When it comes to fighting off colds, flus and other infections, herbal remedies are often just as effective as over-the-counter medicine or antibiotics. One of the most powerful of these natural remedies is fire cider. Not only is it incredibly potent, it’s also easy to throw together! It’s made with seven simple ingredients that can be found in any grocery store, all of which have naturally strong, disease-fighting properties.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple cider. It contains high levels of folic acid and biotin, along with vitamins B1, B2, C, and B6. It also provides you with small amounts of minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium. In addition, because it is fermented, it has antimicrobial properties.
As part of fire cider, apple cider vinegar increases the level of healthy bacteria in your stomach, which helps to fight off infection. It also helps improve cold and flu symptoms such as digestive discomfort, sinus irritation, and sore throat.
Cutting into an onion mixes the enzymes contained in its cells, producing a mild level of sulfuric acid. This is the reason onions make you tear up when you prepare them—your eyes are reacting to the acid fumes. This level of acid is not enough to hurt you during cooking or eating, but it is effective in killing off pathogens that can cause infections.
In fire cider, onions fight bacteria and viruses. Onions are also anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce pain caused by swelling in the throat, ears or sinuses.
3. Horseradish root
Horseradish is full of compounds called glucosinolates, which boost your metabolism, stimulate blood flow, and rejuvenate circulation. Horseradish is full of healthy vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, and extremely high levels of vitamin C. It is also anti-inflammatory and a mild, natural antibiotic.
As part of fire cider, horseradish root kills bacteria that can cause sinus infections, urinary tract infections, gout, and colic. Meanwhile, it also thins mucus, allowing your sinuses to drain and expel the infection.
Ginger is full of natural healing properties. For example, it contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds such as beta-carotene, curcumin, and capsaicin, all of which help fight off infection and cell damage, as well as vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and iron. It also contains high levels of phenolic acid, which promotes healthy digestion by reducing gastric contractions and stimulating production of both bile and saliva.
In fire cider, ginger provides relief for upset stomachs, relieving nausea, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. It also reduces pain and inflammation in other parts of the body, particularly the joints, sinuses, and throat.
5. Cayenne peppers
Cayenne peppers stimulate the circulatory system, delivering fresh blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the infected parts of your body. The cayenne pepper is also naturally antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, fighting off infection and reducing the pain and swelling that comes with colds and flus.
As part of fire cider, cayenne increases the effectiveness of other ingredients by improving their flow through your body. It helps deliver nutrients within minutes, allowing the disease-fighting properties of the other ingredients take effect almost immediately.
Garlic provides a boost to the immune system, helping it fight off infection and reducing uncomfortable cold and flu symptoms. When fresh garlic is cut, it releases a compound called sulfenic acid, which (when exposed to air) breaks down into allicin, a natural antibiotic.
Added to fire cider, garlic fights off bacteria and viruses that cause infection, helping your body to heal more quickly. It also helps lessen symptoms like diarrhea, headache, fever, cough, stomach pain, nausea and fatigue.
Honey is mainly added to fire cider to provide flavor. However, raw honey does have some natural antiviral and antifungal properties of its own, which help boost the disease-fighting properties of the other ingredients in the drink
How to make your fire cider
In a large jar, combine the following:
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup grated horseradish root
¼ cup peeled and chopped garlic
¼ cup peeled and diced ginger
2 cayenne peppers
Enough raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to cover the other ingredients
Let the entire mixture sit for 30 days in a cool, dark place, then strain and discard the chopped ingredients. Add 2-3 large spoonfuls of raw honey, then store the fire cider in the fridge.
To prevent infection, take 1tsbp of fire cider per day. To speed recovery during an illness, take one tablespoon in the morning and one at night. You can also combine fire cider with warm water and additional honey to make an infection-fighting tea.
Of course, everyone’s body is different, and natural remedies may interact with medications you are taking in a dangerous ways. Always consult a trained medical professional before beginning any new course of treatment, natural or otherwise!