Rosemary Gladstar, the herbalist who started it all, gives us the lowdown on the tonic's origins and health benefits, as well as how much and how often to use it.
The combination of flavors is Fabulous -- hot, sour, pungent, and sweet.
Not only does it taste good, but it's also easy to make and uses common herbs that you can get from your backyard or local grocery store.
After Mary made her first batch, she taught her students how to make the fire cider, sold it at her herb store in Sonoma county, and published the recipe in her first book,
It has since been adapted countless times (including by our own test kitchen!), sold by other herbal companies, cited in several books, and added to the health curriculum at many herbal schools. This stuff just Rocks.
Lets break down what each ingredient brings to the table. First and foremost,
Apple-Cider Vinegar is a great Digestive Aid - GUT, IBS, Natural Help here.
Horseradish is the number-one herb for combating Sinus Congestion and Headaches. It clears your sinuses better than anything; even when you're just grating it, by the time you're done, your sinuses are wide open.
Ginger is a warming Circulatory herb that's wonderful for Digestion. It also helps Fight Infection and is good for Nausea.
Garlic, on the other hand, is the poor man's penicillin. It has broad-spectrum Antimicrobial and Antibacterial properties and is an excellent aid for Fighting Infection. It also produces a heat that helps Lower Cholesterol.
Cayenne Pepper / Jalapeno Peppers are one of the best Cardiovascular herbs. It helps your Immune System mobilize and moves blood through the system. Last but not least,
Honey is very Soothing for Inflamed Tissues and Organs, as well as offering help during Allergy Seasons - but its primary purpose is as a harmonizer or buffer. It helps blend all the flavors in fire cider and makes it palatable not just to your taste buds, but to your whole digestive system.
How we Made It our Own Sunshine Recipe:
While Gladstar is partial to the original recipe, she encourages experimentation.
Here at the Farm, we added some Florida Native Organics to ours:
CITRUS - Florida Sun Ripened Organic Oranges, and Lemons for VitC
ELDERBERRY - to help with Immune Boosting
BLUEBERRIES - Florida Sun Ripened - for Antioxidants
YOU can Add to it too if you so choose:
Add Turmeric if you want another anti-inflammatory element,
Add Echinacea if you have a cold,
Add more Horseradish if you a Sinus Infection, or
Add more Honey if you don't like sourness.
How to Take It
Gladstar recommends that first-timers dilute the tonic with a little warm water or apple cider. Once you're a convert, try drinking it straight.
—We here at the Farm do a Daily one-to-two-ounce shot.
If you feel a cold or flu coming on, take smaller amounts more frequently—such as half a shot glass two or three times a day—to keep your immune system healthy.
You can also swap out regular vinegar for fire cider in salad dressings!
How Long will it Keep?
Most any type of vinegar will keep indefinitely.
Our Fire Cider is Live - and it will grow a SCOBY on top - this is a Great Sign!
Refrigerator or Counter? This is a personal choice of flavor preference:
In the Refrigerator the Cider will live and grow at a hibernating pace - slow -
and flavor should stay the same.
On the Counter the Cider will live and grow at a normal pace, increasing in
strength and potency and will grow a SCOBY.
Lets all stay STAY HEALTHY and STRONG !