With the darkness and weather beginning to cool, our immune systems could use a little extra love.

What better way to do this than with a warming herbal tonic you can make right at home with easily accessible ingredients. Fire Cider is a remedy created by Rosemary Gladstar in the late 1970s. Her original recipe was equal parts horseradish, ginger, onion, and garlic topped with apple cider vinegar. It is one of the easiest and most affordable herbal tonics for the Winter months, or general tonic for life’s ailments all year long.

Through the years the recipe has taken on many variations.

But its main components are always ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, and chilis combined with apple cider vinegar and honey. In addition, other herbs can be used for added benefit such as turmeric, cinnamon, star anise, echinacea, rose hips, rosemary, citrus fruits, and thyme.

The tonic can be taken straight up, mixed into tea or broths, or used as a dressing on all your meals (because yes it tastes that good!)
If you start to feel unwell, it can be very supportive to take a tablespoon every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside.

Over the years I have created my fire cider by intuition.

But if you’re a recipe follower here are the basic guidelines:

  • 1/2 cup grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh horseradish
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 10 cloves of crushed or chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped jalapeño peppers

Layer in a quart mason jar. Cover all the ingredients with apple cider vinegar by 2 inches. Before placing the lid on be sure to use a piece of parchment paper to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Give it a nice shake and place in a dark space for 4-6 weeks. Remember to shake your tonic daily! This also gives me an opportunity to say magic words to it which I believe hold in its vibrations. After your 4-6 weeks is up, you can strain it into a clean jar and add 1/4 cup of honey- or more if you like it sweeter. The fire cider is shelf stable and can be stored in dry, cool space in your kitchen and will last for many months.

Wishing everyone good health!