The health and healing properties of apple cider vinegar are no secret. Studies have shown that it helps the body balance sugar levels for those with diabetes or insulin resistance and it’s effective in helping fight infections. These are just the two biggest benefits revealed through several reputable studies. What might be a secret, however, is Fire Cider and just how beneficial it can be to a wellness lifestyle.

What is Fire Cider?

In 1978, Rosemary Gladstar, an American herbalist, founded the California School of Herbal Studies. In the early 1980s, she and a group of students created
a formula for winter health using apple cider vinegar as its base. Since then it’s gained popularity around the world and, while the original formula has changed,
each ingredient is valuable in its own right.

  • Horseradish – the number one herb for combating sinus congestion and headaches, it will clear the sinuses, strengthen the immune system and be a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and zinc.
  • Onion – high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this may help relieve the symptoms of the common cold, asthma, bacterial infections, respiratory problems and other related coughs.
  • Garlic – has been proven to promote heart health and boost the immune system with antioxidant properties while maintaining healthy blood circulation.
  • Ginger – has antibacterial properties, aids digestion and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Cayenne Pepper – may boost metabolism, help lower blood pressure, and aid digestive health while also relieving joint pain and swelling.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – has many various healthful properties including antimicrobial and antioxidant effects while also potentially aiding weight loss,  reducing cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels and improving symptoms of diabetes.
  • Honey – rich in antioxidants, reduces cough and throat irritation, and, when purchasing local honey, may help relieve allergies as local honey is made from pollen gathered from the very plants that may be aggravating seasonal allergies.

Apple Cider Vinegar

When preparing to make Fire Cider, be sure to seek out the highest quality apple cider vinegar available. Massmarket commercial vinegars are typically filtered and pasteurized, meaning that many of the important properties have been processed out. Raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar may cost a little more, but the health benefits are definitely worth the added expense.

Additionally, it’s absolutely vital to ensure the apple cider vinegar still has the “mother”. This is the dark, cloudy substance that forms from naturally occurring pectin and apple residues. It typically appears as molecules of protein connected in strand-like chains or appears to be web-like. Its presence confirms that the best part of the apple has not been destroyed during the fermentation process and that the apple cider vinegar is of the highest quality.

Vinegars, such as Bragg Organic, containing the mother are rich with enzymes and minerals that other vinegars may not contain. Some manufacturers  intentionally remove the mother using a filtration process, but they’ve basically removed the best of the beneficial material. The mother is the most nutritious part of the vinegar and often settles at the bottom of the bottle. When this happens, it’s suggested that the bottle be shaken lightly to distribute the mother before pouring.

Original Recipe

Homemade Fire Cider tastes good when made with just the right blend of sweet, spicy, sour, and pungent. Whether drank in a small shot glass daily as a tonic, or
taken by the teaspoonful throughout the day, Fire Cider is an immune booster that shouldn’t be ignored. Easy to make, this is Rosemary’s original recipe:

  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions
  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger
  • Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. Can be whole or powdered.
    • The Fire Cider should not be so hot that it can’t be tolerated, it’s best for it to be a little milder than too hot, more cayenne pepper can always be added later, if desired.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar, to cover
  • Honey, to taste

In a half-gallon mason jar, add the horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Pour in enough vinegar to cover the other ingredients by 3 to 4 inches. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting glass or plastic lid, and set aside in a warm place. Shake the jar every day to aid in maceration.

After 3 to 4 weeks, strain out the herbs and reserve the liquid. Warm the honey so it will mix in well, and add to the vinegar, to taste. The honey should help balance out the fiery ingredients.

Be sure to label the bottle with the date that it was completed. Fire Cider is best refrigerated, but it will keep for several months if stored in a cool pantry.

Optional Ingredients

As time has passed, many have made changes to the recipe depending upon either their personal tastes or the desired results. For instance, those that are actively
fighting a cold may double the amount of horseradish in order to increase the decongestive properties. Others have found that different herbs give it a preferable taste.

Ingredients that some have added include:

  • Turmeric – its most active compound, curcumin, has been shown to potentially prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer while being a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant meaning it may help relieve arthritis and other joint pain.
  • Echinacea – has been shown to improve immunity, blood sugar, anxiety, relieve inflammation and improve skin health among other benefits.
  • Cinnamon – is high in antioxidants and has several anti-inflammatory properties as well as potentially helps blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Thyme – is known to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and rich in antioxidants and, as a dietary supplement, has been shown to relieve intestinal infections and skin conditions.
  • Oregano – is rich in antioxidants, and contains compounds that may help fight bacteria as well as relieve symptoms of the common cold.
  • Rosemary – another rich source of antioxidants, rosemary is thought to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
  • Peppercorn – contains a chemical compound called piperine, which may be able to help prevent breast cancer tumors from developing.

A quick search online for Fire Cider recipes will provide optional ingredients and recommended measurements.


One of the most important roles a Family Wellness Chiropractor can play is that of resource truth teller; being a source of valuable information that can help
improve the health and wellness of your entire family without commercial gain.

Fire Cider, with its amazing health benefits, is something that every family should make a part of their daily routine to ensure a strong immune system during
the winter months and to safeguard their overall health.