Ward Off the Flu with Fire Cider

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Everywhere I turn, there's talk of the flu. Since I follow a bunch of natural health junkies on Pinterest, I can't get away from it there either, with everyone pinning different home remedies. While I've managed to keep away from the illness so far, I decided to make a good-sized batch of this fire cider to burn those cooties away in the event they try to take up residence in my body.

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Fire cider is what "hippies" might turn to in the event they catch a bug... Which I guess makes me a hippie. This concoction can be taken as a preventative measure, or as a boost to the immune system to speed the healing process. Fire cider has deep roots in folk medicine. It is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and a sure-fire decongestant.

It should be noted however, that it is not recommended for people on blood thinners, including aspirin, or those with digestive issues. (Also, statements in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.)

In the amount of time it might take you to pick up some over the counter product, you can just as easily stop at Whole Foods (because that's the only place I could find horseradish root) and pick up the six ingredients necessary to make this cider.

Making fire cider is akin to making lemonade - once you're familiar with it, you no longer need a recipe. You're free to experiment with ratios, and free to add whatever you might think is useful. There are many variations to be discovered on Pinterest too; I really liked the illustration on the left by SouLar Bliss, whose website also includes different suggestions for ways to incorporate it into your diet, aside from just drinking it... Which you should do with great caution, lest you want to set your insides on fire. A good way to take it is to mix a teaspoon full with a tablespoon of raw, local honey. SPICY! From what I know the following ingredients are always in a fire cider: grated horseradish root grated ginger root chopped onion chopped garlic chopped hot peppers raw apple cider vinegar

An easy rule of thumb is to use one part of each. Place them in a quart jar, about 3/4 of the way full and top it off with the cider vinegar. The cider is ready then, but should ideally rest for a minimum of two weeks before using. Give it a good shake every day during those two weeks, then strain the mixture.

In these samples below I decided to experiment with chopping and blending the mixtures to see if that made a difference in the potency. While it maybe it sounds disgusting, or you're intimidated by the precautions, take comfort in the fact that you can pronounce all of the ingredients. A little goes a long way here.

It will keep for at least a year in a cool, dark place.

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