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Herbal Flu and Cold Relief

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I have been waiting on this tincture to be ready for what seems forever and just in time for cold and flu season! If you are not familiar with tinctures think of them as natures medicine. Before big pharmaceutical companies existed humans relied upon herbal based medicines to help them heal and feel better. So many of the herbs, plants and flowers that you are familiar with have tremendous healing properties and it’s easy, but time-consuming, to harness those benefits.

Making a tincture is one way to make herbal medicine that can be used instead of over the counter medication for headaches, upset tummy, colds and flu just to name a few. Of course always check with a doctor before taking any medication to insure you are correctly diagnosing the problem. A tincture can be made with fresh or dried herbs and plants, can be made with 90-100 proof alcohol and must sit for around 4-6 weeks minimum before use.

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This particular tincture was made with Tito’s Vodka, Echinacea, Thyme, Rosemary and other beneficial herbs mixed together in a mason jar, blended with cold and flu symptoms in mind. It’s been about 7 weeks since I made this blend and will strain it and prepare it for usage.

Echinacea is known for its helpful properties when it comes to colds. It builds the immune system, helps with upper respiratory issues, and reduces pain. Rosemary helps detox the body, reduces pain and inflammation, improves mood, protects against infection and is rich in iron and vitamin B-6. Thyme helps prevent fungal and viral infections, improves mood and supports good respiratory health and breathing. Other herbs used will help strengthen the immune system, fight inflammation, and will boost antioxidants in the system.

Can be taken daily but is used short term, just for cold and flu symptoms. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, young children, or those with high blood pressure. Herbs are powerful medicine when used correctly!

* Disclaimer, I am not a medical doctor, nurse or other licensed health care professional. I’m just giving you my knowledge of plants and herbs.

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Immune Boosting Tonic

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I started a few fresh batches of Fire Cider the other day. Have you heard about Fire Cider? If you have ever heard of Rosemary Gladstar I’m sure you know the story and all about how wonderful this tonic is and how important it is to our immune system. I have been making a variation of her original recipe for a while and thought I would share some of the benefits as well as how to make it.

Fire cider is made with organic apple cider and is packed with such immune boosting herbs and root vegetables like red onion, horseradish, garlic and more. The list of health benefits is long but includes:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-viral and natural flu destroyer
  • Heart healthy
  • Boost immune system
  • Antioxidant
  • Helps with joint pain
  • Digestive aid
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Decongestant
  • Circulatory boosting

It’s easy to take, a tsp. a day, and can be used a variety of ways to make it better to digest. Of course if you like a little heat and spice take it straight but never on an empty stomach (because of the acid of the cider). That’s a tough one for me so I like to add it to an 8 once glass of water, which just adds flavor. Others use it anyway you would use vinegar, as part of a salad dressing, on greens, fish and chips, etc. It’s just a great way to keep your immune system healthy and strong. Warning! Please do not consume if you are pregnant or have stomach ulcers.

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Here is a standard recipe:

Homemade Fire Cider Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
1/4 organic turmeric root
organic apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of raw local honey, or to taste
Directions
Prepare your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart-sized glass jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus-opening experience!
Pour the apple cider vinegar in the jar until all of the ingredients are covered and the vinegar reaches the jar’s top. Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well.
Store in a dark, cool place for a month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the pulp as you can while straining. Next comes the honey. Add and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add more honey until you reach the desired sweetness. Enjoy!

There are many variations out there, some use Lemon, Rosemary, Echinacea, Cayenne Pepper, etc. I add Hibiscus Flowers in mine to help with taste as well as blood pressure and cholesterol and call it Hibiscus Cider With a Little Fire! Experiment and see what works for you.

Have you made Fire Cider before? Let me know what you think and please share if you start a batch yourself!