Free Fire Cider!

Just yesterday, I made my first ever batch of a traditional remedy known as Fire Cider.  Fire Cider is raw apple cider vinegar infused with garlic, ginger, horseradish, onion, and cayenne peppers over several weeks.  You can also add almost any other herbs to the mixture, to tailor it to your own needs and preferences.  Echinachea is a common addition, as is lavender or citrus peels.  (I added rosemary and thyme, and would have also added cinnamon and clove if I had any on hand).  After straining, honey is added which supposedly balances the tart spiciness of the vinegar.

The syrup is used to boost immunity, to help fight colds and flus, and to relieve sinus congestion.  Each of the ingredients are potent antimicrobials, decongestants, and circulatory stimulants in their own right.  It makes sense that combining them would produce a very effective natural medicine.  I have high expectations…

Anyway, on social media this morning, I noticed that today, Feb. 2, 2018, is World Fire Cider Day.  Digging around, I learned that the “Free Fire Cider” movement refers to a protest against the trademarking of the name “Fire Cider” in 2012.  The company in question did not create the name or the recipe (and I don’t think they own the rights to the recipe), but trademarking the name prohibits anyone else from using it.  This includes the respected herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, who first developed and published the recipe in the late 1970s.

This is an issue for several reasons.  First, there were questionable tactics used to secure the trademark registration.  Second, they have actually filed suit against small herbal business owners for using the term, even though the remedy is traditionally known as “Fire Cider.”  Herbalists had already been making and selling it for years.  Some liken it to trademarking “pizza” or “elderberry syrup.”  That leads to the third issue – how herbalists and their livelihoods may be affected if other traditional remedies are trademarked or copyrighted.

So World Fire Cider Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and support for this cause.  You can learn more at the Free Fire Cider website.  I tried to sign the petition, but unfortunately, it’s closed at this time.  So, to show my support, I am sharing the recipe I used – based on Rosemary Gladstar’s original Fire Cider recipe.

Homemade Fire Cider

1/2 Lg Red Onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
3 T fresh ginger, grated
3 T horseradish root, grated
1 sm. chili pepper
2 T dried rosemary
1 T dried thyme
Organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar

Raw honey (approx. 1lb, more if preferred) – not needed until after infusing

Combine ingredients in glass jar, add warmed apple cider vinegar to fill.  Cover with a piece of wax paper before screwing on lid, to prevent the acid from eroding the metal.  Place in a warm spot to steep for 4 weeks.  Strain, add honey, store in glass bottle.

Easy enough!  The recommended starting dosage is 1-2 tablespoons 2-3 times per day.  It can also be added to soups, stews, vinaigrettes, etc.

My first taste of this may be worthy of a video post lol!  I’ll let you know in a month!cidercollage


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