Nectar Fire Cider for Winter Wellness

Preparing fire cider is part of my annual ritual to welcome fall and prepare for a healthy winter. It is ideal to start your fire cider around September to ensure that your fall brew is ready by the time cold weather arrives. This spicy concoction, traditionally made with fresh garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger and hot peppers serves as an immune tonic, decongestant, and warming circulatory stimulant. You can take a spoonful every day to boost your immune system or step it up with a larger dose at the first sign of a cold, scratchy throat, chills, or even a fever.

Fire Cider is a traditional herbal remedy first concocted by Rosemary Gladstar in the kitchen at the California School in the early 1980’s. For more about the history (and politics) of this popular home brew, visit the Free Fire Cider Website

Nectar Fire Cider Ingredient Overview

Before you start chopping, let’s take a quick look at what makes fire cider such a winter powerhouse.

Both contain the infection fighting compound, allicin. Allicin has been shown to be effective not only against common infectious organisms that cause colds, flu, stomach viruses and Candida yeast, but also powerful pathogens responsible for tuberculosis and botulism! These two pungent vegetables also provide protection against atherosclerosis and heart disease and decrease total blood cholesterol levels while increasing HDL-cholesterol (sometimes referred to as “good” cholesterol) and decreasing LDL-cholesterol (sometimes called “bad” cholesterol). 

This spicy root has been used as a food and medicine as early as 1500 B.C.E. Greeks and Romans used it for tooth ache, back pain, achy joints, and as an expectorant for coughs. By the eighteenth century, it was listed in medicinal plant texts and used for respiratory congestion and coughing, as a digestive aid for food poisoning and colic, and for tuberculosis and joint pain. Modern research shows that this pungent member of the cabbage family helps protect against food-borne illness and bacterial pathogens like Listeria, E. coli, and Staphylococcus aureus.  Horseradish also promotes bile secretions from the gall bladder, helping to maintain a healthy gall bladder and improve digestion.

This warming, aromatic root is an excellent remedy for cold, congestive conditions of the respiratory tract and flu symptoms. Ginger also offers welcome relief for fever, body aches and headaches that often accompany flu. Sipping on a cup of Ginger tea can also quell nausea and vomiting and help you stay hydrated during a bout with the flu. Ginger is a warming circulatory stimulant and may be a good choice if you suffer from cold hands and feet. For more information on Ginger visit my post Five Herbs for Cold & Flu Season. 

The serious heat in fire cider comes from chilli peppers, cayenne powder, or both. Choose the peppers according to your tolerance or love for heat. If you’re making fire cider for kids, you’ll probably want to tone it down a bit. Cayenne has a stimulating effect on mucus membrane, especially in the sinuses. It helps thins sinus secretions, providing relief for a stuffy nose or sinus infection.

In addition to these traditional ingredients, I like to add any fresh herbs I have in the garden that are warming and antimicrobial. In this batch I added fresh Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary. 

Nectar Fire Cider Recipe


  • 1/2 cup fresh horseradish root, grated
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1-3 inches fresh turmeric root, grated or 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • a small bunch of fresh herbs (Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Peppercorns)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 3-4 cups organic apple cider vinegar


Combine all of the prepared ingredients in a quart sized jar. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal or use a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and shake daily. After one month, use unbleached cotton muslin to strain out the pulp, pouring the spicy fluid into a clean jar. Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add more honey if needed until you reach the desired sweetness.

Suggested Use: For prevention, 1 tablespoon daily, straight or added to your favorite juice; At the first sign of a cold of flu, up to 3 tablespoons every 3-4 hours.


Can’t wait until this new batch of fire cider is ready to strain. This spicy concoction will keep us warm and healthy all winter long!

If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below.
wishing you health and happiness, 

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