By Jordan Douglas, HHC

Fire cider is an ancient, traditional recipe comprised of aromatic, spicy and pungent herbs mixed with apple cider vinegar. It is most often taken as a daily wellness tonic or as a digestive and immune stimulant. It is a great preparation to have on hand during cold and flu season, and a daily shot helps to keep immune defenses strong. It can also be taken more frequently to simulate the immune system. Fire cider can be enjoyed before meals to promote digestive secretions. It has many culinary applications, including marinades, sauces and salad dressings. Once your fire cider is done brewing, strain off the liquid and save the vegetables and herbs for soups or stir fry. As a hot circulatory tonic, fire cider is a great staple for those with colder dispositions but may be too stimulating for those with heat-prone dispositions.

Fire cider is a beautiful example of food as medicine. While recipes and combinations vary, most fire ciders include horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger and hot peppers. Horseradish is great for the sinuses and supports the digestive fire. Garlic is warming and nourishing to the heart and circulatory system, and offers antibacterial and antiviral support to the immune system. Ginger aids in digestion and circulation. Fire cider variations are endless —experiment with adding citrus (lemon, orange), fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, sage) and/or other spices (turmeric root, Italian spices, Indian spices, etc.).

Here is my go-to fire cider recipe.

root + center fire cider

Bright, fresh and vibrant with a kick.


  • 1 head of garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup horseradish, grated
  • 1 4-in piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 3-in piece turmeric, sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 chopped and 2 whole
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped with seeds
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, to cover


  • Prepare all ingredients and add vegetables and herbs to a quart-sized mason jar.
  • Cover completely with apple cider vinegar.
  • Cap tightly, adding a piece of wax paper between the jar and the metal lid to prevent corrosion. Shake well.
  • Let sit for 4-6 weeks, shaking daily.
  • Strain the fire cider. Enjoy 1oz daily. A votre santé!
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