potions, lotions and witchy makings

Fire Cider

I fucking love fire cider! I talk about it a lot. If you’ve been in my home and mentioned anything you’re suffering with, I’ve likely given you a shot of it. It’s a fabulous supportive tonic. Kicks the arse off a cold, helps regulate blood sugar levels, eases depression, IBS, sore throats, hayfever, inflammation, fatigue, helps weight loss…it might as well lay golden eggs the way I go on about it!

Background

Fire Cider is an old Devon folk remedy which has spread across the globe. Many newer ingredients have been added as it has travelled. Each bringing an extra healing awesomeness to the table. I know a lady who has the exact same recipe as me, she picked it up in a town called Torquay in Australia, the original Torquay is a stones from me in Devon. Its actually where my Dad is from! He says it would be great chasing a shot of vodka, I don’t disagree.

Canny folk would make a jar and bury it in the ground for atleast a month (proper old school magic), preferably 3, it would be strained, stored and given out among the community as needed. Because of this, the recipe is not a closely guarded secret. It should be for everybody to make and share. Medicine should be free in my opinion. FIRE CIDER FOR THE PEOPLE!

Recently, our beloved fire cider has received a bit more fame in the USA due to a court battle. (I love this) a company tried to trade mark the name ‘fire cider’ claiming it was their family recipe (how very dare they!) and stop the herbal community from producing it. Fortunately these canny women were not going to let them get away with it and after a long trial… THEY WON! fire cider is labelled a generic term and cannot be trademarked. Hoooray for the people! You can read more at freefirecider.com

So what is it?

Fire cider is a bunch of ingredients beneficial to health, steeped in apple cider vinegar. It’s got a spicy curry flavour which is what gives it it’s name. Some ingredients are definitely modern but horseradish and onions would have been in the original recipe. These days the list of ingredients is long and many people continue to add their own. I’ll give you my list and then breakdown the health benefits of each. So my recipe is:

  • One whole horseradish, grated
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 8 inches of ginger, grated
  • 1 unwaxed orange, sliced
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, sliced
  • 2 unwaxed limes, sliced
  • 2 bulbs of garlic, peeked and diced
  • 2 jalapeรฑo’s sliced
  • 2 birds eye chilli’s sliced
  • 2 tbsp Black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp turmeric if dry or 4 inches, diced if fresh
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Put it in the biggest jar you can find, mine is 2.5 litres, top up with organic ACV with the mother if possible and put it in a dark place for atleast a month preferably 3 then strain and decant into sterilised bottles to share with your friends and loved ones

The Breakdown

So, why are these ingredients so good for your health? Let me break it down for you…

Apple cider vinegar

ACV contains acetic acids which kill harmful bacteria and prevent them from multiplying. It’s fermented so contains a bunch of good bacteria. It lowers blood sugar. ACV can aid weight loss as it contributes to feeling full. It lowers cholesterol and there is some evidence to support it preventing cancer.

Horseradish

Contains small amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium and other micro nutrients. When cut, an enzyme breaks down a compound called sinigrin into mustard oil A. K. A isothiocyanate this may protect against infections and brain disease. Horseradish is an antioxidant meaning it fights cell damage caused by free radicals. It’s antibacterial, the heat clears congestion, improves circulation, relieves colds, coughs, flu, sinusitis, hayfever, arthritis and gout.

Ginger

Has all the ‘anti’; it’s antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant. It’s a digestive stimulant, removes toxins, eases nausea, stimulates circulation, soothes a sore throat, brings down a fever, clears cattarh, boosts immunity by dispelling infection. It also eases spasms and cramps and promotes healthy menstruation.

Turmeric

Is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves mental function and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Onion

Eases coughs, is a decongestant, antiseptic, diuretic and is anti-inflammatory.

Garlic

Is an expectorant (helps cough up nasty shit), it’s antibacterial, stimulates the liver and is also a diuretic.

Chilli

Eases trapped wind, stimulates the gut, boosts circulation and all round immunity.

Pepper

Is antibacterial, insecticidal, aids digestion and circulation. It also helps a cough. *Bonus fact* in Italian folk medicine, their version of a hot toddy is warmed red wine with black pepper give it a try next time you have a cough.

Cinnamon

Another one with all the ‘anti’- antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant and an immuno stimulant. It’s probiotic, protects gut lining, enhances digestion and absorbtion, prevents gut inflammation, enhances the effects of insulin, balances hormones and eases cramps.

Cayenne

More heat?! Yes please! Cayenne suppresses appetite, speeds up metabolism and increases circulation.

Cloves

Well known for easing tooth pain. Cloves are antioxidant, antibacterial, boost liver function, regulate blood sugar, protect gut health, ease nausea, wind, diarrhea and coughs

Oranges

Contain vitamin C, vitamin A and lycopene.

Lemons

Contains vitamin C, pectin, probiotics, vitamin B6, potassium, lowers blood sugar, contains antioxidants and are anti-inflammatory.

Limes

Contain vitamin C and are antioxidant. All of the citrus in fire cider also reduce kidney stones.

What a list huh? I’ve heard it said that fire cider is the closest you can get to a natural antibiotic. It’s certainly got a lot of anti in it, not to mention a spicy kick. I take a spoonful a day and increase to 3 spoonfuls or a full shot glass if I’m actually fighting something.

So there you have it, it’s taken me a while to get this one written up as there’s so much awesome in it. Make it. share it. Drink it. FIRE CIDER FOR THE PEOPLE!!!

Happy brewing witches. Peace out.

Love Kate

Xxx