Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fire Cider

This past Sunday an event via Facebook took place - World Wide Fire Cider Making Day.  Over 2,000 people joined the event.  I was one of them.  Fire Cider is an herbal immune tonic that people have been making for decades or longer (I believe centuries).  Rosemary Gladstar wrote about it in her books and has taught the process to countless herbalists. The event is in protest of  Shire City trying to trademark the term Fire Cider.  To the herbalist community it is the equivalent of someone trying to trademark the term pizza. Once you see how easy it is to make you will want to brew a batch of your own.

 I learned the basic recipe when I was first learning about herbs.  I have been making it ever since. Each time I make it, it slightly is different.  I have different ingredients on hand.  I talked to someone who puts a new spin on it.  I see a picture, video, recipe and adopt it as I go along. There are as many fire cider recipes as there are herbalists.
This is one of the first recipes I was given (Gladstar, 2001, p. 37):
½ Cup ginseng root, chopped
¼ Cup ginger root, chopped
¼ Cup horseradish, grated
1/8 Cup garlic, chopped
Cayenne to taste
Apple Cider Vinegar

Place herbs in a glass jar. Pour vinegar over to cover. Seal tightly. Let sit 4 weeks.  Strain the herbs.  Sweeten with honey to taste.
Putting the ingredients together

I have to say I never used ginseng. My latest batch was as follows:
In a quart mason jar I placed the following organic ingredients:

1 onion, cut in wedges
1 head garlic, peeled and rough chopped
3 heaping spoon fulls of horseradish and vinegar (I grate my own and cover it with ACV)
2 inch chunk of ginger root, pealed and sliced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp turmeric
2 slivers astragalus root
1 slice reishi mushroom
I covered it with apple cider vinegar (ACV), organic unpasteurized

I put a lid on the jar and shook some love into it.
I will leave this on the counter where I can gently shake and pour love and intention into it.
In 4 to 6 weeks (more like 6) I will strain this and use the vinegar for salad dressing, drizzle on steamed vegetables or grains, finish off a meat dish or to flavor my water.  A teaspoon a day is my motto.
The newest batch of fire cider next to the fall batch
The fall batch was made with hot peppers fresh out of my in-laws' garden.  It was combined with a batch  Guido Mase demonstrated in a workshop for the Connecticut Herb Association.  We each left with a pint size jar.

You can sign the petition to FREE "Fire Cider" from trademark restriction here

Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal: A Guide toLiving Life with Energy, Health, and Vitality.  North Adams, MA: Storey Books, 2001. (Note, the title was changed after the first addition and the link takes you to that)

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