- 1 small onion, sliced or diced
- A few sprigs of rosemary
- A few sprigs of thyme
- A few sprigs of sage
- 5 chilies
- 1 teaspoon cayenne/chili pepper
- 5-centimeter (2-inch) piece of fresh turmeric, finely sliced
- 10-centimeter (4-inch) piece of fresh ginger root, finely sliced
- 5- to 10-centimeter (2- to 4-inch) piece of fresh horseradish root, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
- 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 unwaxed lemon, sliced
- 1 liter (1 3/4 pint) raw apple cider vinegar
Layer all of the ingredients in a wide-mouth large jar (large enough to fit the ingredients and 1 liter vinegar). Pour in the apple cider vinegar. Leave to infuse for 2 to 4 weeks, then strain. Bottle the liquid, label and date.
This recipe will be best once left to infuse for a few weeks but if needed sooner, it can be used after a few hours of preparing — simply take a teaspoon or two as needed from the jar and leave the rest to infuse for the full 2- to 4-week period.
To use: Take 2 teaspoons in a little hot or cold water. For sore throats, mix 1 teaspoon of fire cider with 1 teaspoon of honey in 4 teaspoons water, gargle and swallow.
Shelf life: Keeps up to one year in a cool, dry place.
Victoria Chown and Kim Walker, authors of “The Herbal Remedy Handbook” (Kyle Books. $22.99), write that “the stimulating, yet simple store-cupboard ingredients in this recipe make a warming remedy that packs a punch.” The popular remedy, often originally credited to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, has spurred endless variations and is part of the winter health curriculum at many herbal schools, according to no less an authority than MarthaStewart.com. It’s been recommended for everything from stimulating digestion to boosting your body’s natural defenses. Chown and Walker write that “It is also handy for coughs and sore throats, but it is a fiery one, so it’s not for the faint-hearted!”
— “The Herbal Remedy Handbook” by Victoria Chown and Kim Walker (Kyle Books, $22.95)