Fire Cider for Immune Health

The crisp autumn air is making itself known here in the PNW and that triggers a batch of Fire Cider to get a brewing in our house. The spicy and pungent fermented vinegar drink is full of healthy bacteria to support gut health. Fire Cider is also known as a switchel, a fermented vinegar drink.

Autumn and winter are often synonymous with cold and flu season but I don’t think it has to be that way. Although having an occasional cold is actually conducive to a functioning immune system, having chronic infections are a sign you need a little gut support.

That is to say that 70% of the immune system is located within the gut. Therefore, when there is an issue with chronic infections, autoimmune conditions and food intolerances the gut is likely the missing link you’ve been looking for.

There are a few ways to support gut health such as eating a variety of fruits, veggies, beans, legumes and whole grains, manage and reduce stress and eat fermented foods. These actions help to strengthen your gut microflora. Therefore, consuming Fire Cider for immune health is done by supporting gut health.

Like any fermented food patience must be on your side but the benefits of consuming fermented foods and drinks are well worth the wait.

Ingredients for Fire Cider

Horseradish: has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that support a healthy immune system

Garlic: has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It also contains the compound alliin found in crushed or chewed garlic. Alliin is an antioxidant contributing to a strong immune function.

Onion: is a great prebiotic feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Additionally, onion contains sulfur compounds and selenium, important minerals for liver, gut and immune health.

Rosemary: is a powerful antioxidant, stimulates bile flow, soothes the digestive tract and is an antimicrobial.

Thyme: is an antimicrobial, contains vitamin C and micro minerals.

Lemon: is an excellent source of vitamin C and has anti-bacterial properties.

Jalapeno: contains the compound capsaicin that has anti-inflammatory properties

Ginger root: has anti-inflammatory agents and is an anti-fungal. Furthermore, it can help ease upper respiratory illness.

Turmeric root: has anti-inflammatory agents, astringent properties, improves bile flow and liver function

Peppercorn: has antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and aids in the absorption of other nutrients.

Apple cider vinegar, raw: the importance of raw apple cider vinegar is due to it’s fermentation. When heat or pasteurization is applied to apple cider vinegar it kills off all the good bacteria that are present. Furthermore, raw ACV is a great way to enhance digestion,

Raw honey: if heat or pasteurization is applied to honey it kills off all the good bacteria and enzymes that are present.

How to make Fire Cider

Making Fire Cider for immune health is as simple as a few chops and collect the ingredients in a mason jar.

The one noteworthy process to talk about is the garlic. Peel the garlic and crush it, this will activate the alliin, an active ingredient in garlic. Crushing allows this to happen because it mimics chewing!

Other than that, peel and chop the horseradish, turmeric and ginger root. Rough chop the peeled onion, whole lemon and jalapeno pepper. Simple add the whole peppercorns, rosemary and thyme, no processing is necessary.

Pack all the ingredients except the honey into a 1 quart (1L) mason jar and top with raw apple cider vinegar. Be sure to fully submerged all the ingredients in the vinegar to prevent molding. Be sure to leave about an inch of breathing room from the top of the vinegar to the top of the mason jar.

Cover the mason jar with a lid and place in a cool dry place for 4-8 weeks. Once you have your desired fermentation level strain the vinegar into a sterilized bottle. Consume 1 fluid ounce shot of Fire Cider switchel as desired.

Optional: if you want to mellow out the pow of Fire Cider add raw honey to the mixture before bottling. Add one tablespoon at time, whisking it in to fully dissolve until you have your desired taste.

Expert Tips

  1. Crush the garlic to gain the highest antioxidant level.
  2. Consider placing a piece of parchment paper over a metal lid to prevent the the apple cider vinegar from rusting it. Alternatively, you can use a plastic lid.
  3. Triple or quadruple the recipe if you want a daily dose of immune boosting goodness.

If you like this fermented recipe, try this one.

Easy Homemade Fermented Ketchup

Or support your gut health with the Eating Seasonally: Harvest Edition recipe ebooks

Although eating fermented foods is a great way to support gut and immune health it may not be for everyone. Please talk to your health care provider first before consuming any fermented foods.

Fire Cider for Immune Health

Take a shot of this spicy and pungent infused vinegar drink, Fire Cider for a healthy gut and strong immune system
Keyword: fermented drink, fire cider, vinegar drink
Servings: 8
Author: Nyla


  • 1 cup horseradish sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced
  • 1 jalapeno sliced
  • 1 lemon quartered with peel
  • 2 inches fresh ginger root chopped
  • 1 inch turmeric root chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary fresh
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme (2 tbsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp peppercorn whole
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar raw
  • 3-4 tbsp raw honey optional


  • Gentle pack horseradish, garlic, onion, jalapeno, lemon, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme and peppercorn into 1 quart (1L) sized mason jar.
  • Fill with apple cider vinegar, leaving about 1 inch to the top of the jar.
  • Cover tightly with a lid and allow vinegar mixture to infuse for 4-8 weeks.
  • Strain the vinegar and store in a sterilized bottle. Store at room temperature and suggested intake is 1 fluid ounce of fire cider as needed.
    Optional: for a milder flavour you can add raw honey before bottling, mixing well to dissolve first. Start with 1 tbsp and add until you have reach desired flavour.


Expert Tips

  1. Crush the garlic to gain the highest antioxidant level.
  2. You may want to place a piece of parchment paper over a metal lid to prevent the apple cider vinegar from rusting the lid. Alternatively, you can use a plastic lid.
  3. Triple or quadruple the recipe if you want a daily dose of immune boosting goodness.

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