Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fire Cider Day 2014

Fire Cider Vinegar

Fire Cider is a generic name for a concoction I typically make at the end of the summer. It contains all the good herbs to help deal with winter illnesses. Probably the name was first coined by Rosemary Gladstar in her books, but the concept is as old as time and most herbalist make some sort of version of fire cider. 

I typically make it from sage, thyme, and oregano from the garden and then add lots of garlic, hot pepper, horseradish and sometimes ginger. I don’t usually make it in the winter, but since today has been declared national Fire Cider Day I’ll make some from what I can find. I have garlic, shallots, horseradish, and ginger from the store. To that I will add some dried oregano, horehound and sage from the summer as well some dried hot peppers we keep on hand.

Many people will add enough honey to make it drinkable. I typically add just a tad of honey and use the fire cider mixed with olive oil on salads. I have a little bit of thyme infused honey that I will scrape out and put in this. One of the great things about herbalism is that many herbs have overlapping properties. If you don't like a particular herb, there is probably another one that can do the job. That is why I am not giving you a particular recipe here. If you want to make fire cider, use similar ingredients that you like or that are easy for you  to find.  Also, don't let the metal lid of the jar come in contact with the vinegar, use plastic or wax paper under the lid to prevent direct contact.

I'll let this set for 2-3 weeks before using it and then use it mostly on salads, but also a few tablespoons straight if I feel a cold coming on. You can dilute in water or tea if its too strong. It can even help clear sinuses by smelling.  The vinegar acts as a natural preservative so it should last several months; however, do keep an eye for mold that may grow.

Fire Cider has gotten a lot of attention recently because the term has been trademarked by a company that is marketing a product they have named Fire Cider. Most herbalists, myself included, believe that because Fire Cider is a generic term for a medicinal vinegar made with herbs, garlic etc. that it should not be trademarked. Surely this company can come up with a more original name for their medicinal cider than Fire Cider. A quick Google search shows that many herbalists make and market a product they call Fire Cider so I don’t know how they were legally able to trademark this term.

If you are interested in learning more about Fire Cider there are many blogs you can read. I suggest
Onion, shallot, garlic, ginger and horseradish from the store.

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