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All About Fire Cider: How to Make Fire Cider with Elderberry for Immune Health

Elderberry Fire Cider
All About Fire Cider: How to make Elderberry Fire Cider for Immune Health

What is Fire Cider?

Fire Cider is a concoction that is all natural and organic, and is often used during allergy, cold and flu seasons. It is called Fire Cider, both for its spicy taste and its bright orange color. What exactly is Fire Cider and what is it used for? Keep reading to learn more about this healing drink!

To be precise Fire Cider is an an Oxymel. An oxymel is a classic herbal preparation that combines herbs with the soothing combination of vinegar and honey. The use of oxymels dates back to Hippocrates (400 BCE), where oxymels were traditionally used as a tonic for respiratory and immune system issues, including coughs, difficulty breathing and mucus.

Fire Cider is an herbal remedy developed by acclaimed herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in the late 1970's. Her original recipe consisted of these 7 ingredients:

  • Fresh Horseradish root

  • Fresh Ginger root

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Chopped fresh or dried Cayenne Pepper

  • Raw Honey

  • Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar

Feel free to play around with this recipe and make it your own, depending on your individual needs and taste preferences, which is exactly what I did. Here, I will share my recipe with you as well as the benefits of each individual ingredient.


The Ingredients, Here's What's So "Hot" About Them!


Using horseradish for medicinal purposes dates back thousands of years, with new research emerging regularly to back up these claims. The nutrients in horseradish have strong antioxidant properties, which promote a healthy immune system. Along with the high vitamin C content in horseradish, its antioxidants help produce and stimulate white blood cell activity, which are crucial to a strong immune system.


Ginger has a long history of use in both traditional and alternative medicine. It has been used to help aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight flu and cold symptoms. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger which is responsible for its medicinal properties. According to research, ginger may help fight harmful bacteria and viruses. In fact, research also suggests that ginger may also be effective against RSV, a common cause of respirator infections.


Modern science confirms the many health benefits of garlic, in fact, garlic is known to boost the function of the immune system and to reduce the severity of illnesses like the flu and the common cold.

Hot Peppers

There are many documented health benefits of hot peppers, one of which is it's ability to aid in fighting the flu and the common cold. Capsaicin is the main bioactive plant compound in hot peppers and is responsible for their unique taste and many of their health benefits. Hot peppers are loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamin C and Beta-Carotene which have many health benefits. Recent research confirms that capsaicin plays a roll in supporting and enhancing immune function.


The primary active component in turmeric is curcumin, which is the compound responsible for most of turmeric's health benefits. Turmeric is known to have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. One research study suggests the medicinal properties in curcumin may be able to boost the immune system, even in people with immune disorders. One important thing to note about turmeric is that it doesn't absorb very well into the blood stream. The good news is that if you take black pepper with your turmeric, it increases the amount of turmeric that your body can absorb. This is why we've added some black pepper to our Fire Cider Recipe.


The use of elderberry for health dates back o 400 BC when Hippocrates, the father of medicine, called the Elder Tree his "medicine chest". In folk medicine today, the elderberry is considered one of the worlds most healing plants. Elderberry is very nutritious and is loaded with immune boosting anti-oxidants and vitamins A, B, and C which can help keep your immune system strong. In studies, elderberry extract has been shown to lessen the length and severity of influenza virus symptoms.


Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Rosemary has been traditionally and medicinally used as an anti-spasmodic, circulatory tonic, painkiller, ad to improve memory function. In addition, studies have found that the active compounds in Rosemary have a stimulatory effect on the immune system.


Thyme is well known for its strong anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. The possible health of effects of thyme and its constituents, particularly thymol and carvacrol, include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, respiratory, and neurological benefits. Thyme has long been used in traditional medicine as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiseptic agent, mainly in the treatment of the upper respiratory system. In addition, studies have demonstrated that thyme also has anti-viral properties.



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