Updated: Feb 6
Cold and flu season is upon us! Instead of running to the medicine drawer or your local pharmacy to get your hands on some over the counter medicine, why not try fire cider! But, you might be asking yourself: "What is fire cider?"
To be completely honest, I had no idea what it was before I started my Masters program in Applied Clinical Nutrition. I feel like I probably made or have taken something similar in the past, but nothing similar to these cominbations of herbs and spices that are sure to be advantageous to the entire body!
In short, a fire cider is an immune-boosting health tonic that’s been used for decades to naturally protect against cold and flu and ease sinus congestion. It's also said to restore and invigorate one's system, and additionally, has benfits that include boosting energy, aiding in digestion, lowering blood sugar, increasing energy, and curbing cravings.
Besides all of these amazing benefits, one of the reasons why I love fire cider so much, is that it can get you really nice and warmed up on a cold day. I swear by it as an immune booster and recommend drinking extra if and when you're starting to feel like you're coming down with something. You can definitely purchase different types of pre-made fire ciders, but I quickly realized that it's really easy to make at home.
My base recipe includes horseradish, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper and apple cider vinegar. If that level of heat and/or spice won't work for you, don’t worry, you can add honey or remove/scale down the spicier ingredients during preparation or right before drinking it to sweeten/balance the taste to your liking.
These ingredients are not chosen at random, therefore each one provides health benefits that make fire ciders extremely beneficial to the body.
Apple Cider Vinegar — has so many benefits but my personal favorite is that it’s a digestive aid.
Horseradish — helps alleviate sinus congestion and headaches. Even chopping or grating horseradish has this effect. If you try this recipe, you’ll see!
Ginger — helps with digestion, infections and nausea.
Garlic — a secret superpower with antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Onion — has similar properties to garlic but is also great for preventing (or recovering from!) colds and the flu.
Cayenne Pepper — helps move blood through your cardiovascular system. Blood circulation = healing.
Honey — soothes inflamed tissues and organs. Using local honey can also help with allergies.
All of these ingredients may seem intimidating, but here’s a sneak peek before you get to the recipe: you’re essentially infusing apple cider vinegar with these flavors, straining the liquid and then adding honey to sweeten.
Remember that these ingredients are just suggestions based on my own personal preferences, but you can certainly pick and choose whichever ones align with you and your areas of concerns/symptoms.
Mild Fire Cider (smaller jar, pictured to the right)
12 - 16 oz. Organic Apple cider vinegar (enough to fill the jar)
2 Organic Garlic Bulbs,crushed
¼ Cup Organic Ginger Root, grated.
¼ Cup Organic Horseradish Root, grated
¼ Cup Organic Vidalia Onion, chopped
1 Organic Lemon, juiced & zested
2 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary
1 Tbsp Fresh Oregano
1 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Organic Cinnamon
3 Tbsp Raw Honey
Yields: approx. 12 oz.
Spicy Fire Cider (larger jar, pictured to the left)
Organic apple cider vinegar
1 Medium Organic Vidalia Onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, chopped
2 Organic Jalapeno Peppers, chopped
2 Organic Lemons, juiced & zested (1 Lemon)
½ Fresh Organic Ginger Root, grated
½ Fresh Organic Horseradish Root, grated
1 Tbsp. Organic Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Organic Cayenne Powder
2 Tbsp Dried Rosemary Leaves
1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste (added right before drinking)
Yields: approx. 26 oz.
Warning: Before you start prepping any of the ingredients, if you are sensitive to spice, I reccommend you wearing gloves of some sort. There can be a tendency to forget you're chopping up something spicy and itch or rub your eye, resulting in a very painful experience!
Mild Fire Cider
Grate the ginger and horseradish, chop or smash the garlic, chop the onion, and finely chop the fresh rosemary and oregano. Add these ingredients to a small pot.
Zest the lemon and then add it to the pot, along wih the freshly squeezed juice.
Finally, add the pepper flakes, cinnaomon, honey and apple cider vinegar. Place the pot over the stove on medium heat and bring to a low simmer, mixing occasionally.
Once the ingredients have reached a simmer, turn off the heat and remove from the pot from the stove. Add more honey to taste, if desired.