‘Tis the season for head colds, sore throats, relentless sinus pressure, and hacking coughs that don’t want to go away.
The way I see it, you have 2 options:
You can suffer through a few months of this business, soldiering on through various over the counter remedies that sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
Or you can take preventative action and create your own healing remedies that support your immune system and fight the yuck in your system holistically, as well as effectively.
The key to using remedies like these for cold weather illnesses is that you have to catch them right at the beginning, before they develop into something worse, like an infection.
It requires a little bit of foresight and planning, but it’s worth it.
My favorite “cold and sore throat cure” is fire cider. Fire Cider is a tonic that is highly valued among herbalists and holistically-inclined people because it can shorten the duration of cold symptoms and support your immune system at the same time.
Basically, you infuse apple cider vinegar with herbs, spices, and foods that are “powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers.” As a side benefit, it’s also great for kickstarting sluggish digestion and for warming you up on especially cold days.
This baby packs a punch.
It’s also ridiculously easy to make.
There are 2 ways to make Fire Cider:
The traditional way and the modern way.
The traditional ways is that you pack all of the herbs, spices, and foods (minus the honey) into a large mason jar. Then you cover all of it with apple cider vinegar. Seal the jar with some wax paper in between the jar and the lid (ACV and metal don’t mix well). Let it sit for about a month in a cool, dark place. Then, when it’s done, pour it through a mesh strainer, add honey, and drink it up, one shot glass at a time.
The modern way is to throw everything in a blender (including the honey) and then pour it through a fine mesh strainer to separate the liquid from the chunky bits.
I like to make it both ways, but when I’m in a pinch, I go for the modern method. It’s faster and a bit easier. The only difference between the 2 is that the resulting liquid is a bit thicker from the “modern method”. The taste and the benefits are the same.
I’ve created my own recipe based off of one from Mountain Rose Herbs.
The amounts are approximations and you can create your own mixture based on your taste preferences.
Like I said before, this baby packs a punch. My husband calls it “garbage juice,” but that’s mostly because he hates all things vinegar. The truth is that Fire Cider has always helped me cut shorten my sick time so I’m down for the count less. Which is helpful when you have 2 kids, also prone to contracting every winter illness imaginable.
Makes a small batch. Approximately 2 cups. Double or triple up as needed.
1 small onion, peeled and halved
1 head of garlic, peeled and halved (about 10-15 cloves, depending on the size of the head)
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled (and minced if choosing traditional method)
2 inch piece of turmeric, peeled (and minced if choosing traditional method)
1 jalapeno, halved (or sliced up, if choosing traditional method)
2 inch piece of horseradish, halved (or chopped, if using traditional method)
1 large orange, halved (you’re using peel and all, so make sure to wash it!)
1 lemon, halved (you’re using peel and all, so make sure to wash it!)
a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, parsley, rosehips — fresh if possible
a dash of cayenne pepper
enough Apple Cider vinegar to cover all of this in a blender or mason jar
as much local, raw honey as you want
*Note: If you are going traditional, you should either peel the citrus or grate the peel. If you’re not going traditional, you can toss the halves in as they are.