The name alone sounds delicious, conjuring up a taste of sweetness, a soothing warmth that reaches all the extremities, and a hint of spicy flavoring. Fire Cider is not new. In the late 1970s, teacher, author, and herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar, sought to combine a balance of medicinal ingredients to boost the immune system and treat congestion, colds, and flu. The main ingredient is apple cider vinegar, which offers antibacterial and antioxidant properties to aid sickness and improve heart health. Adding a short list of other flavors, the impact of the taste is a combination of spicy, sour, sweet, sharp, and herbal. Almost 50 years later, fire cider remains a viable natural remedy to restore and invigorate the immune system, curb food cravings, and ease digestion.
Every ingredient consumed has a dietary connection. For instance, garlic and onions offer antibacterial properties, while cayenne can boost metabolism and immunity. Horseradish fights the symptoms of congestion.
- Hot peppers like cayenne, high in capsaicin, increase circulation and dislodge mucus fluid, relieving pain and discomfort.
- Ginger has multiple properties, which include relieving pain, easing digestion, and fighting the flu and symptoms associated with colds.
- Thyme is a potent antimicrobial, which thins mucus and helps relieve the respiratory system of pressure.
- Honey has powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Of the long list of benefits, it improves the body by boosting the immune system to promote overall wellness.
More than Just a Tonic
As the word continues to spread regarding Fire Cider’s defense against cold and flu, the question arises as to buying a premade bottle. In unexpected locations, you will discover restaurants, markets, various specialty stores, and online vendors which sell it.
Keep in mind, the tonic is viable for eight weeks. One recipe makes more than one dose, which is a daily teaspoon. Alternative options for its use include mixing equal portions of fire cider and raw honey to make a cough syrup. Need a boost of flavoring? Add a splash to stir-fried vegetables or fried rice, or spice up your Bloody Mary cocktail.
For external uses, soak a washcloth in warmed fire cider and rub into pained muscles and joints, or place on the chest to ease congestion.
Out of pure curiosity, you may want to make a batch. Despite the ease of following a flexible recipe, keep in mind the maceration process takes four weeks before it is ready to use. Of the 101 recipes created just by Rosemary Gladstar, it is important to find one that suits your situation and needs.
Step 1: Place the following ingredients into a half-gallon canning jar.
- 1 large red onion (chopped)
- 1 lemon with the peel (diced)
- 3 heads of garlic (chopped)
- ½ cup each of fresh ginger root and fresh turmeric root (grated)
- ¼ cup of fresh horseradish root (grated)
- ¼ cup of fresh thyme (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper (ground)
- Optional: Add either fresh cayenne or jalapeño peppers, based on your tolerance for spicy flavors.
- Optional: a cinnamon stick, echinacea, or lavender flowers.
Step 2: Pour raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar over ingredients until covered; then, add the lid.
Step 3: Allow to sit from three weeks to a few months in a sunny location, such as the top of the refrigerator, and shake daily. Similar to tea, the infusion will strengthen.
Step 4: Strain the liquid and blend. Allow the contents to settle for one week.
Step 5: Add one-third cup of warmed, unpasteurized honey. The recipe makes more than enough to fill two quart jars; therefore, consider dividing the liquid in half and adding more honey to sweeten the taste. Keep track of your changes to determine which recipe is more enjoyable. Refrigerate and use for up to two months. It is wise to date the jar.
While the ingredients may sound like odd combinations, the taste is unique and worthy of your time! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a tonic on hand to maintain health? Mark your calendar to start new batches! Making and drinking fire cider becomes addictive!