We love herbalist Jade Marx answer to the question “But does it actually work?” in The New York Times Style Magazine feature, How to Create Your Own Herbal Tinctures.

I get asked that a lot. We know that plants work because we all consume them every day. An espresso that provides a jolt of energy in the morning or an herbal tea enjoyed for its soothing effect before bed is simply putting plant extracts to use for our own treatment. The same can be said of using cannabis, alcohol and aloe vera. 

We learned that milky oats help allay anxiety. That hawthorn-berry promotes heart health. And Marx’s recipe for Fire Cider, an age-old herbal remedy that has seen a resurgence in popularity, in endless variations on the theme of raw cider vinegar, honey and herbs, roots and spices.

Paul Quitoriano

Looking closely at Marx’s recipe, we see that the base is a quart of raw apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup raw honey and 4-5 hot chile peppers. After that, herbalists take liberties in amounts and kinds of healing ingredients like turmeric, ginger, lemon, onions, garlic, burdock root, thyme, elderberries, galangal, lime, lemongrass, cannabis…

We like, and trust, Mountain Rose Herbs for ingredients for making herbal preparations from tinctures to teas.

Most recipes we’ve read advise letting the mixture sit for 2 to 4 weeks before using, then straining into a clean jar. We’ve read that due to the preservative qualities of the vinegar and honey, it can last for a year or so…We advise refrigerating.

  • 3 1-inch pieces turmeric
  • 1 4-inch piece ginger
  • 1 handful dried rose petals
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 4-5 hot peppers (any variety will do)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 quart raw apple-cider vinegar

Chop turmeric, ginger, hot peppers and lemon, put into a quart jar. Add rose petals. Pour in apple-cider vinegar until all ingredients are covered. Stir in honey. Mix and enjoy as needed, pouring the tincture through a strainer.

Rosemary Gladstar, who pioneered Fire Cider in the seventies, has compiled 101 variations on Fire Cider in Fire Cider!: 101 Zesty Recipes for Health-Boosting Remedies Made with Apple Cider Vinegar

Nore: When the mercenary Shire City Fire Cider Company trademarked the name Fire Cider and brought a suit against three herbalists, a court case ensued. After years slowly moving through the system, the judge ruled that Fire Cider cannot be trademarked. “It belongs to everyone.” Read the backstory at the New York Times. It’s one example of several attempts at companies trying to appropriate age-old names. Needless to say we don’t recommend buying Shire City’s products.

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