[VIDEO] How To Make Fire Cider

I make this Fire Cider (know in some circles as “Four Thieves Tonic”) each year just as the holiday season gets going. It needs about a month to set, and is ready by January when my immune system could use a good nudge.

Even though I don’t really like spicy stuff that much, I really do like this one.

There are numerous versions of Fire Cider circulating out there. Some are made to be used only externally—e.g., on the skin to ward against bacteria—while others are made out of essential oils. Since making essential oils is a trail I am not wanting to go on right now, I prefer this recipe, which is ingested.

Here are the ingredients I used, and a list of other possible ones you might want to add. Of course, be careful if you have any kind of allergies to any of these . . . .

  • Garlic
  • Hot Peppers
  • Juniper Berries
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish Root

And here is a “possibles” list.

  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Cloves
  • Black Pepper

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have a favorite recipe for “Fire Cider.” Do you use any ingredients that I’ve neglected to mention here? I’d love to hear about them . . . . And do let me know if you try it this winter!

(This article was originally published in December 2013, but I decided it was time to revisit the recipe! Enjoy! I’m about to start a new batch myself . . . .)


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  • DaveM says:

    I’d never heard the story before and love it! One thing occurs to me: most of the ingredients will make you smell bad to insects. And plague is spread by fleas. It wouldn’t surprised me if it worked.

    As you say, there is plenty there to boost the immune system during the heart of winter So a good idea, plague or not.

    1. Marjory says:

      Oh Dave, yes, eating a lot of garlic alone will keep mosquitoes off you. LOL

      1. Christine says:

        Disagree. Garlic doesnt keep insects mossies off me.

  • John R says:

    I partake of all this “stuff” with the exception of the horseradish. Is it necessary? Also, for the 30 days of storage, is it refrigerated or just on the counter? How much of the finished product do you take daily.
    I just love your website.

    1. Marjory says:

      Oh I just put it in the pantry – no refrigeration.

      A few people I know bury it in the garden to get ‘earth energies’ from it.

      I take about a tablespoonful 2 or 3 times a day when its miserable outside.

    2. valerie says:

      leave it in the pantry and what happens is it ferments a bit making it even BETTER for an immune boost– full of probiotics. We made this and loved it so much we were using it in dressings and over rice, veggies, etc. Make plenty if you like spicy. This stuff is tasty medicine!

  • Mike Slack says:

    I’m making this over the weekend.

  • donna c says:

    Great video, Marjory! Loved the part where you advised to always add your intent. This is powerful.

  • John R says:

    Also, juniper berries are hard to fine, is it OK to just pour in a little gin? Gin is made with juniper berries.

    1. Marjory says:

      Ha, using gin instead of berries?

      The juniper tree is often mus-labelled ‘Cedar” especially here in Texas.

      different species of juniper grow all over hte US.

    2. Steven Feil says:

      Gin is only FLAVORED with Juniper. Any “benefit” you get from the gin would NOT be from the flavoring.

      1. John R says:

        Cant I get anyone to tell me to put in some gin? This would be for medicinal purposes.

        1. Marjory says:

          John, In your case, I am thinking you just need the gin…

  • James Davis says:

    Margory, you are so loved and appreciated by all of us reading and listening to your wisdom. Thank you for your unending perseverance with providing your knowledge to us for better health naturally.

    God Bless and grant you abundant Grace in the days ahead. MErry Christmas Margory.. JD

  • Gene says:

    I found this YouTube video that I thought was amazing. It is someone the world recognizes as an expert.


    The fastest way to peel a clove of garlic.

    1. Sheila says:

      Thanks, Gene! This is great way to clean those cloves.

  • Alan says:

    Really I just make and drink Kombucha.
    I do not believe there is any greater immune system builder than Kombucha.
    Most of these other healthy things do no harm and do some good.
    I just do not see the need.
    I used to get every cold or flu that I got close to but only six weeks after starting to drink Kombucha colds and flu bugs never touched me even though my wife and daughter had both of them.
    I do not understand why they won’t drink my Kombucha but I sure will.

    1. Marjory says:

      Hi Alan,

      I am also a big fan of fermented things, Kombucha one of them.

