Fire Cider

 Today I wanted to tell you about one of my all time favorite medicines , which also happens to be a food - Fire Cider. It is also called Master Tonic by some and every herbalist has their own little version. I make a batch of Fire Cider every fall and we use it as a condiment throughout the cold season. It is great not only with food but as a remedy on its own. A teaspoon every couple of hours when you are getting sick can stop a cold or shorten the duration significantly.
 Simply put, Fire Cider is Raw Apple Cider Vinegar infused with herbs and spices. It has anti- viral and anti- bacterial properties. If you are interested in the specific health benefits of the ingredients , check out The Winter Herbal Pantry post here.
 I use Fire Cider in dressings and soups in the winter. It is delicious and very healing. And really easy to make. You can add other herbs in it , but I chose sage and astragalus, because I think they will be beneficial to my family. Sage strengthens the lungs and helps with coughs. Astragalus is an adaptogen herb and helps the body deal with stress - emotional and physical.
Here is what you will need to make this delicious medicine:

Fresh Horseradish Root  

Fresh Ginger Root

Garlic and Onion

Add equal amounts of horseradish, ginger, garlic, and onion. You don't have to measure it with a kitchen scale, just a general estimate will work.
To this I add:

Cayenne Pepper




and Astragalus Root

I add everything into the blender and then I add 2 cups of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

I blend everything for about a minute, until it is well mixed and in small chunks. Then I pour the mixture in a quart wide mouth jar and add additional vinegar to top it off. I recommend using a plastic lid when making infused vinegars , since the acid can corrode the metal lids.

I let the mixture infuse for about six weeks. If you are in a hurry, you can dip your spoon in it by week two. Just make sure you add some more vinegar and let it steep for a few more weeks.

Fire Cider ( makes a quart jar)

1 small/medium red onion
1 small head of garlic
2-3 inch piece of fresh horseradish root
3-4 inch piece fresh ginger root
1 tsp cayenne ( I actually used 1 Tblsp cayenne but I intentionally wanted this batch to be very powerful. You can adjust to your preference. Start with even less then 1 tsp if you would like)
2-3 sprigs sage
3 slices of astragalus root ( mine were sliced in long strips, but if you have chips or smaller pieces, put at least 2-3 tablespoons of the root)
2 cups vinegar plus additional amount to top off the jar (if needed)

How to use Fire Cider:
  • As a remedy on its own - take up to one tablespoon every couple of ours when you feel a cold coming . You can mix it with some water , if the taste is too strong for you. You can also take one tablespoon a day to prevent colds.
  • As part of a dressing - I like to use it when I make a traditional Bulgarian cabbage salad. I use fresh white or purple cabbage, carrots, parsley and a dressing of the infused vinegar, olive oil and sea salt. It is delicious and very healthy. 
  • Add it to your homemade broth - I make chicken and beef bone broth at home and as a general rule I add some acidity to extract the minerals from the bones. Adding Fire Cider instead of just plain vinegar give the broth a wonderful flavor. 
  • Add it to soups - add it to any soup that needs additional flavor and acidity ( but avoid cream soups as it might curdle the cream in the soup)

I hope you try this recipe. It is a variation on an old time remedy and I absolutely love it.

What favorite remedies are hiding in you pantry?

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