Ever the herbalist, coming into Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, I have whipped up a big batch of Fire Cider – my treasured tonic to boost immunity.
Now I haven’t traditionally called it Fire Cider (there is a whole other story to that name), but rather my medicinal brew is a derivative of my JuJu Remedy, that I have made for the last couple of decades.
Each year I play around with the ingredients, and let my creativity guide the brew… but I have to say that this year is my BEST batch yet. Though in all fairness, I think I do say that every year !
What is Fire Cider you may ask ?
Fire Cider is a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar + Medicinal Foods… all fermented together over many weeks. The end product is a vibrant medicinal menagerie that aids digestion, supports immunity, is alkalising to the body and help alleviates congestion, inflammation & toxicity.
Honestly, I can’t imagine going a winter without this tonic. And I often make up a big batch as I come into Spring too, to help clear out the cobwebs of the hibernation months and invite in the ‘lightness’ of Spring. I tend to add rosemary, cinnamon & orange to my Spring brew to change things up a little.
A little Herstory
Medicinal brews made with Vinegar & Herbs (usually with a dash of honey), have been around for thousands of years. Referred to as ‘Oxymels’ (latin for ‘vinegar & honey’) – Greek Physician Hippocrates referred to the use of Oxymels over 2,500 years ago in the text ‘On Regimen in Acute Diseases [part 16]‘ written in 400 BCE.
“Oxymel… promotes expectoration and freedom of breathing… promotes flatulent discharges from the bowels… is diuretic, [good for] watery discharges and those resembling scrapings, from the lower part of the intestine”
You may have heard of oil of thieves, well most likely this originated from the medicinal Vinegar Thieves brew that was used to ward off the plague.
And when I studied Naturopathy & Medicinal Herbal Medicine in the 90s, I remember learning about the myriad of folk medicine remedies used over hundreds of years that involved Vinegar, Honey & often Cayenne for warming the body, tonifying & boosting the immune system during cold & flu season.
If you are interested in making up your own alchemical batch, here are the list of ingredients that I used for this years batch and a short discussion on how to prepare & then dispense your final fermented liquid JuJu !
To learn more about the medicinal aspects of Fire Cider, please read my JuJu Recipe for all the details.
Please note that I rarely measure in the kitchen, so feel free to play around yourself, change things up and feel into what you body needs as the seasons change… or even make smaller batches every few weeks to play around with the recipe.
This is the magic of LIGHTRITION… trusting your bodies inherent capacity to heal and that your body ‘knows’ what it needs nutritionally and all you need do is follow her guidance body, mind & soul. Nourishment is so much more that food afterall… let your body be the guide in how to eat the LIGHT.
- 1 x Large Root of Ginger (about hand size)
- 1 x Large Root of Horseradish (about hand size)
- 6-8 x Roots of Turmeric (about thumb size)
- 13-20 x Cloves of Garlic (my cloves were huge in size)
- 2 x Lemons (use the whole lemon)
- 2 x Red-Purple Onions
- 2 x Red Chilli
- 2 x Jalapeños
- Handful of Black Peppercorns
- Liberal dash of Cayenne
- 1 x Litre bottle Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw Unfiltered Mother, I used Braggs)
- Large Clear Quartz Points
- Raw Honey
When preparing the ingredients, put your ‘hands & heart’ into making your remedy. In Aetheric Healing™, your hands (thumb Soul, & fingers Earth, Fire & Water)… are divine channels of the Divine. And in Lightrition, your ceremonial intentions when making your remedy are what ‘activate’ the bio-light-nutrients in entrainment with the individual needs of your DNA.
Start by scrubbing the outside of the Ginger, Horseradish & Turmeric with a hard brush (leaving the skins intact), then chop or grate the Ginger, Horseradish & Turmeric into small pieces. Note: I was unable to purchase Horseradish from the market this year, so I used radishes instead – about 10 small ones in total.
Peel the Garlic, and then roughly chop into small pieces.
Slice Lemon, Onions, Chilli’s, Jalapeños into fine slices.
Bruise the blackpepper to release essential oils (you could use a Mortar & Pestle).
Fill a large Jar firstly with your dash of Cayenne, then Black Peppercorns, then followed by all of the above ingredients. Now pour in the Apple Cider Vinegar ensuring that there are no hidden air-pockets within the jar (you may have to shake the jar around a little).
Add enough Large Quartz Points at the top of the jar to ensure all the ingredients are held down within the Vinegar (ie, no foods are exposed to air). If you don’t have quartz, then you could use larger riverstones.
Now let this fermenting wizardry do its thing for a good month or more…. I left my for 5 weeks – preferrably stored away from bright lights. Be sure to shake it up now and then to ensure everything is alchemically zooping up and to enable the piezoelectricity of the crystals amplify & bio-enhance the LIGHT-trition of the food. I talk about Quartz & Piezoelectricity in my JuJu Remedy.
Note that during this fermentation party, the garlic may begin to turn a ‘blue’ colour. Don’t panic, this is because the sulphur in garlic reacts with the acidic vinegar. It is completely natural & safe… and well the ‘blue’ actually completes the full RAINBOW SPECTRUM of Fire Cider.
After 4 to 5 weeks, your gut-loving brew is now ready to bottle. Below is a picture of my brew at 35 days, as you can see the colour of the brew has turned a deep reddy-orange colour.
To bottle, simply strain off all of the ingredients through a sieve (add these to your compost), and then bottle the Fire Cider in glass bottles. Store in your pantry.
You may wish to add Raw Honey to taste into your Fire Cider (it does take the edge off the sourness a little), thought I prefer to add honey when I dose (if at all). Your honey may need to be very gently warmed to ensure it will blend with your brew.
I like to dose my Fire Cider at least once a day before meals – most often my evening meal. If however I am feeling a little run-down, or that a cold/flu is coming on, then I may dose quite a few times throughout the day.
I add about 30 mls to a shot glass and basically down the hatch with it. I may on occassion add in a little honey too… particularly if I have a sore throat.
Fire Cider also makes a wonderful salad dressing with a little olive oil or even coconut oil. Fire Cider drizzled over freshly steamed vegetables is heavenly. Or even a sprinkling over roast Kumera (Sweet Potato) or Pumpkin is delish too!