How to Make Fire Cider to Boost Your Immune System

What is Fire Cider?

Fire cider is a traditional spicy, pungent tonic made from a blend of herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables that are steeped in apple cider vinegar. Since it is a folk remedy, the ingredients can vary, but common ones include ginger, garlic, horseradish, onion, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. This potent mixture is left to infuse for several weeks before being strained and bottled. It’s typically taken as a daily tonic, either straight or mixed with water or juice.

Origins of Fire Cider

The origins of fire cider can be traced back to the early 1980s when it was created by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. She wanted to create a warming and stimulating tonic that could help support overall health and wellness. Since then, fire cider has become popular in the world of natural health and is often used as a preventative measure during cold and flu season.

Health Benefits of Fire Cider

Fire cider is known for its potential benefits for immune support. The ingredients in this tonic have traditionally been used to help fight off infections, boost energy levels, and aid digestion. Some also believe that fire cider can help with detoxification, weight loss, and even skin health. However, more research is needed to support these claims.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: contains antimicrobial properties, which helps kill bacteria, and can help lower blood sugar levels.
  • Horseradish: can help reduce inflammation and improve respiratory health.
  • Ginger: contains gingerol, which has potent medicinal properties including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It has antimicrobial properties that help to fight harmful bacteria and fungi.
  • Garlic: contains antioxidants that improve brain health, it strengthens the immune system, may improve cholesterol levels, and regulates blood pressure and sugar.
  • Jalapeño Pepper: contains lots of vitamin C and B6, has strong antimicrobial properties, and it can improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and aid in weight loss.
  • Turmeric: contains curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Raw Honey: has anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It may help to improve digestive issues, sooth sore throats and coughs, and heart health.

Ways to Use Fire Cider

The most common way to use your fire cider tonic is to drink 1-2 tablespoons daily. You can sweeten it with a little bit more honey before drinking it or dilute it with water or juice (orange juice works best!). Here are a few other ways you can enjoy fire cider:
  • Make salad dressing: When a salad dressing calls for vinegar, swap it out for your fire cider instead.
  • Cook with fire cider: Add it to your rice or steamed/sautéed vegetables.
  • Use it as a marinade: Add it to meat, fish, tofu, or whatever your choice to marinate it.
  • Add it to your soup: Use a tablespoon or two in your favorite soup for an extra kick.
  • Use it in your sauces: Spice up your favorite homemade sauces.

Traditional Fire Cider Recipe

Yields about 1 Quart
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes

Equipment

  • 1.5 to 2 quarts-sized canning jar or larger
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Zester & grater
  • Knife
  • Parchment paper or wax paper
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth, undyed cotton muslin bag, or fine mesh strainer
  • Sterilized glass jar(s) for storage

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of peeled garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh ginger root, grated
  • ½ cup fresh horseradish root, grated
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves (or 3-4 fresh sprigs of rosemary)
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
  • Apple cider vinegar, 32oz
  • ¼ cup of raw, local honey, or to taste

Directions

  1. Put onion, garlic, ginger root, horseradish root, jalapeno, lemon zest and juice, rosemary, turmeric and cayenne pepper in a quart canning jar.
  2. Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all the ingredients are covered or the jar is filled.
  3. Use a piece of natural parchment paper or wax paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or use a plastic lid if you have one.
  4. Shake mixture well.
  5. Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to shake daily!
  6. After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure squeeze as much of the liquid as you can from the pulp while straining.
  7. Add the honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another ¼ cup until you reach desired sweetness.
Tips: Fire cider should taste hot, spicy and sweet. It is great as a winter time tonic and as a remedy for colds and coughs. Often people use it as salad dressing, on rice, or with steamed vegetables.

How long does homemade fire cider last?

Once the infusion has been strained and sealed properly, fire cider can typically last in a dry cool place or the refrigerator for up to six months.

How often should I take the fire cider tonic?

The daily recommendations is 1/2 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons per day. If you are unsure, start with a lower dosage and work your way up. It is best to take on its own, but it can be diluted in water or juice to make it more palatable.

How do I store my homemade fire cider?

Store your fire cider in the refrigerator for up to six months. Since fire cider is preserved in apple cider vinegar, it is shelf-stable and can be stored in a cool dark place for several months. Ensure that the jar you are using is sealed properly.
Disclaimer: The content and information in this article has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before starting any new supplement or herbal remedy, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. For educational purposes only.
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