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Four Thieves Vinegar ~ Fire Cider

Working in harmony with the unfolding season, medicine making for myself and my family is always fun. It restores traditions and rituals that nourish my soul and spirit.

In the winter months the respiratory system can feel compromised so lets turn towards the fire.

Fire Cider was originally called Four Thieves Vinegar and here lies the tale. I love Herbal Medicine because we get to hear stories, study history and stand in awe of great herbalists like Rosemary Gladstar that stand up and fight for our our right to make remedies and call them magical names like 'Fire Cider' which is the perfect name for a perfect home winter remedy.

Back in the 17th Century in Marseilles a posse of grave robbers managed to survive their opportunistic employment evading death, disease, even the Great Plague of Marseille. This was the last major outbreak of the bubonic plague known as 'The Black Death' that killed 100 000 people in two years. How did they manage to be in such close contact with victims and not catch the disease?

The robbers were eventually caught and were offered the following bargain. they could be hanged instead of burned if they revealed their technique....

The robbers agreed and revealed that they covered their bodies and soaked face masks in a brew of vinegar; antiseptic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal: Fire Cider.

As with most traditional remedies there is 'wiggle room' for personal inspiration. We do not have an accurate historical account of the recipe however, the early 20th century herbalist Jean Valet through historical endeavor may have the most accurate recipe.

Original Recipe

Horseradish, Wormwood, Meadowsweet, Rosemary, Juniper berries, Wild marjoram, Sage, 50 cloves, 3g camphor, 2oz of each root Elecampane, Angelica, Horehound, white wine vinegar.

Modern Recipe

Grated 1 part Horseradish, 1 part garlic, 1 part Onion, 1/2 part Ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne , herbs turmeric, rosemary, thyme, meadowsweet, tiny pinch wormwood, sage, parsley, star anise, black pepper, Apple Cider Vinegar, in kilner jar leave 4-6 weeks and succus daily, strain and add honey to taste. Dose between 1 tsp-1 Tbsp ~ 3-5 x daily.

Daily consumption of fire cider or Dragon fire will improve digestion, improve circulation, support your immune system and relieve sinus congestion, and congested headaches. Traditionally Horseradish was used in urinary disorders. Scientific research further supports traditional use notably the enzyme Peroxidase HRP reduces cellular inflammation and Allyl isothiocyanate the principal constituent holds significant anti-inflammatory capacity.

Fire is life, movement, warmth

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