I learned how to make firewater in college, almost 20 years ago. I went with my suitemate to a class taught by a Naturopath about making wellness elixirs and tinctures at home using real food as medicine. I was riveted by all we learned that day, especially a spicy vinegar concoction she called FIREWATER.
Over the years I’ve seen it called by other names like Fire Cider and Fire Vinegar. Also, the recipes vary widely. Some add lemon and rosemary, others honey. I don’t know which version was first or which is best. What I do know is the recipe I make, the one I’ve tweaked and perfected over the years, has served me well for almost two decades. I can’t imagine my household, or my well-being, without it.
Here’s what I love about it and why:
- It’s full of probiotics and all the good kinds of bacteria your gut needs. Did you know that the health of your gut biodome is directly related to your emotional well-being? Science has made correlations between gut flora and anxiety. People with high anxiety also have less beneficial bacteria in their guts. People who experience less anxiety have much more beneficial gut flora.
- It helps boost immunity. It’s a powerhouse of naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal ingredients. When your body is under stress, emotional or otherwise, it weakens your immune system. Just a teaspoon or two a day strengthens immunity and provides an extra layer of immune protection when you need it most. I take it regularly for overall immune support, but I take extra when I know I’m experiencing more stress than usual, feel I might be coming down with something, or have been traveling, working extra long hours, or not getting enough sleep.
- It improves digestion. Raw apple cider vinegar has long been a remedy for low stomach acid. One of the body’s biological responses to stress is to shut down digestion. While not a bad thing every once in a while, prolonged stress can cause digestion to remain impaired. A little Firewater before each meal improves the digestion process. Better digestion means better assimilation and absorption of the nutrients in the food you eat – an essential part of healing.
- It tastes good. So many natural remedies are disgusting, but not firewater. I mix my daily 2 teaspoons with an ounce and a half of Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots (I like the beet one, but the turmeric one is good too) and follow with a glass of water. It’s delicious. I also put it in my salad dressings, broth, soups, and marinades when it makes sense. Be warned though, it’s tasty, but it’s also very hot. I’m talking blow-your-head-off hot. When you take your daily serving, you MUST dilute it in water or other liquid. When you use it in cooking, use it sparingly. I’ve spent almost two decades building up my Firewater tolerance so I can down the stuff, but if you are new, ease in. Start with a half teaspoon in 2-3 ounces of water to see where you stand. Adjust accordingly and increase as tolerated.
Firewater does come with a few considerations I think you should know. I learned these things the hard way so allow me to save you the trouble. None of these things are catastrophic but worth mentioning nonetheless.
- If you drink too much of it, you might get diarrhea. Especially at first. As I mentioned before, start slow.
- It will burn your eyes like crazy, so don’t get it on your fingers and then rub your eyes. You’ll have a bad day.
- Keep it out of reach of children. It isn’t poisonous but it will cause extreme pain if they drink it or get it in their eyes.
- If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, liver problems, or IBS avoid Firewater. Spicy food is stimulating and warming to the body, which, under normal circumstances is a good thing. It functions as a sort of jumpstart to your system. This stimulation turns from invigorating to depleting though when your adrenals are exhausted, liver is taxed, or bowels are inflamed. I recommend using raw Apple Cider Vinegar on its own for these conditions and avoid all super-spicy food until recovered.
And now, the recipe!
- 1 small white or yellow onion (not a sweet onion)
- 1 small head of garlic
- 1 large knob of fresh ginger root, about 3 inches long
- 1/2 cup fresh turmeric roots
- 1/2 cup fresh horseradish root (the kind you have to peel, not the kind in the jar)
- 2 habanero or jalapeno peppers
- 1 16oz bottle of raw apple cider vinegar
You’ll need a blender for this recipe. Peel the onion and garlic and put it in the blender. Wash the ginger root and turmeric roots and place in blender, no peeling necessary. Peel the horseradish and chop it into four or five chunks, add to blender. Throw the whole peppers in the blender, seeds and all. Pour the entire bottle of raw apple cider vinegar into the blender.
Place the lid tightly onto the blender and puree on high until all the ingredients turn into a juicy pulp. If it is too thick, add more vinegar.
Pour the pulpy, not too thick, vinegar concoction into glass jars with lids. Seal tightly. Leave the jars out on your counter for 5 days at room temperature, shaking them once a day. After that, store them in the fridge.
The pulp will settle to the bottom of the jars. Take 1-2 teaspoons of the vinegar on the top of the pulp diluted in 3-4 ounces of water daily. When the vinegar runs low, just add more to the same pulp and start the 5-day process all over again. You can reuse the pulp 2-3 times.
Would you like more FREE Healing recipes?