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Fire Cider: Nature’s Best Cold and Flu Medicine [Recipe]

There are so many wonderful things associated with the changing weather, as our days get shorter and colder. The smell of wood fires burning, candy cane-everything, and bringing all those adorable sweaters out of storage. Unfortunately, winter also brings coughs, sneezes, and your co-worker’s desk getting covered in used tissues.

Cold and flu season is about to be upon us, and there are lots of popular remedies for quick fixes that will eliminate symptoms but do next to nothing for overall immunity.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to name brand pharmacologicals. One of our favourite do-it-yourself remedies? Fire cider.

Fire cider (also sometimes called the Master Tonic) is a traditional folk-herbalist concoction made to boost immunity, stimulate digestion, and light a fire in your belly to get you through those cold days.

Most of the base ingredients for fire cider are probably already in your kitchen: garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne pepper, horseradish, and honey, which are then submerged in apple-cider vinegar and left to infuse all of their goodness into the liquid. Rosemary Gladstar, the legendary herbalist and author who coined the name “fire cider” and standardized a basic recipe, spoke to Martha Stewart Living about what each base ingredient brings to the mix:

Apple-cider vinegar is a great digestive aid. It’s also alkalizing and cooling to the system; most people’s systems are too acidic.

Horseradish is the number-one herb for combating sinus congestion and headaches. It clears your sinuses better than anything; even when you’re just grating it, by the time you’re done, your sinuses are wide open.

Ginger is a warming circulatory herb that’s wonderful for digestion. It also helps fight infection and is good for nausea.

Garlic is the poor man’s penicillin. It has broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and is an excellent aid for fighting infection. It also produces a heat that helps lower cholesterol.

Onions have similar properties to garlic and are also good for colds and flus.

Cayenne pepper is one of the best cardiovascular herbs. It helps your immune system mobilize and moves blood through the system.

Honey is very soothing for inflamed tissues and organs, but its primary purpose is as a harmonizer or buffer. It helps blend all the flavors in fire cider and makes it palatable not just to your taste buds, but to your whole digestive system.

But there’s no need to stop with those base ingredients! Did the rosemary grow particularly well in your garden this summer? Throw it in! Are you a big fan of hot peppers? Jalapeno would only improve the recipe. Want to soothe inflammation and ease joint pain? We never say no to turmeric.

Here at Activation, we love to slip in some of our Black Cumin Oil for extra immune support and to give our skin a little boost throughout the winter months. Whatever you want to add, just throw it into a jar, cover it with apple cider vinegar, and leave it for a it for a month to let the whole thing infuse into a superpowered cold and flu fighter that will wake and warm your body.

We also invite you to get creative with how you consume your finished product. Depending on individual tolerances for spice and sour, you may enjoy drizzling some on a favourite salad, or into a soup. Blend it into a fruit or veggie juice to give it an extra kick, or take it straight in one quick shot to warm up cold mornings.

So treat the guidelines below (with gratitude to Rosemary Gladstar and to Mountain Rose Herbs for the recipe) as a springboard for play with foods and herbs to see you through the next few months with bright eyes and a clear nose.

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe


  • 1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
  • 2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. of dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. organic turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. organic cayenne powder
  • 2 tsp Black Cumin oil
  • organic apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste


  1. Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus-opening experience!
  2. Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top.
  3. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well.
  4. Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to shake daily.
  5. After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquidy goodness as you can from the pulp while straining.
  6. Next comes the honey. Add and stir until incorporated.
  7. Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness.

Want to help your immune system stay strong all year long? Look no further than Black cumin seed oil. This oil actually increases the number of white blood cells your body produces, making you a more effective cold-fighting machine.

When choosing a black cumin seed oil, it’s important to make sure that it’s organic and extracted in the most beneficial way for your health. You want an oil that is made without GMOs, that has all its nutrients intact, and that won’t go rancid even if it’s not stored in the fridge.

Here at Activation Products, we offer the highest-quality black cumin seed oil on the market. Our Perfect Press® technology ensures that oils are not damaged by heat, grinding or friction like other oils.

Perfect Press® Black Cumin Oil is bottled in Miron glass to preserve it. It’s guaranteed fresh and is naturally potent.

To learn more, and to get your hands on top quality Black Cumin oil, click here.

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Fight colds and flus the delicious way this winter with this salad dressing. Make it tonight!
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