With the Corona virus on the loose and a lot of us out here wondering what that will mean to us personally: What can you do to keep busy, and possibly, create something that could help at home?
I have been aware of this virus since it emerged. I’ve kept up on the subject as best I can, and it’s scary. For those who don’t want to deal with the possibilities that a lot of epidemiologists and statisticians have been reporting on over the past few months, stop reading here. I’m not out to argue with you.
For me: My family has a history of incredible hardship. From the Great Depression (that my grandparents faced), further back to the Donner Party (yes, THAT Donner Party… although we were the eatees not the eators), and most recently: round after round of strep throat with my kids (and because I would catch it, it caused me to have two separate pulmonary embolisms.) We finally gave up and had my kid’s tonsils out. We’ve all had great health since.
Since we have this background, and also because most of my family were farmers: we have a history of keeping a deep pantry. We have knowledge and practice in gardening and home canning and we always have home remedies on hand. Whether this recipe is going to help with this new issue: I can’t guarantee, but at least it won’t hurt. My family has learned over time, that you can help yourself to a certain degree, but for some of the more serious things: there is only western medical help that will save your life.
Fire cider is something I’ve been aware of for approximately ten years. It’s some potent stuff, and my family turns to it when there’s illness in our home. I started my home remedy journey with this fantastic book: Natural Health, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier I have been using this as my “home remedy Bible” for a long time.You can get it here: Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine
There are things we’ve needed hospitals for, too. So, if you’re sick, get help. If you are wanting to boost your immunity or are feeling the beginning of a cold, add this, maybe it will help.
A lot of these recipes call for raw, fresh horseradish. My grocer sometimes carries these roots, but they’re big and expensive. I don’t feel like wasting money on something fresh if I can buy it jarred, and use as I need it. I added the jarred horseradish to my fire cider.
I don’t grow horseradish because it’s a brute and will take over, and I don’t need a giant root from the store that I would only reasonably use, at most, a quarter of. This will work just fine.
You can also find some things that the home remedy populous relies on: warming spices from Aryuvedic medicine, homemade elderberry syrup/sambucus, oil of oregano, mushroom complex, Monolaurin, colostrum and homemade Fire Cider. Those are the more popular ideas for immune help, but of course: there are all sorts of things you can try. Feel your way through this and do your own research, if your spidey reflexes are tingling: follow your inner “knowing”. You are the best person to decide what you should do, for you and yours. It is a deeply personal decision that you can choose to make for your family.
I am not implying that this will cure you. From what I have heard: we have no immunity for what is coming and it is traveling at an exponential rate. So, this is my family’s last ditch effort to make us as prepared as I feel we can be.
How to make Fire Cider:
Your base will be apple cider vinegar. My mother had a friend who drank pickle juice every day and swore that was why he never got sick. I think we’re working on the same premise here. Adding an acid to the gut that is full of spices, oils, vitamins and prebiotics. On top of the vinegar, we will be fermenting some things.
If you want to add a vinegar “mother”, it can be added directly to this recipe at the bottom of the jar, or add just the liquid vinegar from a jar with the mother in it. They are both inoculated with the same thing. I used a half gallon of cheap apple cider vinegar and added some Bragg’s vinegar, on top, that has the mother in it.
I have made fermented foods before and the idea of putting something on your counter, for a couple of weeks, to grow good bacteria (etc) is a little nerve-racking your first time through. I’ve had great experiences with home ferments, after overcoming my initial fears.
Here are some of the fermented things I’ve made, before, from other websites (these are things that I really recommend trying): Emergency Kimchi (I let mine ferment on the counter only 1 to 2 days and then finish it in the refrigerator, which gives you more of a fresh salad than an overly fermented sour flavor. I also use Chinese/Napa cabbage instead of green cabbage.) and this Lacto Fermented Salsa (again, I only ferment on the counter for a couple of days, until it starts to bubble, and then move it to the refrigerator. That way it continues to ferment at a slower pace. This gives it a fresh taste rather than a “wine” like flavor that can develop if you leave it out longer.) Both of these recipes are great ways to start into the world of fermentation. They aren’t a big shift in taste and you can ease your taste buds (and your digestive system) into longer ferments.
Other additions that are commonly used are whole cut up lemons and oranges. You are putting into this ferment what Aryuvedic medicine (practiced in India, and other regions) considers to be “warming” spices. The W.H.O. (World Health Organization) has said when western medicine is unavailable, aryuvedic medicine is recognized as a valid source for health care in the countries that practice it.
So what are these “warming” spices? Any of these can be added: Cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, chilies/hot peppers, black peppercorns, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and cumin seeds, mustard, cayenne, garlic, and horseradish, ginger, turmeric, allspice, cardamom, cloves and spice blends such as garam masala, Chinese five spice and curry powder.About a week into the 4 week ferment. I did not put hot peppers in my kid’s ferment, since I’d never get them to take it if I did!
Another set of spices, this time from Europe, are also used commonly as both anti-viral and healing herbs. Some examples of these are: oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary. Oil of oregano is a powerful remedy for fungal infections etc, and I use it both internally and in my organic garden. This gives you a wide assortment of spices that you can use. You don’t need specific ones to be successful with this, use whatever you can find and afford.In this tutorial, I’ll show you what I decided to use. This all melds and mellows as it sits, and develops a deep, pleasing flavor. People use this on their salads and in cocktails. It really does turn out delicious even though the ingredients sound harsh.
Below I’ve linked to examples of tools etc for your convenience.
One of the reasons I make homemade remedies is that it is thought free, busy work. I can make something and stay in a place of creativity and calm. It’s also why I garden: it’s meditative. When the world gets yanked out from under you, there’s only so much fear and panic you can feed before it turns on you.
Another simple thing that you can do for your immune system is to take hot baths. Here’s a video link explaining the benefits of sauna or hot baths and the immune system (And yes, there’s science behind it.) https://youtu.be/EFRwnhfWXxo