Fire Cider Benefits And Recipe: What Is Fire Cider?

Porcelain mug next to lemon, ginger and leaves.

Here at Maple Holistics, we often write about the health benefits of nature’s wonders – fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and oils of all sorts. Sometimes, though, we’ll also write about things that can be made by humans using these natural ingredients – and fire cider is one of those fantastic inventions.

What Is Fire Cider?

If you have ever tasted fire cider, then you’ll know how apt its name is. Fire Cider is a tonic that was created by Rosemary Gladstar, who is a teacher and a herbalist. Not only is this tonic great for you, but it also has the most unusual flavor combination – as they describe it on marthastewart.com, it’s ‘hot, sour, pungent, and sweet.’

This is due to its strongly flavored and healing ingredients, including apple cider vinegar, ginger, onions, garlic, horseradish, cayenne or jalapeno peppers, and honey.

The tonic can be taken to help with many ailments, like the flu, a sore throat, a cough, or a nasty cold.

How Do You Make Fire Cider?

Garlic and garlic cloves.

Garlic

There are lots of variations out there for fire cider, and that’s because you might want to tweak it a little bit to help with a specific ailment. For example, adding turmeric can help fight against inflammation. If you’re trying to heal an inflamed throat or if you have a cold, you might include cinnamon sticks or rosemary. If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to add more honey.

Below is a basic fire cider recipe. Feel free to adapt it as you wish. Happy cooking!

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup ginger root, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ¾ cup horseradish root, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup minced garlic cloves
  • Two jalapeno peppers, diced
  • Zest and the juice of two lemons
  • Organic apple cider vinegar (with the ‘mother’)
  • Organic honey, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine the ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, peppers and lemon zest and in a large jar.
  2. Pour enough apple cider vinegar over the mixture to cover, with a little extra, as the ingredients will expand after some time.
  3. Seal the jar, and store in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks (preferably up to a month).
  4. When you’re ready to use it, shake the jar well and strain out the vegetables/roots. Add honey to the cider to sweeten it, and keep refrigerated to store.

Like many things, you might find fire cider to be an acquired taste. If you’re taking it for the first time, it may be best to dilute it with some water to mask its harshness. Once you’ve gotten used to it, you can start drinking it as is.

When you start to feel a cold, cough, or flu coming on, try taking about a half a shot glass every so often to keep your immune system up and the nasties away.

Rose Hips Benefits Explained: What Are Rose Hips?

Fire Cider Benefits Explained

Of course, the fantastic benefits of this tonic are only as good as its ingredients. We’ve written about many of them in the past, so be sure to check out our blog for the full details.

Apple cider vinegar, which is what contributes to the tonic’s name, is excellent for your digestive system and a natural detoxifier. It can even speed up your metabolism! If you’ve got an upset stomach, nausea, bloating, heartburn, or indigestion try some fire cider. 

Have you ever tried grating horseradish root? Trust me; there ain’t nothing better for blocked sinuses then some grated horseradish root! It will clear up any cold you have in no time.

Ginger, of course, is another crucial ingredient in fire cider. Many cold and flu remedies contain ginger in them – and for good reason! Like ACV, ginger is great for your digestive system and can soothe an upset stomach and fight off nausea. Ginger can also warm your lungs and thin your mucus, so if congestion is your problem, it’ll soon be a thing of the past.

Onions and garlic are both members of the Liliaceae family, and this family is definitely your friend when it comes to colds and flu (though maybe not when it comes to having good breath). Raw onion and garlic work as perfect decongestants. While it might be hard to chomp down on raw garlic, it’s a lot easier to drink fire cider. The garlic and onions have been sitting in the cider for an extended period of time. They would have fermented, and their health benefits would have been imparted into the liquid around them.

The Spicy And Sweet Ingredients Explained

Jar of honey with dipper.

Honey

Jalapeno peppers are delicious, particularly in Mexican dishes. They can really give your food that extra-yummy ‘kick’ and punch of flavor. But they’re also great at combatting the common cold or flu! Jalapeno peppers, sharper foods, will naturally clear your airways and nasal passages, making them perfect for decongesting. Plus, the high levels of Vitamin C they contain help to strengthen your immune system and ward off future colds.

If you’ve ever had a sore throat, a cough, a bad cold, or the flu – basically, if you’re human – then you’ve almost certainly had a hot tea with lemon and/or honey. And it’s not just because they taste good, though that does make things easier.

Like jalapeno peppers, lemons are also high in Vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. It makes your body stronger and more able to fight off your cold/cough/flu. Lemons are especially effective at cutting through mucus, soothing a sore throat, and even helping you sleep. 

While honey is in there to help sweeten the cider and make it more palatable, it also has terrific therapeutic properties in its own right. It’s incredibly soothing for a sore throat and a natural lubricant for when your throat has that scratchy feeling after you’ve been out in the cold for too long. Its natural antiviral and antibacterial properties make it a go-to ingredient for just about anyone during the winter months. And of course, its delicious sweet taste definitely helps!

Fire Cider Uses Explained

Woman holding up both arms in a field on a hilltop.

Fire cider for health.

As you can see, fire cider is an effective natural remedy to the common cold, flu, cough, congestion or a sore throat. Basically, anything that falls under these categories, like a runny nose, sneezing, or even dizziness. If you feel any of these coming on, take one to two tablespoons of fire cider every three or four hours, until your immune system has eliminated the threat and you start feeling back to yourself. Yes, you only need the smallest amount every few hours, so a jar of fire cider should last you through the winter.

Feel free to substitute vinegar with fire cider in salad dressings for extra flavor (not to mention health benefits). You can even pour it over cooked veggies and enjoy it that way! You can also use it as a marinade, or add it to alcoholic drinks to give them more oomph. That way, if the taste is not appealing to you, it can be masked by other foods or beverages, while still offering you its immune-boosting benefits.

Conclusion

As I’m writing this, it’s a boiling hot summer’s day, and the cold season seems like a lifetime away. But it doesn’t stay summer forever, and pretty soon we will find ourselves in the thick of winter. We will be battling the cold, the rain – and, no doubt, colds, coughs, and flu. But if you prepare yourself a natural tonic before the winter comes, you don’t have to suffer from these ailments. Instead, you can keep your immune system up and the colds at bay. It’s as easy as concocting a cider from the ingredients in your pantry. No more expensive commercial cold remedies – you can make your own completely natural version from the comfort of your home. Winter may be coming – but now, you’re prepared!

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