This Fire Cider Health Tonic and Homeopathic Remedy recipe stands as one of the most popular on my blog.
I would like to take this opportunity to remind people who take issue with my use of the word homeopathic that I’ve addressed it below and simply will not put up nastiness. People.
It’s not the end of things if we disagree on semantics, but I’m going to insist we be nice here on Foodie with Family.
To anyone visiting for the purpose of discussing my use or perceived misuse of the word “homeopathic”:
I am using a casual definition of the word supported by google, WebMD, and Merriam Webster: “That is, if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, giving the person a very small amount of the same substance may cure the illness.
In theory, a homeopathic dose enhances the body’s normal healing and self-regulatory processes.” I will not be discussing this issue any further. Any new comments seeking to chastise me for the use of the word will not be published.
Important Note: I am NOT under any circumstances claiming this will cure anything. I’m laying out a recipe that is both delicious and nutritious. I am also explaining some of the purported health benefits of the ingredients that go INTO the recipe.
This post is no substitute for professional medical advice, but is a classic folk tonic/remedy. I trust you all to use your own best judgment in the manner.
Wait! Don’t run away screaming! I know I’m in serious danger of sounding like an irredeemable hippie, but I have something really, really FUN for you today.
What is fire cider?
I have a savoury, spicy, infused vinegar. Yes.
Two infused vinegars in a row! This one is only slightly more complicated than the Coconut Infused White Balsamic Vinegar in has it has a few more ingredients and requires a bit more chopping and grating, but beyond that, it’s every bit as easy, it just requires more patience.
Before I get to why, I want to get to the reason YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS! For starters, it tastes awesome.
I mean AWESOME. Oh, and did I mention it’s a health tonic?
I have a little true story to explain to you how a girl who makes Crispy Cheesy Barbecue Chicken and Bacon Egg Rolls also makes Fire Cider Health Tonic and Homeopathic Remedy.
It all began with me hopping in my car and driving eight and a half hours to Maine to spend four days with my friends and fellow bloggers; Bakeaholic Mama, Nutmeg Nanny, Running to the Kitchen, and our friend Candace.
We spent our days wandering Portland, Maine eating donuts, duck fat french fries, ice cream, bubble tea, cookies, more duck fat fries, fried cheese curds, fried chicken skin banh mi, bacon dusted french fries, and washing it down with beer. Have you noticed the theme? Rich food on rich food on richer food.
It was great stuff, but oy. We were overstuffed.
We wandered into the Cabot Cheese Shop where the clerk enthusiastically offered a sample of something called Fire Cider to us. Given that I have been known to drink pickle juice and/or a shot of raw apple cider vinegar each morning (more on the health benefits of that in a moment), it didn’t take much to convince me to try it.
It was a SHAZAAM moment. It was a savoury liquid infusion with an amazing balance of tangy raw apple cider vinegar, horseradish, garlic, onion, ginger, and citrus with just a hint of honey.
It was exactly what we all needed to de-sluggify all of us after our rich food benders. Brandy, Carrie, and Gina grabbed a bottle. I grabbed two.
When I got home, my husband looked at me sideways when I told him what it was, but he drank the sip I gave him and his eyes grew huge as he declared, “THIS IS GREAT! We’re going to need to keep this around!”
Fire Cider Controversy
I went online to order a larger quantity and discovered that the manufacturer had a bit of fire cider controversy surrounding them because fire cider was an old folk remedy and health tonic made by many herbalists and the company had trademarked the name. Okay, well, knowing me, you’ll probably have realized at this point that when I read I could make my own, that was a foregone conclusion.
Would I regularly buy a product from a company that had trademarked a word that was the herbal world’s equivalent of t-shirt and was enforcing that trademark or would I make my own? Well, um, duh?
UPDATE: The controversy has been settled and the courts have decided that the company can no longer own the trademark for Fire Cider!
Fire Cider Recipe
I wanted to make one as close in flavour to the one I had purchased, so I used my only superpower (identifying flavours in a dish) to figure out what I wanted to put in my Fire Cider Health Tonic and Homeopathic Remedy.
I added fresh horseradish and ginger roots, onion, garlic, lemon, orange, habanero pepper, powdered turmeric, and raw apple cider vinegar to our fire cider. All of these ingredients have the dual benefits of being health promoting AND delicious.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I nailed it. And I had to wait 4 weeks to KNOW I nailed it because it takes that long for the flavours to infuse. Yeah. Um. Did I mention you need to be patient?
Fire Cider benefits
How is fire cider good for you? Let me count the ways:
-Fresh horseradish is known to be effective against the flu and common cold, tonsilitis, respiratory disorders, urinary tract infections, and pathenogenic fungus.
-Ginger is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, upset stomach (motion and morning sickness and general nausea), gas, upper respiratory tract infections, and cough.
