Fire Cider: All Natural Cold and Flu Remedy

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Fire Cider



It’s that time of year again.  The kids are back in school, the weather is changing, and cold and flu season is on it’s way.  This year, I am going to be prepared.  I’m not waiting for the first cold to strike.  I’m headed to the kitchen right now to make up a batch of Fire Cider.

Fire Cider, also sometimes called Cyclone Cider, Plaque Tonic, or Master Tonic, is an antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal potion to ward off cold and flu.  It boosts immune function, increases blood flow and oxygen delivery, breaks up mucous,  and helps your body to remove wastes from tissues.  It is taken at the first sign of feeling icky to stop colds and flu in their tracks.  It can also be taken preventatively during the winter months to stay healthy.  I also use it while traveling to ward off any foreign bugs that I may come in contact with.

This spicy, sweet, and vinegary concoction is nothing new.  People have been brewing up this magical potion for centuries all over the world.  I first came across the recipe from Rosemary Gladstar , herbal wise woman, several years ago.  It is a winter staple in our house.  I value natural remedies to treat myself and my family, and there is just something innately healing about making your own medicine yourself.  The best part is that is is made from common ingredients that are easy to find.  And like with anything else, quality matters.  Be sure to use the highest quality, organic ingredients  possible.

You will need a large mason jar like THIS to make this fire cider.  I use a RAW, organic apple cider vinegar (like this) because it has a mother in it and has the most healing properties.   You will notice that the directions say to add honey to taste.  Make it how you like it.  When I am not feeling well, something HOT, SPICY, and SWEET always makes me feel better.


Screen shot 2013-09-16 at 12.25.11 PM


How to Make Fire Cider


32 Ounces RAW apple cider vinegar (this is the brand I use)

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

2 heads garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1 and 1/2 cups grated horseradish

4 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

1-2 spicy chilis, sliced (any spicy chili will do OR you can add a titch of cayenne powder)

Honey (to taste)



  1. Place all ingredients into  a large mason jar , pack down slightly, and pour apple cider vinegar on top.  Give the jar a little shake to remove any air bubbles.  Cover with tight-fitting lid.
  2. Place into a dark, cool place for at least 2 weeks, a month is better.  Carefully strain out herbs, add honey to sweeten it slightly, and bottle your tonic.  Discard the strained ingredients OR try adding them to a stir fry.
  3. Store in fridge.  I have heard that this lasts anywhere from 1 year to indefinitely.


Be careful when handling these ingredients as they can be irritating to hands and eyes.  Be sure that the ingredients are completely covered by the apple cider vinegar to avoid spoilage.

fire cider collage


How to Take Your Fire Cider

As a daily tonic, sip a tablespoon or 2  a day to boost your immune system.


At the first sign of feeling sick, take 1-2 tablespoons several times a day until you are feeling better.


Be adventurous.  Add fire cider to your salad dressing, soups, steamed veggies, etc.  It’s super yummy!

NOTE:  I find the easiest way to take this is to add it to a bit of water and drink it on up.  I add A LOT of honey to my fire cider and it actually tastes really good! I recommend starting off slowly. Start with just a teaspoon at first.   Let your body get used to this remedy.  It is quite strong.  And be sure to have a little something in your tummy when you take it.


Fire Cider (all natural cold and flu remedy) ~



Hope you have a cozy and healthy winter season!


More Fire Cider Recipes:

Fire Cider: DIY Cold and Flu Remedy

Winter Preparations: Fire Cider



Shared at Thank Your Body Thursday , Tasty Traditions , and  Fat Tuesday.

Katja is the creator, author and chef of Savory Lotus. Food is her passion, and food is also her medicine. Katja believes that good health starts with deeply nourishing foods and that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated. Join her for easy to prepare recipes made with real food ingredients. Gluten and grain free. Paleo-friendly.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information included on this website is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions expressed here are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or


    • Carol says

      I strain them out, blend them up and put them in soups to make them healthier. I freeze them in ice cube trays and just throw one in the soup pot, or chili, or stew.

    • Troy says

      Dehydrate the remains and blend in a food processor. They make a great spice to cook with. Not sure why the blogger is saying to toss them. I use EVERYTHING! Nothing goes to waste. I make this for my friends and family all the time!

