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What Is Fire Cider?

What Is Fire Cider?

On a blustery winter day, there is no better feeling than sitting by a warm fire, steeping in a hot bath, or drinking a piping hot cup of tea. In winter, maintaining a warm body temperature is necessary for protecting vitality and ensuring our survival.  

There is an age-old traditional herbal preparation that has been used for centuries to deliver warmth to the tissues, help ward off immune imbalances, stimulate digestion, and support circulation. It is produced by compounding the most pungent herbs and spices and infusing them into apple cider vinegar. The outcome is a liquid-fire extract known as FIRE CIDER.    

Just in time for the coming winter months, when cold weather taxes our immune system, we are thrilled to announce the release of our newest formula, designed by our in-house team of certified Herbalists: Fire Cider!

What is Fire Cider? 

This pungent herbal preparation has been passed down for generations and was finally dubbed Fire Cider in 1997 by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It is a pungent recipe containing ginger, garlic, onion, horseradish and hot peppers that’s pungency stimulates digestion, supports lymphatic flow and the activation of the immune response, and is a general circulatory stimulant.* 

Fire cider is traditionally made using apple cider vinegar as the base. Keep in mind that Doctor Morse does not recommend apple cider vinegar when detoxifying as it is acidic, and this remedy is not recommended for daily use.  

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice. Like kombucha, apple cider vinegar produces a mother or SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeasts). The bacteria and yeasts feed on the sugars in the apple juice and convert it into acetic acid (vinegar). “Pectin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, and vitamin c are likely to be present, as they are in apple juice (Just Agriculture).”  

Although some claim that apple cider vinegar is alkalinizing to the body, there has never been a study to prove this claim. A dose of fire cider can be added to alkaline water to balance the pH. This is also not a formula that you need to take every day. It is useful for short term imbalances and is especially useful for supporting digestion, circulation and immunity. 

Fire Cider for Digestion 

People with slow or sluggish digestion may experience discomfort after meals that indicates food is sitting in the stomach too long. It can cause sloth-like exhaustion, making it difficult to focus or regain energy, especially during those midday slumps.  

If this sounds like you, fire cider may be a good supportive formula for you! Used like a bitters formula and taken before you eat or with a meal, fire cider can support the digestive process by “igniting” digestive fire. This isn't the same heat that Doctor Morse links with acidosis, but a heat generated by the herbs in the formula that signals the body to produce dietary secretions. The result is increased production of stomach acid, bile, mucous, and the stimulation of peristalsis (McMullen, M. et al, 2015).* 

Keep in mind that fire cider is acidic and can aggravate digestive imbalances that involve excess stomach acid, like reflux and GERD. Consult your health care provider to see if fire cider is right for you. 

Fire Cider for Circulation 

As discussed in our circulatory system webinar, warming herbs are great for supporting circulatory health. Pungent (hot) herbs generate a systemic response including the dilation of blood vessels, increased circulation, sweating, and the release of endorphins, which all support improved blood flow, enhanced metabolism, and detoxification via the liver to skin eliminatory pathway; what Doctor Morse refers to as the 3rd kidney.* 

Fire Cider for Immunity 

The body has telltale signs to indicate when we may be falling out of balance: a tickle in the throat, lymphatic irritation, and the change in the temperature of our urine are all indicators that we may be fighting something. This is when we reach for Fire Cider. The pungent and volatile herbs and spices in this formula act as immunostimulants to support our immune response. If your body is signaling immune imbalance, it's time for fire cider. Take fire cider short term with a little water until you feel the immune system moving back into balance.*  

Pungent herbs support the blood to lymph eliminatory channel beautifully. As mentioned above, pungent herbs dilate blood vessels and support improved blood flow. All blood leaving the heart ends up in capillary beds throughout the body where it deoxygenates and recirculates to the heart. In these capillary beds, 10-15% of blood plasma is absorbed into lymphatic circulation where immune cells scan and attack any unwanted organisms.*  

Using a pungent formula like Fire Cider, especially in conjunction with a healthy diet and Lymphatic Drainage Daily can support the healthy function of this blood to lymphatic detoxification channel.  

Timeless Tradition 

Making your own fire cider is easy! Gather your fresh ingredients: horseradish, onion, cayenne, lemon, garlic and any other hot herbs and spices you enjoy. Chop everything up well and pack it into a half pint or pint mason jar. Pour organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to fill the jar and close with a tight-fitting lid. Using a plastic lid is best as the acidic acid in the vinegar corrodes metal lids (you can also place wax paper between the lid and the vinegar to prevent corrosion). Let your infusion steep for 3-5 weeks, strain and store in dark glass in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.  

At the first sign of immune imbalance take 2 dropperfuls (½ teaspoon) with a little water throughout the day until you feel balance return. To kick start digestion, take 1-2 dropperfuls (¼ to ½ teaspoon) with a little water before, during, or right after meals.  

For a full fire cider recipe and other great winter wellness remedies, head to our recent blog Winter Remedies for Immune Support. May fire cider spice up those cold winter nights! 

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1 comment

  • Tatiana

    Love reading all these useful and educational articles that were hidden from me by conventional medicine.
    It took me long to find my way to DrMorse but I did, and that is good!

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