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Is Fire Cider the Cure for the Common Cold?

January 26, 2014

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It’s that time of the year. The holidays are over and our immune systems’ defenses are plummeting right along with the thermostat. Getting a cold seems inevitable. Or maybe not?

The team over at Shire City Herbals in western Massachusetts claims to have seemingly magical elixir, Fire Cider, which not only fights colds and the flu, but also relieves allergies and heartburn, aids in digestion, and improves energy, among many other benefits. Sounds pretty great, no doubt about that. But any purported fix-all invites a little suspicion, so let’s look a little closer at the stuff!

Fire Cider originates out of a longheld New England tradition of mixing together apple cider vinegar and honey as a remedy for most anything, though ACV itself has been used for its medicinal purposes since as far back as 400 B.C. In this incarnation, however, there are a lot more bells and whistles added to the vinegar base to beef up Fire Cider’s health-boosting power.

Those additions are raw wildflower honey, oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric, and habanero pepper (all organic, all raw, all gluten-free). When I read those ingredients, I felt my inner skeptic quiet down—this might be the real deal. Let’s take it ingredient by ingredient:

Raw honey can boost energy and support the good bacteria in our gut. Oranges and lemons pack a powerful vitamin C punch, which we all know is essential for the immune system. Onions, in turn, contain phytochemicals that improve vitamin C’s ability to function within the body. Ginger’s healing powers are well known, from anti-inflammatory properties to help with digestion. Horseradish is packed with Vitamin C and can help relieve sinus infections, and has been used since ancient times as a natural remedy. Garlic is a serious superfood that has a long list of benefits, including combating allergies and fighting respiratory problems. Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. And habanero peppers—well, these spicy little bad boys have been shown to burn pesky colds right out of your system, while also supporting circulation, soothing your tummy, and more.

Shire City recommends drinking Fire Cider in all sorts of different ways, whether as a shot or mixed with water, OJ, or whatever other liquid suits your fancy. They aren’t kidding about the “fire” part, so if you’re spice-sensitive, trying one of the latter options might be your best bet.

As one of the unlucky many who are currently suffering through a mid-winter cold, but too impatient to wait for a bottle of my very own Fire Cider to arrive in the mail, I decided to concoct my own version. Given the accessibility of the ingredients, this is pretty easy to do, and lots of recipes exist online to help you do the same.

It’s a bit too early to tell if the magic potion has beaten the cold out of my system, but it did give me an immediate shot of energy, coupled with the invigorating and cleansing sensation of the potent mixture filling my body. That “fire” certainly wakes you up!

So here’s the upshot: Shire City Herbals’ claims haven’t been evaluated by the FDA, and everyone’s body responds to the cold virus differently and may not be helped by drinking Fire Cider, but the ingredients in Fire Cider speak for themselves. Plus, even if your cold isn’t instantly cured, you’ve just downed a mega-dose of 10 superfoods that will provide your body with many other healing benefits.

What cold remedies have you found to work for you? Share your miracle cures in the comments below!