      1. Erin says:

        I have to say I love your work as well, and while I like to drink kombucha too there are several things I have researched and found to be quite interesting about the tea plant itself, so you really want to be careful about the tea you choose to make it with. I have attached a link that may be of interest to anyone who also loves kombucha, so that you might have an upper hand on one more thing to protect yourself from. Merry Christmas to all!!!


        1. Marjory says:

          Hi Erin,

          thanks so much for that link.

          I hadn’t realized the consequences to teeth of drinking acidic drinks…

      2. Alan says:

        I make and drink Milk Kefir too.
        Just because it was a healthier choice in the smoothies I make for most days. I was using milk and cream and strawberries but now I use kefir, cream and strawberries.

        1. Marjory says:

          Fermentation rocks!

  • Steve says:

    I’m unsure of how you administer this tonic. I take it that you drink it as a liquid? How much do you drink? How often? Mixed with anything else?

    Thank you, this is very interesting.

    1. Marjory says:

      I take about a tablespoonful at a time. Maybe 2 or 3 times a day in the dead of winter.

      Or I use about a spoonful as a salad dressing.

  • to clean off garlic cloves—use two aluminum bowls. Put the garlic into the one bowl. Put the ‘top’ on the bowl with the other bowl. Shake, Shake, shake—your bootie (ha ha). it works.

    I learned this from Martha Stewart.

    Take care

    1. Laura Jenkins says:

      you can do this same thing with a quart jar, take off most of the outer wrapping and put into the jar with a lid. Shake the heck out of it, dump on the table, sort, repeat. If I have lots of things to slice I use my meat slicer.

  • Jacqueline says:

    I would drop all the material into the food processor. That would be easy peasy.

    1. Paul says:

      Exactly… A few pulses of loving cusinart energy and you are done in a jif… Also, doesn’t take as long to steep, a week or two max, then strain and press (fine pieces give up their goodness much faster). The food processor is the most utilized and most appreciated appliance in the kitchen and farm. From chopping to slicing discs, to grating, to making perfect biscuits or pie crusts, a food processor is an absolute must and I pity anyone that hasn’t taken the time to figure out how much time it saves and how it can do a much better job in most cases… And for this tincture, there is no way I would make it without a food processor.

  • Anita says:

    Great information for an immune system tonic! I’ve been making my own tonic of neem leaves and vodka. I use it both internally and as a hand sanitizer. It works very well. Will have to try out your recipe. I have most of the ingredients already. Thanks for the info.!


    1. Marjory says:

      Thanks for that warning Dale.

      1. Alicia says:

        Dale, dont know if your still out there but couldnt you take on a roommate that shares your goals and split living at the farm and share the spoils?

  • Joan says:

    You asked for an easy and quick way to peel GARLIC, here it is.

    Martha Stewart demonstrates how to peel garlic easily and quickly.


    1. Marjory says:

      Oh yes, a publicist I know calls me the Martha Stewart of self-reliance. but you know, I’ve never really seen her so this is good.

      Hey, I liked that double bowl technique.

  • tom says:

    If surface exposure is desired why not grate the horseradish and ginger, crush the garlic, berries and peppers, or would that be too strong? Seems it would speed up the infusion as well.

    Think of the polis the mash would make! If it didn’t put hair on your chest, it might keep it off!

    1. Marjory says:

      Yes, more surface area would make it happen faster and be more potent. Grating is more work though… always tradeoffs, yes?

    2. Steven Feil says:

      VITAMIX people!

      1. Paul says:

        Vitamix??? No… Food processor, this is a non alcoholic tincture, not a smoothie. A ninja blender would do a better job than an overpriced vitamix, but a food processor will give more consistent results as well as more control… Vitamix… LOL!!! Sheesh!!!

  • Vic says:

    The Thieves remedy I read about used garlic and vinegar. Supposedly, this was from the actual court records. Beforehand, they soaked cloth in vinegar and wrapped their nose and mouth with it and they ate cloves of garlic. Then they robbed the people. Afterwards, they washed all over with vinegar and ate more garlic, and supposedly didn’t catch the plague by doing this.

