Today’s homeschooling adventure was spent it the kitchen. I am always trying to find ways to incorporate herbs into everyday living in ways that are tasty and fun.
Not only do herbs give us thousands and thousands of phytonutrients we don’t get elsewhere, they are beyond just simply nutritious. They are healing. They can help our immunity stay strong, negate radiation effects, calm our mind, increase our energy, soothe pain, vanquish irritability and much, much more.
I am sharing with you one of the two recipes we made today: Fire Cider. Seannie (5 years old) was my main helper today though both kids love learning about herbs.
When anyone is new to herbs and their uses, I recommend keeping it really simple. Herbs are very complex and I find it easy to get overwhelmed. I recommend just learning one thing at a time. As soon as you can remember that one thing (ie Chamomile is good for helping us sleep), then add one more thing onto that (Chamomile is also good for upset bellies).
Fire Cider is a traditional folk cold remedy. I love it because you can easily find all the ingredients at your grocery store! Even though many of these herbs may seem common, don’t let their humbleness fool you. This is POWERFUL medicine. Your sinuses may clear even when making it!
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Fire Cider Ingredients
1/2 cup grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup grated fresh turmeric root
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup grate fresh horseradish root
10 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
zest and juice from one lemon
2 tbsp dried rosemary leaves
apple cider vinegar
(see options below)
In a wide mouthed quart jar, place all the herbs and spices. Fill up with apple cider vinegar so that everything is covered. Fill to the top of the jar. Place a piece of parchament paper over the lid so the vinegar doesn’t touch the metal and shake well. Store in a cool, dark area but remember to shake every day for one month. Strain and squeeze out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Add 1/4 cup honey, mix and taste. You can add more honey if needed to reach your desired level of sweetness.
Options: Organic is best but don’t let that stop you. This recipe is forgiving and has many variations. If you cant find fresh turmeric root, use 1 tbsp turmeric powder. You can also add 2 chopped jalepeno peppers or 1 habenero to really spice things up. I have also seen people add a whole lemon or orange thinly sliced. Other variations include spices like whole peppercorns, fresh rosemary, thyme and/or oregano. Feel free to play around!
These herbs are very potent! They are immune stimulating, helping your body fight off or overcome any viral or bacterial invaders. They are also directly anti-microbial–garlic is my favorite antibiotic. I have even used it to cure strept throat. The horseradish clears sinuses, and along with the garlic, hot peppers (if added) will increase circulation and cause sweating which are both good to fight off illness. The turmeric is a super potent anti-inflammatory and the ginger is great for soothing stomachs, increasing circulation and makes us sweat! Even the apple cider vinegar (clears congestion and aids digestion) and honey (soothing to mucus membranes) are healing.
You know what else is great about this stuff? It’s safe for kids, adults, pregnant women because it’s food. Even if your child drank the whole thing at once, except for maybe a little heart burn and sweating, they would be ok.
Ok, now what? How do you use this stuff?
There are many ways:
- as a salad dressing
- drink 1 tbsp straight every day as prevention
- if you feel an illness coming on take 1-2 tbsp every hour for the first 4-6 hours, then reduce to 1 tbsp every 3-4 hours until symptoms reside
- put 1 tbsp in a mug and add hot water to make a tea
- Mix with apple juice, lemonade or orange juice
- Use as a marinade
- In soups, stews, chilis
- anywhere you would use vinegar
Experiment and tell me your favorite way!