@ 2022 by Kathleen Raven Wildwood

Here is my version of Fire Cider, which you can adapt for yourself and your family or friends. Like any wise herbalist, you can use the foods and herbs you have on hand. You can even add in something later! The original Fire Cider recipe and name has been attributed to the wonderful Rosemary Gladstar, one of the founders of modern-day herbalism in the US. 

Fire Cider gets the first part of its name from the warming herbs and foods which have been used traditionally to ward off winter illnesses. Many of these herbs, such as ginger and garlic, have been well-studied scientifically, affirming the traditions of our grandmothers. “Cider” likely refers to the sweetness added by the honey, along with the acidic tang of the apple cider vinegar. However, if you are wanting a sweet drink you can enjoy in quantity, go with actual apple cider. Fire Cider isn’t meant to be a beverage as much as a medicine. 

Though it will certainly taste flavorful and warming, you can tailor your Fire Cider to suit your needs and tastes. You can make it mild or hot, sweet or not, and add layers of different flavors with the herbs and foods you choose.

I personally like mine without honey, and call it Fire Vinegar or Immunity Vinegar. I do not add hot peppers because someone in my household has a sensitive stomach which reacts badly to hot peppers. However, we do use horseradish which is warming, but does not irritate some stomachs like hot peppers do. If you want, you could skip the peppers and horseradish all together, or reduce the amount you put in. 

I usually have a ½ to 1 ounce shot, on its own. Occasionally I will have it mixed in water and sipped throughout the day when I feel like I am coming down with something that I want to prevent. You can take a little every day during the winter to help keep illnesses at bay.

Here are several ways people take Fire Cider. All of them will support your immune health. 

  • As a preventative or immune tonic: 1 tablespoon to 1 ounce daily
  • To help ward off a cold or other illness: 1 tablespoon to 1 oz. several times a day
  • To help reduce the severity of length of a cold or other illness: 1 tablespoon to 1 oz. several times a day
  • As a beverage, just to enjoy or assist with digestion: 1 tablespoon to ½ oz. in 4-8 oz. of water (hot or cold)
  • Can also be used as a salad dressing or marinade!

As with all herbs and foods, listen to your body. If it tastes too strong or too hot, water it down or don’t use it.

Fire Cider Recipe, Wildwood Style

1) Roughly chop the following and place in a ½ gallon canning jar:   

  • Fresh Onions (1/2 cup or more)
  • Fresh Garlic (1/4 cup or more)
  • Fresh Ginger root (1/4 cup or more)
  • Fresh Horseradish root (1/2 cup or more)
  • Fresh Turmeric root (1/4 cup, or 2 large tablespoons or more of turmeric powder)
  • Orange peels (organic if at all possible) from 1-2 oranges
  • A few sprigs of fresh Sage (or a pinch of dried-never overdo!) – or any other immune-supportive fresh or dried herb like Thyme, Rosemary, etc.
  • Dried Reishi or Shitake Mushrooms, or leftover Shitake Mushroom stems from cooking
  • Optional: Cayenne peppers, fresh or dried powder. Should not be so hot you cannot tolerate it. Use less than you think you need (especially if powdered, it’s easy to overdo!) You can always add more later, but you can’t take it out…
  • Soooo many other options: A few Black Peppercorns (or any other color), a piece of Astragalus root, a handful of seaweed…

2)  Fill jar with apple cider vinegar. I use pasteurized, but many people use raw. There should be a few inches of vinegar on top or bottom, ie, more vinegar than vegetables and herbs by several inches. 

3) Cover the top of the jar with wax paper and then put on the lid tightly (to prevent the vinegar from extracting unhealthy substances from the metal lid). Shake occasionally.

4) Strain after 3-4 weeks. (If you need it before then, go ahead and strain a little out, while letting the rest continue to steep. You can always add a little more vinegar or other ingredients.)

5) If desired, add warm honey to taste. Store in a cool place or in the refrigerator.

Enjoy and Be Well!!!