  • KC says:


    That mixture looks like it will cures what ails you! Am I correct in assuming those juniper berries are from “cedar trees”? I live in the Austin, TX area and no one refers to them as juniper trees. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Paul says:

      LOL!!! Texas!!! In Texas they will call anything by the wrong name… If I’m lyin I’m dyin… They are Juniper berries, and not all Juniper species produce the berries used for culinary uses, if you want to see a real cedar, go visit Washington State. You can get real juniper berries online and I recommend you try and find someone intelligent at a local nursery to demystify the slang of your local yokels. You can also compare the berries you get online to your local berries. Here is a sniper from the web to help you understand. “Of the roughly 40 species of juniper, a small number are poisonous and a majority have bitter fruits. Only a few yield edible berries (actually modified cones) and only one is routinely used for flavoring. The flavoring juniper, best known for its contribution to gin, is common juniper, Juniperus communis.” And that one Juniper is also the one you use for this recipe. Good luck.

      1. Laura Jenkins says:

        I wondered about this, I have trees that have berries that look like juniper, how do I tell? Missouri calls these cedar trees.

  • Steven Feil says:

    Four Thieves: Historic Anti-Plague Remedy

    by Ingrid Naiman


    During the dreadful years of the Black Death, a few people found the way to survive the plague that was decimating the population. Among the more colorful of these were four thieves from Marseilles who while plundering for treasures protected themselves with garlic and a concoction of herbs extracted in vinegar. The tale is a fascinating exploration of herbal lore, but there are so many versions of the story that it is up to you to choose which to believe.

    This formula is so popular in herbal circles that some people have organized “Four Thieves” parties where groups of people produce big batches of the formula during times of epidemics. There are, as one might imagine, many versions of the formula, all, of course, claimed to be authentic.

    The famous French aromatherapy doctor, Jean Valnet, has two recipes in his book. He claims the original recipe was revealed by corpse robbers who were caught red-handed in the area around Toulouse in 1628-1631. His story is the more credible of the many one can find. Given the virulence and deadliness of the plague, the judges were astonished by the indifference of the thieves to contagion. Valnet quotes the archives of the Parliament of Toulouse:

    During the Great Plague, four robbers were convicted of going to the houses of plague victims, strangling them in their beds and then looting their dwellings. For this, they were condemned to be burned at the stake, and in order to have their sentence mitigated, they revealed their secret preservative, after which they were hanged.
    Given the source, I choose to believe the Valnet account, but there have obviously been many spins of the tale. Here is the recipe stated to be the original:

    Original Recipe for Four Thieves Formula
    3 pints white wine vinegar
    handful wormwood
    handful meadowsweet
    handful juniper berries
    handful wild marjoram
    handful sage
    50 cloves
    2 oz. elecampane root
    2 oz. angelica
    2 oz. rosemary
    2 oz. horehound
    3 g camphor

    Dr. Valnet has a variation of his own described as an antiseptic vinegar:

    Marseilles Vinegar or Four Thieves Vinegar

    40 g. greater wormwood, Artemesia absinthum
    40 g. lesser wormwood, Artemesia pontica
    40 g. rosemary
    40 g. sage
    40 g. mint
    40 g. rue
    40 g. lavender
    5 g. calamus
    5 g. cinnamon
    5 g. clove
    5 g. nutmeg
    5 g. garlic
    10 g. camphor (do not use synthetic camphor)
    40 g. crystallized acetic acid
    2500 g. white vinegar

    Instructions: steep the plants in the vinegar for 10 days. Force through a sieve. Add the camphor dissolved in the acetic acid, filter.
    Valnet says this remedy, i.e., his formula is useful in the prevention of infectious diseases. He says to rub it on the face and hands and burn it in the room. It can also be kept in small bottles that are carried on the person so that the vapors can be inhaled.
    Dr. John Christopher had a slightly different story and a variation of the formula that is clearly American, not French. His “Four Thieves” story is that there was a man named Richard Forthave who developed a remedy for the plague that was marketed under his name, a name which was corrupted to “Four Thieves.” There might indeed have been grave robbers who used this remedy to protect themselves while they divested corpses of treasures they would no longer need. The King of France had the thieves arrested and they bought their freedom with the remedy they had been using. Thus, the remedy did not fall into obscurity and has been used for centuries since to protect against contagion.

