This has got to have been one of the worst winters in recent history for the amount of people getting the flu. It may be the start of spring, but there are still plenty of people getting snow and with that brutal weather, plenty of people are still getting sick. Not to worry, I’ve got a great antidote that will kick that flu’s… Well, let’s just say, it works. It works really, really well.
Fire Cider is my favorite flu fighting herbal concoction!
Fire Cider is an amazing flu fighter, but it is also fantastic against colds, sinus issues, congestion, or really anytime your immunity needs a boost.
There are many different variations to the recipe attributed to many herbalists, but most people seem to associate the original recipe with Rosemary Gladstar. Because the herbs used are immune boosting, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, decongestant, and stimulate the circulatory system, some people use it as a tonic and drink small amounts daily (especially in the fall and winter). Others use it at the first sign of a cold. You can take a tablespoon straight or even use it in soups, salads, and other cooking creations. Some folks let it steep for two weeks, others two to three months. I like to start my infusion on the day of the new moon and extract it on the day of the full moon. I typically use the traditional ingredients listed, but also sometimes incorporate turmeric, jalapenos, rosemary, lemon, astragalus, oregano, etc. Because this herbal concoction is a folk remedy, it has a tremendous amount of leeway to incorporate your favorite infection fighting, antibacterial, antiviral herbs depending on what’s available to you.
Fire Cider Basic Recipe
1/4-1/2 cup horseradish root, grated (this is a sinus opener!)
1/8-1/4 cup garlic, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup ginger, grated
1/2-1 whole fresh cayenne pepper OR 1 tsp dried cayenne powder
apple cider vinegar, preferably organic, enough to cover herbs 1-2″
honey, to taste
Place herbs in jar. Pour vinegar and cover herbs by one to two inches. Seal jar tightly with a plastic lid or line the lid with parchment or wax paper (vinegar will react with metal). Give it a shake every day to stir up the herbs and give it some love. Keep an eye on it, you’ll be able to tell when your herbs are spent. Cover the jar opening with cheesecloth to strain herbs (squeeze as much liquid out of the herbs as possible!) and pour the filtered vinegar into a glass jar. Add honey to taste, if you’d like to sweeten it (it’s not for the faint of heart straight up!). Fire Cider may be kept unrefrigerated since vinegar is a natural preservative.
If you’d like to use it as a tonic, a tablespoon a day would work. Take up to 3 tablespoons at the first sign of a cold or upper respiratory infection and continue throughout the day (every 2 to 3 hours) until the symptoms subside. Drink it straight or dilute it in a bit or water or even tomato juice. You can make a tea by mixing some with hot water, lemon, and honey.
It can also be used as a base for salad dressings, a seasoning in soups, or even to flavor steamed veggies.
Externally, rub it directly on the skin (avoid cuts) or use as a compress for sore muscles or to aid in peripheral (hands and feet) circulation. You can also soak a clean cloth in it to be placed on a congested chest.
Some Beneficial Properties of the Herbs
Ginger aids in stomach issues including nausea and vomiting and sluggish digestion. It stimulates circulation. Ginger is useful for all types of congestion in the body.
Horseradish has antibacterial properties and is of benefit in respiratory tract and urinary tract infections. It is often used as a digestive agent. Horseradish is a good diuretic that promotes perspiration. It is an expectorant and mildly antibiotic.
Garlic is an amazing antimicrobial and antibacterial making it useful in treating bladder and kidney infections, yeast infections, strep throats, and ear infections. It supports healthy immune function and opens the pores of the skin to lower a fever. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, and has an overall beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.
Cayenne is an intense circulatory stimulant, promotes the movement of mucous from the body, and is an anti-inflammatory.
In addition to just being tasty, onions are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and high in anti-oxidents.