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"This is delicious and effective! After a heavy meal in the evening, I sometimes take a spoonful and it helps ease..."- Suzy,
How to Make Homemade Fire Cider
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 0 MINUTES
SKILL LEVEL: EASY
SKILL LEVEL: EASY
PREPARATION OF THIS HEALTHY RECIPE
1. Shred the fresh ginger, horseradish, and turmeric.
How Does This Ayurvedic Recipe Improve Wellness?
CLINICAL AYURVEDIC REVIEW
With searing hot jalapenos, piquant ginger, and tart apple cider vinegar, this bold tonic revs up all your senses at once. Its distinctive tangy taste will add some much needed zest and pizzazz to your day. Be warned, this powerful ferment is quite intense. You don't need much of this potent tonic to gain the benefits. Make sure to wash your hands after making this one - it is the last thing you want to get near your eyes!
Ward Off Winter Colds & FlusWhen flu season hits, your immunity is put to the test. If it seems like everyone is catching the latest bug, protect your immune system with a daily dose of fire cider. The immune system exists mainly in the plasma (rasa) and blood (rakta), and strong circulation improves immune function. Pungent and dispersing, this tonic dilates blood vessels and increases circulation. You might even notice a flush in your cheeks and warm skin after a spoon of it.
Its diaphoretic qualities increase sweating, and can help the body "sweat out" a cold or flu. It opens the pores which can help reduce a low grade fever. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this is known as "opening the exterior" for the pathogen to be expelled. This tonic, based off an old folk remedy, is antibacterial and antiviral, helping kill certain harmful pathogens in the gut without disrupting the balance of healthy bacteria. It is also known to maintain the balance of bacteria around the throat too, warding off painful, scratchy throats. To enhance the throat soothing effects, add 10 whole cloves to the recipe.
You can say goodbye to seasonal allergies and congestion when you introduce fire cider to your home remedy reserve. The pungent taste liquefies and decongests excess mucus in both the digestive system (kledaka kapha) and upper respiratory tract (avalambaka kapha), meaning you feel less congested and can breathe easier.
Maximize MetabolismDo you feel heavy and bloated after meals? Do you feel sluggish and fatigued in the mornings? This fire cider will kick your metabolism into gear. The heat of this tonic stimulates your digestive fire (agni) by waking up the lining of the digestive tract. You'll feel light and energized after a morning dose. Not only that, its lightness also contributes to improved clarity of mind, helping you feel more sharp and focused as you go about your day. Its tangy fermented taste will enliven your taste buds too.
The pungency of this tonic is particularly beneficial for Kapha types, increasing their sluggish digestion and metabolism (mandagni). The sourness of this tonic strongly stimulates the flow of bile, helping you digest fat more efficiently and aid weight loss. Bile has a laxative effect, and regulating bile flow will help ensure regular elimination. This fire cider is a fermented tonic. Ferments are pre-digested by bacteria and are easily absorbed in the digestive tract. This, combined with its sour and pungent taste, revs up metabolism of all the tissues (dhatu agni).
Balance the HeatPitta types may want to sample fire cider with caution as its heating effect (virya) may overpower them. Fermented foods, in excess, can also spoil the blood, overheat, and aggravate Pitta. However, the key ingredients of this recipe - fresh ginger, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar - all have an anti-inflammatory effect. With a few adjustments, and in the right quantities, this tonic can be made a little more Pitta friendly!
Fresh ginger and turmeric stimulate digestion without aggravating acidity. Turmeric is a rich source of curcumin, a bright yellow compound produced by some plants that has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, a known liver tonic that also helps drain bile, cleanse the liver, and in turn, cool Pitta inflammation. Pittas should omit the jalapenos, horseradish, and cayenne from this recipe, and can substitute with 1 tbsp of both coriander and fennel seeds instead.
How to Use Fire CiderOne of the most popular ways to enjoy fire cider is as a morning shot, as its potency wakes you up and puts a spring in your step on a dull morning. However, this option won't be suited to everyone. While you may love the sharp, intensity of a shot of fire cider in the morning, be aware if you feel any digestive irritation. To make this cider a little more mellow, use a base to dilute. Put a tablespoon into your morning mug of hot water for a stimulating tea.
If you want something with a little more sweetness, add it to a glass of pineapple juice. Pineapple juice has the added benefit of further increasing enzyme production as it contains bromelain which supports protein digestion. For those with a Pitta constitution, add splash to a glass of coconut water or carrot juice. Get creative with your batch of fire cider! Add a couple of tablespoons to salad dressings for a fiery kick or pour a dash on top of seltzer water for a refreshing "mocktail."
WHY EAT AN AYURVEDIC DIET?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. An Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body type and the specific imbalances you are working with at any given time. Ayurveda shows you your specific body type’s needs and what should be favored in your Ayurvedic menu. Watch as you eat less but feel more satisfied because what you are eating truly nourishes you. Since Ayurveda believes all disease begins in the digestive tract, food is your first medicine. By eating a healthy diet that’s ideal for your body, you experience optimal health.
Is Homemade Fire Cider Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?
Experiences are PersonalExperiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary. The list of herbal-actions below has not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Here are the herbal actions of Homemade Fire Cider:
APPETITE-SUPPRESSANTSuppresses hunger without causing weight gain.
WARMS-ABDOMENWarms the muscles and organs of the abdomen, stimulating digestion and metabolism.
SIALOGOGUEA sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a lesser degree. Astringents.
BURNS-TOXINSAn herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
DETOXICANTAn herb that decongests or dislodges toxins from the body and the lymphatic, transforming or altering fluids to a more healthy state.
WAKES-YOU-UPInvigorates the body and nervous system, increases energy.
DIAPHORETICAn herb that induces sweating, often by dilating blood vessels close to the skin.
WARMS-CHESTWarms the chest and lungs, clearing mucus and allowing for clear breathing. Often these herbs are hot, aromatic, and pungent.
FLUSHES-SINUSESAn herb that relieves sinus congestion by flushing out mucus.
IRRITATES-THROATCreates abrasive feeling in the back of the mouth. May stimulate coughing.
BRONCHODILATORAn herb that encourages the widening or opening of the lung airways. They are helpful in wheezing and asthma.
DECONGESTANTAn herb that reduces mucus production often by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORYReduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
FLUSHES-MEMBRANESHerbs in this category stimulate mucus membranes to release fluids, flushing them out.
CARDIAC-STIMULANTHerbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
ALTERATIVERestores the proper function of the body by cleansing the blood and balancing blood chemistry. In Ayurveda terms, they pacify Pitta in rakta. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
DIURETICHerbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
LIVOTONICAn herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias. Generally, liver tonics are oily, cool, sweet, mildly sour, or contain beta-carotene.
CHOLAGOGUECholagogues stimulate the production & release of bile from the liver & gallbladder. This refreshes and cleanses these organs, as well as increases bile in the small intestines.
POLYPHENOLSPolyphenols are powerful antioxidants seen in many fruits and vegetables. There are more than 8,000 types.
AROMATASE-INHIBITORBlocks estrogen synthesis by inhibiting conversion of progesterone and testosterone into estrogen.
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.
Eat Well for Life With Ayurveda: Balance Your Dosha
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This recipe is recommended for Spring. Check out these other Spring recipes here.