Recipe: Fire Cider All Natural Cold and Flu Remedy

You can make up your own homebrew like the famous fire cider for colds that can prevent many health problems from earaches to colds and flu. Homemade remedies have been used for years and they work.

You can make up your own fire cider tonic that can prevent many health problems from earaches to colds and flu. Homemade remedies have been used for years and they work.

What is Fire Cider?

As a renowned herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar developed this savory, spicy, infused vinegar recipe in the late 70’s. She  gave us the lowdown of its benefits hence the combination of flavors on this recipe had gained mainstream popularity particularly in the herbalist community.

Fire Cider is a combination of spicy, sour, pungent, and sweet ingredients with the amazing balance of tangy ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) but not only does it taste good, it’s also easy to make and uses common herbs that you can get from your backyard or local market.

There’s actually scientific reasons for their efficiency at fighting everything from the common cold to a huge array of other diseases. In some cases, the ingredients are antimicrobial, antibacterial and even anti-fungal. In other cases, the ingredients boost the immune system to help your body fight the infection.

Today, many old wives tales are proving true. Studies today show that many natural ingredients help keep you healthier. While the creators of these recipes, hundreds of years ago, may not have known why they work, they did notice improvement and added the ingredients to their list of remedies.

fire cider benefits

Here are some scientific reasons many of the ingredients in this magical Fire Cider Tonic help you to stay healthier and fight off colds and flu.


  • Horseradish

Horseradish is for more than just making a great sauce for steak or roast beef. It’s a superfood and we eat the root, but the leaves are edible and taste a bit like arugula. It’s been used in the Western world primarily for food but is renown in the East for its medicinal use.

Today we know that it contains high amounts of nutrients that can give your body a boost, such as Vitamin C, folate, potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.

Horseradish also contains a substance called sinigrin, which is a glucosinolate. Glucosinolates are also found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and known for their cancer-fighting potential.

They also boost the immune system, which helps you fight off infection. Horseradish is also known to have antibacterial qualities that can help defeat infections, including listeria, E. Coli and Staphylococcus. The pungent odor can also clear up congestion from an upper respiratory infection.


  • Garlic

Garlic is still used by many people to help stay healthy. This potent bulb is a member of the allium family—the onion family. It’s high in nutrients, such as manganese, Vitamin B6, C and selenium. It also lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels. It contains allicin, which is effective for so many ailments. Garlic also has antibacterial and immune system boosting properties.

fire cider vinegar

One study showed that regular use of garlic not only reduced the number of colds by as much as 70%, but also reduced the average length of time suffering from cold from 5 days to 1.5 days. Another study showed that it reduced the number of days ill with a cold or flu by 65%.


  • Onions

Onion is another healthy member of the allium family. They too contain vitamin C and other phytonutrients, plant nutrients that scientists now find are beneficial for health. Onions have many of the same properties as garlic.

They help normalize cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and help fight cancer.

They also have antioxidants that help protect cells. Onions have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, reduce inflammation and prevent respiratory inflammation.


  • Ginger Root

Ginger is probably best known for its properties to help digestion (If your mother ever gave you ginger ale for a stomach ache, you’ve used it.), but it has far more benefits than that. It helps Alzheimer’s, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood sugar, improves heart health, prevents inflammation and even helps fight cancer.

It’s a potent cold and flu fighter too. Not only does it inhibit the growth of bacteria, but fresh ginger is also an effective fighter of RSV—the virus that causes many colds and upper respiratory infections.


  • Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper helps ease the pain of a sore throat and stop coughing. It also helps aid stomach irritation. It breaks up mucus and gets it moving to bring relief from cold and flu symptoms, but also antibacterial properties, as well as anti-fungal ones.

It promotes gum health, lowers blood pressure and brings relief to joint pains. There are so many benefits that you get besides helping you fight the common cold. Capsaicin is one of the phytochemicals that provide a boost to the body.


  • Organic Raw Honey

A spoonful of honey not only helps the medicine go down, it is the medicine. Honey has natural antibacterial properties and is super soothing for a cough or sore throat, particularly when combined with lemon or tea. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may be a key to helping reduce seasonal allergies.

It’s also a well-known aid in curing upper respiratory infections.


  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’ve ever looked up many home remedies for health problems, you’ve probably seen apple cider vinegar on the list of “must haves.” It has so many beneficial uses from helping with stomach problems to losing weight. It’s also a must when you suffer from a cold.

The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar can help kill off germs. If you have a sore throat, gargling with a diluted mixture every half hour can help.

It also helps stuffy noses with potassium that thins the mucus and it actually helps to alkalize the body, even though it’s acidic, to make it far less inhabitable to germs.

Fire Cider Uses

If you’re a first timer, you can dilute this mixture with a little warm water. I drink this tonic shot straight up and chase it with water, so as not to erode my enamel.

If you feel like a cold or flu coming on, take 1 or 2 oz. shot daily to keep your immune system healthy.

Lots of converts claim it has benefits that include warding off colds & flus, boosting energy, lower blood sugar, curbing cravings, easing sinus congestion, and digestion.

How to Make Vinegar

Fire Cider Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
  • 1 medium organic onion (chopped)
  • crushed 10 cloves of organic garlic (peeled)
  • chopped 2 organic jalapeno peppers, 1 habanero, or whatever else is around
  • chopped zest and juice from 1 organic lemon or 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange
  • several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary
  • 1 tbsp organic turmeric powder (for anti-inflammatory)
  • 16 oz bottle of unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • raw honey (add this according to your taste, just start it slow and whisk well until it tastes right to you).

Other Ingredients if Available:

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns


1  Grate the horseradish and ginger roots. Roughly chop the onions, orange, lemon, garlic, and habanero peppers.

2  Place all of the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices in a clean 1-quart jar or divide evenly between two quart sized canning jars.

For aesthetic reason, you can layer the horseradish in the bottom, the peppers and citrus in the middle, the rosemary poked into the center, and the rest placed on top.

3  Fill the jar with apple cider vinegar, covering all the ingredients and making sure there are no air bubbles. Cap the jar.

If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment or wax paper between the jar and the lid to prevent corrosion from the vinegar. Shake well.

4  Let the jar sit in a cool, dark place, allowing it to infuse for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking daily (or as often as you remember).

5   Once it’s ready, use a cheesecloth-lined colander, and pour or strain the vinegar into a clean jar. Let it drain for 20-30 minutes.

Then, gather the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze until you cannot release any more liquid.

6   After that, you can add raw honey to the fire cider tonic to taste. Mix well and pour into a sterilized glass bottle or container. Store in the fridge or in a cool, dark place for up to a year, shake well before using.

Extra Tip: Line a piece of wax or parchment paper under the lid so the vinegar does not eat, rust or discolor the metal of the lid.


  • Reducing the ingredients to bits create a lot of surface area in contact with the liquid. By letting everything sit for a few weeks, the oils and other flavors will leach out and infuse into the cider vinegar. 
  • Use Braggs Apple Cider because it has a "mother" in it and it is rich in nutrition that offers a lot of health benefits.
  • To make it less tearful, grate the horseradish in a well-ventilated area because it can be tougher on the eyes than onions.

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