  1. says

    Love this! I make something my sis told me about that I call “The concoction”. It is just garlic, vinegar and honey. Works fabulously!! I wonder if I could handle the heat in this…maybe the ginger, not sure about the horseradish.

    Thanks for sharing! Came via Pinterest!

  2. Sadie says

    I’m doing this tomorrow! Thanks. So after the 2 weeks-1month you strain out all the ingredients so it’s just a “broth”?

    • says

      I think that fresh ginger has more medicinal properties that the dried. But if that is all that you have, it would work. You would have to use a smaller amount of the dried powder. One ratio I have seen is —-> 1 tbsp. of fresh ginger, substitute 1/4 tsp. of ground ginger in its place. :)

  3. Madie says

    I just made this concoction- I used the proper amount of ingredients, but the only jar I could find was quite big so there is about 4 inches of empty space at the top…is this ok or does it need to be filled almost to the top? If so, could I just add in more ACV even though that will dilute it more?

    • says

      My jar has a good amount of space at the top too. No worries. Just make sure the lid is on tight and put it in a dark, cool place to sit for a while. Enjoy!

    • aukaihealth says

      maddie i know this is an old post but I just made this the same way…the ingredients go about 3/4 way to the top of my large jar and acv just barely covers all ingredients…to the point where its like a big thing of muck…not full to the top with liquid as I ran out of ACV…do you or does anyone know if this is ok? Assuming yes as the jar is sealed and the ingredients are virtually covered by ACV…

      • says

        I would make sure to push all the plant matter firmly to the bottom. This mixture is OK as long as the plant matter remains covered by liquid.

        • Mr Krabs says

          Mine is filled up to the top save maybe two milometers of space. Some of the herbs float to the surface and poke their noses out into the empty space. Based on your experience, is this going to be a problem?

          • says

            Just give it a nice shake and cover as much as you can of the veggies/herbs. I have made this several times, and a tiny bit of the ingredients does pop out. It has always turned out fine. Maybe give it a little shake again in a few days when the veggies have absorbed more of the ACV. Let me know how it turns out!

  4. Ashley r N says

    Are you able to convince kids to take this? I would like this mainly for my two little boys- 3.5 & 2! I can handle taking anything, and don’t get sick often anyway, but wonder how I’d get this in them! Does it taste milk enough to mix in diluted juice, or maybe even water kefir?

    • says

      It’s pretty intense. Not sure if they will be into it. I know that my 2 year old would not be. I stick to fermented cod liver oil and elderberry syrup with her… and probiotics every day. :)

    • Jessie says

      Ashley – I think it depends on your child’s taste. My 11 year old has been drinking this for about a year, and sometimes will ask for it. And I don’t even add honey! It’s worth a try : )

  5. Jennifer says

    Could I put this in the refrigerator to set up if I don’t have a cool dark place? I live in AZ and my house is always above 80 degrees.

  6. Jill says

    I made a similar recipe last week and it smells AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it–this is the first time I’ve made it. I love that there are so many variations–mine is almost the same as yours, but it adds some turmeric and rosemary, plus the juice and zest of a lemon. Was fun to see your recipe show up in my newsfeed. Hopefully more people will turn to home remedies like this and ditch the flu shots and Tamiflu.

  7. Nina says

    I use vodka instead of apple cider vinegar as its supposed to pull out more goodies and doesnt go bad. We just use 6 drop or so. The site I got the recipe from does give it to their children but mine wont take it directly. I put it in soup for him (so no honey). When hes sick i give him tea with raw honey so figure he’s getting it there! Last time he had strep I took this and I didnt get it but before that i did so its not a fail safe but I figure it cant hurt, well except for the natural burn 😉

  8. Karyn says

    Wow I just spent $17 for a small bottle of this and I can make it my self. Took it for the first time last night. Did seem to clear my sinuses but I was awake all night.

    • says

      Isn’t it cool to be able make your own medicine? And yes, it can be a little stimulating if you are sensitive, which I am as well. My sweetie has no problem at all in that way.

