Saturday, October 4, 2014

Immune Boosting Fire Cider Recipe for Colds and Flu

Fire Cider

Prepare this fall and winter season before things get too cold by making a batch of Fire Cider a.k.a. Master Tonic or Flu Shots. Fire Cider, an all natural cold and flu folk remedy, has been a tradition passed down through the ages of time. This fiery concoction is an immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, warming, decongestant, and helps with circulation & digestion. Its flavor is potent, hot, spicy, pungent, sour and sweet all mixed together.

There are many ways to make this recipe, but most agree upon the basic ingredients of ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, and chile peppers or cayenne powder. These ingredeients are infused with apple cider vinegar, which is strained and mixed with honey. Rosemary Gladstar, a well known herbalist, coined the term Fire Cider over 35 years ago and published her recipe in her book, Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs on page 74. My recipe is adapted from Rosemary Gladstar's version with some added extras of my own. I would encourage you to experiment and make your own according to your own tastes and available ingredients. I have included my recipe below with a few variations and other optional ingredients. The outcomes range from super spicy to something that gently warms. It is fun to play with the mixture of the ingredients and see what subtleties you can taste from the differences.

My Fire Cider Ingredients

Ingredients (* = an optional ingredient I used in mine)

  • ½ cup ginger root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for stomach problems, digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, and bronchitis)
  • ½ cup horseradish root, pealed and grated or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough, tonsillitis, sinus infections and bronchitis. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-septic, stimulant)
  • 1 medium onion, pealed and diced (great for a number of things including blood circulation, upper respiratory tract infections, cough. anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant)
  • 10 cloves of garlic, pealed and minced or pealed and diced (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, blood circulation, viral infections, and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-viral)
  • 2 chile peppers like jalapeño, cayenne or habanero peppers, chopped or ¼ tsp ground cayenne or pinch of dried chillies (vitamin C-rich, anti-inflammatory, vasodilator for healthy blood flow)
  • *1 lemon, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, aids digestion, and anti-oxidant)
  • *rosemary, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including digestion, cough, stimulating immune system, increases blood flow. anti-inflammatory)
  • *1 tbsp turmeric or ¼ cup fresh grated or pealed and diced turmeric (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • *cinnamon, to taste or a couple of cinnamon sticks (great for a number of things including coughs, colds, sore throats, viral infections and bacterial infections. anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial)
  • raw unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (at least 5% acidity) (great for a number of things including digestion, sore throats, colds, flu, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, energy booster, pro-biotic)
  • raw local honey, to taste (to be added after a month when herb infused vinegar is ready to be strained to complete the Fire Cider) (great for a number of things including sore throats, colds, coughs, infections. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, pro-biotic)

More Optional Additions
  • cardamom, to taste (helps relieve digestive problems induced by garlic and onion)
  • garam masala, to taste (usually a blend of turmeric, cloves, nutmeg, mace spice, cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom)
  • curry, to taste (usually a blend of coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, and chili powder or cayenne) (great for a number of things including stomach problems, digestion, cough, and bronchitis, colds. anti-inflammatory, anti-infection, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, adaptogen - lessens stress and helps boost immunity)
  • cloves, powder to taste or tsp buds (great for a number of things including digestion, blood circulation, coughs, stress. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, immune booster and stimulant)
  • nutmeg or mace spice powder to taste (great for a number of things including digestion, sleep, blood flow. anti-oxidant, anti-fungal, anti-depressant, immune booster)
  • thyme, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (great for a number of things including sore throats, coughs, whooping cough, bronchitis, chest congestion, and bacterial infections. anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial)
  • basil, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory)
  • oregano, several fresh sprigs or 2 tbsp dried (anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, nutrient dense)
  • prunella a.k.a. all heal or self heal, 1 tbsp freshly chopped or dried leaves (anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-septic)
  • hibiscus flowers, 1 tsp dried (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • rose hips, small handful (great for chest ailments, coughs, colds. vitamin C-rich)
  • elderberries (Sambucus nigra), small handful (great for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. anti-bacterial, anti-viral, vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • hawthorn berries, small handful (great for digestion, cardiovascular, circulatory, and respiratory, blood flow. vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • pomegranate seeds/arils, juiced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • sun-dried tomatoes, small handful diced (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • other smallish citrus fruits, juiced and zested and/or quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (vitamin C-rich, anti-oxidant)
  • ½-1 tsp black peppercorns (digestive stimulant and expectorant)
  • other immune system boosting ingredients you want to add

