Fire Cider Tonic

My favorite natural preventative tonic for cold and flu season!

It’s that time of year as the weather changes and we are all trying to fight off the dreaded colds and flus that are all around! My strategy for trying to battle the cold and flu season is to take an old folk remedy, Fire Cider Tonic, on a daily basis to prevent getting sick.

There are many different recipes and I have been using Rosemary Gladstar’s (herbalist from Rose mountain herbs) spicy, sweet and vinegary tonic for the last few years. I have found that it works quite well to help prevent getting sick and can also help to shorten the duration if I do get sick.

I believe prevention is the key, don’t get sick and listen to your body. If you start to feel “off”, make sure to take extra tonic, get lots of rest and listen to your body. The tonic can be taken daily. The dose is 1-2 tablespoons straight up or diluted in water. It’s also great as the vinegar content of a salad dressing or even as part of a marinade.

The basic ingredients for Fire Cider Tonic are a combination of vegetables and herbs that get infused into organic raw apple cider vinegar. Some of the ingredients can be changed based on what you like and what you find available. All of the ingredients are known to increase circulation,  and are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and decongestant.


Ingredients: (source organic ingredients where possible)

  • ½ cup of peeled and grated fresh horseradish
  • ½ cup of peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • ½ cup grated fresh turmeric (or 1 Tbsp of turmeric powder)
  • ½ cup of chopped onions
  • 5-10 cloves of chopped garlic (depending on the size)
  • 1-3 jalapenos, chopped (and/or ¼ tsp of cayenne pepper)
  • 1-2 lemon or limes or part of an orange (juice and zest)
  • A couple of sprigs of rosemary (2 Tbsp of dried rosemary)
  • Raw apple cider vinegar to fill the jar ( I use a glass 1 liter mason jar or more)


  1. Place all ingredients inside the glass jar with a plastic lid (or lid lined with wax paper or plastic wrap as the vinegar corrodes the metal of mason jar lids).
  2. Fill the jar with the apple cider vinegar to cover all ingredients.
  3. Shake the jar daily (ok for realistically 2-3 times a week) and let it infuse for about 4 weeks in a dark cupboard.
  4. After 4 weeks strain all of the ingredients using cheesecloth, squeezing the contents to get all of the liquid out. Add raw honey to taste and you’re ready to take it.

Variations: black peppercorns, thyme, oregano, parsley, burdock, bird chili, habanero chili, rosehip, star anise.

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