited from its original version. Plus, FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!
But What on Earth is Fire Cider, Anyway?
Fire Cider is an herbal infused vinegar that packs a powerful punch! It fends off colds and flu with the intense antibacterial and antiviral properties of the ingredients. It tastes great too! However, it's not for the faint of "stomach"!
The hot spices of this tonic are great for digestion, and they will definitely warm you up! Although hot and spicy, it is a delicious and tasty tonic. Keep reading, and you'll not only have the recipe, but ways to use it too! I just love this infusion for the Fall and Winter months. The thing is, it takes some time, so it's best to start making it early!
My recipe (like 1,000's of other versions) is inspired by Rosemary Gladstar's original recipe from the 1970's. I'm sure her version is based on an even more ancient recipe too, as I have heard this tonic dates back perhaps hundreds of years. You can find it in her book, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide, which is a book I believe should be in every home!
Ingredients for Heidi's Version of Fire Cider
*** 1 onion, chopped
*** 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
*** 1/2 cup shredded ginger root (I used a cheese grater)
*** 1/2 cup shredded horseradish root (cheese grater again)
*** 3-5 sliced cayenne peppers (or Jalapeno...I grow them all, so when I make this I just use the hot peppers on hand....but DEFINITELY the cayenne for it's healing properties)
*** Raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with the "mother"). I used a half gallon Mason jar, so you'll need quite a lot if you make this much at a time. You can also half the recipe and just use a quart size Mason jar too. NOTE: You can find out how to make your own raw apple cider vinegar here!
How to Make Heidi's Version of Fire Cider
1. Chop the onion and the garlic. Add to a half gallon Mason jar. Feel free to add more garlic! Garlic has incredible immune boosting properties!
2. Add the shredded ginger root and horseradish root. Warming and stimulating roots---great for the digestion too.
3. Add your peppers. Cayenne peppers, in particular, contain constituents that benefit many systems in the body, including the heart and joints.
4. Pour raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the "mother" over all to within an inch or so of the top.
5. I add about 2 tablespoons of the Molasses at this point, just so the flavor will soak into the herbs. You can also use honey, but add the honey AFTER the infusing is done, as I have heard the antibacterial properties of the honey may kill off the good bacteria in the infusion. I have no idea if this is true or not. You can also add the Molasses at the end too, if you prefer.
6. Cover with a plastic lid OR use the Mason jar lid, but put a piece of cloth under the lid part because the vinegar will corrode the metal.
7. Let infuse in a nice spot (I just put mine in a windowsill that gets hit with a little sunlight---you probably shouldn't let it sit in direct sun, but I have not ever had problems putting anything in this western facing sill) for about four weeks or so. Shake when you think about it.
If you forget about it, and it ends up infusing for longer, that's ok! You'll just have a super strong tonic! Rejoice! :-)
8. After it's done, just strain out the herbal matter, bottle it up, and enjoy!
Ways to Use Fire Cider:
Are you wondering how to use fire cider? Yep. I was too, when I first heard of this amazing herbal concoction. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
As a Daily Tonic:
Just drink a tablespoon or two a day! You can take it straight if you're brave, or, if you are like me, just mix it into some water. You will be amazed at how great it makes you feel!
As a Hangover Remedy:
I have never actually tried this myself, but I have heard Fire Cider works wonders as a remedy for when you have imbibed too much!
As a Dressing:
YES! It tastes that good! You can mix it with some oil, and it makes a completely delicious dressing.
In Your Cooking:
You can use it in your casseroles, sauces, etc. Just know that the heat will kill the good bacteria from the "mother" in the ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar). But the herbs still work, and so does the vinegar!
For Occasional Use When Feeling Like You are About to Get Sick....or IF You are Under the Weather----
Fill a small glass half full of the Fire Cider and mix up with half water. Sip and enjoy! If this is too strong, just dilute a bit more with the water. Drink throughout the day or as you feel like it. It really does help kick colds and flus faster, in my experience!
You can find out lots more home remedies for cold and flu on the website. Here is one about how to deal with cold and flu symptoms if one gets hold of you, in spite of all your efforts!
Final Thoughts on Making Fire Cider
You know what? I love this stuff! I love how it tastes! I love that you can cook with it! You can even use it on salads and in dressings. This was one of the first herbal preparations I ever made when I began studying herbalism almost a decade ago. It's never too late to start!
Hey! Are you interested in getting started learning more about using herbs for your health? It's so very empowering! I love The Herbal Academy of New England because they have courses for all levels and interests!
And if you want a great beginner course for home herbalism, check out my very own The Confident Herbalist: A Guide to Home Herbalism, which will get you started on your herbal journey fast!
If you are going to use it as a tonic for your children, though be sure you dilute it as it can be very spicy.
You may also enjoy these related articles:
Natural and Herbal Ways to Deal with Cold & Flu Symptoms (congestion, fever, cough, aches, more)
You may also enjoy my comprehensive eBook on Cold and Flu support from how to prevent it, how to get better faster, how to deal with symptoms, and how to make sure you stay well!
What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions. If you've made your own Fire Cider, let us know how it went for you! :-)
Hugs, health, & Self-Reliance!
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Disclaimer: The information in this article, elsewhere on my blog, in my shop sites, in conversations, and on labels is for informational purposes only and not meant to cure, treat, diagnose, or prevent any medical condition. I am not a medical doctor, so please see a medical professional for concerns. I simply provide my own personal advice based on experience and study for ways to live a healthy and natural way of life. I disclaim any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any of the information contained in this article or elsewhere on this website. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
I love buying Braggs by the gallon! I also make my own ACV, and there will be a post soon on that. But I love Braggs, and if you are not into making your own, this is the best you can get!