Did you wake up with the sniffles? Are you feeling like some folks shared their cold with you? Morning congestion? Looking for herbal ways to support your immune system?
Fire cider to the rescue! Warning: This fiery herbal vinegar may cause facial contortions, puckered lips, and a hurt-so-good warming sensation internally.
This spicy, hot, and pungent vinegar is a kitchen remedy that is immune-boosting, congestion-clearing, and body-warming. I recommend keeping a bottle on hand at all times and doing a daily shot of it for overall wellness and dosing medicinally for incoming viral attacks.
It’s easy to make but needs four weeks of steeping time so plan ahead. You can tweak the recipe to make it your own but there are three key ingredients: horseradish, onion, and garlic.
Fire Cider Recipe
Makes 1 quart
Chop or grate the following ingredients into small pieces. Wash thoroughly but no need to peel.
- 1 long fresh horseradish root (found in the produce section of your grocery store or at farmer’s markets)
- 1-2 onions
- 4-8 garlic cloves (or more if you can handle it!)
- 1 “hand” of fresh ginger (a hand is what is usually sold in the store – small chunk with a couple of “fingers”)
- 1-3 fresh jalapeno peppers (dried cayenne peppers can be used instead)
- Several fingers of fresh turmeric (or 1-2 tbsps. of dried)
Mince and add:
- Thyme & Rosemary (1-3 tsp dried or handful of fresh for each herb)
I like to play around with the recipe each time I make it and I have never made the same recipe twice. Experiment with any of these additions:
- Diced oranges (blood oranges add a delightful rose color)
- Thinly sliced lemons or limes
- Pomegranate arils (seeds)
- Cherries or blueberries
- Calendula flowers (fresh or dried)
- Hibiscus flowers (fresh or dried)
- Echinacea (dried)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (looks cloudy and has the bacterial “mother” included)
- Raw honey to taste
- Place all ingredients in a half-gallon canning jar. Add apple cider vinegar to cover. You can stir in raw honey now or wait to add it after you have strained it.
- Stir to eliminate any air pockets Cover with a piece of waxed paper and then the canning lid and ring (or a plastic lid). Label with the date and ingredients (in case you love that version and want to repeat it) and store in a pantry or cupboard. Every now and then shake it up a bit.
- Four weeks later, strain, squeezing the mash to get every last bit of medicine out of it. Taste and add more honey until your taste buds tell you it is slightly sweet. Store in the fridge especially if you added fruit to the mix.
How to Use Fire Cider
The ingredients bring a variety of healing and supportive properties: antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, immune support, and circulatory stimulation. Adding honey to it makes it an oxymel which is well-known as a remedy for upper respiratory congestion. See my article on How To Make Oxymels.
Daily Tonic: Take a shot of it to support your immune system. You can mix it with sparkling water for an intriguing drink.
Medicinally: If you are feeling a cold coming on, take 1-2 tsp each couple of hours to help with congestion and immune support.
In the Kitchen: splash a bit on cooked greens, a bowl of soup, or a salad. Use as a base for a vinaigrette.
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