My eight-year-old son seems to bring home a new cough or cold from school every other week. Since busy moms and dads don’t often get sick days, I make sure that I make up plenty of my favorite fire cider recipe to keep on hand. We do our best to keep ourselves healthy by washing our hands frequently, getting enough rest, and spending a little bit of time outdoors in the fresh air every day.
What is fire cider? Fire cider is an old home remedy for the runny noses and sniffles before they develop into full-blown colds and flu. Even if you already have a cold or the flu, drinking shots of fire cider can help ease symptoms and might even reduce the duration of a virus. Fire cider’s combination of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and immune-boosting ingredients make it the perfect home remedy for the whole family.
Herbalists have been making fire cider, or some version of it, for hundreds of years. There have been many variations of this fire cider recipe for colds and flu handed down from herbalists and healers for generations. As more and more people find their way back to natural cold remedies instead of over-the-counter options, fire cider is making a comeback.
You can buy ready-made fire cider, or make it yourself with this easy fire cider recipe. The good news is that making your own fire cider doesn’t take a lot of time: spend an hour chopping ingredients and just let it sit for at least 4 weeks at room temperature. The hard part is letting it sit and steep – once I know that I have a batch of this healthy tonic sitting on my kitchen counter, I want to start drinking it right away.
I like to start prepping my homemade fire cider in the late summer before school starts to make sure that it’s ready for when the first cold symptoms start to appear, and then again in the middle of the season to make sure we have enough to last us until spring. Fire cider keeps for months either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
When making this fire cider recipe, or any other homemade herbal remedy like an infusion, it’s always best to use organic ingredients or locally grown whenever possible.
- ½ cup chopped fresh ginger root
- 1 whole bulb garlic
- ½ orange, sliced
- 1 small lemon, sliced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced OR 1 ½ inches fresh horseradish root, chopped
- Handful of your favorite herbs (see list below)
- Apple cider vinegar to cover
- Organic, unpasteurized honey (local is always best!)
Combine all ingredients in a half-gallon glass jar. Cover with apple cider vinegar, and close with a tight-fitting lid. Store on the counter at room temperature for at least 4 weeks, and give the jar a shake every now and then to help with mastication and fermentation. Since some of the roots will expand, make sure you add plenty of apple cider vinegar to completely cover all the ingredients in the jar all the way to the top.
After 4 weeks, strain the fruits and vegetables from the liquid and reserve for other uses. (These are great in stir-fries, salad dressings, or soups.) Warm up about a cup of honey (or more, if you prefer) in a small saucepan on the stove, and mix it into the remaining liquid. Package in small bottles and store in the refrigerator or the cupboard. Your homemade fire cider should be hot, sour, and sweet – all the tastes from these immune-boosting ingredients that will help keep you healthy all winter long. Small bottles of fire cider also make wonderful holiday gifts for friends and family!
You can also choose to customize this fire cider recipe by including a handful of your favorites from this healing herbs list:
- Beetroot powder
Another way to add to the healing power of this fire cider recipe is to use one of your favorite homemade vinegar recipes and make your own apple cider vinegar.
You can take a shot glass of your homemade fire cider as a daily tonic, or take a tablespoon of it every hour when you feel cold and flu symptoms coming on. Repeat as necessary until symptoms subside. In a pinch, you can start taking your fire cider home remedy after 24 hours of steeping. Keep an extra bottle or two of apple cider vinegar on hand, and just replace what you remove from the jar.
Other ways to include this health-boosting fire cider recipe in your daily diet:
- Add a few tablespoons to soups and rice dishes
- Add to salad dressings
- Drink a shot in some organic vegetable juice
- Pour a few tablespoons over roasted or sautéed veggies
Not only does this fire cider recipe help you fight off colds and flu, it also makes a great natural decongestant and all-around health tonic. This fire cider recipe can also help if you suffer from slow or sluggish digestion, as these warming and pungent ingredients can stimulate the digestive process.
Once you experience the benefits of this fire cider recipe, you’ll want to make sure that you always have a jar or two on hand once the weather turns colder and flu season comes around.