  9. April says

    I love this stuff. A warning though, do not drink it on an empty stomach. It will make you feel light-headed and nauseous.
    Don’t you dare throw away those veggies! I chopped mine up pretty fine, and kept them in the freezer. They are delicious in chicken or tuna salad with homemade mayo.

    • says

      Yes, I would agree that it’s good to have a little something in the belly. And great idea about putting it in the freezer. I’m going to do that next time.

  10. Stefanie says

    Hi! I just made this and hope it turns out well. My chopped onion pieces are floating to the top and sticking out of the liquid. Should I be concerned with mold or anything forming on the top? I’d hate to lose the batch, especially considering what I paid for the horseradish root! Thanks in advance! :-)

    • says

      I would give it a good shake every day. Hopefully the onion pieces absorb enough liquid to get weighed down. If too many keep poking above water, skim them out and see if you can keep it all submerged. Let me know how it turns out.

    • says

      Fill the jar completely to the top with vinegar so there are no floaters otherwise you may get mold– probably not, but may.

      To everyone noting drinking this & getting a stomach upset. First, make sure you add honey. The honey sweetens this but also takes some of the edge off. Second, don’t overdo it until you’re used to it. My first few times taking this, I fought the nausea something awful. But after a few doses– my first exposure was during a cold– that disappeared.

      Also, I use WAY more ginger. I use fresh mostly & can use up to 4 inches of ginger. I learned how to make it this way from one of Gladstar’s students at a workshop. She stressed that everyone has their own method of making it. If you check out the Mountain Rose Herb blog recipe they note some possible variations.

      And– it also makes an amazing salad dressing & a great marinade too. ;p

  11. Karyn says

    Trying not to spend any more money on “canning” this year so I was going to use some empty gallon pickle jars a friend gave me. Is there any problem with doubling the recipe? And since the jars aren’t a standard size I doubt the plastic lids will fit so I think I’ll cover the top with plastic wrap then the metal lid, any thoughts?

  12. Mickey says

    Made this myself but can’t seem to get it down with out getting a tummy ache…have to drink a big glass of water after…lol…hubby loves it…the garlic in it has turned teal blue/green…very pretty color but is this normal? I have never seen garlic do this…I had to use prepared horseradish instead of fresh as well, couldn’t find any a the store or garden market

    • says

      Yes, this concoction can be intense. I take mine with water as well. I also recommend taking with some food in your belly. Not sure what happened with the garlic. mine has not done this. I wonder if the prepared horseradish had some dye in it??? or maybe you used lots of green chilis??? This is strong medicine for sure. Knocked my sweeties cold out overnight last week. He is brave and took a lot!

  13. Maggie says

    My concern would be botchilism with it sitting out without being refrigerated. Anyone else with the same concerns?? That kind of thing freaks me out.

    • says

      It would be HIGHLY unlikely that anything, including botulism, can grown in this concoction. The ACV itself inhibits growth as does all the other spicy ingredients.

      • Maggie says

        Ok thank you, I only asked because I pickled some eggs a couple of months ago and was told to keep them in the refrigerator until ready because of that reason.

    • says

      The final product has such a medley of tastes that you may not be bothered by it, especially if you go heavy on the honey in the end. You could just leave the horseradish out. Just add more of everything else. :)

  14. Raquelle says

    Thank you so much. I have mine brewing now. I added the honey with the other ingredients. Is that ok? Can it brew in the fridge or just the pantry?

    • says

      It’s better to add the honey after you have strained it because you it will be harder to strain. I haven’t added the honey with the veggies. I’m sure it will be OK. You may have to strain it with cheese cloth and squeeze it out. BUT PLEASE PLEASE WEAR GLOVES!! This can be irritating to your hands. Very potent medicine. I brew mine in my pantry.

  15. ice cream lady says

    Just wanted to see what you thought about splitting it up? I don’t have a jar that big, but I have the regular sized jars. I assume it would work, but I don’t know about potency?

  16. Marina says

    I decided to try this recipe after hearing about fire cider from a family member, but I didn’t want to wait two to four weeks. So I decided that I would juice all the ingredients instead and combine them with the vinegar. Well, you are right, the ingredients are STRONG. I think the juiced version makes it taste even stronger. Has anyone tried making it that way? Will it last as long?

