Happy Fall everyone!! Tonight is the Full Harvest Moon, and it feels like the right time to start my first batch of fire cider this season. If you aren’t familiar with fire cider, it is an ancient home remedy made by grandmas throughout all of time. Seems like an appropriate topic to share for Matriarch Monday! Fire Cider is an infused vinegar remedy that stimulates immune system, warms you, helps circulate blood, is great for digestion, has anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities, and clears congestion. It’s wonderful to take at the onset of feeling a sickness come on. If a cold or flu comes your way, take the cider a few times daily to help shorten the duration and reduce the severity of your symptoms. Also, if you live in a cold northern place and have cold hands and feet, you can take a shot of fire cider to help warm you and circulate blood.
The base is raw apple cider vinegar infused with medicinal culinary roots and herbs. The basic ingredients are horseradish root, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, and a wee bit of local honey to make it more smooth an palatable. Everyone who makes fire cider puts their own spin on it as well as their own energy and fire. My recipe changes every time I make it. I’ll share the recipe I made today.
Ingredients: horseradish root, ginger root, red onions (usually I use white or yellow, but the organic red onions were on sale, and I figure it will be extra antioxidants), garlic, fresh turmeric root, black pepper, fresh herbs from my garden (oregano, rosemary, lemon thyme, and holy basil), cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar. All ingredients are organic.
Directions: I don’t give exact amounts for the ingredients because I make it in a giant batch. And because you’ll feel out how much you want of each ingredient. I use 1 tsp cayenne per 1/2 gallon. Your jar—whatever size you are using— should be 1/3-1/2 full of roots and herbs. Fill up to the top with apple cider vinegar. Put a cloth or parchment paper and rubber band on the top. You can put a lid on the top, but the vinegar will rust the lid. Sometimes I use parchment paper and then the lid. Now put your cider in a cool dark place to infuse for a month (it’s okay if you forget, and it goes longer). Then press out the veggie material (Some people like to eat it, but it can be kinda slimy and mushy from being in the vinegar so long. I’ve heard of putting the veggies into egg rolls. I just compost them.) using a cloth, straining the vinegar into another jar, and squeezing out all the good stuff not to waste any. Make sure you label your jar. And you’re done!! Ready to enjoy a tablespoon or small shot of spicy medicinal vinegar whenever you feel the need!
Herbalist mama, Rosemary Gladstar, has a lovely YouTube video demonstrating how to make Fire Cider. I recommend it.
My whole family uses fire cider when they need it. If my 12 yr old gets sick or is feeling run down, he asks for the fire cider. If I’ve run out (which I do every year), he feels very upset and tells me that nothing else works as well. Both my kids take a shot like they are taking down a shot of whiskey! It’s kinda fun to see! This year I’m hoping to make so much that we won’t run out!!
I like to make my fire cider with the cycle of the moon, putting it outside to sit under the full moon on the night I make it, and then pressing it at the next full moon. I feel that the moon magic makes the fire cider even more potent and vibrant, helping to bring out my intentions and prayers for abundance, peace, love, strong health, and the ability to be present. The moon helps infuse the plant essence and energy into the vinegar as well. I’ve named it Fire Moon Cider.
You will find my Fire Moon Cider at local farmer’s markets and at my online store as soon as it is pressed at the full moon end of October.
If you decide to make your own, please know you will weep uncontrollably in your kitchen from the spicy fumes, but it’s kinda a nice, cleansing experience!
With love and wishes for your health, happiness, and cozy fall!