With the colder months now upon us, it’s a great time to think about herbal remedies to boost you and your family’s immunity. We show you how to make fire cider.
Being able to boost your immunity through homemade tonics is a more natural and more sustainable alternative to commercially sourced options.
By including ingredients sourced from your own patch – be it your garden, beehive or pantry of homemade fare – learning how to make fire cider can be a really rewarding process.
What is fire cider?
Fire cider is a spicy, immune-boosting tonic of apple cider vinegar and honey infused with powerhouse herbs, most of which are easy to grow.
A North American herbalist named Rosemary Gladstar popularised the term fire cider and has been publicising its health benefits of it for almost 40 years.
Regularly drinking homemade fire cider is said to boost your health and naturally protect against colds and flus, while easing sinus congestion that’s already taken hold. Proponents also claim it can aid digestion.
The key ingredients of fire cider
The individual ingredients of fire cider – most of which can be grown in your garden at home – are all uniquely beneficial and, when infused together, form a lively and beneficial tonic.
Apple cider vinegar
Rich in potassium and alkaline in nature, used as a medium in fire cider extracts minerals from the herbs.
As well as counteracting the acidic flavours, honey is a phytonutrient powerhouse, full of antioxidants and has both antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Chilli or cayenne peppers
Stimulates the circulatory system which promotes healing.
An expectorant, as well as boasting antibacterial, anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties.
A digestion stimulant, it is also used to treat colds and flus, sinus and lung congestion, headaches as well as hayfever and allergies.
Enhances immune function, aids nausea, has potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Nutrient dense and packed with antioxidants, onions are also antibacterial and help improve immune function.
How to make fire cider
1/2 cup freshly grated horseradish
1/2 cup freshly grated ginger
10 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium brown onion, chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 chillies or 1/4 tsp cayenne
Apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup raw honey
Place horseradish, ginger, garlic, onion, lemon and chillies/cayenne into a 750ml or one-litre bottle or jar. Pour in apple cider vinegar so that the herbs are covered and the vinegar reaches the top of the jar. Seal and let sit in a dark, cool place for four weeks, shaking daily.
After four weeks, strain the herbs from the vinegar and add the honey. Store in the fridge.
Enjoy your fire cider straight up with two tablespoons every morning or dilute in water.
Fire cider is also great in marinades, soups, over steamed vegies, and salad dressings.
Want to know more about how to make fire cider?
In Issue #20 of Pip Magazine, we delve into the benefits of fire tonic in more detail, and bring you recipes for immune oxymel and thyme cough syrup.
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