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 Any new comments seeking to chastise me for the use of the word will not be published.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
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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.
Katharine Crusius says
1. I just got time to make the cider today. I have the vinegar up to the top but there are a couple of chunks of lemon and onion that are floating in the top. I am almost at the brim. Do I need to be totally at the brim? Will that be alright?
2. I live in a condo in Chicago. It is too cold to put outside, but I don’t have any real cool place to put it.
I was thinking of putting it in the guest closet that does not see light. It is too cold for me below 70
degrees. Will that be alright?
Hey Katharine! You’re a-okay below the rim. Just try to keep the fruit/veg submerged as much as possible. If you can’t keep it completely under, be sure to inspect for mold and remove anything sticking above the liquid line before re-lidding and shaking!
I think you’ll be fine putting it in the guest closet!
I just strained mine, we grow our own horseradish so mine has got some serious fire to it, just in time for cold and flu season. My family is a bit intimidated by it but I’m excited to have some around. Thank you so very much for sharing this.
You lucky duck, Jess! I wish I had grown horseradish this year!
Recipe is missing black pepper which is needed for the turmeric to absorb?
Hi Tamara- You can still get benefits from turmeric without the presence of black pepper but black pepper does indeed increase the benefits of turmeric. Feel free to add some if you’d like it.
This is a Great recipe! I made it in July and started sipping in September. Now making another batch.
After 4 weeks, I ended up putting mine through a juicer before straining. Worked perfectly.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much, JB! I’m so glad you love it. And thanks for the heads up on the juicer!
Hellllllp! I made fire cider again this year and I have about a week or so before I strain this batch and I just noticed the orange peels next to the garlic cloves have turned green? Is this normal? I feel like I need to start over??
Don’t toss it, Tanya! It’s fine!!!! Garlic can turn some magnificently bizarre colours while fermenting and it spills into whatever is near it! Your fire cider should be perfectly a-okay!
Hey there! Thank you for your recipe! I am on week 3 of mine and I never changed the parchment paper…. do you think it will be okay?
Hi Brit- I think you’ll be fine!!!!
Should/could I keep it in the back of the fridge?
Hi Christin- You don’t need to store it in the fridge unless you’re in a super humid/hot/tropical climate.
Thank you for this. Love your commentary!
You’re very welcome, Nancy. Thank YOU!
GEORGE P OTTERBECK says
Some of us would rather buy a sample first and try it out rather than start from scratch and make it. Is there one, in particular, you would recommend
Sure! I’d say go for trying Shire City Herbal’s Fire Cider. That’s the one I modeled mine on. 🙂
Debbie Meadors says
I am confused if you strain the Fire cider with a muslin cloth or doubled over cheese cloth won’t that remove the mother from the Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar? Or at this point there is no need for the mother, because of the other ingredients in the tonic? Can you add a small amount of cooked down thick black elderberry extract to the fire tonic?
Hi Debbie! You’re not removing the mother completely, you’re just removing the vegetable/fruit solids. It’s still raw apple cider because you haven’t cooked it down. I see no reason not to add black elderberry extract! Sounds delicious!
I accidentally put the honey in with everything else and peeled the lemon and orange. Have I ruined it?
Hi Brenda- I’m sure it’ll be fine! You won’t have as much control over the final product’s sweetness as you would if you’d waited, but I think it[ll be okay. 🙂
Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Can I put the whole thing in blender and let it run for a minute and then consume instead of let it drain?
Hi Gulay- I have seen some folks in the comment section doing that, but I have not personally tried it. Let me know if you do!
Julie P Dodson says
Great looking recipe, I am eager to get started…..and practice my patience.
Wondering why not use Tumeric root as opposed to Tumeric powder?
Julie P Dodson says
Annnnnd, I just found all the Tumeric dialog. No need to reply.
I’m glad you found it, Julie! 🙂 Happy Fire Cider making!
Oh. my. goodness. I just found your site. I lovelovelove your writing style. We are two peas in pod, girl! I received a Fire Cider recipe from my neice a few months ago. She made it last year in time to gift for Christmas. One bottle of the precious elixir went to her dad. He tasted it, hated it and put it in the back of the cupboard. A couple of months later, when they spoke on the phone he sounded just awful … and felt equally as such. It turns out, he had tested + for COvid-19. The horror! She asked, Dad did you take some Fire Cider? No, he had not. He’d forgotten all about it. SO he dug it out of the cupboard and took it – like 1/2c at a time, 3 x’s daily and by golly, in 2 days he was almost good as new. After ingesting this for one week, he returned for another COvid test and was Negative! Who’d-a-thunk-it!? I am NOT touting this to be a Covid Cure at all. I am just relaying what happened to one person after taking Fire CIder for one week. It’s enough to get me to make it – if I can find that elusive horeseradish root. An ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure, after all. Thanks for your post. I’m a follower now, btw. Heres to great health – no matter how we obtain or manage it, eh?
Yes! Here’s to great health however we manage it!
Michelle M Casebolt says
This recipe is great! This was my first attempt at fire cider and I am 100% pleased that I selected this recipe to use. It is easy to follow, lots of great additional information as well! I also love how it also leaves room for personal touches like sweetness.
Kara A Adkins says
Tons of arguments on here about whether is this homeopathic or not. I can’t find any reviews on whether this helps aid in boosting immunity or helps with colds. I’m still going to try it. I actually found turmeric root so I’m adding that instead of powder. I will report back in 4-6 weeks on taste!
My local grocers do not have fresh horseradish, can I use horseradish powder and if so how much do I use? Thank you.
Hi Patricia- I have never used powdered horseradish, so I’m not sure what to tell you. You might try mail ordering dried horseradish root?
Also, I’ve been told that it’s easiest to find horseradish in grocery stores during months ending in “…ber” So, October, November, December… We’re getting right into prime horseradish season. 🙂
Eric Pennington says
Will try to use
Ooooh never thought to add orange! Makes such a difference! I have been doing a similar recipe for years and it is HEALING! I literally never get sick. ACV is such a good immune booster! I also love this Japanese tonic (Forgive the dramatic video) haha 🙂 Awesome!
I am excited to try this. Do I need to water bath can this?
How does it stay good if not?
I’m a rookie.☺️
Hi Carrie- You don’t need to water bathe it, thankfully! It’s easy peasy! Just pour into bottles and put in a dark, cool, draft-free place. 🙂