Fire Cider is a traditional anti-flu, anti-infection medicine made with lots of garlic, horseradish, onion, ginger and optional herbs like chilies, turmeric, oregano, thyme or the anti-infective herbs of your choice, steeped in apple cider vinegar. For many years I have been making and selling Fire Cider to my patients, after purchasing a bottle from one of Rosemary Gladstar’s students. Like the vinegar of the Seven Thieves this is one of the medicinal herb-infused vinegars that have existed for about as long as there has been vinegar. Rosemary Gladstar first made public her grandmother’s Fire Cider over 35 years ago and here is her grandmother’s recipe (which she probably got from her grandmother.) However a new company, Shire City, has trademarked a term that has been in public domain for decades and claim they have pioneered herbal vinegars.
As a result, February 2 has been designated Fire Cider Making Day to protest the appropriation of a public domain term. If you are set up to do so, sell it through a website or local store.
So here is my recipe, although I make it a bit differently each year depending on the herbs available and diseases in circulation:
Put into a Vitamix or blender (chop well if using a blender):
- 8 oz chopped ginger
- 8 oz. garlic cloves
- 2 red onions
- 6 oz fresh horseradish root
- Three Chimayo or Jalapeno chilies
- A bunch of fresh rosemary
- A bunch of fresh oregano or bergamot (bee balm) or 1/4 c dried
- One organic orange or lemon with the peel
- Enough apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs twice
You do not need to use Braggs’ live apple cider vinegar as the anti-infective herbs will kill off the mother. Other additions include fresh or dried turmeric, sage, white sage, thyme, black pepper, elderberries or cinnamon. Process with the blender until the herbs are coarsely grated and transfer into a covered jar. Steep 30 days, then strain, squeezing out the herbs. You may add some local honey to taste- approximately 1/3 of total volume depending on the concentration of the honey. Take a shot (1/2-1 oz.) as needed for colds and flu.
Here are some examples of the term “Fire Cider” being used in commerce or public domain before the trademark:
Here is a video of Rosemary Gladstar demonstrating the making of her Fire Cider (referred to as the “Poor man’s penecillin” . Note that this was recorded before the trademark dispute and she talks about the actual recipe (as opposed to the term) as coming from an unknown source twenty years prior. She also mentions working with her mother and grandmother making it. (I can’t say how I make mine every year or where any given version came from either!)
- Thieves’ Vinegar
- A list of links to fire cider recipes and Rosemary Gladstar’s’ response is on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Acupuncture.herbs.Karen.Vaughan and at http://www.pinterest.com/wholefoodviv/fire-cider-recipes-and-photos/