Friendly Fire, Beautiful Fire
Something beyond beautiful is going on. It has my heart singing and I’m feeling so optimistic. The crispness of the fall air and the convergence with the last of the farm and garden bounty is upon us. Peppers are popping up everywhere and the roots are just about ready to be dug. Kids are back to school and along with those little ones germs are starting to come home. We are being called. It is fire cider making time. We hear and feel the gentle encouragement to get going on our own batches if we haven’t already started.
I have been so energized and uplifted by seeing and hearing of SO many people making fire cider this fall. Seeing photos of smiling faces next to jars packed with roots, peppers, citrus (and whatever else!), topped with apple cider vinegar really snags at my heartstrings. It’s hard for me not to feel emotional when I hear from people that just made their first batch ever. I was once in their shoes. I was buying cold remedy after cold remedy at the nearby pharmacy. Pill after pill. I had no idea that something that you could make at home – easily – could provide so much support during the cold and flu season. I thought that everything “effective” came in pill form. I “knew” that wellness was better left to doctors and pharmacists. That is, until I learned better.
I had a dramatic introduction into the healing power of plants, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I found my way into understanding that each one of us has access to these readily available tools of nature that can be worked with to support health and wellness. For me, first, I had to lose faith in the modern healthcare system as a whole. I learned so much by almost losing it all. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When the plants presented in my life I had no hope and decided to give it a go. Since then, the enduring relationship I have developed with the plants, herbalists and herbal remedies has positioned me into a place of humble gratitude.
But, really, it doesn’t need to be that way. We don’t need to travel to the deepest darkest places to ignite a fire within us that helps us to recall that somewhere, way back when, perhaps before we were even on this earth, plants and food were the only medicine. Resurrecting herbal remedies doesn’t have to be only for the desperately ill or hippiest hippie. The plants offer to each of us equally, with unconditional support. We just have to have a little trust…and sometimes we need a bit of a nudge.
This nudge, this beautiful nudge. I see it happening. I see it unfolding and cascading to wider and wider circles. It is a beautiful, supportive nudge – steeped in the deep roots of a traditional practice that connected people as opposed to isolating them.
So, please, go make your fire cider. Share it. Share how you made it (you can share a recipe card, here). Share it all (Free labels to put on your jars/bottles, here info below). The best way to support one another is to give freely of the knowledge that truly knits us together on this earth. Fire cider is but one of those things. But it sure has been a beautiful catalyst igniting an incredible opening along the way.
My latest fire cider was made together with some most lovely herbalist friends and another batch with my neighbor. I make it for my family and to share with friends so I don’t have an exact recipe. It is such a forgiving and beautiful recipe that you can do it in so many ways. You don’t need to be fussy or prescriptive about it. I definitely appreciate and gravitate to the folk method of preparing fire cider.
Wider Circle Fire Cider
Chopped Ginger Root
Chopped Habanero Peppers (I used the food processor on these to cut down on the fumes)
Chopped Lemon (rinds intact)
Chopped Lime (rinds intact)
Chopped Orange (rinds intact)
Chopped Burdock Root (You can find dried Burdock Root, here)
Chopped Astragalus Root (I used dried, you can find it here)
Sprig of Rosemary
Sprig of Oregano
3-4 Sage Leaves
Upper parts of Goldenrod
Grated Horseradish Root (Seems to be scarce in this moment, I’ll add more in when I find some in our area — hopefully soon!)
I put a somewhat even amount of each item (with exception of the citrus and aromatic herbs) into a jar and fill it 3/4 full with the ingredients (sometimes I get a little overzealous and fill it even higher) then I pour unpasteurized apple cider vinegar over the top to cover all of the plants. I top it with a plastic cover or line the metal lids with parchment (otherwise the vinegar with oxidize the metal lids). Let sit in a dark cabinet for 4-6 weeks. Shake gently daily, if you can. Strain (my friend saves and eats the ingredients alone or atop of salads) and have a teaspoonful every day. You can also make lovely bloody marys with this, I’m told!
Prefer more specific recipes? Check these out:
Making Fire Cider With Joy
Don’t want to make it, just want to buy it?
Thy Herb Collective
Mountain Rose Herbs
Heard of the legal battle regarding the trademarking of the “Fire Cider” term? Find out what might be going on in the land of “Free Fire Cider” by checking out their site or their Facebook page.
DOWNLOAD LABELS FOR YOUR FIRE CIDER BOTTLES OR JARS
Made fire cider for the first time and want to share? Maybe you just don’t have labels made and you want some? Feel free to download these free label sheets I designed for your use. Print on any full page label sheet and trim with an X-acto or other blade using the trim marks.
ONE QUART JARS
4 OUNCE BOTTLES