Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy

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Fire Cider natural remedy for colds, flu and sore throat
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy

I first discovered a recipe for fire cider years ago. It didn’t sound like something I wanted to try immediately, but when I read about the immune-boosting benefits I decided to be brave and give it a try. Years later, it’s a staple at our house around cold and flu time.

Fire cider is a traditional recipe that contains garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, vinegar, and raw honey. The original recipe calls for horseradish, but for the sake of the kids I typically substitute echinacea root.

Fire Cider

Fire cider harnesses the beneficial properties of onion, garlic, ginger, and herbs, plus vinegar and raw honey for a nourishing drink with a little kick.

How Does Fire Cider Taste?

Judging by the ingredients in the recipe, you might not expect it to taste very good. I didn’t either and I was quite pleasantly surprised by the taste. I’ve even tried it on salads as a dressing and it has a mild peppery and sweet vinaigrette flavor.

In the winter months, I sometimes take a teaspoon or so of this a day or use it on salads. If illness hits, I’ll take that dose every few hours or add a tablespoon to hot water or herbal tea a few times a day until I feel better.

For the kids, I reduce the cayenne or leave it out and they don’t mind the taste too much since the honey helps balance out the vinegar taste.

If you try fire cider and like it, I highly recommend Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs book as the reason I first discovered this remedy (and may I suggest my Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox book for many more natural remedy and beauty recipes as well!).

On to the recipe:

Fire Cider natural remedy for colds, flu and sore throat

Spicy Fire Cider Recipe

An old herbal remedy that uses the germ-fighting properties of onion, garlic, ginger, and herbs. plus vinegar and raw honey for an immune boosting and nourishing drink with a little kick.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 14 days 5 minutes
Author Katie Wells




  • Place onion, garlic, ginger, and echinacea root, organge, and jalapeño if using in a quart size mason jar. Make sure garlic is at the bottom and completely submerged.
  • Add enough apple cider vinegar to cover the ingredients. Use a fermentation weight to make sure all ingredients are below the liquid level.
  • Cap tightly and leave in the jar for 2-3 weeks, preferably in a sunny or slightly warm place.
  • After 2-3 weeks, strain and discard the herbs.
  • After straining, measure the apple cider vinegar left and mix it with an equal amount of raw honey and add the cayenne pepper.
  • Store in the refrigerator and take 1 teaspoon as needed daily or when illness strikes. I’ve taken as much as 1 teaspoon an hour during illness until I felt better.


Nutrition Facts
Spicy Fire Cider Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 tsp)
Calories 0
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Don’t worry about the garlic turning green — it’s a normal reaction for garlic immersed in an acid. 

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Shani Muhammad, MD, board certified in family medicine and has been practicing for over ten years. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor or work with a doctor at SteadyMD.

Ever made a spicy cider like this? What is your favorite natural remedy for cold and flu?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


134 responses to “Spicy Fire Cider Recipe – Natural Cold Remedy”

  1. Alexandria Avatar

    I love fire cider!! I just made some of this today and I was ridiculously excited until I put my honey in with everything else! I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere online if this is still safe? Should it be thrown out? I’m also worried it will act like the ginger bug and ferment. (I have it in a Fido jar of that makes any difference)
    Thank you for any insite you may have on this.

    1. Mare Avatar

      I make a different version of fire cider that I always use kombucha that has turned to vinegar, when I make it. The first time I made it this way was just because I was out of ACV and I live a long way from a store. It worked so well, I intentionally let kombucha go to vinegar just for this purpose. Just so you know, it will grow a new scoby.

  2. Victoria Avatar

    I tried making this but I’m not sure if it came out right. Is it normal after 2-3 weeks for the liquid at the bottom to be GREEN? Or is that mold and I should discard?? Help!

    1. Kareena Avatar

      Same thing happened to me and noone responded when I asked so I tossed both jars. Seems like a few people have asked the same question though.maybe it was right.

      1. Victoria Avatar

        So I started doing a little Internet researching and apparently it is normal for garlic to turn greenish blue when it’s in an acidic environment like being soaked in vinegar. The websites I looked at said it was safe to eat. Hope this helps!

        1. Kareena Avatar

          That is helpful! When sitting in the jar, does it go bad any point? Is 3 Weeks the maximum time?

          1. Janet Avatar

            Vinegar is a preservative. This concoction is not going to go anywhere near bad, especially if strained and refrigerated.

  3. Yvonne Avatar

    how many mls is this recipe supposed to make as you do not state how much ACV you are using. I would like to make 4 batches of 200mls each to give to my family members

  4. Christine Avatar

    I made fire cider recently and I strained out all the big stuff, but there is still a lot of…particulate(?)..or powdery stuff…so it’s cloudy if stirred. I personally don’t think it would be an issue to leave it because it’s from the healthy ingredients I used to make the fire cider and I would assume the powdery stuff would be beneficial, as well, but I decided to go a search and I am not finding anything about anyone saying they chose not to thoroughly strain theirs. I think this is probably just because a very clear liquid is more appealing to the eye, but I’m not positive. Can you shed any light on this topic? I really don’t think there’d be a problem leaving it all in there as it’d probably just serve as some extra oomph with fighting colds (the main reason I made it), but since it seems everyone thoroughly strains theirs, I just thought I’d ask to see if maybe there actually is a reason to strain it really well.

