Fire Cider Season

The name fire cider refers to a traditional cider vinegar recipe that has deep roots in herbal medicine. This folk recipe is used to boost the immune system as well as quell symptoms of an oncoming cold or flu. I like to take a spoonful a day during cold and flu season, or a teaspoon 6-8 times a day if I feel like I am coming down with something.

Everyone's version of fire cider is a little different, but generally all are made by infusing a few common immune-strengthening herbs and vegetables in apple cider vinegar, and then straining and adding honey. Here is what I like to use:

Lemon: is antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and venous tonic, traditionally used for boosting the immune system.

Onion: is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, blood tonic, antibacterial, nutritious, and anti-fungal. Traditionally used to relieve a sore throat and cough symptoms.

Horseradish: is pungent, antibacterial, nutritious, and diuretic, traditionally used to clear congestion, boost the immune system, and aid digestion.

Garlic: is antimicrobial, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diaphoretic and diuretic, traditionally used as an immune system stimulant, and as a support for respiratory issues, treating a cold, and thinning mucus.

Cayenne: is carminative, traditionally used to relieve congestion, sore throat, cold, circulation, and digestion.

Ginger: is a digestive aid, carminative, expectorant, antiseptic, pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, traditionally used to treat stomach problems, nausea, indigestion, inflammation, and respiratory problems.

Honey: is antibacterial, anti-histamine, antioxidant, traditionally used to ease allergies, boost immune system, and calm a cough.


Put the following into a large glass jar:

  • One large horseradish, grated

  • One large hand of ginger, grated

  • One onion, chopped

  • Two (or more) heads of garlic, pressed

  • Powdered cayenne, to taste

  • Then pour apple cider vinegar over the vegetables and herbs in the glass jar until it reaches 1 inch from the top. Put on the lid and shake once a day for a week.

  • Let it sit for 3 to 5 weeks on the counter.

  • Next, strain out the solids, add juice of 2 to 3 lemons, and add honey using a 1:1 ratio of vinegar mixture to honey.

I take 1T daily to support the immune system, or 1T every hour or so when I begin to feel I am coming down with something.

Stay well this cold and flu season!

Love, Ashley

* This information is not intended to diagnose or treat illness, nor to replace medical treatment.

Photos by Lauren Ross

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