Wellness Wisdom

Winter is coming! I don’t know about you but here in SW Ontario we have been having some exceptionally mild autumn weather, but have no doubt that the cold weather and the season most prone to sniffles is on the way!

Want an immune boosting tip that I use in my home every winter to stimulate immune systems and rev up vitality to kick winter in the toosh?

It is a trick I picked up and modified from the ever knowledgeable Rosemary Gladstar, herbal wonder woman and natural healing guru! She calls it Fire Cider.

The fire comes from several components such as horseradish, chilies, garlic and ginger. Sounds like it has a hot kick right? It does.
Ginger alone is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti parasitic and will aid in digestion. Garlic is an antiseptic powerhouse full of sulfur which aids in the absorption of trace elements such as zinc- also vital for top notch immune systems. Chilies lend us many things but beta-carotene is most important which our bodies convert into vitamin A. Throw in some horseradish for white blood cell stimulation and antioxidants and why would you need more, right?

It doesn’t stop there. I add in citrus because it is amazing and has tons of vitamin C, minerals, potassium and fibre. I most often use the sweet and sour hit of lemons and oranges (organic and washed, peels and all) to counterbalance all of the heat in this cider. Turmeric is a fabulous anti-inflammatory as well as enhancing the body’s antibody response and more.
This year I decided to add the ever enhancing herbs sage, thyme and oregano that I had available to bring my cider into another dimension! I am also hoping to boost the flavour profile with cinnamon sticks , star anise and cloves.

All of this is mixed up with some raw apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of this a day will keep most everything at bay- possibly even vampires. What a bonus! 😉


  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced horseradish
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced garlic
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced onion
  • 1/4 cup peeled and diced ginger
  • 1/4 cup peeled and diced turmeric
  • 1-2 habanero chile, split in half
  • 2-4 oranges, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 lemons, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • handful of wild thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon of equal parts star anise and clove
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup raw honey, or more to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar (ACV at least 5% acidity)

Place all the ingredients into a big mason jar making sure the ACV covers the material. Place a piece of wax paper on top and then a lid. Place it into a cool dark cupboard for 4 weeks turning it over everyday.

A month later you can strain the brew or eat it as is (which is what I do): 1 Tablespoon at a time taking an extra 1 or 2 spoonfuls spread out through the day if you feel a bug coming on.

Keep it in the fridge and if you have a big family you may have to double the batch. This year I have tried just blending it all up to speed up the process so I will let you know how that goes.

Be well!

Love, Mel