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Terrific Cold and Flu Fighting Recipes, Including a Unique One for Fire Cider
If you didn’t grow up taking tablespoons of fire cider from your grandma every day in the winter, then you have probably heard a lot about it lately online. Fire Cider is a very old traditional folk remedy for the prevention of cold and flu viruses. There is a good reason that this recipe has stood the test of time and is still around: because it works so darn well! The combination of antimicrobial, decongestant, anti-viral herbs infused in vinegar makes a terrific way to boost your immune system any time of the year, but especially during the winter months when colds and the flu tend to make their rounds.
We are also including a few other folk remedies to fight off viruses naturally, in case vinegar is not to your liking.
In regards to fire cider, there are a set of base ingredients but feel free to add other herbs depending on what is growing well for you that year or what happens to grow wild in your neck of the woods. Have a rosemary bush that has just gone wild this year? Put some of those leaves in the mix. Did you plant a few too many jalapeno bushes? Add some of those! Having a bumper crop of lemons? Add some lemon zest or lemon juice. One old tradition is to make fire cider in the autumn, bury the jar in the ground to allow the herbs to infuse into the vinegar, then dig it up and drink it during Winter solstice celebrations.
You can take this by the spoonful, add a bit to smoothies, drizzle it over salads, or pour some over your favorite veggie dishes. Traditionally it’s taken during the winter, about a tablespoon each morning (or evening). Should you start to feel the beginnings of a cold, begin taking 2 tablespoons every morning and every evening until the symptoms disappear.
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Ready? Here’s the basic recipe for fire cider:
- ½ Cup of freshly grated, organic horseradish root
- ½ Cup of freshly grated, organic ginger root
- 2 Medium sized organic jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove the seeds if you don’t want this to be too hot)
- 1 Medium sized organic white onion, well chopped
- 2 Tablespoons of dried rosemary leaves or a couple sprigs of fresh, organic rosemary
- 10 Medium sized cloves of organic garlic, chopped
- Juice and zest from 1 organic lemon
- ¼ Teaspoon organic cayenne powder
- 1 Tablespoon organic turmeric powder
- Organic apple cider vinegar
- Raw, organic honey (to taste)
- Cut, grate, and chop everything (except the honey) and place them in a quart sized glass jar (Mason jars work great)
- Cover all ingredients with the apple cider vinegar
- Use a small piece of parchment paper under the lid so this mixture doesn’t touch the inside of the metal or plastic lid.
- Shake well once per day
- Store in a cool, dark place (such as a bottom kitchen cabinet or pantry shelf)
- Remember to shake once per day, every day, for 30 days
- After 30 days, strain out the herbs through a cheesecloth and store the herb infused vinegar in a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze the herbs in the cheesecloth into the vinegar to get all the healthy goodness you can into the vinegar.
- Add your honey. Start with a ¼ cup of raw honey and stir well. Take a taste and add a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired amount of sweetness.
If you have the following, and wish to make additions or variations, these herbs and/or spices are terrific additions to the basic recipe above:
- Fresh, organic grapefruit, lime, orange juice and the peels
- Chili peppers of all kinds
- Whole peppercorns
- Ginger (fresh or dried)
- Cayenne pepper
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Another old folk remedy with a newer twist is to make some Winter Time Cold Capsules. When you feel a cold coming on, at the very first sign, take two capsules every four hours until all symptoms are gone. These capsules often stop the cold dead in its tracks or, at the very least, lessen the symptoms and shorten its duration.
- 1 Part Organic Golden Seal
- 1 Part Myrrh Gum
- 1 Part Echinacea
- 1 Part Turmeric
- ¼ Part Cayenne
- Use all the above herbs in a powder form
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
- Place in size “00” capsules ( these are available at most pharmacies or any health food store)
- Take two capsules every four hours
Pretty easy isn’t it? Beats the heck out of those expensive cold remedies at your drug store.
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If you are looking for something a bit less spicy than fire cider, try the following to help stimulate your immune system and fight off an oncoming cold.
Seasoned Curried Onions
- Cut 2 or 3 large white organic onions into quarters
- Peel about 8 or 10 cloves of organic garlic
- ½ Teaspoon of curry powder or turmeric powder
- Sauté the onions and garlic over a low flame until everything is soft and a golden brown
- Stir in the curry or turmeric powder
- Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil if it begins to stick
- Simmer for another 15 or 20 minutes until the curry is well absorbed
- Add a handful of raisins or cashews, if you like ( optional)
- Eat plain or serve over rice
You don’t need a dangerous flu shot or expensive over the counter remedies to fight off a winter cold or flu; all you need is a little help from Mother Nature.