Fire Cider

Fire cider | immune tonic

As a mother of a wild three year old who goes to daycare I am always on the lookout for a way to boost the immune system. I love her so much but she is a walking petri dish and wonderful little vector. Though my background is in Chinese herbs and there are lots of wonderful options I also have Appalachia in my blood and so I also like to look to folk medicine and eastern herbs.

While looking around for elderberries and elderberry syrup on the world wide web I ran into something called Fire Cider. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of this because just like elderberry syrup it is a go to for may herbalist. It is pretty simple. It’s an apple cider vinegar infusion that contains immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory mover. The only tricky part about fire cider is that it takes a month to mature so you kinda gotta plan ahead.

There are all kinds of recipes out there. A simple search for Fire Cider on the web will get you all sorts of variations. The one that I am going to share is from a great website called


  • ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced ginger root

  • ½ cup peeled and shredded/diced horseradish root

  • ½ cup peeled and diced turmeric OR 1/4 cup additional ginger and 1/4 cup additional horseradish

  • ½ cup white onion, chopped

  • ¼ cup minced or crushed garlic cloves

  • 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped

  • Zest and juice from 2 organic lemons

  • Raw apple cider vinegar

  • Raw, organic honey to taste


  • Several sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)

  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns


  • Quart-sized jar

  • Wax paper


Add the ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, jalapeno and lemon juice/zest to a quart-sized jar. Pack them down lightly so that the jar is about 3/4 full. Use a fermenting weight to hold down the veggies/roots, or place heavy roots at the top so that they will weigh down the herbs and jalapenos (which float). Pour a generous amount apple cider vinegar over the roots/vegetables. You want everything to stay under the liquid to prevent spoilage. Keep in mind that some of the roots will expand a little so top it off well.

If you’re using a metal lid, line it with wax paper so that the vinegar doesn’t corrode it, then put the lid on. Place in a dark, room temperature cabinet for 2-4 weeks. (A month is best)

When the cider is ready, shake well and then strain the roots/veggies using a cheesecloth or fine mesh sieve. Add honey to taste and store in the fridge.

Note: Mountain Rose Herbs suggests that you used the strained veggies in stir fry or spring rolls. Yum!

Let me know what you thing or if you have used this before.