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Fire cider has been increasing in popularity in recent years with the increasing interest in natural health tonics and remedies. This article includes a fire cider recipe, as well as a brief overview of fire cider’s history, health benefits, and other tidbits.
I first learned about fire cider when a friend suggested it “to help prevent colds.” Otherwise, I had never heard of the term “fire cider” prior. The name was certainly intriguing, which piqued my curiosity.
I tried her recipe and make fire cider from time to time to keep in my rotation of natural health tonics and remedies. Although the ingredient list may not sound appetizing, the resulting taste actually isn’t as bad as you’d expect! You might wonder whether it works, or at least what my experience with fire cider is.
Honestly, because my family leads a generally healthy lifestyle, including our dietary habits, we aren’t afflicted by serious health ailments. Thus, we have no basis of comparison in terms of a before-and-after. However, I can say that we haven’t fallen ill to any major colds or illnesses in recent history.
I do tend to feel a slight “cleansing” or not surprisingly, “fiery” sensation after taking some though. So, maybe that means something!
When it comes to natural remedies or anything touted as promoting good health, so long as it doesn’t carry major risks, I normally figure incorporating it into my regimen can only do good and no harm.
As you’ll see below, fire cider health benefits can include to your cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal health. Fire cider can also have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
Many people swear by the benefits of fire cider, including its ability to give you more pep, so you should try our fire cider recipe to see for yourself!
Although you can buy fire cider from online or local sellers, I always advocate making your own for cost savings. We’ve included a fire cider recipe below if you choose to go that route.
What is Fire Cider?
Before we get to the fire cider recipe, here’s a little background information:
Rosemary Gladstar, a renowned herbalist, is credited with formulating fire cider decades ago in California. Since then, many people and companies have adapted the recipe to use or sell to their liking.
Although one company sought to trademark the term “fire cider” in 2012, Gladstar joined many in opposition to the trademark. The USPTO ultimately rejected the company’s trademark application and declared the term too general for trademarking.
As you’ll see in the fire cider recipe below, apple cider vinegar is the main component of fire cider. Apple cider vinegar works with the other ingredients to provide the multitude of touted fire cider health benefits.
Since the ingredients infuse into the apple cider vinegar over a period of weeks, their health benefits can also infuse into the liquid. Honey adds sweetness, but also its own health benefits.
We will discuss the health benefits of individual ingredients below.
Fire Cider Ingredients Explained
Let’s discuss each fire cider ingredient’s role in adding to the overall profile of fire cider health benefits:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is very popular among health enthusiasts on its own.
Research has shown that vinegar can have the following beneficial properties, to varying degrees: antimicrobial properties, lowering blood pressure, and inhibiting cancerous tumor growth.
Studies have also shown that apple cider vinegar can reduce blood glucose (i.e. blood sugar) response to foods. Also, that apple cider vinegar can help you lose weight.
One study revealed how vinegar not only reduced the amount of food intake and bodyweight in mice, but also reduced the incidence of lipid (i.e. fat) deposits and inflammation in their bodies.
Read our article, Top 4 Inspiring Apple Cider Vinegar Health Benefits, for more!
Research has shown that garlic may be beneficial for cardiovascular health (including reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, arterial lipid [i.e. fat] content, and preventing blood clots).
Also, garlic may reduce the rate of cancer cell and tumor growth. For instance, this study specifically documented garlic’s ability to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Garlic may also impose the following benefits: lowering blood glucose level; protecting liver cells from toxic agents; and having antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Thus, it’s no wonder that garlic has been used medicinally since ancient times.
Ginger is another medicinal ingredient dating back to ancient times. Ancient recipes included ginger for aiding mental and digestive health, paralysis, jaundice, and other conditions.
Ginger is probably best known for preventing nausea and vomiting, which research has confirmed. Ginger can also enhance digestion and relieve pain in the body.
Studies have also shown that ginger can reduce inflammation, which may help individuals with osteoarthritis, among other inflammatory conditions.
Horseradish also has many medicinal purposes.
One study documented horseradish’s antimicrobial properties against various bacteria like E. coli and MRSA. Thus, horseradish can be an effective supplement in treating bacterial infections like urinary tract infections, as this study suggests. (See our article, 3 Popular Natural Remedies for a UTI, if you want to read about other natural remedies for a UTI.)
Research has also shown horseradish’s ability to reduce cell inflammation.
Onions add yet another layer of health benefits to any fire cider recipe.