Equipment
  • cutting board
  • sharp knife/peeler/grater
  • canning funnel
  • 1 quart size jar
  • parchment or wax paper
  • cheesecloth or a large ricer (something to strain it after a month or so)

The ingredients before and after Apple Cider Vinegar.

Directions
After preparing; layer and pack all roots, herbs, spices, vegetables and fruit into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the apple cider vinegar over the contents, making sure they are covered with it. Tap the side gently to make sure the air bubbles rise to the surface and pop. Place a square of parchment or wax paper under the lid so that it doesn't acidify the metal and cause corrosion or use a plastic lid that fits. Tighten lid onto the jar. Shake well. Compost all peals and scraps.

Compost the lovely scraps.
Let the jar sit and steep for a month or longer in a cool dark place, shaking daily. After the month is up strain and decant the vinegar into a clean jar. Add honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within a year.

Serving Suggestions
Take 1-2 tbsp at the first sign of cold and repeat the dose every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside. If you love spicy hot flavors you could even have a whole shot glass full to ward off the nasties.You can also take it throughout the cold and flu season to prevent symptoms from occurring at all.

Make something out of the ingredients you strained out (if you used cinnamon sticks you can grate them as well. waste not want not!):
  • spicy egg/spring rolls
  • a spicy veggie pancake
  • a spicy pizza
  • sautée with meats, tempeh, or tofu for a stir fry, soup, or ingredients for a sandwich or wrap
  • mince and add to a chip dip, marinade or condiment
  • make up your own

Use the Fire Cider herb infused vinegar to:
  • baste or marinate meats, tempeh, or tofu
  • drizzle over salads as a dressing
  • drizzle over steamed veggies or sautéed greens
  • mix it with a condiment like honey mustard to give it an extra kick
  • add in soups or chilis
  • mix with lemonade or orange juice
  • mix with hot water and extra honey to make a warming tea
  • anything you think would be yummy

If you have made your own Fire Cider/Master Tonic/Flu Shot recipe please share it in the comments below!

Other References
February 2nd, is World Fire Cider Day!
Free Fire Cider
Tradition Not Trademark
Petition to sign
Rosemary Gladstar's company, Sage Mountain has Winter Recipes for Health & Well Being
Herbal Roots Zine: Kids Can Make Fire Cider Too!: has a free printable label, card, and 14 page fire cider e-book
Kiva's Gila Harvest Cider: a variation for sensitive stomachs

Rosemary Gladstar making her version of Fire Cider...


You can find Rosemary Gladstar's version along with so many of her other awesome herbal recipes in her book Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs...



DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: The medical information provided on this blog is, at best, of a general nature and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical professional (for instance, a qualified doctor/physician, nurse, pharmacist/chemist, and so on). I am not a medical professional, just a mom with a opinion. Even if a statement made about the natural remedy is accurate, it may not apply to you or your symptoms. I am only suggesting that you should try it for yourself and see if helps you. People are all different and outcomes could vary drastically. I am not selling my Fire Cider, I am simply making my recipe available for free to all those who read this post and want to make it themselves.

2 comments:

Marlynn said...

This is great! We have our own, much simpler all natural cold & flu fighter, but I am definitely going to consider adding some of the additional ingredients you have listed here for even greater effect. Thanks!

ShelleyLynn said...

Thank you for this! Now I just need to round up the ingredients... :-) It will be great before a trip.