Fire Cider: An Immune Boosting Kitchen Remedy
What is Fire Cider?
Fire cider is a well loved folk remedy, traditionally made during autumn and winter months to enhance immunity, digestion and circulation, helping to keep winter ailments such as colds and flu at bay. Fire cider has been made by Herbalists, Grandparents and Parents for generations and the recipe has been passed down and kept among the people, remaining a highly valued folk remedy which can made at home.
The combination of ingredients work to enhance digestion and circulation, support the immune system, fight viruses and bacteria and clear congestion. The remedy is wonderful for warming the body and is especially beneficial for people who have a tendency to run on the cold side.
Due to the nature of the ingredients, Fire Cider has a pungent flavour. In Ayurvedic philosophy, the pungent taste derives from the elements Fire and Air and is energetically hot, dry and light. This taste is recommended for people with a slow, sluggish constitution as in small amounts it stimulates digestive fire, promotes sweating and detoxification, dispels gas, boosts circulation and eases muscular aches and pains. As the remedy is energetically warm and dry, it is best used to alleviate conditions which are cold and damp, for example winter colds, flu, heaviness and aching in the limbs.
A word of caution
Although Fire Cider is considered to be generally very safe, there are some circumstances where it may not be suitable. For example, due to it's firey nature, fire cider should be avoided in health conditions we Herbalists would associate with excess heat, for example issues such as gastritis and peptic ulcers. I would also avoid the remedy in cases of very sensitive digestion.
It’s always important to consider your own health, conditions and constitution when thinking about working with any new plant or remedy, do your research and consult trusted resources such as your local herbalist or healthcare physician to make the best, informed decision as appropriate for you.
Recipe + Instructions
Now on to the recipe itself...
The wonderful thing about fire cider is that it’s so versatile, the recipe below is simply a basic guideline and I encourage you to have fun adding your own twist to the remedy with some of the optional extras listed at the end
1/8 cup fresh chopped/grated Horseradish
½ chopped Onion
½ head chopped Garlic
½ cup fresh grated/chopped Turmeric or 1 tbsp. powder
¼ cup fresh grated/chopped Ginger
·1 Organic Lemon (sliced with peel)
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. Black pepper
Raw, unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar, with the mother
(for the ingredients listed here I tend to use a medium size (500ml) kilner jar. For a 1 litre kilner jar I would add some extra onion, garlic, turmeric and ginger to increase the volume size).
· Finely chop all of the ingredients and mix together in a clean, sterilised glass jar (except the honey-this is added after the maceration process, right at the end when you've strained your remedy)
· Pour in enough apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients, ensuring they are fully submerged
· Place a piece of baking parchment paper over the top and secure lid
· Leave to steep for 3-4 weeks, shaking daily or every few days if you can remember!
· After 3-4 weeks, strain the ingredients through a clean muslin cloth, catching the strained liquid in a glass bowl or clean jar
· Compost the strained plant material
· Warm honey in a saucepan, then stir the melted honey into the mixture (amount of honey according to your taste)
· Bottle, label and store in the fridge (the remedy can keep for up to 1 year but check regularly and discard if any signs of spoilage)
· Enjoy 1 shot of Fire Cider daily throughout the winter months or when needing an immune boost!
· Cinnamon sticks or powder
· Fresh cayenne or jalapeño peppers (if you like extra spice!)
I hope you enjoy this powerful immune boosting tonic. It's certainly helped me through many a cold and flu season!