Updated: Mar 30, 2019
Make your own wellness tonic this Autumn. A beautiful way to begin the journey within and invite self-care rituals into your life before Winter.
As the days begin to shorten and cool, we slow down and begin the journey inwards. Autumn invites us to initiate self-care as we are prepare to journey through winter.
The body systems governed by Autumn are the lungs and the large intestine. Autumn herbal allies are nourishing herbs, roots and warming spices. This is the best time to reap the bounty of summer and tune into our inner world by preparing a lung and immune boosting tonic before the cold season arrives. Fire Cider is perfect for this time of year. For me, the healing and joy begins in collecting the ingredients and feeling good about prioritising health and nurturing for myself and loved ones. I love the month long brew and the daily agitation as it provides the opportunity to touch in to this feeling of connection to self, planet and others.
The following recipe is based on Rosemary Gladstar's classic which was first published in the 1980's. One of the wonderful thing about fire cider is that it is truly a collaborate process between you and all the ingredients you choose to put in there. Don't be shy about adding extra health-promoting herbs or spices that are individualised to you and your community. I started with a bit of a berry theme and first added Elderberry, Juniper and Schisandra. Then I got super enthused and continued with thyme, rosemary, turmeric, the juice of one lemon (you could chop and add the entire thing) and yellow dock root.
Fire Cider Ingredients
½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
t½ cup or more fresh chopped onion
s¼ cup or more chopped garlic
¼ cup or more grated ginger
Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered. ‘ To Taste’ means that it should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. It's better to make it a little milder than too hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary!
Optional extras: Turmeric, Echinacea, Cinnamon, etc.
Place all ingredients into a 2L (or approximate) sized jar and cover with raw, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar (I bought mine from the local bulk store). Make sure that the herbs are completely covered by at least 10 cm. If your jar has a metal lid, cut a square of baking or wax-paper and cover the jar before tightly capping it.This provides a barrier that protects the metal from oxidation.
Store in a warm place for 3-4 weeks minimum. Shake the glass daily to help with the maceration process.
Strain the herbs from the liquid.
Mix through a good quality local honey to taste (start with about 1/3 cup) and bottle.
Technically, Fire Cider does not need to be refrigerated but I do keep mine in there.
How to use Fire Cider
Take a shot daily as a general immune support tonic; or take more frequently (1-2 teaspoons every couple of hours) if you feel the beginning of a cold.
Add to bone broth for immune and digestive support.
Mix with extra honey to make a cough syrup.
Soak a clean thick cloth and place on your chest to alleviate congestion.
Mix with olive oil to make a medicinal and punchy salad dressing.