A TRADITIONAL REMEDY FOR THE COLD + FLU - ALL ABOUT FIRE CIDER
Fire Cider is a classic folk remedy that has been made in the kitchens of our ancestors for countless generations. The recipes vary wildly depending on the locale and season of the year, but you can bet that it always has a fiery kick to it. This spicy remedy is made with Apple Cider Vinegar, vegetables, herbs, and raw honey to create an invigorating health tonic with many uses.
We all know that Apple Cider Vinegar itself has a number of widely touted uses, from face masks to skin rashes, cleansing to lowering blood sugar, and more. This tonic has all the benefits of apple cider vinegar, but with even more of a punch. Fire Cider has been used to boost immunity, metabolism, liver function, poor circulation, weak or sluggish digestion, and low energy. It’s also antibacterial, antifungal, decongesting, and contains powerful antioxidants. Traditionally, many folks would take shots of their homemade Fire Cider throughout winter to stay warm and ward off colds, flus, and other illnesses.
While the recipes may vary, there are a few staple ingredients that are almost always included in Fire Cider. These classics include: Horseradish, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Turmeric, Jalapeño, Habanero, Cayenne, Black Pepper, and a local raw Honey. Let’s take a very brief look at each of these ingredients and the benefits they impart!
Horseradish is an expectorant, meaning it helps to rid the sinuses and lungs of excess phlegm, while also aiding in digestive and liver function. Onion is an expectorant as well, and anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Garlic is a stimulant, expectorant, and has powerful antifungal properties. Ginger aids in digestion, eases nausea, and is anti-inflammatory, circulation boosting, and antispasmodic (meaning it reduces muscle spasms causing cramping). Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Jalapeño, Habanero, and Cayenne all give the system a big boost - aiding in circulation, digestion, metabolism, and immunity. Black Pepper gives the same boost, while also supporting absorption of medicinal compounds and nutrients found in other ingredients by increasing their bioavailability. Lastly, raw honey contains plenty of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties while also adding sweetness to this pungent remedy.
DIY FIRE CIDER
Now that we’ve run through all of those amazing benefits, I bet you’re ready to try it out! While you can easily buy Fire Cider right off the shelf here at Remedy, you can also make it at home. The ingredients are coarsely chopped and placed into a glass jar, covered in apple cider vinegar and honey, and left to infuse for several weeks. The vinegar is then strained out and taken as a daily tonic as needed. I typically let mine infuse for two full moon cycles, which is about eight weeks. Less time is okay, but I wouldn’t do less than four weeks as you may not effectively extract all the medicinal compounds. If you’d like to try your hand at making Fire Cider, then I suggest starting with a basic recipe and branching out from there.
Other ingredients and medicinal herbs that can be included in Fire Cider recipes usually have a specific medicinal benefit, impart a desired flavor, or are simply what’s seasonally available. These include: Dandelion, Burdock, Tulsi, Nettles, Cleavers, Parsley, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Citrus, Berries, flowers and many others. The sky is truly the limit and you can make any version of this medicinal tonic you’d like!
If you’d like to begin taking this delicious and zesty tonic, you’ll soon learn it doesn’t take much. Typically Fire Cider lovers keep a bottle on hand to take dropperfuls whenever needed, whether on a cold morning or during an afternoon slump. You can also take a shot of it first thing in the morning alone or with warm lemon water. Many folks who begin taking Fire Cider daily report that they no longer need their coffee and feel much more energy throughout the day! I hope you’ll give this pleasurable pick-me-up a try and let us know how you like it!