-Onions are used to boost cardiovascular health, bone and connective tissue benefits, and as an anti-inflammatory agent.
-Garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, heart attack, atherosclerosis, asthma, building the immune system, help level blood sugar, and is used topically to treat fungal infections.
–Habanero peppers boost your metabolism, and offer headache, sinus, and arthritis relief as well as releasing endorphins.
-Oranges are great for heart health, as part of a best-case-scenario-anti-cancer-diet, fighting cholesterol, to help in weight loss, and to break up or prevent kidney stones.
–Lemons are known to aid in digestion, alleviate Meniere’s Disease, kidney stones, and ringing of the ears, cure scurvy (chronic lack of Vitamin C), treat colds and flu, improve the function of blood vessels, and reduce inflammation and retention of water.
–Turmeric is pretty much the be-all and end-all of health foods. It’s known to delay liver damage, reduce carcinogenic compounds in other foods, make cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiation, inhibit the growth of malignant melanoma and breast cancer, alleviate arthritis symptoms and skin conditions.
Heck, maybe I should let the experts describe what the main compound in turmeric -cucurmin- does. Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states:
“Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”
–Raw apple cider vinegar (not plain old cider vinegar!) is known to be a good source of acetic and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), mineral salts, amino acids, and other key components of good nutrition, but it is also a well-loved folk remedy thought to ease digestion, fight obesity and diabetes, wash toxins from the body, kill lice, and reverse aging.
Does it do all of that? I dunno. But it surely tastes good and it’s nutritional value is undisputed.
–Raw honey (locally produced) is a fantastic, all-natural fighter of seasonal allergies. Because bees collect pollen from flowers in your area and then convert it to honey to feed their hives, eating raw, local honey is like a tasty allergy shot.
It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and makes a great, non-narcotic cough suppressant and throat soother.
How much Fire Cider should I drink?
The beauty of this, beyond its all-star cast of healthy ingredients, is that it just plain tastes wonderful. We drink a tablespoon (or more!) every morning to maintain health. Well, okay, we MAINLY drink it because we like it, but the health benefits are nice.
When you feel ill, take a slightly larger dose of Fire Cider to help boost your immune system. Word has it on the street that it’s an extremely effective hangover cure. So, I want to know… are you curious enough to try it? What do you think?
There’s not too much to this, just grate or chop everything up and put it in a jar. That’s where I’m going to caution you.
If you cannot or will not use a plastic lid, do lay a piece of parchment paper on the rim of the jar before fixing your lid in place. Raw apple cider vinegar is quite likely to motivate a canning jar lid to rust or discolour.
You’d hate to have all your waiting and work ruined by a rusted lid. Replace that parchment sheet every week or so.
I prefer to use Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for my Fire Cider. I always keep it on hand because I love the flavour and I also love the health benefits it offers.
Because it still has the ‘mother’ in it, it packs a higher nutritional punch. I understand that Trade Joe’s and Whole Foods also have in-house brand versions that are great.
I’d advise you to use organic produce if at all possible. This way you won’t be infusing your lovely health tonic with anything you wouldn’t want to have in it.
When you grate your horseradish, make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area or you will regret it. That stuff packs some serious oomph and will empty your sinuses in 30 seconds flat.
When it’s time to strain your Fire Cider Health Tonic & Homeopathic Remedy, line a colander with butter muslin, a muslin tea towel, or a double layer of super fine cheesecloth, and set it over a large, stable pot.
Pour the contents of your jar into the lined colander and let it drain for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, pull the corners of the cloth together and twist to squeeze the contents until you cannot squeeze any more liquid from it.
You may reserve the solids for tossing in stir-fries or discard them. Either is fine!
You’ll notice there is not an actual quantity of honey listed in the recipe. You should add this to taste.
We tend to like ours less sweet, you may prefer yours more so. Start with 1/4 cup and whisk it well, then add 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until you reach your desired sweetness.
It’s best to choose raw, locally produced honey for the benefits listed above. The second choice is raw honey. The third choice would be pasteurized commercial honey.
Store your finished Fire Cider Health Tonic & Homeopathic Remedy in a sterilized wine bottle or canning jar. Store in a cool, dark cabinet for up to a year.
Oh! I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that the finished Fire Cider is fabulous as a dressing for cooked greens or in salad dressings. Boost your health while enjoying your dinner!
Guys. Gals. Friends, Romans, Countrymen… I HAVE PUT Fire Cider Health Tonic and Homeopathic Remedy IN A COCKTAIL. It was magical. Please experiment and report back.
How to make Fire Cider:
- A Food Processor with a Grating Disc is not strictly necessary but will make the process so much easier and keep your hands from smelling like horseradish!
- Easy Cap (reusable bottles) for storing your fire cider.
