Updated: Nov 19, 2020
The last week has been down right frigid and it is a clear signal to start preparing my natural remedies for colds and sinus issues. Our family has started taking a daily dose of Elderberry Syrup as a preventative, but we also like to keep other remedies on hand incase we do get sick.
Allow me to introduce: Fire Cider!
Rosemary Gladstar is a well known herbalist who created the original recipe for Fire Cider. It was created in the 70's and is especially beneficial for invigorating the body and clearing sinuses. The ingredients each contain anti-inflammatory, immune boosting or decongesting properties. Most are easy to find in the grocery stores, but if you can't find a specific ingredient, this recipe is easily customizable.
Once the ingredients are prepared and packed into a jar, the are steeped in honey and vinegar to create an oxymel. An oxymel is any herbal elixir that has been extracted with a combination of vinegar and honey. Now before you go running away from this remedy because you can't stand the heat or the vinegar... I promise this actually doesn't taste bad at all! And quite honestly I would consider using it as a base for a vinaigrette. Seriously, it tastes like salad dressing. Oxymels are known for their expectorant and soothing effect on the throat. Combined with some spicy herbs, you'll be able to create an effective medicine that will come to your aide during any cold or flu. But don't wait! Fire Cider takes 3-6 weeks to steep, so you'll want to get this prepared soon.
Herbs (organic when possible)
1 red onion, minced
1 inch horseradish root, grated
2 inches ginger root, grated
5 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
2 sprigs rosemary
1 sprig oregano
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 jalapenos, cut in half
1 T tumeric
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c raw honey
Prepare and pack all herbs and spices tightly into a quart jar.
Mix together apple cider vinegar and honey until combined.
Pour liquid over herbs. If there is any remaining space in the jar, top with additional apple cider vinegar.
Place a small square of parchment paper over the top of the jar before securing the metal lid. This will help avoid and corrosive action from the acidity of the vinegar.
Store in a cool dark place, shaking to mix every few days. Steep for 3 - 6 weeks.
After 3 - 6 weeks, strain your fire cider into a sealed glass container and store in the fridge.
How to Use: We use Fire Cider when we are starting to feel the onset of a cold or sinus issue, 1 tsp every 1-2 hours.
**This recipe has been adapted to my own personal preferences from a recipe from the amazing Kelly Ann Nickerson. Kelly Ann is an herbalist based in Anacortes, WA who owns bloom-apothecary.com. She advises to use Fire Cider to "stoke your inner fire and increase your immunity during vulnerable times of the year."