What is Fire Cider and Why Make It

Master Tonic - A Cold Season Must Have! And So Much More....

From what I can tell, we can thank Rosemary Gladstar, a well known herbalist for introducing us to "Fire Cider". She taught her students and made this recipe available to help us all meet our own needs in what I feel is a far better way than over-the-counter medications from your local drug store. This remedy is made from powerful ingredients you probably cook with regularly and is said to be 10x more effective than OTC medications. (yes, please read the standard disclosures below to keep the medical professional happy).

The base ingredients include:

  • Garlic
  • Horseradish
  • Ginger
  • Onion
  • Hot peppers
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Read on...there are may optional ingredients offering support for a variety of needs.


  • Antibacterial & Natural Antibiotic
Nature has given us very powerful antibacterial and antibiotic properties in garlic, horseradish and ginger. Alone or even more powerful in combination, they have been effective against things like strep throat, chest infections, cough and congestion. Studies have show them to be as effective as big-pharma antibiotics while supporting all your beneficial gut microbes rather than destroying them. This is hand's down, my go-to choice!
  • Anti-fungal
Garlic, onion contain light levels of allicin which has strong anti-fungal properties and is often used especially against candida. Ginger while not an anti-fungal, contains properties which support the liver in its efforts to halt candida and detoxify the body.
  • Anti-viral & Natural Flu Destroyer
Fire Cider is also a strong antiviral. Standard antibiotics are completely ineffective against a virus. The healing properties of garlic alone have been shown to be very effective against common cold and flue viruses. By fermenting them in something like fire cider active ingredients are extracted and made more bio-available.
  • Heart Tonic
Garlic has also been shown to lower blood pressure, remove plaque from arteries, raise good HDL cholesterol and lower overall cholesterol.  What's not to like?
Ginger has been found to prevent atherosclerosis, lower cholesterol and prevent oxidation of LDL (low-density cholesterol)
Horseradish and hot peppers improve blood circulation, energizing the body and kicking up the healing properties of everything else it contacts.
  • Immune System Booster
Ingredients in "Fire Cider" have been proven to boost your immune system and stimulate increased production of white blood cells as well as being naturally high in vitamin C.
  • Anti-oxidant
Among the vast benefits of antioxidant compounds against free-radicals, they have been proven to be effective even against cancer. Fire Cider contains naturally occurring antioxidant compounds including: allyl cycteine, allicin, aliin, allyl disulfide, glucosinolate, polyphenols, vitamin C, flavinoids, tannins, curcumin to name just a few.
  • Anti-inflammatory
Can you say no more joint pain? Fire Cider is very effective against autoimmune disorders. Fire Cider has ingredients that have been shown to help rebuild collagen in the joints, reduce pain and inflammation, reducing joint swelling, and soreness associated with autoimmune diseases.
  • Strong Digestive Aid
As with all fermented foods, Fire Cider is fully of healthy microbes that really helps with things like bloating, upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, indigestion - a real digestion powerhouse. Of course we recommend you stop eating the things your body doesn't like that are causing these symptoms, but in the meantime, or to just support good digestion, there's always Fire Cider.
  • Energizer & Caffeine Substitute
Feeling tired? Fire Cider to the rescue.  I find it far more effective than coffee! With benefits!

Here's the official recipe:

  • 1 horseradish root, peeled & grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ginger root, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 onion, mined (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic head, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Turmeric roots, peeled & grated (or 2 Tbsp ground turmeric)
  • 2-4 hot peppers, minced (habanero, jalapeno,etc.)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (about 24 oz) (I use homemade kombucha that's been fermented to vinegar).
  • Raw Honey about 1/4 cup, to taste optional (added after fermentation and straining)
  1. Start with an air-tight jar large enough to hold your ingredients. Place grated ginger and horseradish in you r container. Add chopped garlic, onion, and hot peppers. (** IMPORTANT - Always take precautions when processing potent ingredients like hot peppers, onion and especially horseradish. It will clear your sinuses in 15 seconds flat, and the whole house! Prepare in a well ventilated room, wear gloves and even a mask!)
  2. Cover with apple cider vinegar, make sure everything is submerged.  Shake well.
  3. Make sure the container is capped tightly and place in a cool dark place.  Let sit for 2-4 weeks (2 weeks if desperately needed, otherwise be patient!). Remember to shake it daily. If using a metal lid, guard against rust by separating the vinegar from the metal using a piece of parchment.
  4. After 2-4 weeks strain, squeezing out all the liquidy goodness, and transfer liquid portion to an air tight container and store in the refrigerator. Use as needed. Standard instructions say to store in the refrigerator up to 1 year. I store mine in a sterilized wine bottle, on a cool dark shelf in the pantry for that long with no problems (would probably last longer, but mine is always gone before then).
  5. Optional - add raw honey to soften the heat if desired.

Other Optional ingredients to consider:

  • Several springs organic rosemary, thyme or oregano
  • Burdock root
  • Rosehips
  • Astragalus
  • Parsley
  • Black peppercorns
  • Star anise
  • 1 fresh lemon, limes or orange, including peels (organic or de-waxed)

How to Use it:

As a tonic or gargle - 1 Tbsp daily (this is potent! Start with small doses and work up!) to boost immune system during cold and flu season or anytime you've been exposed to a "bug". I don't believe anything should be taken all the time unless you're addressing a chronic condition. A normally healthy body can handle daily needs. When I feel like I'm starting to come down with something I kick up the dosage taking 1 Tbsp about every few hours until I start feeling the results. For me, it knocks it right out!

Use by itself, from a teaspoon/tablespoon or add to salads or other raw foods. As with all raw fermented foods, it's effectiveness would be severely damaged by heat/cooking. It's even good in a cocktail - gin for me please ;0)

Let us not be wasteful...you can use the left over pulp too. Dress up a salad or cooked greens. Consider adding some to sauteed vegetables like carrots, cabbage, broccoli then serve over rice or sweet potato noodles or maybe in a spring roll wrap. (Remember when cooked it won't have all the same health benefits, but is delish'!). Dry remaining pulp and use as a seasoning.

WARNING: this is a strong tonic!  Best not taken on an empty stomach (best with meals) and caution should be used if certain health conditions are present such as a stomach ulcer. Always consult your health care professional especially in cases of pregnancy, are taking blood thinners or have any existing condition. Some herbs can interfere with medications.


Disclaimer: Yep, here it is...have to keep the medical pros happy...All information contained on this site is for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not licensed medical professionals. Nothing contained on this site is intended to treat or cure any disease. You are encouraged to seek advise from your medical professional. There, we've said it....you are a gown person and are completely responsible for making any decisions affecting your health and well being.


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