- a Funnel to help fill your bottles with fire cider
- a whisk to whisk in the honey
Connect with Foodie with Family
facebook | pinterest | instagram |twitter
Scroll down for the complete printable recipe.
Grate the horseradish and ginger roots. Roughly chop the peeled onions and garlic, whole oranges, lemons, and habaneros.
Do not peel the oranges and lemons first! Sprinkle the turmeric in on top.
Pour the raw apple cider vinegar allowing it to settle in through the crevices and adding more so the contents are fully submerged. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the rim of the jar, then screw the lid tightly in place.
Let the mixture sit in a dark, cool place, allowing it to infuse, for 4 weeks, shaking once daily when you remember it.
After 4 weeks, pour the contents into a muslin or cheesecloth lined colander over a stable pot. Let it drain for 30 minutes, then gather the corners and twist to wring out as much goodness as possible.
Add raw honey to the liquid to taste and pour into a sterilized wine bottle or canning jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year, shaking well before using.
Fire Cider: Health Tonic and Homeopathic RemedyRate Recipe
- 1 large horseradish root scrubbed very well, about 7 inches long
- 1 large ginger root about 7 inches long
- 1 large onion root and stem end removed and peeled
- 1 large orange do NOT peel. Use the whole fruit.
- 1 lemon do NOT peel. Use the whole fruit.
- 16 cloves of garlic peeled
- 2-4 habanero peppers stems removed
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- raw apple cider vinegar
- raw honey
- Grate the horseradish and ginger roots. Roughly chop the onions, orange, lemon, garlic, and habanero peppers. Stuff them into a half-gallon glass jar with a tight fitting lid or divide evenly between two quart sized canning jars. Sprinkle the turmeric in on top (dividing evenly between the two jars if using quart jars). Pour the raw apple cider vinegar in over the contents, allowing it to settle in through the crevices and adding more so that the contents are submerged. Lay a piece of parchment paper over the rim of the jar, then screw the lid tightly in place. Let the mixture sit in a dark, cool place, allowing it to marry and infuse for 4 weeks, shaking once daily.
- After 4 weeks, pour the contents into a muslin or cheesecloth lined colander positioned over a stable pot. Let it drain for 30 minutes, then gather the corners of the cloth, twisting and squeezing until you cannot release any more liquid. When it's fully strained, add honey to the liquid to taste and pour into a sterilized wine bottle or canning jar. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year, shaking well before using.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
Make sure to tag @foodiewithfam on Instagram and #hashtag it #foodiewithfamily so I can check it out!
Not Your Mama’s Canning Book: Modern Canned Goods and What to Make with Them is available to order through these fine retailers!
Originally published August 8, 2014. Updated August 2016 and January 2019.
Good morning, I made your recipe a couple of years ago. I gave a bottle to a neighbor about a month ago. Just saw them again yesterday. They returned my bottle and told me that they really believed it helped with reducing the pain from their inflammation. I am elated. I gave my daughter a bit of it yesterday and she said her allergy symptoms from our pollen apocalypse is much better. This was my first attempt down a path to help with natural ingredients to help with things that ail folks. Thank you so much, Grandma Dar
Ronnie Jörgensen says
Can I drink this as it is, or so I need to dilute it as you do with regular ACV when drinking it?
Hi Ronnie! I definitely drink it straight up!!
Hello I made this and there is some sediment floating at the bottom. Is this ok? Assuming it’s the turmeric powder and raw honey? Does yours separate? Thanks!
Hi Kendra- Sediment is absolutely fine!! In fact, you can expect it. There’s a little from the turmeric powder and raw honey, but also because of straining the solid matter. It won’t hurt.
I’m very sensitive to garlic. Can I leave this out and still have health benefits?
Of course, Crys! It’ll taste different, but you’ll still get all of the good stuff from everything else in the fire cider!
Can you tell me if the finished cider tastes strongly of garlic? My husband is ok with a little, but too much will turn him off.
Hi Karen- I’d say no, but it’s pretty subjective and I tend to eat a lot of garlic. 🙂 I think it’s mostly a strong savoury/tart/sweet thing if that makes sense.
Margo D says
I made two batches of Fire Cider, the first 1/2 gallon, which yielded a little over 1 quart. Then I made a one gallon batch, which yielded about 1/2 gallon. IT IS sooooooo GOOD.
I made this much because I didn’t know if I could get the turmeric root all year long; and because if I take it every day, I wanted to have enough to last, and to share.
Thank you so much for this recipe.
You’re so welcome, Margo! Thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it. Here’s to good health this fall and winter!
Does the Firestarter have to be refrigerated?
Hi Mary- You don’t need to refrigerate it a) if you don’t live in a humid, hot climate and b) if you’ll be consuming it in the next couple of months. Otherwise, it just plain tastes better refrigerated after it’s been strained and mixed with honey. 🙂
Margo Daugherty says
I meant I chopped everything else by hand. Oops
Margo Daugherty says
Thanks so much. I just have to wait 4 weeks now.
