The name ‘fire cider’ is accredited to Rosemary Gladstar, a well-known herbalist in the 1980’s that taught her students and the community this amazing tonic to educate and help people to realize that raw foods and herbs are the foundations for a healthy lifestyle. We make fire cider every year to have on hand for the coughs and colds that are common during winter.
Fire cider is made from raw, simple, and powerful ingredients that we use to cook with every day. It is used to prevent and fight off colds and flu, and boost the immune system. Garlic, horseradish, and ginger have strong antibacterial properties; while garlic, onion, and ginger in particular also have antifungal and antiviral properties.
It is very versatile – you can adjust the amount of each ingredient, and there are so many other herbs, roots, and peels that you can add – to get the desired taste and strength. Some people like it very spicy and others like it less spicy and sweeter, so don’t hesitate to experiment till you get your preferred taste and a level of spiciness that you can tolerate.
- 1 horseradish root
- 1 ginger root
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic head
- 1 turmeric root or 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric
- 2-4 habanero peppers (optional)
- apple cider vinegar
- honey (optional – added after the fermentation process is done and fire cider is strained to balance the spicy taste)
- Grate the ginger and horseradish roots and chop the garlic, onions, and hot peppers and place them in a jar (that has a tight lid).
- Add apple cider vinegar to the jar until all the chopped ingredients are well covered.
- Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-6 weeks, shaking daily.
- After 2-6 weeks strain the fire cider; transfer the liquid part into a tight lid bottle/container and discard the chopped ingredients.
- Add honey to your own taste if desired, remember that all the flavours will mellow over time.
Storage: Store fire cider in the fridge where it will have a long shelf life (up to 1 year). Remember to keep the lid tightly sealed when you are not consuming it, so it stays potent.
Usage: The wonderful thing about fire cider is that it is considered both a remedy and tonic. As a remedy: If you are getting a cold or flu, take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day. As a tonic: you can take 1 tablespoon daily to boost your immune system to prevent you from getting sick. Fire cider is a strong tonic, so best not taken on an empty stomach (especially by people who suffer from a stomach ulcer). It can be diluted in a small amount of water or taken with meals.
Caution: There is some evidence that horseradish can lead to miscarriage especially in the first trimester. So fire cider is not recommended during pregnancy. Also, consult your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications as many of the ingredients in fire cider can interfere with these medications.