All of the ingredients of the fire cider are pungent or sour by nature, and are very strong. Once the herbs have been extracted into the apple cider vinegar, they will help to increase your circulation, clear up the sinuses, and ward off bacteria and viruses. For maximum benefit and potency, it is best to let the herbs soak in the vinegar for a month before using, so it would be best to make this ASAP! Once your fire cider is ready, you can take 1 TBSP each morning during cold and flu season to help prevent illness, or 3 TBSP when you first start to notice signs of a cold, ie. runny nose, sore throat or body aches. Mountain Rose Herbs also recommends using this fiery mixture as a component of your next salad dressing or with juice, and to use the strained vegetables for a delicious stir fry or spring rolls. I can't wait to try that!
As an acupuncturist and Chinese herbal practitioner, there are many modalities I can use as well to help prevent symptoms of cold and flu, reduce the effect and duration, and boost your immune system if you suffer from frequent illnesses. I encourage all of my patients to take an active role in their healthcare, and preparing fire cider is a great step in that direction. If you are already having signs of illness, or have encountered a stronger pathogen, you should go see your local acupuncturist and herbalist for a more specific remedy, but why not try fire cider first?
Happy fall and medicine making everyone!