Friday, 2 June 2017

Preparing for the winter chills

Many years ago I first heard about Fire Cider which has been commonly used to ward off winter colds and the flu. One of the main ingredients is horseradish, a herb that we used to have growing back in the seventies but had died off, so I reminded myself each year that I needed to find a new plant but never did until last year.



When reading the Green Harvest catalogue I saw that they had plants for sale I put my name down to be emailed when they became available and soon .....



...they arrived in the mail and I potted them up.  That was last August and I was very excited to dig the three plants up so that I could use the horseradish in the fire cider this year but unfortunately the root hadn't grown terribly big as apparently I had chosen pots that were too small so I planted them again and hope to have a better harvest next year.



I had read that they can become invasive so was going to plant them all in larger pots but the CEO says that is not the case here so two have gone into the ground surrounded by rocks so that the chooks can't dig them up and ....



the other went into a pot. The leaves are dying off now as it is winter. I was so disappointed after all these years of wanting to make fire cider to find that I still didn't have any horseradish root to use and I couldn't find any in the veggie shops and didn't see any at the markets either. 




All was not lost though as one of the ladies on The Home Maker's Forum who is very knowledgeable where herbs are concerned, said that I could replace it. So in the end, to the apple cider vinegar I added garlic, rosehips, cloves, paprika, turmeric, chillies, rosemary, thyme and ginger. This was left for six weeks in a dark cupboard....



....then strained into a new bottle. Then whenever we feel a cold coming on as just want to build up our immunity to colds a hot drink can be made by adding two teaspoons of fire cider and two teaspoons of honey to a cup of hot water. I would like to buy Manuka honey but it is a tad expensive but I believe it is quite a powerful honey. Actually my sister has just had a cataract operation and had some swelling of the cornea afterwards and the eye specialist prescribed Manuka honey eye drops. I have never heard of them before.

If anyone is interested in making some for their family there are lots of recipes on Pinterest. Apparently there has been a legal stoush about the use of the name Fire Cider so you might like to read what Rosemary Gladstar has to say about that. She has been making it for quite some time I believe and isn't happy about the situation.

So how about you.....would you like to share your recipe for fighting the flu and the coughs and cold of winter?




















9 comments:

  1. At the first sign of a cold my mom makes coriander tea. She roast whole coriander seeds slightly, then boil in water with chopped ginger. She adds a bit of sugar, but I drink it without sugar or honey.

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    1. Nil I have never heard of using coriander before. That is a very interesting remedy.

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  2. Mudbrick Cottage is where i got my horse radish from, i have never used it & wanted a tough root for the chook pen. mine was growing out the bottom of the pot & i potted two up, have a neighbour chasing some too. yours looks nice & lush, mine is very pale green.
    you don't need Manuka honey, we have just as good honey here in aus, just hunt up really dark honey, that's the one i like to use, all honey is getting expensive now, i get mine from the butcher here & it's now $9.50kg
    that fire cider sounds good, i usually just add garlic & chilli to hot lemon, eat the dregs & sweat it out, good stuff
    great post
    thanx for sharing

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    1. Selina, I think my hubby said he pays $6kg from a local beekeeper. It certainly is a lot cheaper than at the markets and supermarket.

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  3. I'm glad someone was able to give you an alternative.
    I don't have any particular recipe just continue with a warm lemon drink first thing every morning, lots of seasonal fresh produce, exercise, fresh air and layers of clothing.

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    1. Lemons are always good too, Kylie. We also have an old remedy from many years ago which has lots of garlic and chilli in it.

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  4. Chel this is so interesting and I would like to try making the Fire Cider. I'll hunt down the horseradish and where did you find rosehips. I swear by lots of homemade chicken soup, lemon juice and honey, and a couple of old friends swear by a shot of whiskey ha, ha. Thanks for your post. Pauline

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    1. Pauline, I bought the rosehips from a health food story and they cost $9 for a little packet but when I told the 'herb lady' on The Home Maker's forum she said I could have just used rosehips from roses around the place. So I wasted $9 unfortunately.

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  5. There is a tonic in was given that was very similar to this. It Burnes like fire when you drank it. But it truly did ward off colds and it cured strep throat for my son without having to use antibiotics. I ran out though. Have a super week.

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