    Dr. John Christopher Plague Formula
    8 parts apple cider vinegar
    5 parts glycerine U.S.P.
    5 parts honey
    2 parts garlic juice, fresh
    2 parts comfrey root concentrate*
    1 part wormwood concentrate
    1 part lobelia leaf and/or seed concentrate
    1 part marshmallow root concentrate
    1 part oak bark concentrate
    1 part black walnut bark concentrate
    1 part mullein leaf concentrate
    1 part skullcap leaf concentrate
    1 part uva ursi, hydrangea, or gravel root concentrate
    Mix the ingredients well!

    *Due to new restrictions on comfrey for internal use, it is suggested that slippery elm be substituted for this ingredient.

    How to make the concentrates:
    Each concentrate should be made individually. Start by soaking the herb for four hours or more in enough distilled water to cover it completely. After soaking, add more distilled water so that the total added equals 16 oz. (.5 liter) water per 4 oz. (113 grams) herb. Use a multiple of these amounts for a larger quantity of formula. Using these amounts approximately one gallon (3.75 liters) of the formula will be produced.
    After adding the appropriate amount of distilled water to the soaked herb, simmer the herb on very low heat in a covered pan or double boiler for thirty minutes. Then strain the liquid into a clean pan. Put the liquid into a double boiler or on very low heat (uncovered) and simmer (steam) it down to one fourth of the original volume (4 oz. 1256 ml). Only after all ingredients have been prepared should the liquids be mixed.
    Do not use aluminum, Teflon, or cracked porcelain. Glass, corning ware or stainless steel or whole porcelain are best.
    Dosage: 1 tsp. 3 times a day; or 1 tablespoon every 1/2 hour if infected.

    Here is another version, much simpler to make, offered by one of my colleagues, Karen Vaughn, Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist.

    1 pint unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
    5 drops rosemary oil
    5 drops oregano oil
    5 drops lavender oil
    5 drops sage oil
    5 drops peppermint oil
    5 drops clove oil
    4 drops lemon oil
    3 drops black pepper oil
    1 drop capsicum oil
    1 head garlic finely diced
    3 oz ginger finely sliced
    4 oz echinacea tincture

    Warning: Be sure to use unadulterated, therapeutic grade essential oils.

    1. Marjory says:

      Wow, nice article.

      Thats great to make while essential oils are easy to get a hold of.

  • John W. says:


    Here’s an easy fast way to peel garlic:
    I do it this way, it’s less messy and tedious, but unfortunately my hands don’t get that garlic smell, either, so it’s a tradeoff.

    I love cooking and eating with garlic and ginger. We make a version of “Fire Cider” with onion, powdered cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and horseradish for the same ailments. Another recipe: http://mountainroseblog.com/fire-cider/

    All the best to you and the whole GYOG team!

    P.S. Just ordered the DVDs, hope to get them soon.


    1. Marjory says:

      Thanks, those were good references. I’ll try that tonight with dinner!

  • karen green says:

    Have you ever had an essential oil blend called ‘Thieves” ? It ia wonderful and even more powerful than these vinegars. Let me know if you want some, I would not be with out it. It kills all Bacteria, Virus’ and even black toxic molds.
    Karen, [email protected]

    1. Marjory says:

      Hi Karen,

      Oh thanks for your kind offer!

      I love essential oils, and have a collection just to smell them. Seriously…

      My concern about oils is, how can you make them in your backyard?

  • Paul and Kathryn Roberts says:

    We just want to personally Thank You for all you do and Wish You a very Merry Christmas. Your tips are a lot of fun for us. We look forward to your web site in the coming New Year. Take Care, Paul and Kathryn

    1. Marjory says:

      Thanks so much! You have a really good christmas too.



  • Max says:

    What great ideas from your readers. I make an ‘Elixir” that I use more for relief from colds and flu that seems to work. Simmer the following, strain off & discard solids and add honey only after all has cooled to 140 degrees or less:
    Apple juice, grated ginger, cayenne, garlic and organic, never heated honey. This stuff taste pretty good when warm but not when tepid or cold.

    1. Marjory says:

      Nice recipe Max.

  • Debbie Evans says:

    A repeat here ~ but a good tip

    Martha Stewart garlic peeling trick ~ it works!
    I got my 2 small metal pans at CostCo ($1.38) [any two odd bowls work it’s just easier with two that match]

    I look forward to your home made vinegar tute.