One study revealed onion’s antioxidant and anti-neuroinflammatory properties.
A more interesting benefit is that onions may help preserve bone density in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women per this study, thereby also decreasing the risk of hip fractures by over 20%.
Also, like many of the other ingredients, onion has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels (this study specifically documents red onion’s ability to reduce blood sugar levels). Also, that onion has antibacterial properties.
For the men out there, this study suggests that onion can enhance testosterone in males.
Peppers have many health benefits. Capsaicin is the substance primarily responsible for peppers’ health benefits, as well as their heat. Because capsaicin is present in all peppers, you can substitute other peppers in the fire cider recipe to your liking.
However, not all peppers are equal in terms of capsaicin content. The Scoville Scale measures the amount of “heat” or capsaicin content in peppers. This chart shows how many Scoville Heat Units are in various peppers.
Turmeric has well-documented anti-inflammatory properties. (For instance, we list it as one of our 6 Practical, Natural Headache Remedies to Try.) Curcumin is the substance in turmeric most responsible for beneficial health effects.
Other benefits include turmeric’s high antioxidant content and ability to improve brain functioning by relieving stress in certain areas of the brain.
This study also shows curcumin’s ability to prevent cardiovascular complications.
Like other fire cider ingredients, turmeric can also impair cancer cell growth as per this study.
People have long used honey in traditional medicine, and with reason.
Research shows that honey can have antimicrobial, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it can benefit cardiovascular, digestive, and neurological health. These benefits are in addition to its reported antifungal and antiviral properties.
In deciding between raw honey or regular honey, I always advocate for raw honey, since heat processing with regular honey can destroy beneficial compounds. This study showed that raw honey contains more antioxidants than regular honey, which is beneficial against oxidative stress and to promote good health in your body.
When to Make This Fire Cider Recipe
Fire Cider should sit for at least a month to ensure maximum infusion of ingredients. Thus, you need to exercise patience when making fire cider, as it won’t be ready to consume right away.
Because of the long infusion time, you can make batches in rotation if you end up consuming fire cider with regularity.
Amazing Fire Cider Recipe
This recipe makes a quart of fire cider, but you can adjust the quantities to make more or less.
- 1 quart of apple cider vinegar (may need slightly less, depending on the volume of other ingredients in the jar)
- ½ cup of grated horseradish root
- ½ cup of chopped ginger root
- ¾ cup of chopped red onion (can use white or yellow)
- 1 sliced cayenne or serrano pepper (can adjust or omit to taste)
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup of chopped turmeric root (can substitute 1 tbsp. of dried turmeric)
- Orange or lemon slices with skin and rind
- 1/3 cup of honey (or to taste)
- Put all of the ingredients (except for honey, orange/lemon, and apple cider vinegar) into a quart-sized mason jar.
- Place the orange or lemon slices on top of the floating ingredients, to try to create a cohesive cover over them. The slices can help keep the smaller ingredients submerged.
- Place a fermentation glass weight on top of the ingredients to try to keep them submerged in the vinegar.
- Pour the apple cider vinegar over the ingredients in the jar, until the liquid is about 2 inches from the very top of the jar.
- Tightly close the jar with a lid and store it in your pantry or another dark place for a month.
- After a month has passed, strain the ingredients out of the liquid and add honey to taste!
- Ingredients may change colors or textures during the infusion period, which is normal.
- Any of the ingredients can be increased, decreased, or eliminated, depending on your preference.
How To Store and Use Fire Cider
After it’s ready, you can store fire cider outside of the fridge. The acidic nature of the apple cider vinegar will keep the liquid from going bad. However, if you prefer taking your fire cider cold, you can store it in the fridge.
How much fire cider you want to consume and when is up to you. I tend to stick with 2 tbsp. at a time, since I drink it plain. Normally, I drink it every other day, or may drink more if sick.
Some people will dilute fire cider in water or other liquids to drink as a beverage. I also know people who use it for or with salad dressing. You can definitely be creative depending on how you want to use the flavor!
However, like with any vinegar, you should exercise caution in vinegar’s ability to erode tooth enamel if consumed undiluted and in excess. Thus, if you consume fire cider regularly, you should consider rinsing your mouth out with water immediately after drinking fire cider or drinking it diluted.
And, as always, you should check with a healthcare provider before consuming fire cider regularly if you have any health conditions that may interact.
Please comment below if you try our fire cider recipe or have other experiences with fire cider!