Traditional fire cider
On an otherwise snowy and cold February afternoon, (which is totally rare for the wet west coast), I thought it would be a nice cozy time to brew up some spicy Fire Cider.
Traditionally fire cider is made in the fall and early winter to help keep immune systems and vibrancy up during the cold winter months. It is made with ACV and ginger, garlic, horseradish and hot peppers. Additional herbs are added for desired effect or taste. Ginger and spices are really useful to stimulate the body and to get circulation moving and ACV has many health benefits.
In my recipe the desired effect is to get the body feeling warm, blood moving and provide support for achy joints that seem to be made worse in the cold wet weather. Myself at (almost) 30 years old, I am waking up with achy shoulders and have often had hip pain from years of soccer and running. Joint pain can be improved with intake of proper minerals, anti-inflammatory constituents and by promotion of blood flow to clear away build up and replace with oxygen and vital nutrients.
- ginger rhizome (fresh diced ½ cup)
- garlic (fresh diced ¼ cup)
- hawthorn berries (dried & ground 4 tbsp)
- cayenne peppers (whole dried gently chopped 3 tbsp)
- sarsaparilla root (dried 3 tbsp)
- horsetail (dried 3 tbsp)
- ACV (remainder to fill jar)
Let sit for 3-4 weeks and remember to shake daily.
The fire cider can be used as a vinegar base for making dressings, to flavour steamed veggies or rice, or taken in the morning with a small glass of water to stimulate the body and mirror the benefits of taking ACV this way.
*Remember to place a piece of wax paper on top of the jar if you are using a metal lid to prevent corrosion by the ACV on the metal.
Ingredients and their effects:
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) effectively stimulates peripheral circulation and supports the movement of other constituents when taken in combination. It is popular not only for its flavor and help for the digestive system (hello nausea), but also because its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
Garlic (Allium sativum) supports the body in many ways due to its action as an antimicrobial against viruses, bacteria and parasites. It also has a range of effects on the cardiovascular system and helps to prevent the build up of plaques in arteries.
Hawthorn (Crataegus sp.) is used for the circulatory system to support the heart but also supports the blood vessels and helps keep the whole system functioning optimally.
Cayenne (Capsicum annum) very powerful for systemic circulation to stimulate blood flow, strengthen the heart, arteries, capillaries and nerves. It can also be used in cases of insufficient peripheral circulation where there are cold hands, feet or joints. Topically it is also warming and blocks the transmission of pain and itching by blocking nerve fibers in the skin.
Sarsaparilla (Smilax sp.) is used for many rheumatic conditions and for scaly skin conditions such like those that the cold winter brings. It helps to cleanse the blood and remove build up in the body that might be affecting the joints. It contains constituents such as saponins and flavonoids.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is used most commonly as treatment for the genitourinary system, it has also been found to ease the pain of rheumatism. It is also very high in minerals and flavonoids that support the musculoskeletal system. A few of the constituents in horsetail are such as alkaloids for pain, flavonoids for anti-inflammation, and silicic acid (silica).
Some other links to check out recipes:
Rosemary Gladstar came up with the recipe and a company made a patent it and prohibited herbalists from using it, for details visit: http://freefirecider.com/rosemarys-story/
Herbal Academy reference (they have so much great content! Check it out!) https://theherbalacademy.com/homemade-fire-cider/