    Thanks for all your hints, tips, sharing & caring
    Blessings for the Season

  • Jerry says:

    There’s a master herbalist, Dr. Richard Schultz, who has been making this for years but with a little different ingredients and it’s called the anti-plague formula…I’ve made it and it’s potent!!!!!

  • Bridget Broughton says:

    Hi Marjory 🙂 Awesome video! Thank you for sharing your knowledge,as well. Concerning the finished product, once it’s down to just the liquid for use, do I need to keep it in the fridge? Also, how long does it stay good for? Thanks, again. And Merry Christmas!

    1. Marjory says:

      Hi brigdet,

      Yes, i do keep it int he fridge, although I think it would be fine outside on my porch where it is chilly most of the time anyway.

      Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Barbara says:

    My husband just bashes the garlic with the broad side of a large knife or cleaver, THEN peels it. The bruised garlic is that much more potent.

  • David Paul says:

    As always informative and entertaining. Thank you

  • Virginia says:

    When you have tinctures or tonic herbs soaking for a month or so,
    it is good to start them at the new moon.

    Also, if you place the soaking jar in your dish cupboard, it is away from sunlight and every time you grab a dish, give the mixture a swirl/stir.

    1. Marjory says:

      Virgina, yes. Thanks so much for the full moon tip. And for reminding us to shake it a bit every now and then.

  • Laurie says:

    How much tonic does this yield? Do you strain it after the first month?

    1. Marjory says:

      Yes, i strain it all off after the first month. Uh, get about 4 or 5 cups out of it – something like that. Surprising how much fluid is in there with everuything else packed in too.

  • Maridee Broadfoot says:

    Thank you, Marjory, for all your awesome info sharing. Brava! … that you offer so much care & cultivation of plant medicine & wisdom for free. That practice upholds the highest standard of Healer/Teacher/Sage. Our gardens propagate such bounty,.. inside and out. Thank you!
    Many blessings and love.

  • Maridee Broadfoot says:

    ooops, typo on my Email address, on previous post,

  • jJoy says:

    This man is a walking encyclopedia on garlic! And he lives right here in west Texas!! And he grows garlic organically!


    1. Marjory says:

      That is an awesome resource for garlic growers and lovers.

  • jose ignacio sarraff says:

    marjory the best way to peel the galic is put the heads of the galic in and enty can shake it and is done, try it

    1. Marjory says:

      Thanks Jose, yes, some people sent in videos of Martha Stewart doing just that – and it works great.

  • Marilyn Sparnicht says:

    I am so disappointed that a trusted site (for me that is), Homestead Survival, listed your site as a go to site for the 4 Thieves recipe……after clicking on the link, “Grow your own Groceries” there was no video to be seen!! I did have the option to “join” for $10! I may come back and join because I do believe you have info that I would like to have. However, at the moment, I do not have the $10 to join so the video remains off limits! Seems a little unfair that you would “tease” us with the video in that manner!!

    1. Marjory says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      Oh I am so sorry. I didn’t know that video was posted on other sites as a ‘go to’ source. I also wish we didn’t have to charge for anything, but you know the reality of hosting costs, video editing, book keeping, etc. etc. We are a very sincere group dedicated to growing food and medicine off grid. Hang out with our newsletter for a while and let me show you what we are all about.

  • lisa says:

    I have used the gin to infuse golden raisins the same way, except you only have to wait 3 days. You eat 3 of the puffy raisins. It really helps arthritis.
    Too many make one rather tipsy., but ,for medicine sake, I like to take my 3 in the morning.
    Juniper berries would be an even more potent addition, but probably rather too intense to chew and swallow.
    Thanks for this video . Good inspiration!

  • marie cooney says:

    Hey, I don’t see any reason to peel the garlic since your going to strain it, and who knows what goodness could be in that. I wil smash amd add. Easy peasy!

