Organic Prepper: Fire Cider – How to Make a Remedy for the Flu

Herbalist and author Cat Ellis writes this post about Fire Cider, a flu remedy, for The Organic Prepper. Cat Ellis also has her own web site Herbal Prepper.

Fire Cider: How to Make a Fast, Effective Remedy for the Flu

One of my favorite remedies for cold and flu season is fire cider. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory, immune-supporting, and decongestant herbs. Best of all, it’s super simple to make. Even though the combination sounds bizarre, it’s actually tasty in a sweet and sour kind of way.

Fire cider can be made entirely with items from the grocery store, or customized with more exotic herbs from an herb shop. I even have an “instant” version to share with you…

When we have the flu, we feel congested, achy, feverish, and have a bad cough. The traditional recipe for fire cider is loaded with simple, familiar, yet potent, ingredients which address each of those complaints.

Garlic

Garlic is well-known for its immune-supporting effects. It also acts as an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory, which helps those painful coughs and body aches. It is also known as a diaphoretic, which means it causes the body to sweat. This helps to reduce fevers naturally. Thankfully, fresh garlic is a common ingredient in most grocery stores.

Onion

Onion and garlic are both alliums, and therefore are related plants. They also share some similarities in properties. The unassuming onion is a potent expectorant and eases coughs. Onion is often used in cough syrups for this reason. Onions are so accessible in every store, please do use fresh onion.

Ginger

Warming ginger root also helps to induce sweating and fever reduction. Ginger also acts as an antispasmodic, which helps to ease those terrible coughing fits. It is highly recommended to use fresh ginger root (technically, it’s a rhizome, but no one ever bothers to call it that).

Horseradish

Horseradish is excellent for relieving congestion. It is also an effective diaphoretic (sweat-inducing/fever-reducing) herb. On top of that, horseradish is also an expectorant. What could be better for the flu? Sometimes, horseradish can be hard to find at the grocery store. It is in the mustard family, so go ahead and substitute some crushed mustard seed or mustard powder if you need to.

Cayenne

Cayenne is hot, but it is also a superior anti-inflammatory. I use it every time I’m congested to relieve the inflammation in my sinuses which make the sensation of congestion worse. This hot pepper can also get a congested nose running again, making blowing your nose a lot more productive. You can use any kind of hot pepper you wish. You can use fresh hot peppers, cayenne powder, or red pepper flakes.

Turmeric

Is there anyone left who doesn’t know that turmeric is anti-inflammatory? Because of this, turmeric is a huge help for reducing that achy feeling we get with the flu. There’s only one grocery store near me that sells it fresh. If you can find it fresh, great. If not, use the powdered herb.

Apple cider vinegar

Of all natural health products, apple cider vinegar has probably more health claims to it than any other. I’m dubious about most of these claims. However, it is a good menstruum (solvent) to extract the benefits out of the other ingredients. It also does seem to help ease coughing and congestion. I stick with the raw apple cider vinegar, and thankfully, this is also a common grocery store item.

Lemon

There is just something so wonderful about lemon. It lends both its bright flavor and its powerful decongestant properties to this recipe. You can use fresh lemon slices or add lemon juice at the end. Also, play with adding lime and other citrus fruits for fun.

Honey

Honey is effective at calming coughs. Our kids’ pediatrician was thrilled when we told her we keep bees, as cough suppressants had been found ineffective for children, while honey had been shown effective as a cough suppressant. Honey lends the sweet flavor to this hot, sweet, and sour remedy. Honey is added at the end…

I know, I know, a lot of people are thinking, “It takes two weeks or longer to make, but I”m sick now!” That’s ok, I’ve got you covered with an instant version. Check out the video below to see how this herbal wizardry comes together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soYIDALYoeQ

Click here to read the entire article. If you don’t want to, or can’t, watch the videos, the article has the text instructions for making the two-week fire cider.

Prep School Daily: Herbal Medicine – Honey

Another informative article from Jennifer is up at her Prep School Daily blog on the many benefits of honey.

…A simple online search for the medicinal uses of honey yields dozens of hits, if not hundreds, including all the health benefits of honey.  It’s touted for helping with all manner of problems, from acne to weight loss.  We’ll stick with what honey is most especially used for in a true medicinal sense when our society has collapsed.  After all, our honey supply may be limited and taking a teaspoon every day for allergies or in the evening to sleep better will exhaust our stores quickly.

First off, studies have shown that honey is more effective at quieting a cough in children than any over-the-counter cough syrup. Parents also reported that their children slept better.  (However, honey should never, under any circumstance, be given to a child under 12 months of age.)  In addition, it should be noted that the FDA has recommended removing many children’s OTC cough syrups from the shelves because of adverse reactions.  Fortunately, we have honey, which is safer, more effective, and cheaper.  Just a teaspoon or two is all that is needed.  And it works for adults as well.  Also, honey tea does a tremendous job soothing sore throats.  Just remember, when making your tea, boil the water first, remove from heat, and then add the honey.  Boiling the honey itself will reduce or entirely negate many of its medicinal qualities.

Dr. Joseph Alton, author of The Survival Medicine Handbook, notes that honey was used to treat asthma in 19th century.  Patients were directed to breathe deeply from a jar of honey, and improvement usually occurred within a few minutes.  To decrease the number of future episodes, doctors advised drinking one teaspoon of honey in twelve ounces of water three times per day.

As far as healing wounds goes, honey works in much the same manner as sugar, which was discussed last week.  Wounds, especially chronic wounds that aren’t healing, have an alkaline pH, which provides an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, especially MRSA.  Honey (and sugar) are acidic, so they alter the pH and this kills the bacteria.  Honey may be spread directly on a wound and over the surrounding edges, but it will probably be more comfortable for the patient if the honey is spread on some gauze first and then applied to the wound…

Click here to read the entire article at Prep School Daily.