It’s that time of the year when we’re aggressively washing our hands and avoiding anyone with even the slightest cough. Cold and flu season is upon us and we’ll do anything to avoid the ick. Our friend and founder of The Whole Journey, Christa Orecchio, has the preventive elixir we all need to keep germs from invading our health.
How to make Fire Cider by Christa Orecchio
Apple cider vinegar gets a lot of love at The Whole Journey, and today we are discussing it again, this time in a supercharged recipe, FIRE CIDER! We're in the middle of the cold season, and many areas around the country are being plagued with the terrible flu. Fire cider has been a staple in many nutritionists and herbalists’ medicine cabinet as it is seen as nature’s natural flu shot since the 1980’s. Fire cider has so many benefits even beyond keeping the flu at bay, including boosting our immune system and increasing our digestive fire so we can properly break down food.
Fire cider provides very similar immune-boosting benefits to that of elderberry syrup; fire cider can be diluted with water or tea and be taken when you are feeling under the weather. However, the benefits of fire cider go way beyond cold and flu season, it can be considered as a preventative measure while you are healthy and additionally, it can be taken to promote and stimulate healthy digestion and enzyme production. You’ll want to add the recipe to your collection after reading of all the wonderful benefits.
What makes fire cider so unique?
Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the base of the fire cider recipe. Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing organic apples with yeast, causing the sugar to ferment and turn into an alcohol solution. Live cultures of healthy bacteria are added to the solution, creating more fermentation and converting the solution into acetic acid, the main compound found in vinegar. Often when purchasing raw and unfiltered ACV, you will see it contains “the mother”, this means it includes hundreds of different beneficial bacteria and enzymes. This beneficial bacteria and naturally occurring enzymes help strengthen the human digestive system and regulate proper pH within the body. This can be incredibly helpful when we are struggling with bloating after meals, have sluggish regularity, and consuming highly acidic foods such as meats, alcohol, and sugars. Multiple studies have also confirmed the use of apple cider vinegar improved insulin sensitivity by over 30%, and therefore reducing blood glucose levels. This is great news, as so many people often suffer from elevated blood sugars.
Onions are bacterial magnets! They are so powerful against circulating viruses and bacteria. Onions are naturally high in sulfur and contain anticancer and antibacterial benefits along with prebiotics. Prebiotics help feed already existing healthy bacteria in the colon.
Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb. There are many medicinal benefits of ginger; it can be very powerful when struggling with stomach pain, bloating, gas, morning sickness, and a loss of appetite. Ginger is also a natural motility agent, meaning it helps move things along in the digestive tract. This helps us detoxify and eliminate on a regular basis, which is crucial in today’s toxic world where we're supposed to be eliminating 2.2 lbs of toxins every single day.
Garlic is an antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial herb – which makes it great for both colds and the flu. It’s commonly used in the treatment of Candida and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Garlic also has healing properties, which can strengthen the immune system and help fight off bacteria. The active component of garlic is the bulb, called allicin, which allows your immune system to shut down any circulating bacteria or viruses before it is too late.
Horseradish is a root vegetable that is often used in many recipes. The active constituent is the root, which has antimicrobial efficacy against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Horseradish is naturally rich in fiber and many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Horseradish can naturally lower elevated blood pressure by regulating the movement of fluid between cellular membranes.
Jalapeño peppers can be an optional ingredient if you do not like or tolerate spicy foods; however, we feel it gives a nice kick to the cider. The active component in jalapeño peppers, capsaicin, provides jalapeños all of the wonderful medicinal benefits such as antibacterial and anticancer properties, is a rich source of vitamin C and is high in antioxidants to help clench free-radicals within the body. Jalapeño peppers are so powerful; multiple studies are showing how they can inhibit the growth of e-Coli and other bad bacteria which can affect your health if given the chance to grow and multiply. Plus, they improve circulation, allowing your body’s own natural healing process to function more efficiently.
Manuka honey is monofloral honey that is made by bees pollinating the manuka plant, which is native to New Zealand. Raw manuka honey has powerful antibacterial properties and has been shown to boost the immune system. It is important to purchase manuka honey only from New Zealand to be sure you're receiving all the wonderful medicinal benefits.
Fire Cider Recipe
This recipe includes so many different powerful spices as well as strong medicinal vegetables. It is important to allow fire cider to mature for at least two to four weeks.
½ cup peeled and shredded/diced ginger root
¾ cup peeled and shredded/diced horseradish root
½ cup peeled and diced turmeric
½ cup white onion, chopped
¼ cup minced or crushed garlic cloves
1 organic jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 organic lemons – zested and juiced
16 oz. raw apple cider vinegar
Raw, organic Manuka honey to taste
In a mason jar, add ginger, horseradish, garlic, and onion.
Add jalapeño and lemon juice and zest as well.
Press down all vegetables in the jar before adding apple cider vinegar. Fill the rest of the jar full of raw apple cider vinegar, until everything is covered with apple cider vinegar.
Place the lid on and put in a room temperature area for two weeks to four weeks. Once complete, shake the mixture well and strain through a thin-mesh sieve.
Add in Manuka honey and store in the fridge up to 8 weeks.
Serving Size per Day: one tablespoon diluted in 6 oz. of water and work up to 3 tablespoons for full dose.