  • Kay says:

    Hi Marjory good video. Thank u for getting this out to the world! I have been making this tonic since the early 80s. I personally think that by running the ingredients through the food processor on grate gets more out of them. (But careful of fumes, I put a towel around my nose& wear my glasses) I put all into a large bowl with 2 bottles of brags apple cider vinegar on it mix it up & let ferment for sometimes a couple months, then juice! You’ll get much more out of it! I try to make it on a new moon & bottle it on a full moon as I think this draws more compounds from the ingredients. Over the years I have added olive leaf extract & Mediterranean Oregano to it & oddly it has taken much of the bite out of it. Which helps make it more palatable for getting my family to take it. Also it helps taking it in about 4oz of water for those squirming about the taste! Lol

  • Wanda says:

    I cannot get juniper berries or horseradish root where I live. What can I replace them with. It would have to be something fairly common or I won’t be able to purchase it.

  • I just wanted to share how we prep garlic quickly. I take two cast iron pans that stack together fairly well (you can use bowls or plates but I find that the cast iron makes really quick work). Lay your garlic in the first pan, set the second pan on top and press. Smashes all the garlic and the peels come right off.

  • Stephanie T. says:

    Hi Marjory,
    First off let me express how much I love the Grow Network and all of your shared profound knowledge, you’re my “go to” source quite frequently. I live in Canada and our climate is much different from yours but the same basic applications are very useful to us as well. Great job to you & your team!
    On a side note, you had expressed in the video if anyone knew an easier way to peel garlic to let you know? I do, and it’s super easy. Put the garlic whole into a glass jar with a lid and shake, shake, shake it. All of the peelings will fall off and you’ll end up with all of the cloves.

  • Rose says:

    Awesome! I have had this tonic before but it was made by someone else – I’ve never made it myself, so was happy to find this recipe!

    On a weird side note, this video freaked me out a little bit because I felt like you were standing in my kitchen – LOL! Seriously, you have the EXACT same cabinets we do – even the knobs, which didn’t come with them but my husband added them after we moved in! Don’t you LOVE the corner lazy Susan? 🙂


  • fred says:

    I use in equal weights to fill a gallon jar.
    cayenne pepper
    horseradish root
    and ginger root
    run all thru a food processor or chop very fine. pack into a jar that seals and cover with unfiltered unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. pick up and shake everyday for 3 weeks then strain out solids. dry the solids and use for cooking. with the liquid and take a shot glass full every morning. will keep without refrigeration.

  • Jessica says:


    Love the information that everyone shares. Thank you Marjory. Thank you everyone.

    Just last weekend I collected berries from the “One Seed” Juniper trees that grow all over here in central NM. If you wait till after the first frost they have a slight sweetness to them.

    I am wondering…..how about running all the ingredients thru a juicer after the one month infusion. Seems like you would be able to collect more of the fluids that way. I would hate throwing away even one drop of anything so beneficial.

    1. Jessica says:

      I do realize that this is all about sustainability and that some day we are not going to have the luxury of power kitchen gadgets but until that happens we may as well take advantage of them if we have them.

  • Hi Marjory,

    I just love what I’m learning from the Grow Network!

    I first learned about fire cider from Mountain Rose Herbs. It calls for honey, lemon juice, onion, fresh horseradish, ginger root, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and one can other ingredients too, to alter the prevailing taste. I put mine on a darkened shelf, turned the jar every few days for about 3 weeks. Then I strained out the solids, which one can add to soup or another dish like chili, and place in the refrigerator. I’ve had mine for awhile and just recently took it out and dosed myself with 3 big tablespoons of the liquid, 2 days in a row. This remedy never fails to clear whatever is coming on and I’m so glad to have it on hand.

    I also drink ginger tea: slice up some of the root and cook in boiling water for 10 minutes covered. Then one can add honey, lemon and drink away.

  • Marie Parks says:

    I make a similar tonic without the rosemary & juniper berry. Why waste time chopping when you can just blend all ingredients together? This has been a staple for years without colds and take extra when feeling like some bug is trying to take hold.

  • Merry Vandervalk says:

    I bought a blue rubber tube at a kitchen store. Put your garlic in and roll it back and forth and all the peeling come off.

  • Jennifer Grzeskowiak says:

    How much liquid do you take when ill. 1 teaspoon? 1 Tablespoon? How much throughout the day.

    Also, are juniper berries spicy?

    How long will this keep? Throughout the year?

    Keep refrigerated?

