Fire Cider: Health Tonic Recipe and Benefits

fire cider recipe
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Jenny Bayon

When it comes to this drink, the name says it all: fire cider (or fire tonic) benefits the immune system and boosts circulation. This fire cider recipe is full of natural ingredients and is a traditional remedy for colds.

Fire Cider Recipe: Base

fire cider benefits
If you don’t want to use fresh peppers, feel free to use ground jalapeño powder, cayenne pepper, or chilli powder. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Free-Photos )

We’ll share a tried and true fire cider recipe, so you can make this natural remedy yourself at home. For a 4 gallon mason jar, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 5 oz. horseradish 
  • 2.5 oz. ginger
  • 1 large onion 
  • 10 cloves of garlic 
  • 2 jalapeños 
  • approx. 4 cups apple cider vinegar (use an unpasteurized vinegar with a 5% acidity level for best results)
  • honey or a vegan honey alternative

Fire Cider Recipe Optional Extras:

  • 1 organic lemon or orange 
  • turmeric, rosemary, cayenne, or black pepper

Note: Organic ingredients are always better for the environment and your health — when possible, choose sustainable food products.

You’ll also need the following utensils: 

  • Sterilized mason or canning jar with a sealable lid — acetic acid (found in vinegar) can corrode metal, so try to avoid using a metal lid.
  • Strainer with cheesecloth

How to Prepare Fire Tonic

fire cider recipe and benefits
Honey, lemon, and ginger are the trifecta of cold remedies. Add in the fire cider benefits of horseradish, garlic, and onion and you’ve got a great immune system boost! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - ExplorerBob)
  1. Wash the ingredients and peel the ginger, horseradish, onion, and garlic.
  2. Grate the horseradish and ginger; chop the onion and garlic. 
  3. Dice the jalapeños. Remember to wash your hands after chopping to avoid accidentally touching and burning your eyes. Can’t find fresh jalapeños? Try using cayenne pepper powder instead. 
  4. Prepare a clean mason jar with a sealable lid and place all ingredients except the vinegar and honey inside.
  5. If you are using any additional ingredients in your fire cider recipe, add them to the jar as well.
  6. Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar until it reaches a few inches above the ingredients. Make sure all ingredients are covered.
  7. Give it a big, vigorous stir to mix all ingredients before closing.
  8. Leave the fire tonic to steep for four weeks at room temperature in a dark place. Shake the jar every few days. After four weeks you can pass the cider through a sieve and transfer the liquid into a bottle.
  9. Finally, add as much honey to the fire cider as you like. 

Refrigerated, it will keep for several months. If you don’t want to throw away the strained remains, you can still use them as an ingredient in a soup or vegetable dish. 

Feel free to add other ingredients to the fire cider recipe in order to tweak the flavor to your preference. Keep trying until you find a version you like.

Natural Cold & Flu Remedy

fire cider recipe
The ingredients in this fire tonic recipe have been used for centuries for their defensive effect against colds. (Photo: Sarah Gairing / Utopia)

Fire cider is used in natural medicine to boost circulation with its fiery ingredients and to strengthen the immune system. Ginger, garlic, and onion have been traditionally used for their anti-bacterial effect, and apple cider vinegar and honey to aid digestion. Plus, the pungency of horseradish may clear sinuses, which can help prevent sinus infections.

This fire cider recipe and name appeared through herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s. The ingredients, however, from which the fire cider benefits come, have been used in natural medicine as cold remedies for centuries.

After Preparing the Recipe: How to Apply Fire Cider

A spoonful a day keeps the doctor away. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Ulleo)

Drink one to two tablespoons every day during the cold season to help prevent flu and colds. If you feel a cold coming on, divide the same dosage into two to three smaller portions throughout the day instead of taking it all at once.

Tip: this fire cider recipe is often a bit too spicy for children. Try diluting it with juice so that kids can enjoy fire cider benefits too, without the intense flavor. 

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Fire Cider: Ein Rezept für das Erkältungsgetränk

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