A Herbalist's Fire Cider
by Dominique Del Col
Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood
Fire Cider is essentially an oxymel - or an infusion of herbs, vegetables, fruit, and roots in a base of vinegar and honey. The ancient Greek word oxymeli translates to “acid and honey.” Although the ingredients common in fire cider are often pungent and not always the most palatable to take on their own, they offer incredible supportive benefits to the immune system and digestion year-round, particularly during bouts of illness such as a cold or flu. Macerate these potent ingredients in unfiltered apple cider vinegar and gooey raw honey, and you'll have a spoonful of healing medicine that is sure to be received well by all! In short, Fire Cider is a vital component of traditional medicine used to bolster our wellness and response to infection. It is a personal favourite and a concoction that we take daily in our house. It is also straightforward to make!
Here is my very own recipe for you to try this season. A take on the age-old traditional blend but gorgeously enhanced with immune-boosting herbs, roots, mushrooms, flowers and dried berries!
Organic ingredients are preferable but not essential. If not organic, ensure that you thoroughly wash and dry all produce before you begin.
2 medium Red Onions, chopped
5 bulbs of Organic garlic, chopped
2 Organic Lemons, chopped with peel included
1/2 a large Jalapeño Pepper, diced with seeds included
1/2 cup Fresh Turmeric Root, grated
1/2 cup Fresh Ginger Root, grated
1/4 cup Fresh Horseradish, grated
1/2 cup Fresh Thyme, bruised and loosely torn
3 tbsp Astragalus Root, Dried
3 tbsp Nettle Leaf, Dried
2 tbsp Lavender Flowers, Dried
2 tbsp Rosehips, Dried
2 tbsp Dandelion Root, Dried
2 tbsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Medium Grapefruit, Sliced
A handful of dried Reishi Mushrooms
Approx. 1.5L Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (with The Mother)
Plus, Raw Honey (To taste after infusion process)
Combine all ingredients (except for the raw honey) in a gallon or half-gallon jar. Cover all herbs and produce with a few inches of raw apple cider vinegar. Use a slice of wax paper to cover the mouth of the jar and close tightly. Store in a dark and cool location, such as a cupboard, for 3-6 weeks. You can even let your vinegar infuse for months! After this time, you can either roughly blend all ingredients in a high-power blender such as a Vitamix and allow to infuse for a few more days, or simply strain the mixture through mesh or cheesecloth directly without blending. Add warm honey to taste, and bottle your infused liquid. Store in the fridge and use within 6-8 months.
Enjoy a tablespoon daily, or 3 tablespoons per day during any illness.
Dominique Del Col is a Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood. She has spent nearly two decades immersed in the ancient medicinal practices of traditional herb craft and natural wellness. You can find Dominique in the peaceful stillroom of her stone cottage studio in the heart of Wellington County, Ontario. A precious space where tenderly dried tea rose petals and wild marshmallow roots are slowly infused in oils warmed by the sunlight streaming through whitewashed windows encased in ancient stone. When she is not in her studio, Dominique enjoys reading tattered old books by candlelight, visiting the local farmers market in search of the perfect jar of raw honey, tending to her small flock of heritage hens, and foraging in the forest with her young daughter, husband and two dogs.