For those of you who have tried our wonderful Fire Cider you will know that there are two words to describe it – “spicy” and “effective”.  Fire cider is a traditional folk remedy made by infusing vinegar and honey with powerful ingredients like garlic, onions, ginger, peppers, and horseradish. It is what herbalist traditionally referred to as “kitchen medicine” as this type of preparation historically was often made by women in the family kitchen and left to “brew” for several months and was the foundation of the family medicine chest for the winter months.

Fire cider gives a powerful boost to give the immune system during the winter months. Taken at the first signs of a cold it can help to “blast” the germs and ease symptoms of congestion and cough. When taken regularly it can help to support your immune system to ward off colds and flues all while supporting good digestion and the cardiovascular system.

As Fall is almost upon us, and unfortunately with these cooler days comes the “bugs” to wreak havoc on our immune systems, so we thought that this month we would share with you a little about the herbs in this great remedy and why they work so well.

So what makes this herbal remedy so effective? It is the synergistic action of the herbs combined with the apple cider vinegar and honey that create this potent, effective remedy. (Of course the love and respect that goes into it as we make it in our shop might play a role too! Oh and the tears too, all those onion…). We should also mention that while it is called Fire Cider it doesn’t necessarily mean your mouth with catch fire when you drink it! We have managed to create a wonderful balance of heat and sweetness with this formula that is hot without being scorching.

Garlic and Onions: These pungent additions to our recipe are high in a wide range of nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, quercetin and allicin. Many studies have shown that allicin is a strong antimicrobial and antioxidant, killing germs while quercitin has been shown to relieve excess mucous and support the immune system. Studies have also shown both garlic and onions can reduce frequency and duration of illness such as the flu and common cold. It has also been thought that both garlic and onions aid in opening the pores in order to reduce fever.

Cayenne and Jalapeño Peppers: Both of these spicy hot plants contain vitamin C and capsaicin. Capsaicin acts to stimulate the cooling portion of the brain known as the hypothalamus and as a result of this action these peppers relieve fever and lower your body temperature by stimulating sweat glands. Both cayenne and jalapeño peppers also stimulate the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses and decrease congestion because mucous thins and liquefies when you consume them.

Ginger and Turmeric: These wonderful spicy cousins are packed full of gingerols, beta-carotene, capsaicin, curcumin and salicylate all of which combine to create healing superstar herbs. Ginger has been reportedly used since 200 BC to treat illness and aid the body in an incredible variety of ways. The anti-inflammatory gingerols and shaogals in ginger root will help to relieve a sore throat quickly, and they also kill rhinoviruses, which are the cause of colds. Turmeric has gained a strong reputation for its anti-inflammatory action that is linked to its high curcumin content found in this plant. Another advantage of both of these plants is that they can stimulate perspiration. This is great if you have a temperature as sweating is the body’s natural way of staying cool and by producing those drops of moisture; heat energy is transferred away from your body. Both herbs can boost the immune system by helping to combat the foreign invaders, stopping the viruses before they can take hold.

Horseradish: Pungent and powerful describe this healing plant. Full of a multitude of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and oils, horseradish definitely contains a powerful healing punch! The roots are strongly antibacterial, and horseradish is a known expectorant, and also stimulates perspiration, which can aid in reducing fever and eliminating toxins. Like cayenne peppers horseradish helps to stimulate the mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses and thins mucous and acts as a decongestant.

Rosemary: Loaded with volatile oils, not only do these give Rosemary its wonderful smell, but they also help Rosemary to kill germs and ease coughs. The active components that are found in rosemary are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, protecting the immune system. Additionally, rosemary is equipped with an amazing antibacterial potential, that makes it powerful in fighting infections. This aromatic herb is also useful in relieving pain, so it can help with the aches and pains that can come with colds and flues. Rosemary has also long been used for helping get blood to the brain, so it can ease some of the “brain fog” that comes with colds and sinus congestion.

Lemons: Loaded with vitamin C and flavonoids, lemons help strengthen the immune system and support good lymphatic drainage. The Mayo Clinic suggests that taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may reduce the duration of a cold.  Lemon juice has been reported to aid in fever reduction and body cooling by increasing perspiration, and the oils in the skin of the fruit have anti-bacterial properties. Lemons may also be used to ease sore throat pain, a common cold symptom.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: Because of its anti-bacterial properties, apple cider vinegar has been used for ages for everything from preserving food to treating wounds. Raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar also has beneficial bacteria cultures which helps improve our digestive and immune system .

Raw Honey: Containing many vitamins and minerals, this incredible substance has been used throughout history to treat everything from cough to skin infection. It’s anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties have been well documented. A spoonful of honey may decrease coughing and throat irritation and in fact the British Medical Association now recommends that people try a spoonful of honey to ease coughs. Winnie the Pooh must have sent them that memo!

Fire Cider Challenge – Stop by the store the week of September 21-28, 2018 and see how brave you are by chugging back a fire cider shooter. Try it and we’ll enter your name into our draw for a “Cold & Flu Prevention Pack”.

So go on –take the Fire Cider shooter challenge. We dare you to!