Turmeric fire cider (aka Master tonic)

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The kids and I have been taking turns at being sick over the past few weeks. As soon as one gets better the next one goes down like a fly, ache-y, and with a sore head and blocked nose, you all know the feeling I’m sure. I hit them with my usual cold and flu arsonry consisting of homeopathic remedies, olive leaf extract and copious amounts of echinacea and vitamin C. It most definitely shortens our colds and helps us get on our feet quite quickly, but this time around I also wanted to try my hand at making fire cider, which I’ve seen in many different forms on Pinterest over the years. 

Fire Cider, also known as Fire Water or Master Tonic, has been around for ever. It’s logic is sound; cram as many anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients as you can into a glass jar and leave to mingle, which turns it into a golden elixir of sorts. Now I’m no doctor or health professional for that matter, but this stuff is a really good one to add to your bag of natural tricks when fighting the common cold. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty full on tasting (read: burning in your throat and chest when you swallow it!) and I’m not even going to subject my kids to it’s, well, fire. But it really did help me feel better, instantly cleared my blocked nose and head, no joke (and mine had only been steeping for about 5 days when I fell sick).

Turmeric fire cider
You can make as little or as much of this as you like. I started out with just a small amount to try it out, but will be making in bulk next time. I use Braggs apple cider vinegar, but any good quality (local would be even better!) unrefined, unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar will do.


Place roughly equal amounts of onion, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric (or a little powdered if that’s all you have), fresh horseradish (if available) and chilli into a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a clean glass jar and cover with unfiltered apple cider vinegar, to generously cover the mixture. Screw on the lid and set in a cool dark place for 2-4 weeks, giving it all a good shake once a day. Strain off the liquid gold, bottle and compost the vegetables (don’t put into your worm farm unless you want to kill your worms!). Store in a dark cool spot, where I’ve read it will keep indefinitely or refrigerate if you are overly cautious.  

To consume, drink 1 tablespoon as a shot- followed quickly by something nice tasting… like a piece of orange. It burns, just a warning. Or mix with a little honey, to taste and thin with a touch of luke warm water. Some people take this daily all year round, but I’m gonna just stick to the winter months and see how I go.

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or health professional. If you’re really sick, seek medical advice from a trained professional.

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    valentina | sweet kabocha
    June 3, 2015 at 6:10 am

    I've never seen this natural cure but I already love it, it seems so powerful!

  • Reply
    maya
    June 3, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    wow this looks amazing! sick right now, definitely going to make a batch for the future 🙂 beautiful photos too

  • Reply
    Abby
    June 3, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I love this, Emma! What a genius recipe. And I hope everyone in your family is feeling well today!! xo

  • Reply
    joseph muita
    June 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe. I’ll try it in weekend

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    June 12, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Pretty interesting. By looking at that jar, that common cold seems like it'll yield in no time :)…Thanks for sharing this elixir. Putting this in our notebook of cold busters 🙂

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  • Reply
    Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts
    June 13, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Wow, I have never seen anything like this before. If I am sick I always make ginger tea, so I can imagine this will be amazing. Can't wait to try it, although I don't want to be sick so I guess I might have to try it for prevention.

  • Reply
    Lia
    June 22, 2015 at 3:58 am

    I have been relying on Hilbilby's Fire Tonic this winter to keep the ills away. It seems to be working, no colds for me as yet. It's made in Torquay, just down the road from me, and is a fermented mix of ACV, raw honey, spices and veg. It definitely has a kick but I'm so used to it now that I have started salivating whilst thinking of it. I will have to try your version when I run out, the colour looks amazing, good old turmeric.

  • Reply
    Unknown
    April 28, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Any ideas where I can pick up some local horseradish? I'm in Torquay.

  • Reply
    Samual Kazungu
    June 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Good article. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Reply
    Psych Nairo
    June 23, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Turmeric has been used for its medicinal properties in Asian and African countries for years. thanks for highlighting it in your great blog for other to benefit from it.

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