This is a traditional tonic that is know as fire cider, fire tonic, seven thieves tonic and master tonic. It is a variation of the century old oxymel, an herbal preparation made with a base of apple cider vinegar and honey.
This food tonic has experienced scrutiny over the past few years when the name "fire cider" was legally trademarked by a company you might have seen around your local market that has a pirate on the label (Shire City brand). Many have chosen to boycott this company due to their law suits against others who were creating this product under the name fire cider for retail long before its legal trademark.
"Our message has always been clear and simple, we want to keep generic herbal terms free of trademarks. This is a grass roots movement with thousands of people behind us".
- Mary Blue
To put the herbalists view into perspective, trademarking the name fire cider has been compared to trademarking the name donut. The recipe has a base, but is modified by each who inevitably prepare it with their own additions and specialities.
Rosemary Gladstar is a north eastern herbalist that is recognized for brining this traditional recipe back to life in the 70's and 80's while teaching herbalism courses in California. She coined the name but did not claim ownership of the name or the recipe, instead she saw this as a community recipe to be modified as those who prepare it see fit.
What I enjoy about making this tonic is that you can be generous with the quantities, no need to measure precisely unless you want to perfect the recipe and create the same exact product each time you make it. I enjoy natural variation and eyeing the ingredients for measure.
While researching for this post I came across some warnings regarding the use of horseradish during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Many herbs and medicines have not been tested rigorously, if at all for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding and are therefore contraindicated. When it comes to Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) it is contraindicated for use during pregnancy along with bitter melon (Momordica charantia), rose moss also known as purslane (Portulaca grandiflora), absinth (Artemisia absinthium), and knot weed (Fallopia japonica) in high doses due to possibility of instigating uterine contractions causing pregnancy loss.
Infusing horseradish root into vinegar along with all of these delicious culinary ingredients produces a infused vinegar that is considered safe to consume during pregnancy. However, if you are in your first trimester of pregnancy or are very sensitive to the compounds in horseradish, consider waiting until the second trimester when baby is situated and attached snuggly in your womb before consuming this tonic.
This fire tonic is a food tonic using all culinary ingredients with a general base recipe including:
jalapeno, habanero or other hot pepper
apple cider vinegar
There are so many variations of this recipe, some additions include but are not limited to:
really, the variations are endless.... you can pretty much add anything to this recipe if it is alignment with immune support.
This tonic is known to:
warm the blood
boost immune system
support the lungs
the benefits are endless...
My last batch of fire tonic was made with this general base recipe, I look forward to adding different ingredients to future batches!
Fire tonic recipe:
jalapeno, habanero or other hot pepper
16 oz bottle apple cider vinegar
1/2 gallon mason jar
wide mouth mason jar lid (plastic or metal)
wax paper (if using metal lid because vinegar corrodes metal)
food processor with shredding attachment (optional but makes the process go much faster)
Chop the onion, garlic and hot pepper and add to mason jar.
Grate or shred the turmeric, ginger and horseradish using the food processor and add to mason jar.
Zest and juice the whole lemon and add both zest and juice to the mason jar.
Pour apple cider vinegar over the contents in the jar, leaving about 1 inch of room from the top.
Place the wax paper over the mouth of the jar and screw on the metal lid or simply use a plastic mason jar lid.
Label to open 2 weeks to one month from preparation date.
Store in a warm dark place in your home and open two weeks or one month later.
When you are ready to open your tonic:
Strain the liquid, composting the solids or using them in stir fry etc.
Add honey to taste.
Store in amber or dark colored jars with plastic lids if possible.
Label bottles and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
This tonic will store well at room temperature for a few months and up to a year in the refrigerator.
Suggested ways to use your tonic:
1-2 Tablespoon taken as a preventative against colds during the winter months.
1-2 Tablespoons taken every couple hours when you have a cold.
As a Tea, mix with juice (especially good for children), take 1oz straight as a wellness shot, mix into dressings and vinaigrette, add to marinades.