top of page
fire cider.jpeg


Dr. Sahar Naghibi, ND

Fire Cider: An Ancient Tonic in a Modern World

Before the first leaf of autumn begins its descent, the term "Fire Cider" begins buzzing around the collective consciousness of the herbal health and wellness community. So what exactly is Fire Cider, and why does it seem like everyone's making it recently? Simply put, Fire Cider is a vinegar & honey-based extraction of various herbs that can help boost your immune system going into cold and flu season. The recipe typically includes apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, cayenne (or some other hot pepper), and citrus. As this recipe has gone through the passage of time, as well as the hands/kitchens of various practitioners, the ingredient list has evolved and varied to include different herbs that provide additional medicinal value. How closely were you paying attention to the ingredient list? Horseradish? Cayenne? Ginger? Turmeric? These ingredients bring the heat! And they also help earn this tonic its title of "Fire" Cider.

However, despite the modern popularity, there are ancient origins to this popular tonic. Dating as far back as 400 BCE, Hippocrates wrote about the medicinal benefits of oxymiels. For those of you who don't know, an oxymiel is a mixture of herbs (extracted) in vinegar & honey. And although there is a long history of enjoying and utilizing herbs in this form, it wasn't until 1979 that the famous herbalist Rosemary Gladstar coined the term Fire Cider to denote a specific combination of herbs macerated in vinegar, and from there the popularity of the oxymiel began to grow. Since then, so many variations of the recipe have emerged! There have even been legal battles fighting to patent the term "Fire Cider", but the truth is this medicine has been around for a long time, and people have been reaping the benefits for centuries! No one truly owns the power of plant medicine. It's accessible to all of us to make this recipe at home, with many ingredients of our choosing.

The sum is greater than its parts. Of course, there is a synergistic effect happening here that is greater than the sum of its parts, but for now, we will break it down by ingredient.


Fire Cider is a form of kitchen medicine. You don't need to be reliant on a pharmacy or the supply-and-demand chains at your local drug store that can (and will) get crazy during cold and flu season. If you think about it, it's really an act of personal sovereignty! You are creating a food-based medicine, in the sanctity and comfort of your own home, with ingredients that you already have! From there, you can begin to take this Fire Cider as a daily tonic to help build your immune system, making for a more vital and more resilient you during the colder months. If you're curious about more detailed instructions on this adaptation of Fire Cider, please check out my YouTube tutorial video, which is linked below:

Dr. Sahar Naghibi.jpeg

Dr. Sahar Naghibi, ND

Dr. Sahar Naghibi is a licensed naturopathic physician based in Seattle, Washington, specializing in naturopathic primary care. She utilizes the healing powers of botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, and nutrition to address the whole person, in order to optimize each individual’s vitality and health.

  • YouTube
  • Instagram
bottom of page