    • says

      WOW! I bet it was really strong. I haven’t done this. But I bet it will last just as long because of the vinegar. Let me know if you notice spoilage. I’m curious. I would start SLOW with that one. But I bet it is POTENT!

    • Carol says

      Interesting. The ‘waiting’ time is just to leach out all the goodness from all of the ingredients, just like letting tea leaves sit to leach out all their flavor. It is a decoction. It is best this way, but you may still get benefits from juicing all of them.

  17. Brenda says

    I’m making this tonight! My husband and I made 2 kinds of homemade bitters last week…now excited to make fire cider! Thanks for this recipe.

    • says

      This Fire Cider Rocks! Just kicked my friend’s cold to the curb just like that. I love to see natural remedies in action. What did you make your bitters out of?

  18. Brenda says

    I made this this afternoon – one question I had was…is the entire 32 oz of apple cider vinegar really meant to fit into the large mason jar? I used a large pickle-type mason jar and with packing everything down, definitely didn’t get even a quarter of the vinegar in.

    • says

      Hi, Brenda. I use a 1/2 gallon mason jar and it all fits in perfectly. A half gallon is 64 ounces, so with the 32 ounces of apple cider vinegar, the other things fit in nicely. Hope that helps. Thanks so much for coming by! :)

      • Brenda says

        Katja – Thanks…I made it on Wednesday and just popped it into the fridge today (Friday)…as it hasn’t been in as cool a place as it should be. I am shaking it and turning it once a day. Another question – is botulism ever a concern? I’m wondering if I should start over just in case. Would mold ever grow?

        • says

          Hey, Brenda! No need to put it in the fridge. As long as everything is totally submerged in the apple cider vinegar, it should be fine. Just tuck it away in the closet or cupboard for a few weeks. This stuff is potent. Not easy for ANYTHING to grow in this stuff. The only way mold would grow is if some of the plant matter was peaking out of the liquid.

    • says

      This stuff is awesome. It will knock any cold to the curb. I use it preventatively as well if anyone in my house is sick. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Alexis says

    I really hope you see this soon because Im having a hard time finding an answer thru googling…Sooooo I accidently left my fire cider stewing in the pantry for about the last four months! I made two batches, so theres two mason jars. The one, the veggies have only slightly browned from its original color on about the top half inch, for the second jar, its browned about halfway down the jar. Do you have any idea what this browning means? Could it have gone bad? Or just getting kinda old but still drinkable? Im pregnant so I kinda don’t want to be the taste tester and wait for something negative to happen ya know? Any advice would be great. I would hate to think I have to throw all this out. Hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi, there! First of all, blessings on your new baby. Children are a real gift. I have to say that I cannot recommend eating/drinking food that looks spoiled. I would hate for you to get sick. I do not think that much can live in the medium but the moisture in the veggies can grow mold, etc. if left too long— like 4 months too long. 😉 I’m sorry to say that I would start over. BUMMER! This stuff is the BOMB when trying to fight off a cold or sickness. It is my number one thing that I take. Works great!

  20. Lucy says

    Hi there! I just made my first batch of fire cider and it is completely bluish-green! I’ve read in other comments about the garlic turning blue, but my entire batch is blue. All of the solid ingredients look as though they have been dyed and after straining them out, the liquid portion is also a cloudy bluish-green. I let it sit for just under 4 weeks. I tasted it and it seems to taste fine but I do not know how to determine if it is bad or spoiled. Please help! I would be crushed to have to toss it.

  21. Alexandria says

    I accidentally put the honey in with everything else in my Fido jar. Is this ruined now? Will it make us sick? Thank you


  1. […] Fermented foods = healthy and happy gut: Fermented foods are natures most magical natural probiotic rich foods and they are some of the best gifts you can give to your digestive system, which is subsequently nearly 80% of your immune system too. It would be great to include some of these in your meals each day and better yet, your kids if they will try it. Here are a couple of starter recipes you can experiment with: Probiotic + Enzyme Salad recipe from Kimberly Snyder as well as  Fire Cider from Savory Lotus. […]

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