Spring may be upon us but it seems that those winter coughs and colds seem to be hanging around just a little bit longer… A day in bed with the common cold may make you feel like it is the end of the world but traditional herbalists see coughs, colds, snot and any acute health condition often as a sign that the vital force is struggling, but is actually still strong, which is why herbal treatments for these acute conditions are aimed at giving that vital force a boost.
Fire Cider is a traditional herbal tonic packed with herbs that stimulate the body’s immune and circulatory system to overcome whatever acute illness it may have contracted. The good news is that if you have a look in your own Kitchen or Garden Apothecary you are likely to be equipped with the warming and stimulating herbs to make your own Fire Cider.
Below is a recipe that I have adapted from my traditional herbal teacher. Together these ingredients form a potent punch that is immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, congestion clearing, and warming
• 1/2 cup grated fresh horseradish root
• 1/4 cup or more fresh chopped onions
• 1/4 cup grated fresh Tumeric
• 1/4 cup or more chopped Garlic
• 1/4 cup or more grated Ginger
• 1 tablespoon of chopped Thyme
• 1 chopped chilli
• You can also add sliced lemon slices, blood orange, raw honey, cinnamon or any herb that takes your fancy
If you don’t have access to all of the ingredients you can replace it with another herb of choice… Rosemary, Black Peppercorns, Schisandra Berries, Rosehip are other options to name a few.
Place all of the ingredients in a large clean jar. 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.
Let the jar sit allowing herbs to macerate for 3 to 6 weeks, shaking daily.
Strain the liquid into a clean jar. Add honey to taste. Refrigerate and use within a year.
• Take 1 tablespoon at the first sign of a cold, and then repeat every 3 to 4 hours until symptoms subside. Some people also take a spoonful of fire cider as a preventative during cold and flu season.
•Mix with fresh orange and lemon juice
•Mix with hot water and extra honey to make a tea (diluted in a tea or juice is a better option for the young and elderly). I also recommend diluting in a tea or broth for anyone with an inflamed or sore throat.
The thing I love about this mix is that it is jam packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, it really gets the circulation going, just what my joints need to survive, surfing through winter in cold water.
There’s nothing better than the satisfaction of making your own medicines. This recipe will become a must for all the winters to come.
As always, The Mud Team xx