I chopped my ginger and horseradish, and fresh turmeric root (1/2” for each teaspoon of dried) in my tiny food processor. It worked great. I chopped every thing else.
Can’t waiit to try it, and then I will make more, so that I have it on hand all the time.
I’m so happy you’re giving it a go, Margo!! I hope you love the end product as much as we do!
Does the parchment paper lay on top with the lid AND ring over the top (I’m using a Mason jar) or only the parchment paper with just the ring over the top?
Hi Kristy! Yes- I use the parchment to protect the lid from the vinegar and the vinegar from the lid. HA! 🙂
Serious question. I made this fire cider 8 months ago and forgot to strain and add honey… should I just trash it now? Or do you think it’s still okay to use?
Hi Dawn! I think you should be a-okay! It might be super strong, but it should be good!
One piece of advice though… unlike if you had strained it earlier, don’t squeeze the cheesecloth here since some of the vegetable matter may have broken down enough that you’d render it pulp if you squeeze it. 🙂
Thank you SO MUCH!
Hello what would happen if one hypothetically covered everything in honey first then added the acv 12 hrs later? Asking for a friend. That friend is me. I started with honey fermented jalapeño and decided to change it to fire cider. Do you think adding the honey first will spoil it? Raw honey was used.
Hi Anna! I don’t think it will spoil it at all, but it will definitely affect your ability to adjust the sweetness 🙂
Hey there, this looks amazing! Could I use fresh turmeric root and how much should I prepare?
Thanks, Sandie! You can definitely use fresh turmeric root! The standard substitution is about 1-inch of fresh turmeric root for 1 teaspoon of dried, so I’d go with 3 inches of fresh turmeric, grated!
So happy to find this recipe
It seems to have all the ingredients that the one my daughter bought. So thank you!
That fire cider quickened those of us (and there were 6 of us in total) who were crazy… I mean brave enough to take this last year when we had the vid.. I am sick now with something I couldn’t shake. My asthma is acting up bad. My oldest son remembered the fire cider. My breathing has become easier since I’ve started taken this earlier today.
I have a question… Maybe two… First, seeing as I am now sick and am running out of it, is there a way I can take a small amount and cheat and hurry up the process.
I just want to check, this will last a year if stored as you said,correct?
Thank you for your time and patience for making this recipe!
Hi Carol- Thanks so much for letting me know you love it! I was pounding it when I had the vid, too! First, let’s address the last point. It will store AT LEAST a year… maybe a wee bit longer… if stored as directed. So yes, you’re fine on that. And I’m not aware of a way to cheat the process… If I was you and desirous of more fire cider, I might buy a bottle to get me through. And then again, I might try vacuum containers to attempt a quick and dirty version. If you give it a shot, please let me know!
Hi, Rebecca! I’m vegan – I’d like to sub date or maple syrup for the honey, but do you know if they would get rancid in the bottle if not refridgerated? Ty!
Hi Lynne- I’d be inclined to use maple syrup but I’d definitely refrigerate it! It doesn’t have the same preservative qualities that honey does. 🙂 Please let me know how you end up liking it!
TYSM!! I really appreciate your response.
I will be making this as soon as I can make the trek to the organic market in the city! I cannot wait to try it.
Hooray, Susanne! I hope you love it!
The garlic in my fire cider has turned blue. And idea why this has happened? The jar was brand new, and I sterilized it before I used it. The only deviation from the recipe was that I used fresh turmeric.
Is this still safe to use?
Hey Hal! It’s absolutely fine! It’s just the sulfur in the garlic reacting to the vinegar! It’s not at all harmful!
Can you use prepared horseradish if you can’t get raw horseradish for this recipe? If so how much of the prepared horseradish do you recommend?
Hi Mel- I would not use prepared horseradish, personally. You might be better off using dehydrated horseradish root! I’d go with about 1/3 of the amount of dried to fresh.
Does somebody sell this already made?
You betcha! Shire City Herbals does and you can mail order it. 🙂
Im allergic to honey so can it be left out?
Absolutely! It will have more of a kick since you’re not diluting it with honey, but it’s 100% doable.
Nadine Dixon says
For sweetness, perhaps you could use agave syrup or maple?
Hello! How much apple cider vinegar and honey would you suggest for this recipe?
Hi Jordyn- It’s hard to give you a firm amount of either for a couple of reasons. The size you chop the vegetable/spice/aromatic matter into will effect it as will the amount you pack it into the jar. I can give you a general guideline that you’ll need less than a quart if you’ve filled a quart jar. As for the honey, that’s a matter of personal preference. I tend to go with about 3 parts of strained, infused vinegar to 1 part of honey, but I like things with a real kick. Start there, taste, and adjust with more honey if you like it. 🙂