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Fire Cider

From Rosemary Gladstar

Fire Cider is an herbal & culinary creation of renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. It is a wonderful, potent immune enhancing formula. Garlic, ginger, fresh horseradish, and onions are the base of this spicy blend. Apple cider vinegar and honey help to extract and preserve the aromatic and immune stimulating properties of these herbs.


In her own words, Rosemary describes it as,

“A spicy hot deliciously sweet vinegar tonic, Fire Cider was first concocted in the kitchen at the California School of Herbal Studies in the early 1980’s. Intent on teaching my students how to make herbal preparations that were as much food as they were medicines, I was constantly experimenting and concocting all manner of medicinal herbs into a variety of recipes. Those that turned out well were shared freely with my students and our community. The idea was to bring medicinal herbalism back into people’s kitchens, as part of their food and as a way of being, not just for medicinal purposes. Fire Cider was among those early ‘cross over’ recipes ~ part medicine, part food ~ that was made and shared freely.”

What is Fire Cider used for?

  • Wellness boost – To support the immune system if you feel run down or are becoming sick, 1-2 tablespoons straight or mixed with a small amount of water, every few hours.

  • Daily tonic – Wake up and take 1-2 tablespoons directly by mouth. Follow with water for sensitive stomachs.

  • Congestion relieving tea – Add a few tablespoons to a cup of hot water, breathe in the steam as you sip to relieve congestion. 

  • Culinary condiment – Fire Cider can be used as a marinade, salad dressing or add it to sautéed vegetables & greens.

  • Kids can take it too – You can even get kids to take it if you mix a few teaspoons in a cup of orange juice or lemonade. For ages 2 and up.

Original Fire Cider Recipe
by Rosemary Gladstar


  • ½ cup grated fresh Horseradish root

  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped Onions

  • ¼ cup or more chopped Garlic

  • ¼ cup or more grated Ginger

  • Cayenne pepper- chopped fresh or dried powder ‘to taste’, it should be hot, but not so hot you can’t tolerate it. Better to make it a little milder than too hot; you can always add more pepper later if necessary.

  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (unpasteurized, with the "mother")

  • Good quality local Honey ('to taste')

(Optional ingredients: Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc. see below*)

Rosemary Gladstar.jpg


  1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least three to four inches.  Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.

  2. Place jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks.  Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.

  3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.

  4. Add honey ‘to taste’.  Warm the honey first so it mixes in well.  “To Taste’ means your Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, and sweet.  “A little bit of honey helps the medicine go down……”

  5. Rebottle and enjoy!  Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry.   But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.

  6. A small shot glass daily serves as an excellent tonic. Or take teaspoons if you feel a cold coming on.

  7. Take it more frequently if necessary to help your immune system do battle.

*ACORN School's Fire Cider Variations

You can add any of these ingredients to make your own Fire Cider creation! 


Turmeric root, Echinacea root, Cinnamon bark, Thyme leaf, Star Anise, Schisandra berries, Astragalus root, Parsley leaf, Burdock root, Oregano leaf, Peppercorns, Beet root powder, Habanero powder, Bird's Eye Chili Powder, Chili peppers, Serrano peppers, Citrus peels & juice (orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime).


Also, once you strain your Fire Cider, the leftover veggies and herbs can be used in stir fry or spring rolls. Yum!


ACORN School’s Fire Cider Recommended Dosage: 

  • As a preventative tonic: Take 1-2 Tablespoons daily throughout the fall/winter months.

  • If symptoms are present: Take 1-2 Tablespoons every 3-4 hours.

Fire Cider.jpg

Did Fire Cider get trademarked?

Some of you may be familiar with Fire Cider and the surrounding controversy with the trademarking of the name "Fire Cider" by a company on the East Coast. Fortunately, some amazing women herbalists, including Rosemary Gladstar, stood up to a large business and justice prevailed…Fire Cider is no longer a trademarked name, it is generic once again and free for all to use. They so perfectly put it, “Traditions Not Trademarks.” To read more about this story and its significance to the larger herbal community go to:  and

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