I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, apologies. October came and went, fast but slow. We’ve been in the thick of renovating our (only) bathroom (yay, the perks of tiny house living) for the past month, and the urgency of getting everything set up before the freezing temps emerge has taken top priority in our lives. I’ll be sharing more about that later and you can follow along on our DIY adventures in my Instagram story highlights. All that to say I started this batch of immune-supporting fire cider recipe at the end of September to keep our systems in check through cold/flu season.
I started making fire cider years ago, inspired by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar and her recipes. Fire cider is a potent tonic of raw apple cider vinegar which is infused with any number of immune-supporting herbs and plants. The “fire” comes from the addition of hot chile peppers like habaneros, which have been shown to increase circulation, boost metabolism, and support the immune system. Not to mention that just a pinch of chile will clear your sinuses instantly. I like fire cider extra hot but you can adjust the heat level by adding less or more chile peppers to the recipe.
Fire cider was one of the first products I sold through the Fare Isle brand from about 8 years ago up until the spring of 2019. During that time some controversy sprang up over the use of the term “fire cider” because one company had wrongfully trademarked the name, which had been used in the herbalist community for years before that company ever existed. I was one of many small brands that was forced to change their product name and I rebranded my fire cider as “rocket cider”. Thankfully the court sided with the herbalists who were sued by said company and the name fire cider is once again free in the public domain, as it should be. Learn more about what happened at freefirecider.com.
You can add any immune-supporting ingredients to fire cider and the recipe I’m sharing below is just one of many out there. Get creative and change it up to your tastes. Fire cider starts with a base of unpasteurized or raw apple cider vinegar which aids in digestion, fights infection, and clears the sinuses, among other health benefits.
These are the other ingredients I like to add and some of their benefits:
Onion and Garlic: antibacterial and antifungal properties, high in antioxidants, detoxifying
Ginger: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, relieves indigestion
Turmeric: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Horseradish: antibacterial and antifungal properties, fights infection
Rosehips: high in vitamin C, aids digestion
Thyme: expectorant and antibacterial properties, supports the respiratory system
Citrus: high in vitamin C, reduces inflammation, aids digestion
Raw Honey: antibacterial and antifungal properties, soothes sore throats
When I make fire cider at home I usually do not sweeten it and will take a tablespoon straight up or diluted in a small amount of water. It is strong and you will feel it heat you up right away starting from your throat then abdomen and working out to your outer limbs. It might make your nose run as it clears your sinuses so I like to have a tissue ready to blow my nose right after.
Raw honey is usually used to sweeten fire cider and cut the edge of the heat and spiciness. I would sweeten the fire cider I sold with maple syrup to keep it vegan friendly. The maple didn’t add any medicinal value but it tasted amazing. If you choose to add sweetener to your fire cider then wait until after you’ve strained it once the mixture has infused fully.
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, the process of making fire cider is very easy. Fill a clean jar with the prepared ingredients and cover them fully with apple cider vinegar. Then neal the jar and let it sit at room temperature but away from the sun for anywhere from 2-4 weeks. During this time all of the ingredients will infuse into the apple cider vinegar along with all of their health benefits. After this time the vinegar is strained off and poured into a clear jar or bottle. At this point, you can sweeten the fire cider to taste or leave it unsweetened. Fire cider is safe to keep at room temperature and can be stored for up to 6 months out of the sun.
Take it by the tablespoonful 1-3 times throughout the day as a daily preventative or more often as a remedy to help fight off common cold symptoms. Please use caution, do your own research, and consult your medical professional before treating yourself or others.
Yield 1 quart
A herbal tonic for daily immune system support.
- 4 cups unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh turmeric
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated fresh horseradish
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup halved fresh rosehips
- 1 lemon, chopped
- 1 lime, chopped
- 1 orange or 2 mandarins, chopped
- 1-2 fresh habanero peppers, chopped
- Layer prepared ingredients into a clean 1/2 gallon glass jar then cover them with the apple cider vinegar.
- Cover the jar with a lid and let sit at room temperature out of the sun for 2 weeks.
- Strain liquid into a bowl, pressing the ingredients with the back of a spoon to release as much liquid as possible, and discard everything else.
- Pour the strained liquid into a clean quart jar.
- Optionally sweeten the fire cider to taste with raw honey or maple syrup for a vegan-friendly version.
- Cover the jar with a lid and store at room temperature out of the sun for up to 6 months.
- If you can't source ingredients you can leave them out or use dried/powdered versions of items.
- Feel free to add other ingredients like other medicinal quality herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, etc.), different chile peppers, or any other immune-supporting ingredients that you are familiar with.
- Use caution when foraging wild plants and be sure to identify plants/mushrooms correctly before ingesting them.
- These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Disclaimer: I, Kaity Farrell, am not a medical professional and the content on my blog, this website, my Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok pages, and any follow-up comments, is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with your qualified health care professional before treating yourself or anyone else. Neither I nor Fare Isle can be held liable for the choices and actions you as the reader make and/or the outcome of those choices and actions.