  • Ginger says:

    Suggestion: You could make your tonic in a half-gallon canning jar and use a FoodSaver attachment for wide mouth jars to seal the air out of the tonic. This draws more of the liquid into the plants’ cell structure and gives a faster concentration of the flavors in the tonic. It also keeps the mixture from fermenting in the blending period and gives you a non-alcoholic tonic, which can be used with children more safely. Also, storing the liquid in vacuum sealed jars will extend the potency shelf life of your mixture. (painting the outside of the jar {EXCEPT FOR THREADS AT THE TOP} will extend potency shelf life as well) You could use contact paper to cover them, or decorative material to give them less of a “sinister look” in your pantry. :}

  • I have found that if I crush the garlic a little the peel comes right off, then I use a meat tenderizer to beat it, which basically minces for you! Easy Peasy!!

  • Miriam says:

    you are missing clove, cinnamon and eucalyptus radiata along with that rosemary. Or you could just order the Thieves essential oil blend from Youngliving.com Then you only need a drop or two on the soles of your feet every day and you wont catch any of those illnesses. If you want, you can use my member number 2080171. My name is Miriam Lavandier and I am a distributor for them. Powerful stuff.

  • Kathleen Ellertson says:

    Do you refrigerate this while it is setting or after you drain it off? THX

  • Colin says:

    Very interesting presentation. Where I live in France I have never
    seen any Horseradish on sale. There is Black Radish which looks
    very similar but, of course, black.
    Do you think this might be an acceptable alternative or would you
    just leave the radish out altogether. You advice appreciated.

  • Nadia says:

    Hey Marjory, thank you for the recipe! Since you asked, there is actually a better way to peel garlic. Simply crush each clove forcefully with the side of a very big knife on the chopping board, and the peel will come right off 🙂 Just press on the side of the knife with your palm, without holding the garlic – this way, it’s not dangerous at all. Hope this helps!

  • Brenda says:

    I’m new to crafting my own medicines, cleaning products etc. I must say, I’m a little skeptical about the 4 thieves solution, but hopeful I’ll see good results without smelling like a garlic patch.

  • Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing these details.

  • Wow, superb weblog format! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The full glance of your site is excellent,
    let alone the content material!

  • jenniferny says:

    Marjory, after the straining, is there enough potency left in the ingredients to do a second batch of Fire Cider??

  • Mary says:

    Here’s a way to peel garlic easily. I’m not a Martha Stewart fan but I saw this and it works!

  • Gary G. says:

    I always add fresh turmeric to mine also….

  • Heather Hemphill says:

    I put it through the food processor and chop it chunky. Works great.

  • K says:

    Hi Margory,

    I made your 4 theives tonic last year and didn’t use it all, is it alright to carry it over from one season to the next? Or is it best to start fresh every year?

  • Nadja says:

    Master Tonic http://heal-thyself.ning.com/profiles/blogs/master-tonic-101
    I made some 2+ years ago and am just about down to nothing – gets more potent with age. Great immune booster.
    Will be making more shortly. I may add some turmeric root this time. I keep it on the counter in a dark bottle.
    Brace yourself when you take it and don’t plan on kissing anyone for a day! Heee!
    It’s similar to your Fire tonic. I let mine set about 3 weeks & then strain it..

  • Bonnie P says:

    Hi Marjory, I just saw your video. Once you drain the jar, how much do you take daily? Is it taken straight or do you dilute it first. Sorry if you already answered this question, but I didn’t see or hear it mentioned.
    Thank you.

  • Amanda says:

    Majorie, love this post, thank you. We know it also as simply Thieves Vinegar. Some of the herbs I’ve used in addition to your selection have been: Artemisia, Oregano, Lavender – always the Rosemary. I love your addition of the hot & spicy selections. Will definitely give your combination a too. Have one that is currently brewing & added Callendula petals – was warned they do not taste great. Ah well, will have to weather it so to say.

