Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic

With cold and flu season upon us, we felt it was appropriate to share this wonderful folk remedy with you to help boost your immune system and fight off unwanted illnesses.

Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic | wholeapothecary.com

What is Fire Cider?
Fire Cider is essentially an apple cider vinegar infusion. It's spicy, savory, tangy, slightly sweet, and incredibly simple to make. It has been used by herbalists for generations to help ward off cold and flu symptoms and boost the immune system thanks to its long list of antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral ingredients. It does take about a month to completely infuse, so we say now is a good time to make it. 

The great thing about fire cider is that the recipe can be easily adapted depending on what ingredients you have on hand. The general recipe consists of horseradish root, ginger, onion, garlic, hot peppers, and apple cider vinegar, but you really can add just about anything to your liking. This is our adaptation of Rosemary Gladstar's original recipe.

Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic | wholeapothecary.com

Made With:
- 1 large head of garlic, about 16 cloves, minced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 6 in. piece horseradish root, peeled and diced
- 6 in. piece ginger root, peeled and grated
- 6 in. piece turmeric root, peeled and grated
- 1 lemon
- small bunch thyme
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne powder
- apple cider vinegar
- raw, unfiltered honey

Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic | wholeapothecary.com

To Make:
- Add the onion, garlic, horseradish, ginger, and turmeric into a large quart sized mason jar.
- Add the dried cayenne powder and thyme to the mason jar. Depending on how spicy you'd like your fire cider, use 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne powder.
- Slice the lemon, rind included, and quarter each slice. Add to the mason jar mixture.
- Pour your apple cider vinegar over the mason jar mixture until it's entirely covered. It's important to use a good quality ACV like Bragg's "with the mother" (natural sediment on the bottom of the bottle). Cover the mason jar with a piece of parchment paper before sealing with its lid. This is an important step so the vinegar won't corrode the lid.
- Make sure the mason jar is tightly sealed before vigorously shaking to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Label with the date and let steep for 4 to 6 weeks. Yes, this recipe requires a bit of patience. The mixture is fine to leave out at room temperature white it is infusing. I stick mine in the pantry, away from any direct light.
- After 4 to 6 weeks, strain the mixture, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar.  
- Add about 1/4 c of raw, unfiltered honey and mix until combined. Add more honey to taste.

Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic | wholeapothecary.com

How to Use:
There are several ways you can incorporate fire cider into your daily diet. Take straight as a shot or as a yummy salad dressing or marinade. To help fight present cold symptoms, take a spoonful every few hours. For sore throats, mix a spoonful with honey and take as needed. You can even mix Fire Cider into some fresh orange juice for the little ones, just make sure it's not too spicy! 

Fire Cider: Folk Remedy and Cold + Flu Tonic | wholeapothecary.com

Ingredient Breakdown:
Garlic- the allicin found in garlic can serve as a health aid during times of illness by reducing cold symptoms and the length of colds. 
Onion- contains a high amount of sulfur compounds which are powerful detoxifying agents. They provide therapeutic and antibacterial properties that cleanse and detox our bodies to eliminate disease.
Horseradish- due to its antibiotic properties, horseradish can also be used to treat urinary tract infections (UTI) and destroy bacteria in the throat that can cause bronchitis, coughs and related problems.
Ginger- has been used to help treat the common cold, flu-like symptoms, headaches, and painful menstrual periods.
Turmeric- has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections and some cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. 
Lemon- an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, lemons and lemon juice can help fight the formation of free radicals and can help the immune system battle germs that cause a cold or flu.
Thyme- has traditionally been used to treat respiratory illnesses, such as bronchitis, and to treat cough. Two preliminary studies suggest that thyme may help treat acute bronchitis and relieve cough.
Cayenne- contains Capsicum which is used for various problems with digestion including upset stomach, intestinal gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, and cramps. It is also used for conditions of the heart and blood vessels including poor circulation, excessive blood clotting, high cholesterol, and preventing heart disease
Apple Cider Vinegar- can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals
Honey- has been shown to hamper the growth of food-borne pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella, and to fight certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Disclaimer: 
This blog post is for educational and informational purposes only. The statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a medical professional and the information provided is not intended to be a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Do you have any other great folk remedies to share? What do you like to put into your fire cider? We want to know!