Fire Cider, Witch’s Brew, or Winter Tonic are different names for a very similar drink! Fire Cider is a home remedy that has been brewed for hundreds of years, helping drinkers ward off illness over the cold, damp winter months. As the name implies, Fire Cider has some heat and a little bite to it. Ayurvedically speaking it’s characteristics are: hot, sour, pungent, & sweet. It’s fantastic for those of us with Vata or Kapha constitutions, but those of us with a Pita predominance should use it sparingly to avoid creating an excess of fire in the system. (If that makes no sense to you, that’s ok, read on!) To put it in another way, those of us who typically feel run down or damp & cold to the bone in winter should drink it up…for those of us who run hot or have any type of acid reflux, you should use this tonic only when you come down with a cold.
This drink is a wonderful immune system booster because of it’s antiviral, antibacterial, and anti fungal properties. It’s a wonderful way to jump start digestion and feel internal warming on cold winter days. I’ll go over some of the ingredients & their benefits for you here:
-Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar: Helps heartburn & acid reflux; Promotes healthy cholesterol & blood sugar; Improves nutrient absorption aiding in digestion; Alkalizing & cooling to the system
-Raw Local Honey: Contains bee pollen helping to ward off infections; Antibacterial & anti fungal properties; Provides natural allergy relief (local honey); Immunity boost; Warming to the system
-Horseradish: Great herb for clearing sinuses & relieving headaches; Antioxidant, antimicrobial, & antibacterial properties; Reduces symptoms of respiratory illness
-Turmeric: Natural anti-inflammatory properties; Strong antioxidant
-Ginger: Long history of use for relieving digestive issues; May reduce muscle pain & soreness
-Garlic: Used for many conditions related to the heart and blood system
-Onions: Antioxidant properties; Help with decreasing inflammation; Contain fiber & folic acid (a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells
-Habaneros: Contain a high concentration of vitamins, minerals, & dietary fiber; Warm the body
Starting in early fall I usually begin drinking one tablespoon each morning as a preventative booster and if I come down with a cold, I will bump it up to a 1 oz shot glass about every 3-4 hours for the course of the cold. Because my dosha is Kapha-Pita, I tend to crave spicy drinks and honestly, I love the taste of this so I’ll take a sip anytime I need a little kick.
You can definitely make this yourself by following any of the recipes listed here. The beauty of that is you can adjust the recipe to your taste preference, but know that you’ll have to let it ferment for about 6 weeks before you drink it. If you’re looking for some to drink now you can order it through Amazon here, or check your local grocery store. Here in Portland, I bought a bottle from New Seasons because I wanted the local honey to help with my allergies.
***If you’re ordering it online, please avoid the Fire Cider on the left in the image above!! Avoid anything from Shire City Herbals in MA. They trademarked the name “Fire Cider” and have been trying to block other herbalists from using it. To put it in easy to understand terms…it would be like someone trying to trademark the work “Cupcake”, everyone knows what a cupcake is & each baker makes it their own special way. Same situation here with Shire City Herbals. PLEASE DON’T BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM!***
Instead make it yourself, or try to get some with local honey which is why I switched to the Fire Brew from Mind Your Manna located here in Portland, OR.
Best of luck on your Fire Cider journey and please share any tips on how you make it below! Here’s to a healthy, warm & spicy, holiday season!
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