DIY Winter Wellness – A 3 Part Series
Part 2. Fire Cider
There are a TON of awesome DIY folk recipes out there to help with allergies, dry skin, symptoms of colds and flus, overindulging, stress of the holidays and general coolness -as in freezing cold weather! In part two of our DIY Winter Wellness series we will focus on how to make Fire Cider.
Fire cider is a hot, spicy, and sweet tonic filled with the goodness of antimicrobial foods and herbs. It is an immune system booster, lymphatic cleanser, preventative treatment and remedy for coughs and colds.
There is some amount of controversy in the herbal world over Fire Cider and the trademarking of a traditional recipe with a name that goes back to the traditions of our ancestors. Unfortunately, a small company is trying to take the name Fire Cider for themselves only. Not cool. So I think it is important to pass on this traditional recipe into as many hands as possible. Don’t buy theirs, MAKE YOUR OWN!
This is another one of those recipes that you can get your ingredient list from most grocery stores and you can vary the ingredients based on taste and availability. Most of the pungent herbs are amazing at fighting pathogens. Onions, garlic, peppers, and horseradish all kill bacteria and are filled with very beneficial nutrients. Pure Apple Cider Vinegar (RAW and with the mother is preferred –like Braggs) is a lymph system cleanser,blood sugar reducer, and immune system strengthener. ACV is filled with proteins,enzymes, and friendly bacteria all on its own! Add amazing medicinal foods and you’ve got a pretty powerful antibacterial preventative and remedy!
I combine 1 large finely chopped onion 1/2 cup chopped horseradish, and an entire head of crushed garlic
Please use the proper safety equipment when working with horseradish (think mustard gas). If you can find some prepared in vinegar already then all the better!
Next add a thumb size piece of chopped turmeric (messy stain alert), a chopped up hot pepper (I prefer jalapeño but some love little Thai peppers or cayenne) and any other flavors that seem nice (some people like to add two or three cloves of garlic, a Tablespoon of Hawthorn Berries, 1/4c of dried Rose Hips, 2 twigs of fresh Rosemary, a Tablespoon of dried thyme, or ¼ cup of fresh or dry shiitake mushrooms).
After the jar is filled ¾ of the way with the chopped up goodies, I fill up the jar around the solid pieces with the vinegar. When done, put a plastic lid or a piece of plastic (like ripped from a shopping bag for example) under the lid because vinegar does the nastiest things to metal and you don’t want that goo in your remedy!
With the plastic lid firmly sealed, shake it like crazy (dancing the Pogo is recommended but not necessary) and find a place for it in the kitchen out of heat or direct sunlight, but in your face so you think about it. Every day, for 3-4 weeks,(I make mine on the new moon and finish on the next full moon after 4 weeks) shake it up so that all the ingredients activate. Love it. Own it. Dream of the good it will do for you. I’ve let mine sit up to a year but just did the daily shaking thing for the first 4 weeks.
Next it gets strained and the liquid goes into a different container. I’ve been known to run mine through the Ninja Blender and strain it through a muslin bag! What you have left in the liquid is hot, spicy, and yummy! Because I can’t handle the starchy part of garlic, I have to strain it, but I’ve seen some people leave it chunky.
At this point you add honey until the flavor is something you can enjoy by the spoonful! You can take a spoonful or a shot glass full every day to help your immune system.
At the very very first sign of a cold – tickle in the throat, tingle in the lungs – start taking 1/2 – 1 tsp every hour for the rest of the day. When you wake up the next day, see how you feel and feel the lymph nodes on your throat to see how they are. If necessary, repeat the 1/2 -1 tsp every hour for the rest of the day. If that doesn’t make it all go away, GIVE IN to the fact that you have a full on cold and rest and take care of yourself properly. Don’t ever, ever hesitate to see your doctor if necessary! (Fire cider makes an amazing Bloody Mary shrub too)
Next time, in part three of our DIY Winter Wellness Series we will learn how to make your own Elderberry Syrup for antiviral goodness.
Disclaimer – not a fucking doctor. Not your fucking mother. Not telling you to skip the meds and eat random stalks growing in your yard. Nope! nope! nope! Be sensible. Be sustainable and earth friendly. Be educated. I am educating you on things I love for me, not giving medical advice!
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