It’s official, the weather is getting colder and seasonal changes are upon us. And as soon as fall rolls around, you can find almost all herbalists preparing a batch of Fire Cider. Fire Cider is a spicy tonic traditionally used as an immune booster, digestive aid, and cold/flu remedy during the winter months.

This herbal preparation has deep roots in folk medicine and was popularized by Rosemary Gladstar in the 70s. It has taken on many iterations over the years and every herbalist seems to have their own twist on this preparation.

In your typical fire cider, you’ll find warming and stimulating herbs/vegetables infused with apple cider vinegar and honey (the honey balances out the heat). Herbs like ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric, and thyme are often used. Horseradish happens to be one of the only pungent herbs/roots that is also moistening. You’ll also find warming vegetables like onions, shallots, and other members of the allium family which are all high in an herbal constituent called allicin. Allicin works wonders for fighting off pathogens. Lastly, hot peppers which give it that fiery kick!

So, how do you use fire cider? There are SO many ways to incorporate fire cider into your routine both for medicinal and culinary purposes. You can take a spoonful of it daily as a preventative measure or up the dose at the onset of illness. Fire cider also adds an amazing zing to soups, stews, and salad dressings. You can get really creative with it.

Now that you know a little bit about the history of fire cider and why we love it SO much, let’s jump into the details:

Fire Cider

25 min
4 weeks
4 weeks

What you need

  • 32oz mason jar
  • Wax paper
  • Label
  • Grater + knife


  • Citrus peel of one fruit
  • 1 medium ginger root
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 medium horseradish root
  • 1 onion *keep the skin!
  • 1-2 spicy peppers (I used habanero, serrano and cayenne powder)
  • A few sprigs of thyme, rosemary + sage
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Anything else you’d like to add, such as elderberries, rosehips, black peppercorns, other dried or fresh herbs/spices. We added fresh rose hips that we harvested late this summer for an extra vitamin c boost + flavor


  1. Grate the horseradish root and ginger root. It’s okay to keep some of the skin in the mix!
  2. Peel the garlic. We like to mash the garlic a bit to get more of the juicing flowing.
  3. Cut the onion into cubes. Keep the skin on for extra quercetin!
  4. Cut the tops off of the peppers.
  5. Add all ingredients into a large mason jar. Note: We find it easier to add the grated roots first since they are more dense and can block the flow of acv when pouring.
  6. Make sure you have a little empty space at the top of the jar, then pour in apple cider vinegar to fully submerge all the ingredients in the jar. You may need to poke at the mix and press down a bit to make sure everything is saturated.
  7. Cover the opening with wax paper to prevent the vinegar from eroding the metal lid then close the lid keeping everything air tight.
  8. Label your fire cider with all ingredients and the date.
  9. Let it infuse for 3-4 weeks, shaking the jar throughout the week.
  10. When ready, strain all the liquid out with a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Add honey to taste and store as you’d like
  11. Take a shot when needed as an immune booster, cold remedy or digestive aid right in time for the colder months/holiday season.

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