Fire cider tonic

Rosemary Gladstar developed Fire Cider at the Californian School of Herbal Studies in the 1980s to encourage people to create medicinal remedies in their own kitchens. The original formula has become a hugely popular and invigorating concoction that is pungent, fiery, sweet and sour, as well as being a powerful immune enhancer.

It contains garlic, onions, horseradish root, ginger root, chilli peppers, sometimes turmeric, and often the herb echinacea; all are powerful foods that fight infections, colds, flus, and bronchial congestion. The below recipe is an adaptation created by Martha Stewart. Remember it takes a month to infuse so get it ready before the cold weather hits.

This recipe can be adjusted to suit tastes. Add turmeric for additional anti-inflammatory power, echinacea (a herb) to ward off colds, more horseradish for clear sinuses and extra honey can be added if it’s too sour.

During winter, a tablespoon or two a day helps keep the immune system healthy and wards off infections.
If you succumb to a cold take half a shot two or three times a day


  • ½ cup peeled, grated or diced fresh horseradish root
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh ginger root
  • ½ large onion, cut into pieces
  • ½ large orange do NOT peel. Cut into pieces
  • 1 lemon do NOT peel. Cut into 2cm pieces
  • I head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
  • 2 small jalapeno chillis – halved lengthwise
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • Add 2-3 cups of raw apple cider vinegar until all ingredients are submerged
  • 1/3-1/2 cup raw honey to taste


Place all ingredients (ginger and horseradish first) into a 1 litre glass mason jar or glass container with a sealable lid.  Add vinegar, ensuring the ingredients are fully submerged and the jar is full. Close the lid. If using a metal lid, place a piece of baking paper between jar and lid to prevent the vinegar reacting with the metal). Store in a cool, dark place, shaking for a few seconds every day or two, for 3 to 6 weeks.

Strain through cheesecloth or a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids. Stir in honey. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator

Use in dressings and heat up for warming drink.