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Nik Balogh: Fire Cider to the Rescue

Cold and Flu season is back and this easy to make elixir is a must have in my arsenal of supportive remedies. It can boost immunity, ward off illness and speed up recovery time.

Fire Cider is a warming, decongesting tonic. A Tbsp a day will aid digestion, warm the system and clear the sinuses. A concentrated dose of a shot glass can be used for sore throats, colds and flu.

I love the zesty flavor and use it in my asian soups and on my salads too.

Fire Cider is a wonderful example of ‘food as medicine.’

Inexpensive, easily made, easy to store, long lasting, versatile, and tasty. Fire Cider really is liquid gold.


What is Fire Cider?

Roots & Herbs + Apple Cider Vinegar = Fire Cider

It is generally a spicy, apple cider-based remedy that comes in as many flavors and colors as there are herbalists. It is a traditional kitchen medicine with variations spanning the globe.

My own formula contains garlic, ginger, onion, horse radish, turmeric and cayenne pepper.

I don't really measure anything. I just gather the ingredients and a gallon jar to brew it in and create intuitively.

Then let it steep and gather power for 4-6 weeks. (In a pinch I have poured a little off to use if someone in my family shows symptoms of cold or flu).

After 4-6 weeks, strain out the contents, reserving the liquid. Bottle, label and enjoy! This will keep in a pantry all cold and flue season.

Some choose to warm honey (so that it will mix in well) and add it to the vinegar, to taste. If you add honey it is better to store it in the refrigerator if you have room.

Benefits of Fire Cider

There is well-documented evidence of the health benefits of many of Fire Cider’s key ingredients such as Garlic and apple cider vinegar, as well as accumulated lifetimes of shared knowledge.

Although there is currently no research that supports the health benefits associated with fire cider, many people use this folk remedy due to the benefits that relate to its ingredients.

It is important to use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the "mother". Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother is the purest form of Apple Cider Vinegar you can get. It hasn't been fussed with, it is unrefined, unfiltered and 100% natural. The existing bacteria (the Mother) hasn't been destroyed in pasteurization, therefore Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother has a cloudy, thick appearance.

Note that ACV can aggravate stomach problems for some people; start slowly and dilute with water or discontinue use if your issue gets worse.

Anecdotally, people usually take 1–2 tablespoons daily as an immune booster, a warming digestive aid, and to clear the sinuses. Some people may only take it if they feel a cold coming or to help warm themselves up during the winter season.

Individuals can use the tonic as part of their daily nutrition. Many people may use it as a salad dressing, vinaigrette, or add-on to teas, soups, and stews. It can also add flavor to cooked foods. Some people also add it to cocktails.

I can tell you that even the most stubborn of remedy takers in my home will immediately reach for Fire Cider if they feel an illness coming on and continue taking it to get better fast.

Because it works!

How To Make Fire Cider

I began by using Rosemary Gladstar's recipe as a foundation so I am sharing the video that got me started.

Fire Cider offers a wonderful opportunity to experiment with creating your own recipe that is unique to you. Some add citrus fruits or other herbs of choice. The possibilities are endless.

I was privileged to attend the last New England Women’s Herbal Conference that Rosemary spearheaded before she handed the baton to others. I even got to spend a little time with her being mutual friends of Nicki Scully.

She embodies love.

One of the events was a tasting of fire ciders from many kitchens.

For more inspiration, see her book Fire Cider! 101 Zesty Recipes for Health-Boosting Remedies made with Apple Cider Vinegar. Written in support of the Traditions, Not Trademarks fight to keep traditional remedies free and accessible for anyone to use!

I recommend any of her books or teachings. She is a reference you can trust. As well as Matthew Wood.

Christine Dennis is our local unsung hero with an astounding pedigree in medical herbalism and a heart that listens to the plants like our ancestors knew how to do. I am grateful that shares her knowledge and experience hands on.

I have created a Be Well to share traditional remedies to help everyone rediscover our ancestral knowledge of how to take good care of ourselves and our loved ones when we need to.

I do sell some of my remedies if you are in need right now, or just prefer to purchase instead of create. Not everyone was born to love plants and enjoy working with them like I do.

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