How To Fire Up Immune Health
There’s something about these cooler fall mornings that always reminds me…don’t forget to swig some fire cider! The warm, humid days of summer rarely remind me to take this enchanted potion. Even in the midst of the pandemic over the summer, I never once thought to reach for my fire cider; it probably would have been a good idea! Maybe it’s because it was so hot and humid this summer in Philadelphia, but now that the thermometer is reading 40 degrees in the morning I am ready for this amazing concoction again. New to the fire cider world… where have you been? Let’s fill you in on all things fire cider.
Fire Cider is a tangy, potent vinegar infused with vegetables, herbs, spices, and sometimes honey. It’s a popular herbal folk remedy, introduced in the 1970s, by Rosemary Gladstar. She used to make it in her classroom kitchen at the California School of Herbal Studies. Since then, it has been well regarded as a digestion-stimulating tonic and is known to support the body’s inflammatory response and to boost natural health. Many generations insist it’s a simple and effective remedy to protect the body’s immune defenses and to ease sinus discomforts.
Fire cider can be downed by itself or mixed with other beverages; some have even used it in cooking. When the winter season brings immune and respiratory challenges, fire cider provides many phytocompounds that are known to boost seasonal wellness. The therapeutic properties of the ingredients in this great remedy can help your body fend off winter woes. Fire Cider is well regarded in the alternative medicine world, but what’s in it you ask…let’s break it down.
What’s in Fire Cider?
Fire Cider can be made with common ingredients that you can find at just about any grocery store. It’s super simple to make and very affordable. The only two things you will need a lot of (that money can’t buy) is patience and time! That’s because although you can throw the ingredients together rather quickly, you will have to wait a month in order to use it. That’s right, it takes a month to infuse the apple cider vinegar with the goodness and nutrients from the spices, herbs, and vegetables. The main ingredients in fire cider are listed below, but feel free to add your own spin on these suggestions. Peppercorns, rosemary, oranges, cinnamon sticks, and lemons are all great additions to the main base ingredients. Citrus fruits can be a great addition due to their high vitamin C levels and peppercorns are wonderful as they are known to help aid with absorption.
- Ginger – Known for its warmth, digestive, and immune defense properties.
- Horseradish – Pungent spice facilitates clearing of the sinus passages.
- Garlic – Protects and supports upper respiratory health.
- Onion – Contains high antioxidant levels and natural defensive properties.
- Hot Pepper – Boosts metabolism and supports healthy immune function.
- Turmeric – Contains curcumin, the main bioactive substance, which has been linked to antioxidant, immune, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Supports a healthy gut with prebiotics and aids in healthy immune system function.
How To Use Fire Cider
Like most people, I normally take one or two tablespoons of Fire Cider daily #wellnessshot. I prefer mine in the morning as it really wakes up all of my senses and gets me going. I have heard others prefer to take it in the afternoon when they are feeling sluggish, instead of coffee, and it helps revitalize them. So… I guess there’s never a wrong time to take it! Often people dilute it in water or tea, but I’m one of those “just get it over with” people who down it straight #feeltheburn
Many herbalists recommend increasing your use to a tablespoon every 3 to 4 hours if you feel a cold coming on to help fight it. Fire Cider can be used as more than just a herbal remedy. It’s also a great addition to your salad dressing collection, and it can be used in place of other kinds of vinegar in many culinary preparations, including soups and drinks.
Let’s Make It
There’s really no way to mess up a batch of Fire Cider. As long as you stick to the main ingredients (and some spin-offs when you’re feeling fun) you’re sure to have a great concoction in about a month. Yes, it only takes a few minutes to actually make the fire cider, but you have to wait a month for it to be ready to drink #thinkahead
Fire Cider Recipe
- 1/2 cup horseradish root diced (skin removed) or 2 ounces powdered if you can’t find fresh
- 1/2 cup ginger root diced (skin removed)
- 1/2 cup white or yellow onion diced
- 1/2 cup garlic diced (remove peels)
- 2 hot peppers chopped
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp turmeric chopped
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 32 oz Apple Cider vinegar
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 4 tbsp honey, or to taste
- Glass containers
- Prepare all the above ingredients, except honey and vinegar, and place into glass jars.
- Next, pour the apple cider vinegar into the jars until all of the ingredients are covered.
- Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal lid. Shake well.
- Store in a dark, cool place for a month –Shake daily for one month.
- After one month, strain out the pulp.
- Add honey, mixing until incorporated well.
- Taste your cider. Adding additional honey as needed to suit taste.
If you have any other ingredients you enjoy adding to your fire cider recipes, let us know, we love to hear about what you make at home. Enjoy your fire cider this winter and of course, stay healthy.