    1. christine Avatar

      Still waiting for an answer :/ Wondering what I’m supposed to do with my fire cider.

      1. Bethany Avatar

        I’ve seen some recipes where they talk about eating the chunks in it if you can handle it, so I doubt a bit of particulate would be an issue.

  5. Kori Avatar

    I have made elderberry syrup for a few years and was on here today for that recipe (have it simmering now). I noticed this recipe. How would you say these compare? Does one seem to be better than another, for different ages (kids vs adults?), one daily and one as needed? Just trying to decide if I need this one as well.
    Thank you! Going to make elderberry gummies tonight. My first time to try that version!

  6. Kathy Avatar

    Which do you think is better the fire cider or elderberry syrup? Or do they have two different uses?
    I swear by the elderberry syrup but it is quite costly.

  7. Sierra Avatar

    a word of caution on raw ACV with the mother. my naturopath said it’s the leading cause of SIBO in her practice. I have been drinking it for a few years and have many symptoms of SIBO and am getting tested. i’m steering clear from now on! organic, pasteurized and filtered vinegar from now on (and no kombucha either!)

    1. Janet Avatar

      Wow, that’s the first I’ve heard of that connection. If true, that’s big news.

    2. Judy Avatar

      Love Fire Cider! Sorry Sierra, your Dr has it backwards! ACV wards off SIBO…do your own research…you may have something else going in if you have symptoms….and there are very many to chose from! Good you’re getting testing….
      ACV has handled every little body bacteria I’ve ever had including sore kidneys and bladder and even directly on rashes… As many others have… good luck!

  8. Cassie Avatar

    My jars have been out for a week and a half. The liquid in one of the bottles is greenish/blue and the other looks normal. Did I do something wrong?

    1. Lauren Avatar

      I made two jars last week and they also look green to me. Like moldy almost. I capped them tightly with parchment paper under the lid and placed them on a window sill that gets morning light. I used the recipe from here but added fresh thyme and oregano. I’m curious is this is the herbs breaking down. Did you add any green herbs?

  9. Rose Avatar

    Thank you for this recipe and I am so anxious to taste this recipe. EXCEPT, I made the mistake of adding the honey at the start. Should I keep it in the refrigerator now?

  10. Kerri Avatar

    If I were to be in a place without refrigeration, would the healing properties still be in place if I used dry ingredients vs fresh?

    1. JM Avatar

      Yes. I don’t refrigerate mine and it is still powerful 10 months later. Vinegar preserves!!

      1. JM Avatar

        However, I never add honey. If I intended to, I would add it as I was consuming it.

  11. Amy Avatar

    Is it possible to make several batches of this at a time and then freeze some?

      1. Pete Avatar

        That is great! Would you freeze up the whole recipe or strain out the veggies first?
        Thank you,

  12. Linda Avatar

    Katie, I had never heard of anything like this until your post. It sounds great and I think I might try it daily for general health but with the horseradish instead. I was just reading in the book Food-Your Miracle Medicine how healthy onions, garlic & hot spices are for us. I love your blog with such great natural health tips & recipes. Thanks for all you do & God bless!

  13. Crystal Avatar

    5 stars
    I recently got back from a trip to which i had to fly. I felt a cold coming on and had a runny nose. Lucky i had started my first batch of this 2 weeks earlier, and it was ready. I took 1 tsp every couple of hours and with in 2 days i was 100%. This would have usefully been a week to 2 week ordeal. It differently has a kick to it, but i kinda liked that.

    1. Jim Moomaw Avatar
      Jim Moomaw

      I usually get sick after flying….kI am thinking I will be taking it a couple days before, during the trip and afterwards!

  14. Antoinette Avatar

    Hello, I have had this brewing for a few days now, is it normal for the colour to turn blueish?

  15. Kathryn Lorusso Avatar
    Kathryn Lorusso

    I just came across this post and realized I just bought something very similar…all raw ingredients…its delicious and nice to have in the cupboard if you need it in an emergency! Once opened, it does need to be refrigerated.

  16. Kathie Avatar

    I decided to try this as it sounded great! I put all ingredients together and placed in a warm place and 2 days later checked it. I found that my garlic cloves had turned a blue the color of copper. Nothing else was blue, just the cloves. Does this mean mold? It doesn’t really look moldy. Is this normal? Should I toss this? I’m not sure what to do.

  17. lynnhall Avatar

    I’ve got some raw coconut vinegar. Am I correct that it would do instead of the raw apple cider vinegar?

  18. Kelly Crout Avatar
    Kelly Crout

    5 stars
    I started making a variation of this at home this fall. My husband calls it witches brew (teasingly) I have also been adding an infusion of marsmallow root and mulllein to mine with some lemon juice and sometimes some flavored kombucha for taste. I usually get sick every year when the seasons change and anytime my husband or I feel a sniffle or soar throat we take a couple spoons full of this, so far I have not gotten sick yet. my husband did aquire a small cold when I first decided to try it and it seemed to shorten his. I want to thank you for giving such helpful information, your site is a definate go to when I am researching something.

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