Fire cider is a traditional herbal tonic used to aid immune function and help support digestion. What is commonly known as fire cider today has had various iterations dating back thousands of years. To list a few, Oxymel (documented by Hippocrates in 400 BC), 4 thieves vinegar during medieval times, fire tonic, switchel or honegar, fire tonic -- the list goes on. In the early 1980's an American herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar popularized and coined the term and formulation for the fire cider recipe that is most common today. It is Gladstar's recipe that we've based our recipe off of.
Depending on the ingredients you've made your tonic with, fire cider like Gladstar's and ours below are traditional immunomodulating remedies. This means it helps support the immune system to respond to a threat (i.e. sickness). Fire cider is traditionally an anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic tonic. It is a pungent vinegar infusion that has a kick of spice rich in vitamins, minerals & antioxidants with the affinity for the lungs to help decongest and rid mucus. You may notice when consuming it helps to warm the body and can be beneficial when dealing with allergies.
With fire cider being a folk remedy there is no exact recipe to cling to, so take the pressure off and have fun with it! Just as we used Gladstar's recipe for our framework, we encourage you to do the same & use what is available to you, adjusting when needed.
The recipe below is for one quart-sized jar, or two pint size jars, one for you and one for a friend!
- 1 medium onion - chopped
- 1 head of garlic - crushed or chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers - chopped
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh grated ginger root (or ginger root powder)
- 2 tbsp. dried or fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tbsp. turmeric powder
- Cayenne pepper (1 pepper chopped fresh, or 1 tbsp. dried flaked or powdered pepper)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Raw, local honey to taste (optional)
Other ingredients to consider: Horseradish, black pepper, sage, thyme, cinnamon, clove, orange, rosehips and stinging nettles
- Prepare your ingredients and divide evenly into two pint-sized glass jars or in one quart-sized jar.
- Cover all ingredients with apple cider vinegar or fill until vinegar reaches the top of the jar - If using a metal lid place a piece of parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or use a plastic lid if you have one.
- Shake well and store in a cool, dark place for 3-4 weeks.
*Remember to shake daily.
- After about a month, strain out the ingredients by using a cheesecloth and dispense the vinegar into a clean jar. Squeeze as much of the liquid you can from the pulp during the straining process so nothing is left behind!
- After you've strained the infused vinegar now is the time to add honey if desired.
Fire cider keeps in and out of refrigeration for several months. If you do keep your cider unrefrigerated, be sure to place it in a cool, dark place like your pantry.
Ways to use:
- A small shot daily as a health tonic, or when starting to feel under the weather it's recommended to increase by 2-3x or take teaspoons throughout the day.
- Salad dressings
- Add into soups, stir-frys or sauteed veggies
- Cocktails/mocktails (bloody marys, micheladas, etc.)
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