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Updated: Jun 3

Hi! I am Keren Dolan! I am a nutritionist and a CNS supervisor at the Nutrition & Herbal Collective. I am based on the east coast of the US and love the signs of fall coming.

The changing leaves, the slight chill in the morning air, the sore throat, runny nose and nagging cough that seems to come out of nowhere. In my neck of the woods, Fall is known for pumpkins and viral infections.

As we think of the yummy foods that we prepare and recommend to help our immune systems fight back, I often hear people reference citrus fruit, lemongrass soups, tea with honey and apple cider vinegar and elderberry syrup. Elderberry syrup has even managed to stay relevant and can be found in various forms on the shelf in local drug stores.

What we don't hear about as often is Fire Cider Vinegar! Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar is credited for coming up with the name, however these apple cider-based concoctions in varying forms have been around for many generations. Making fire cider can be a fun activity for families. The remedy captures the spicy tangy tastes of goodness we love and help us feel better equipped to fight off disease. It is pretty easy to make and tends to have a good shelf life because the base is apple cider vinegar.

There are a bunch of recipes online and you may also have your own unique spin that you come up with for your family recipe. Here is one sample recipe.

The most common basic ingredients are apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic, horse radish, jalapeño or cayenne, and ginger. Some might add, turmeric, lemon or orange peel, clove buds, cinnamon, or other herbs like thyme, rosemary or oregano. This recipe does not need precise measurements other than the cayenne or jalapeno which can be quite HOT! You can use a pinch of this and a handful of that. You can change the recipe based on your personal preferences and the availability of the herbal ingredients.

The ingredients are generally diced or grated and then added to a clean mason jar. Then you would pour the apple cider vinegar until you cover the ingredients. It is a good idea to use parchment paper over top before you screw on the lid to provide a barrier between the contents of the jar and the lid. Shake well daily while storing it in a cool dark space for about four (4) to six (6) weeks. At the end of that time, you would strain out the liquid into another clear container with lid. You may want to add some honey for flavoring. Again, the ideal is what works well for you and your pallet.

This warming elixir is traditionally used to help with improved circulation and to have those immune boosting qualities. I personally like to have a teaspoon when I feel like the cold is really getting into my body and it is hard to get warm. Fire cider can be very pungent! It is not for everyone, and you do always want to be aware of any of your own contraindications before ingesting something that might not be a good fit.

If you are one who tends to stay away from spicy foods, you may want to stay away from fire cider! Alternatively, if this piques your interest, you may enjoy seeking out some recipes and making it on your own!

Happy early Thanksgiving!

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