I have been making fire cider for almost 10 years now, and it is a must have immune tonic in my house. Fire cider is especially helpful during the fall and winter months when the immune system is typically more susceptible to illness. What I love about this spicy elixir, is that the ingredients are accessible to anyone, you can get most of them at your grocery store right now. While I am always happy to share my fire cider with others, you do not need to be an herbalist to prepare fire cider yourself!
The ingredients of fire cider are very pungent and spicy by nature and are soaked in apple cider vinegar for 4 weeks for maximum potency (see below for our current recipe). Once it is prepared and the fire cider is strained, it is best to take a tablespoon every morning during the fall and winter months. You can also add this fiery mixture to your next salad dressing or toss with vegetables for a flavorful, spicy kick to your meal. Fire cider will help to promote your circulation and warm you up, clear up your sinuses and any phlegm congestion, stimulate your digestion, and has several antimicrobial ingredients. When you first notice a cold coming on, such as symptoms of a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, etc, take 2-3 tablespoons, 3 times a day. If symptoms progress, come see me for a custom herbal formula and acupuncture to help improve your body's function.
As a doctor of Chinese medicine, some of my major philosophies for good health are relevant for my love of fire cider. First, food and water are the best medicines. What we put into our bodies every day has the most profound effect on overall health and longevity, and should not be overlooked. There is no number of acupuncture needles or herbs that replaces the need for having a balanced diet and optimal water, full of nutrients and antioxidants and free from artificial chemicals and pesticides. This fire cider recipe is easy to make and gives you a connection to a food-based medicinal elixir that has numerous health promoting properties. As an herbalist, I am always thinking about flavors of the herbs and how they are combined for a therapeutic direction in the body. The pungent flavor increases the circulation of blood and stimulates our wei qi, which is our protective vital force, at the surface of the body and organs. The pungent flavor also greatly benefits the metal organs, which are the lung and large intestine. As a result of ingesting the pungent flavor, our blood circulation is stimulated and our system will be better prepared to handle pathogenic qi. The apple cider vinegar has a sour flavor, which is astringing, balances the very strong pungent flavor, and benefits the wood organs, which are the liver and gallbladder. A little honey can also be added to bring in the sweet flavor, making it even more balanced and beneficial to the earth organs, which are the spleen and stomach. Our last several batches have had the bonus ingredient of hibiscus flower, which is also slightly astringent and has an affinity for the heart. Even though the dominant flavor of fire cider is pungent, it is balanced with the sweet and sour flavors, which is the sign of a great remedy!
I hope you all consider trying our Hibiscus Fire Cider and consider making this useful medicinal elixir for yourself. We do have some in stock at Mindful Medicine for $14 a bottle, if you want to give it a try first. Here is the recipe we have been using, on a much smaller scale for you to make at home. Feel free to get creative with other herbs, spices, and foods you have around your kitchen for your own unique batch and flavors. Let us know how you like it, and happy medicine making!
Mindful Medicine’s Hibiscus Fire Cider
Our recipe is inspired by the herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar
1. Prepare your ingredients and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. Double or triple the recipe for multiple fire cider lovers in a household. Be prepared for a powerful sinus blast when grating fresh horseradish!
2. Pour the apple cider vinegar into the jar and cover the ingredients completely.
3. Put parchment under the metal lid or use a plastic lid. Shake the jar well.
4. Store in a dark, cool place for 4 weeks. Shake the jar every day.
5. After 4 weeks, use cheesecloth or an herb press strain out the pulp and the fire cider into a clean jar. Squeeze as much liquid out of the vegetable/herb pulp as possible.
6. Stir in honey to taste. (We do not bottle ours with honey, so feel free to add if you want a little sweetness!) Enjoy!
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