Fire cider

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Potent brew

Now that the winter chill has arrived and a few colds and coughs have started to appear in clinic, it’s the perfect time to share a Fire Cider recipe. Fire Cider, developed by legendary US herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, is used to ward off winter ills. This version is based on Rosemary’s original recipe.


1 cup brown onion, minced
1/2 cup horseradish, grated
1/2 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup ginger, grated
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
2 Tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp whole back peppercorns
1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup raw local honey
3 cups raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.


Add the onions, horseradish, garlic, ginger, cayenne, thyme, peppercorns and lemon to a 1 litre jar.

Add the honey and then the vinegar, covering all the ingredients. Stir well, ensuring there are no air bubbles.

Cover and let sit for 2-4 weeks, shaking well once per day.

Strain into a jar, refrigerate, and use within one year.


Adults can take 1-3 tbsp per day as a preventative, and 1 tbsp per hour when you’re coming down with something.

In addition to colds and coughs, try fire cider for nasal congestion, headaches, and cold hands and feet!

Makes a great addition to a salad dressing as well.


Preserved horseradish, ginger and garlic work well if you don’t have fresh on hand.

I also like to add additional herbs and spices, such as turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, chilli flakes and rosemary.

Recipe by Sonya Byron, Sonya Byron Plant Medicine

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