Winter Cleanse: Fire Cider

Winter Cleanse: Fire Cider


Stave off winter colds and infections with this home-brewed tonic that uses apple cider vinegar, ginger, horseradish, onion, and many other immune-boosting ingredients.


Winter brings the rhythm of rest; as nature darkens the light our physical and emotional roots sink into the earth, to prepare for the renewal spring will soon bring. During our hibernation our task is to cleanse simply and only as needed, when our immune system needs some fire to burn off the blahs brought by colds and infections.

There is no better way to stimulate the immune system than the Hot Cure.

Caliente Curación (the Hot Cure) a.k.a. Fire Cider

At the start of every winter season, I make a fresh batch of fire cider to have on hand in case of a cold or sinus congestion. Cleansing in advance can often stave off infections. Formulated and popularized by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, this cocktail can be added to vinaigrettes and used on salads.

In some people, nightshades (Solanaceae) cause joint stiffness. If you are sensitive to the effects of nightshades, eliminate the cayenne pepper and jalapenos and add a bit more ginger.


1/2 cup freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup grated fresh horseradish root or ground horseradish
1 medium onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon ground beetroot
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Several sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon peppercorns
12 ounces apple cider vinegar or pineapple vinegar
1/4 cup raw local honey

Put everything except the vinegar and honey in an amber glass quart jar. Add the vinegar and fill to an inch below the top. Shake well. Store in a dark, cool place for a month and shake daily. After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, and pour the vinegar into a clean jar. Squeeze as much of the liquid as you can from the pulp while straining. Add the honey.

Take it 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons a day if ill or congested with allergic rhinitis, or mix 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup of virgin cold-pressed olive oil for a salad dressing.

From Natural Woman by Leslie Korn © 2020 by Leslie Korn. Reprinted in arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.

You might also enjoy "5 Herbs to Boost Immunity".

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