  • Christine says:

    Mever heard of your tonic. Just eat healthy abd keep warm.
    I put tumeric ginger cinnamon in my cooking sometimes garlic too.
    Tumeric anti inflammatory and great for cholesterol.
    cinnamon for diabetes

  • Dana says:

    Hi Marjory,
    I make mine with horseradish (always loved it, even as a kid), ginger, onion, an orange, a lemon, garlic, habaneros, turmeric root, ACV and a little raw honey. Yum. Sometimes I wonder if I could just juice all of this and add it to the vinegar. Not sure that I want to run horseradish through my juicer tho. Hmm. What do you think? Or, maybe I could just juice it and put the juice and the pulp in it. I’m just trying to think of an easier way since I usually grate the horseradish and ginger. Yes, Kombucha is great. My favorite is water kefir. I add ginger and turmeric root, lime juice, ACV an ounce of organic pineapple juice and some chili peppers. So good! Love to make Saurkraut and KimChee. Never could get used to milk kefir tho, yuck.

    1. gb says:

      do NOT add horseradish to a regular juicer 🙂 I burned up a few blenders with those roots in the past, even chopped into manageable pieces!

      1. Dana says:

        Thanks for your input. I was thinking it wasn’t really a good idea. Others have mentioned using a food processor. Grating it is really a lot of work but it sure clears the sinuses!

  • Julie says:

    Can you substitute Elderberries for the Juniper berries?

  • Fayette says:

    Easy way to peel garlic is from a chef I saw a video of. Put your separated cloves into a large stainless steel bowl and cover with another large stainless steel bowl. Shake like a maniac and the cloves peel themselves. The first time I tried it, it was a total failure. But I had seen him do it myself and he was a real chef so I couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work. I couldn’t believe it wouldn’t work and thought I was doing something wrong. I tried it again on another occasion and used larger bowls and it worked like a charm. Only easy way to chop would be one of those hand chop-a-matic type of deals, however I think clean up would be a bother. I would rather just chop it myself, especially since it doesn’t have to “look pretty” and a food processor would just be overkill.

  • Frances Graham says:

    at least I could hear Marjory but no visuals

  • gb says:

    yeah, I have been making it in a gallon jug for many years with onion, garlic, ginger, hot peppers (what ever hot the store has to offer, or I dried some kind of scotch bonnet/habanero to add) and horse radish. Now I cut my ingredients some, throw them in the blender with ACV and have one pitcher of each with hot pepper added. pour into gallon jar and let it do it’s thing. Now my son in law buys some version that has orange, lemon and honey added, not bad either. I might play a bit with some herbs this year, but then I have to make smaller batches so I can try different things 🙂

  • Karen says:

    Thank you so much! Love your recipes. My only problem with the fire cider is that I am unable to get juniper berries. Can you recommend a substitute? Again – thanks for your great work and sharing your knowledge. I quote you often.

  • Susanne Lambert says:

    Good day Ms. Wildcraft,

    I really love your version of the fire cider however; an easier way to open the garlic is to place them in a mixing bowl with a tightly fitted lid and shake vigorously for 1-2 minutes. You will hear the sound change, all your garlic will be peeled and ready to chop.
    I love all the e-mails I’ve received from you and, wishing you the best of health and success in all that you do and touch.

    Thank you for caring for us. Awesomeness.

  • JaneMaldi says:

    This looks great but i have a couple of concerns: garlic and Horseradish :D. But i’m willing to make a concession to try this out because otherwise it looks amazing!

  • M.A. says:

    I’ve found that I like the taste of herbal medicines that I need — I make strong ginger tea with honey and lemon (and maybe a dash of Scotch) when I wake up with that vague sore-throat-achy-feeling you get the day before you catch a cold, and I drink big hot mugs of it for a day or so until it stops tasting good to me, at which time I’ve usually beat the bug. So I’m not surprised that you like the taste of Fire Cider even though you don’t usually like spicy hot foods. Our bodies know what we need.

  • Laura says:

    We like to use turmeric root and onions. When we strain out the particulates we add an equal amount of local honey.

  • Beth says:

    I make something called Hot Stuff, very similar:
    Equal amounts of each:

    Put in blender and cover with Org raw ACV. Blend thoroughly. Put in jar and take a Tablespon daily or more often if needed. This recipe I don’t strain so it is a bit textured.

    Sorry if I put this out there already

  • Susan says:

    I suffer from migraines and have discovered anything fermented including probiotics triggers a serious headache which can last for several days. UGH!!! What do you suggest?

  • Brodo says:

    That looks like some potent stuff, alright. I’m going to have to make a batch next fall. Thanks for bringing this one back out.

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