my recipe for Fire Cider
Fire Cider is a natural homeopathic remedy for basically any type of sickness-causing crap that lingers in the back of your throat. I think of it as holy water to exorcise your throat demons.
I make this every winter now. Since I started making it, I honestly have killed any type of cold or strep throat before it’s had time to fester into full blown sickness. The only two times I’ve gotten sick since, it felt like strep throat but when I went to the doctor they said it was allergies. So I’m not claiming it will cure allergies but I am claiming it will nip everything else in the bud!
How did I discover it? Once upon a time a beautiful witch named Caitlin fed me this magical potion when I was getting sick all the time and it was the only thing that fixed me right up. Since I didn’t want to be a burden on her magical potion supply (which was charged under the full moon), I asked her what she uses to make it. That gave me enough information to google it and discover that everyone’s recipe can be vastly different. This is the recipe I personally like, but once you start making yours regularly you will settle on your own way.
I usually make it as soon as it starts getting cold because it’s best after a month of marinading. This winter, I made my first batch at Christmastime, meaning I’m a couple of months late already. But since the coldest sickness weather is usually in January or February, I was not too late.
Since my witch friend charged hers under the full moon, I thought today would be a great day to share this recipe. Tonight is the Super Wolf Blood Moon! Wolf because it is the January full moon; Super because the moon’s orbit will be closest to Earth and thus slightly bigger; and Blood because it will turn reddish tonight as we experience a total lunar eclipse. Metaphysically speaking, it is a very powerful time to cleanse and charge your tools, or in this case medicinal tonic. If you make this today, consider giving it a moonbath!
There is real science behind this remedy though, as the ingredients are basically all of the best natural antibiotics rolled into one delicious supercure concentrate.
Prep time: takes me a little over an hour to make.
The ingredients I use are:
Local* Honey (Goodflow)
Fresh Lemon Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s)
*Raw local honey has the most health benefits!
Optional ingredients for immune-boosting, antibacterial, or detoxifying properties include: Horseradish, Onion, Habanero, Turmeric, Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, Black Pepper, Cinnamon.
Step 1: Fresh Lemon Juice
First liquid ingredient is freshly squeezed lemon juice, filling a third of the container you’re using. This is the juice of 8-10 lemons, basically a bag. Sometimes I juice whatever I buy and keep the rest around. Fresh lemon juice is nice to have in the winter for tea and toddies!
Step 2: Honey Syrup
Second liquid ingredient is local honey, filling a slightly smaller third of the container. Put some honey into a mug and pour just enough boiling water into it to make a thick simple syrup before pouring that into your fire cider container. I make batches of honey syrup regularly to have on hand for my tea, too.
Step 3: Solid Ingredients
This is the step that takes the most time because of all the chopping. I always strain my cider as I pour it to keep the solids in there, I don’t want to worry about choking on them. So they can be bigger chunks, but you want to make sure they are small enough to get to all the good magical stuff inside. I would call it “a chunky mince.”
I buy one of those ready-to-cook containers of whole fresh garlic cloves at the store. Chop all of that. Then chop approximately the same amount of fresh ginger.
The next ingredient is not pictured, the cayenne pepper. I shake it directly into the container until it turns the right color. More orange than it was before but not quite as red as kimchi. Arbitrarily guessing, I’d say a flat spoonful, somewhere between a 1/2 tbsp and 1 tbsp.
At this time, you would add any additional solid ingredients, such as parsley.
Step 4: Apple Cider Vinegar
Okay, ideally the last third is reserved for the apple cider vinegar, but I always forget to leave room for solids! This picture is after the solids were added but before the vinegar. As you can see, the last “third” is the largest of the "thirds” but half of that is solids. What I do when this happens is just add more vinegar after I’ve started to use it.
I leave vinegar as the last ingredient because it’s fizzy. Before added, it’s good to shake everything up to get the honey and cayenne pepper well distributed and check that the color is right.
Once everything is in there, seal it up and refrigerate (or charge under full moon, if you like). I love these pitchers because they have a really good seal on the lid so it contains the freshness and what slight effervescence the vinegar is contributing.
How to ingest
Give it a several weeks for the solids to infuse before treating yourself with it, otherwise it’s just sweet lemony vinegar. I prefer it after a solid month, many of the articles say that is the minimum steeping time to get the full health benefits. One batch can last all winter and it stays good for up to a year.
Grab a strainer and pour yourself a shot. Pro Tip: invert the strainer to easily keep solids in the pitcher. You can take a full shot or a half shot, however little you need to get the job done. It’s important to shoot it because a) you might not have acquired the taste like I have, and b) you don’t actually want to ingest that much so what little you do ingest needs to go directly to the problem area, the back of the throat.
Be not afraid! Yes it is spicy, but remember all of that honey. When my throat feels really scratchy and sore, this immediately soothes it.
Be near a sink to spit in, too. It tends to expel all the saliva in your mouth. It’s not glamorous but it does help keep your mucus levels to a minimum.
Because this is a partially topical cure, give it as long as you can before drinking anything (although the first time you try it, have water nearby just to be safe). You want it to sit on the throat long enough to do some critical damage to the sickies. Unfortunately, this gives you terrible garlic breath, I suspect this is why it’s called fire cider. Best to keep a safe distance from the rest of the population for a while.
You can take multiple shots in a day but be mindful with how much is accumulating in your stomach. You don’t want too much acid in there. Which brings me to my most valuable tip...
VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT INGEST ON AN EMPTY STOMACH!
I have accidentally done this more than once. It’s tempting... You wake up with that sick taste in the back of your throat and you also know it give you garlic fire breath so you’re tempted to do it before brushing your teeth. Don’t do it! This is strong stuff even after a meal, your poor empty stomach won’t be able to take it. On the tongue its spicy, but it usually feels okay on the way down. On an empty stomach, however, once it reaches the stomach lining you find something is very very wrong. It feels like literal Fire cider. The last time I made this mistake I immediately threw up, so heed my warning - BEWARE, THAR BE DRAGONS!
That’s it for my personal fire cider recipe. There are tons of variations online, Generally I feel most of the variations are weaker and meant to be ingested as a drink, whereas mine has more fire but also a lot more honey and is effective as a concentrate. Here is the “purest” recipe from the source (Rosemary Gladstar’s recipe reposted on Martha Stewart’s site). Try it and you will discover your own method.
Wishing you good health this winter!