In this post I will explain how to make this quick and easy herbal remedy, Fire Cider. This simple herbal preparation works wonders for cold and flu treatment and prevention. With just a handful of ingredient that you can easily find at your local grocery store, you can make this easy but potent herbal remedy.
Fire Cider is a common cold and flu remedy used by many herbalists. In fact I went to an herbal conference recently with several herbal vendors on site. At least 50% of the vendors, no matter what their main wares, also sold a version of fire cider.
1 quart canning jar
1 medium onion, chopped
6 inches of ginger, somewhat peeled, then chopped
1 small hunk of horseradish root, somewhat peeled, then chopped
6 - 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 inch chunk of hot pepper (cayenne, jalapeño, fresno, or 1 small Thai chili)
Enough raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to cover ingredients in quart jar.
Roughly chop the ingredients and place in a quart jar. Cover with apple cider vinegar. Shake jar and place in a dark, cool place for 3-8 week, gently shaking a couple times a week. The longer it sits, the stronger it will be. Once the vinegar has darkened and the chopped ingredients begin to look 'spent', strain through cheese cloth (squeezing out all the vinegar) and then place in a vinegar curette or a glass bottle. I keep mine on the counter, but it can also be kept in the refrigerator. I have read that fire cider is good on the counter for 12-18 months as long as it is cool and out of sunlight. I use mine pretty quickly so it's not on the counter for more than a couple months.
I like to make a batch in the beginning of Fall so it's ready for the start of cold & flu season. Then as I decant that one, I start another batch in case winter lingers. Fire cider is great when spring allergies are kicking in, so be sure to make plenty.
as with most recipes I love, the ingredient list is just a suggestion. You can easily omit an ingredient or add others. For example, I have made this without horseradish and it still worked great. I have also added a bunch of fresh thyme, which is not only delicious but it also adds more antibacterial/antiviral properties. A chunk of turmeric root is also a nice addition.
If you absolutely do not like spicy and this sounds way to hot for you, make and onion thyme cider - simply use chopped onion and a bunch of thyme covered in vinegar. Strain after 4 weeks and enjoy! It won't have quite the same punch, but it will definitely help to kill what ails you!
Fire Cider - Printable Recipe
How to Use Fire Cider
For Prevention - Fire Cider can be taken by the TBSP full, like medicine. One TBSP a day is usually enough as a preventative. If a TBSP of vinegar is unappealing to you, dilute a spoonful into a small glass of water.
If you think maybe you're coming down with something - increase your the dosage to 1 TBSP taken 2-3 times a day.
If you are indeed sick - continue to take 1 TBSP multiple times a day. You can take it alone or take a big spoon, dip into honey to fill the spoon almost 1/2 way with honey, then top off the spoon with Fire Cider. Do this several times a day. The honey helps soothe the throat and ease cough. You can also mix 1 TSBP Fire Cider into warm water with honey and lemon juice or blend it into ginger tea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Fire Cider need to be refrigerated? You can refrigerate it, but it is not necessary. Fire Cider should be stored in a cool, dark place.
How long can I leave Fire Cider processing before I strain it? It is recommended to leave it 4 - 8 weeks. I have used it after only 3 weeks and after 10 weeks. The vinegar should keep well, even with the chopped ingredients. However, if the ingredients come above the vinegar, they could grow mold. If this occurs, discard and start again. Also, if when you go to decant it, you see anything questionable, notice mold or a strange smell, I would also recommend you discard it. However, I have never had a batch go bad on me.
How long can I store finished Fire Cider? Mine rarely lasts more than a couple months because I use it so often. However, everything I read about it says that it can easily last 18 months to 2 years if stored in a clean jar in a cool, dark place.
What if I don't have all of the ingredients? You can easily make the Fire Cider without all the ingredients. It won't be quite the same, but all the ingredients have the medicinal properties needed. A version made with just onion and thyme is very delicious and will still help fight off infections.