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The Health Tonic You May Want to Pay Attention To by Amara Wagner, Integrative Health Coach

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

If you aren’t a fire cider convert yet, just wait. The old folk remedy, originally given its name by the well known and respected herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar in the early 1970’s is gaining popularity and if you haven’t heard about it yet, you may want to.

It is an herbal concoction that has so many uses and benefits that I try never to be without, especially in the autumn and winter.

Following are just a few reasons I love it so much:

  • Warming and energizing (beneficial for cooler months)

  • Has antibacterial and antibiotic properties

  • Stimulates digestion

  • Acts an an expectorant

  • Supports health respiratory system

  • ​​​​​​​Relieve congestion

  • Supports immune system functions

  • Supports healthy circulation

  • Taking this remedy this time of year can help you feel more balanced and in-tune with your natural rhythms

When you see the list of the ingredients, you may be wary—they sound pretty disgusting. But I’ve heard from many people (and I fall into this group myself) that it has a strangely pleasant appeal. It’s hard to describe but if you can imagine spicy, sour and sweet, that’s fire cider.

During the fall and winter, I take a teaspoon once or twice a day. If I feel something coming on, I add a little bit to my thermos of warm water and sip it throughout the day. You could also add it to a salad dressing. I'm thinking it might be amazing in a Bloody Mary! While it IS a potent healing remedy, I encourage people to think of it more like a food than a medicine (although, of course, food IS medicine!)

I hesitate to even include a "recipe" for this remedy for two reasons. First, I cannot claim this as my recipe (it's been adapted and passed down for generations). Second, I normally find recipes (especially with this many ingredients) intimidating. Please don't be intimidated, if you can chop a vegetable, you can make this. If you don't have all of these ingredients, you can still make it. You really just need some of what’s on the list + raw apple cider vinegar, and you CAN make this.

Fire cider

All amounts are approximate.

  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced/sliced/shredded fresh horseradish root

  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed or rough chopped

  • 1/4 cup sliced or grated fresh turmeric

  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced/sliced onion

  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced/cut/shredded ginger

  • 1-2 jalapeño pepper chopped or 1/8th teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 lemon, cut into eighths

  • 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary and/or thyme

  • 2 to 3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with Mother (enough to fill the jar after ingredients are added)

  • Raw organic (local if possible) honey to taste (this comes last, after the vinegar has been infused for several weeks and then strained)

Place all of the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices in a clean 1-quart glass mason jar. Fill the jar with vinegar, covering all the ingredients with about an inch at the top (push down to make 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. You will NOT add the honey at this point.

Let the jar sit in a dark cabinet for 4 to 6 weeks, shaking daily (or as often as you remember).

After the 4 to 6 weeks, strain the vinegar into a clean jar and discard solids. Add honey to taste. Use within a year.

I often hear clients say that they didn’t make it because they couldn’t find horseradish or don’t like jalapeños, etc. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever you have and whatever you want. Each ingredient adds it’s own health attribute, but feel free to omit or add. I’ve never made the same batch twice. Variations I've made included cloves, lemongrass, oregano, and cinnamon sticks.

Amara Wagner is a speaker and mentor who empowers moms to trust their intuition and guides them

Amara Wagner is a speaker and mentor who empowers moms to trust their intuition and guides them, with practical tools, to raise naturally healthy families. Her private and group coaching programs help women navigate motherhood mindfully and with a sense of humor, without dogma. Amara provides a unique, down-to-earth approach to moms who want to feel confident using whole foods and ancient remedies to support their family's health. She specializes in helping holistic-minded mamas parent from an intuitive place, without sacrificing their own health. To learn more about Amara and her programs please visit


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