Fire Cider – A Traditional Remedy for Cold & Flu Season

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Have you ever heard of fire cider? I hadn’t until about a year or so ago. It’s a potent traditional remedy for cold and flu season. I wanted to give it a shot this year and see what all the hype was about, and I decided to share it with all of you!

Thankfully, this recipe really is simple to make, and it lasts quite some time. And you may even be able to make it with homegrown produce and herbs!

Traditionally, most families practiced homesteading – running a household that allowed them to be completely or at least partially self-sufficient. Unfortunately in today’s society, most of us have abandoned the idea of homesteading and traded it in for the convenience of grocery stores and imported produce. Now, I’m not saying to go out and buy a goat for your own milk. But I do think some homesteading principles and traditions should be incorporated into everyday life again.

I don’t have a big garden right now, so there are only a few herbs that I used that were grown by me. But that’s okay! Don’t let this deter you from trying this remedy. Just be sure to use organic produce so you don’t make a tincture loaded with harmful pesticides.

So, what even is fire cider? It’s a tincture made from infusing potent medicinal plants in apple cider vinegar for a month (yes, one month!), then strained and used as either a daily preventative or a remedy.

You will need:

  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small or medium onion
  • 1 lemon
  • fresh rosemary
  • fresh thyme
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice
  • black peppercorns
  • ginger
  • horseradish
  • turmeric
  • apple cider vinegar
  • 1 mason jar
  • wax or parchment paper

See why it’s called fire cider? The garlic and onion have a sharp bite on their own, then factor in the hot pepper, peppercorns, ginger, and horseradish? This is definitely going to be spicy!

But that’s exactly what helps the immune system ward off invading pathogens.

Garlic contains allicin, which is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral. Swallowing raw garlic when sick has been used traditionally in many cultures for centuries as an effective cold and flu remedy. For a more in-depth explanation, watch this video that I filmed!   

Onion is a nutrient-packed superfood full of vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc, selenium, and antioxidants. It’s been shown that these compounds help boost antiviral properties in the immune system.

Lemon is known to stimulate gentle detoxification. Perfect for getting rid of any bug!

Rosemary and thyme also stimulate the immune system. Actually, thyme extract, thymol, is used in some natural household cleaners for its effectiveness at killing viruses and bacteria.

Black peppercorns help the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. This is why turmeric supplements often contain black pepper, to help with absorption!

Ginger, horseradish, and turmeric are all anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and improve circulation. Proper circulation is important for healthy detox, especially when sick.

Apple cider vinegar is used as the medium to infuse these medicinal foods. Make sure to use apple cider vinegar (ACV) with the mother, which is strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria. It can also help kill harmful bacteria since it is still vinegar.

I filmed how I made this traditional remedy to show you exactly how it’s made. I didn’t get a chance to find any fresh ginger, horseradish, or turmeric, so I used ground since that’s all I had. Remember, traditional homesteaders only used what they had at the time, so don’t feel bad about skipping one or two ingredients. But I wouldn’t miss out on the garlic, onion, or lemon.

Once the infusion is made, store it in a dark, cool place and shake every 1-2 days for a month. Then, strain the liquid into another jar, seal tight and store in a cool dark place or in the fridge. This will keep for 4-6 weeks.

Take 1 tbsp daily as a preventative or take 1 tbsp 3-4 times per day if you are sick.

Like I said, I’ve never tried fire cider before, but from what I have heard it actually tastes quite good! Some people use it as a salad dressing with some olive oil and honey added.

I hope you try this recipe with me! I look forward to sharing more traditional remedies and homesteading tips with you soon.

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