Boost Your Immune System with Fire Cider

This post is also available in: Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish


By Alicia Ghio

I am not a doctor. This post is no substitute for professional medical advice. Please use your best judgment.

As we head into the winter holiday season, it seems like everyone is sniffling and coughing. Even before the first sign of a cold, I head to the kitchen. It sounds crazy, but I typically have all the ingredients necessary for a bit of homemade immune boosting.

Fire cider is a folk remedy designed to boost your immune system with ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and circulation boosting. Traditional fire cider needs to be made and marinated for up to four weeks before it’s ready to consume. My recipe uses similar ingredients but allows for immediate gratification. My version simmers gently on the stove so all the ingredients infuse into the liquid. It may not be as potent as the original but I think it still gives your body some germ-fighting assistance.

Some of the ingredients and their reported benefits:

  • Ginger: helps with muscle pain, upset stomach, gas, upper respiratory infections and cough.
  • Garlic: helps treat fungal infections, builds immune system, helps with asthma, cholesterol and heart related issues.
  • Cayenne pepper: boosts metabolism, relives pain.
  • Lemon: aids in digestion, improves function of blood vessels, anti-inflammatory, source of Vitamin C.
  • Turmeric: an overall anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, antifungal powerhouse.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar: good source of Vitamin C, mineral salts and amino acids, eases digestion and helps wash away toxins.
  • Local honey: antiviral and antifungal, assists as a cough suppressant and throat soother.

This remedy can assist your body when it’s already playing host to germs, and it can also help boost your immune system before they lay claim to it. And remember, you can adjust this recipe to your tastes.

Fire Cider

Makes 1 pint


  • 2 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon local honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or two fresh hot peppers, chopped)
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric powder


  1. Add all the ingredients into a small saucepan.
  2. Place pan over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover and let it gently simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Strain the liquid into a glass pint jar.
  5. Cover the jar with a small piece of parchment paper; screw on the lid. (The acidity of the vinegar can cause the metal lid to rust. The parchment paper prevents this from happening.)
  6. Store in refrigerator.
  7. Consume a shot a day to support your immune system or a few shots if you’re starting to feel under the weather. You can take fire cider hot or cold, straight up or mixed in a drink.

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