Winter is fast approaching and this week I wanted to share a home remedy to keep you and your family healthy.
If you frequent the internets and don't live under a rock, chances are you've heard of fire cider. It is a homemade herbal tonic for immune support. The "fire" comes from the hot peppers that are infused in the tonic. They have been shown to increase circulation, boost metabolism and support the immune system. Obviously, you can add a little or as much spice as you would like to you recipe. Raw (unpasteurized) apple cider will be the base of the tonic. It aids in digestion, fights infection and clears sinuses, among other things. The other ingredients in the tonic are up to you! Whatever medicinal plants that you enjoy can be added for flavor and provide health benefits such as anti-inflammatory affects, antioxidants, antibacterial and healing properties.
Not only is fire cider a natural remedy that can be made in minutes, you can use it to keep your immune system strong and also use it to rebuild it should you come down with something instead of your typical over-the-counter drugs. Bonus: it's not just limited to cold and flu season-it's beneficial all year round! This is just one way I stay healthy, especially when I am on call for a birth.
Basic Fire Cider Tonic Recipe:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
"Cook" Time: 4-6 weeks
- Onion & Garlic
- Hot Peppers
- Ginger Root
- Thyme or Rosemary
- Citrus (Oranges, Lemons & Grapefruit)
- Apple Cider Vinegar (The Mother)
Clean and chop veggies as needed. Fill a clean jar with the prepared ingredients, aside from your sweetener and pour apple cider vinegar into the jar to fully submerge the ingredients. Seal the jar with plastic lid (metal will corrode) and let it sit at room temperature but away from the sun for anywhere from 4-6 weeks. During this time all of the ingredients will infuse into the apple cider vinegar along with all of their health benefits. After this time strain the vinegar through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. At this point, you can sweeten the fire cider to taste or leave it unsweetened. Transfer the final product to a glass bottle or jar for storage. Store fire cider in a cool dark place away from sunlight. Herbal vinegars like this should last for up to 1 year stored at room temperature.
Dosage: Take a shot of fire cider or 1-2 tablespoons daily for a potent punch of immune system support and increase that dosage to 3 times a day to use it as a natural remedy to help fight off common cold symptoms. As always remember to please use caution, do your own research, and consult your medical professional before treating yourself or others.
Alternative Ingredients: you may prefer maple syrup instead of honey; you can also add a variety of herbs such as sage, oregano lemon balm and lemon verbena. My next recipe will likely include cranberries, elderberries, pineapples and rosehips.
I highly recommend making your tonic at the end of the summer so you can have it on hand when the weather starts getting cooler. If you intend on drinking a little each day, have a big family or plan to cook with it, be sure to make your tonic periodically so you don't run out.
For Your Information
This recipe is:
- Family-friendly (1 year and older if using honey)
- Safe during pregnancy and postpartum
- If nursing, be cautious of the certain herbs and raw honey. Consult your doctor.