Fire Cider Recipes

It's A Medicinal Tonic. It's A Cocktail Mixer. It's Both…and More!

Archive for the tag “ginger”

It’s That Time of Year Again

There has been a nasty cold going around the Berkshires, and one by one it has taken us out. First Dan, then Sean, Amy, and Dana. I blame Dan’s kids for being cute but efficient plague carriers. Anyway, we’ve been hitting the amped up virgin Fire Cider hot toddys pretty hard over the last week- and I’m happy to say we’ve been feeling much better!

Ingredients:

-1 -2 Tablespoons of Fire Cider
-Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 lemon
-1 T honey, raw, local honey is best.
-A healthy dose of ginger (We use 1T frozen ginger juice. A 1/2 tsp ginger powder or 1T diced fresh ginger works too)
-Hot water or tea to fill your favorite mug

Warming and soothing.

Warming and soothing.

Our full arsenal of anti-ick fighting home remedies includes Osha tincture, Echinacea tincture, oil of oregano (rub it on the bottom of your feet or get capsules), raw honey, Fire Cider, ginger juice, lemons, neti pot and of course, some Berkshire Bourbon for when you finally start to feel better!

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This Sunday is the last SoWa Market in Boston for the season so make sure to stop by and see Sean for your free Fire Cider sample!  He’ll also be handing out samples on Friday, 10/24 at Foster’s Supermarket in Greenfield, MA, 3-6 pm  and on Saturday, 10/25 at the Fruit Center Marketplace in Hingham, MA 11 am-4 pm

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Cheers!

 

 

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Nurse Moon’s Quick Fire Pickles

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

Pretty pickles made with Fire Cider!

This recipe was sent to me by my friend Helen, yes, she’s a nurse and she knows what’s good for us- whole, organic foods!  This quick pickle recipe is an excellent way to preserve all those cucumbers that have taken over your garden.  Raw cucumbers are a cooling summer food.  When combined with some hot pepper, garlic, ginger and vinegar these pickle become a perfect fall condiment or snack.  Enjoy!

Fire Cider Pickles:

  • 2 or 3 cucumbers sliced into thin rounds
  • half an onion sliced into half moons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a thumbnail of ginger, peeled

For the Brine:

  • Few pinches of kosher salt
  • Crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup Fire Cider
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Boiling the pickles

Boiling the pickles

 

Method:

1. Put the cucumber, onion slices, ginger and garlic into a clean quart canning jar.

2. Add the remaining brine ingredients to a pot an boil on the stove top for 5 minutes.

3. Pour the hot liquid mixture over the  cucumbers and onions in the jar and close lid.  Let it set for 5-10 minutes.
4. Strain the liquid back into the pot and boil another 10 minutes. Pour over the cucumbers and onions in the jar again and set for another 10 minutes with the lid on.
5. Now, bring water to a boil in the pot (enough water to cover the jar at least half way when submerged)  and set the jar, with the lid on and the cucumbers in the brine, in the boiling water.
6. Then turn off heat and let the jar (and hot water) cool.  Once it’s cool, refrigerate and enjoy!

Cool Drinks for Hot Summer Days

Drinking vinegar for its myriad health benefits goes back to ancient Greece, no wait, even further, to 5000 BCE when Babylonians were using date palms to make vinegar.  Warriors throughout history have used vinegar mixed with water for strength and energy. Vinegar drinks and vinegar tonics infused with herbs, roots, flowers, you name it, have been around for many centuries.  In New England farmers have been making a drink called ‘switchel’ to keep them hydrated and ward off heat stroke during the long, hot summer days:

“They drank a quenching beverage that functioned much like modern Gatorade: switchel, also called switzel or haymaker’s punch. It contained water, a sweetener—either molasses, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar—ginger, and cider vinegar. All the ingredients (except water) happen to be sources of potassium—an electrolyte. Molasses is especially high in potassium.” Read the rest of this article HERE!

Apple Cider Vinegar is an incredibly medicinal food since it contains several different beneficial acids plus beta-carotene, amino acid, bone building minerals, enzymes, magnesium, potassium, pectin and tannins.  No wonder humans have been using this super food since we figured out how to preserve apples in the form of vinegar!

Here are my three favorite vinegar drinks, aka, switchels, to help keep you cool and healthy this summer:

Dana’s Pomegranate Switchel

Ingredients to make one cup of Switchel concentrate:

  • ¼ cup of Fire Cider
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh ginger juice
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey

Shake well to combine all ingredients.

Serve about 2-4 ounces of concentrate over ice, top with soda water to make a pint.

Store leftover Switchel mix in the refrigerator.

Citrus Switchel

Makes 2 servings-

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider
  • juice from 1/2 a grapefruit
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons, or more to taste, raw, local wildflower honey
  • Soda water or plain water
  • 2 lime wedges

Combine the first 3 ingredients and makes sure to dissolve al the honey.  Fill two pint glasses with ice and split the switchel mix between the glasses.  Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.

Dr. Earl Mindell’s Switchel– from his book ‘Amazing Apple Cider Vinegar‘ which is also where I got some of the information for this blog post.  Makes 2 servings-

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or Fire Cider

1 1/2 tablespoons black strap molasses

2 cups warmed water (to melt the molasses)

Combine and pour over ice.

Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce

Recipe by Noel Prophet

Last summer Dana and I went to a pot luck beer and food pairing: everyone brought a dish and a beer that went with it.  Dana made a summer saison that was a bit citrus-y  and it went well with the berries n biscuits I brought for dessert.  However, I thought the best dish was the jerk chicken that Noel and Kristen brought along with some very appropriate Red Stripe.  Just recently Noel sent me his jerk sauce recipe which I was pretty darn excited to see if I could replicate.  As per his suggestion, the recipe can be modified to suit, the one that follows is enough to marinate 3 pounds of chicken/meat/tofu with enough leftover to serve as a side sauce for greens.   I only made a few changes to Noel’s recipe and the end result was deliciously hot and there were no leftovers!

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Bright ingredients makes for a spicy brown sauce.

Suggested Ingredients:

  • Up to 6 scotch bonnet peppers or whatever hot peppers you like – I used the one Habanero that was ready in our garden and then some of the chili peppers that Pete and Jennifer from Woven Roots Farm gave us at the Harvest Festival.
  • 2 Tablespoons each: dried thyme, ground allspice, Fire Cider, salt and black pepper
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger (fresh or powdered), to taste.
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup or less olive oil
  • 1/2 cup or less tamari
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon, or more, to taste.

Method:

Chop up everything and then put all in the blender.   Or, put all ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar and use a wand blender to puree, same difference.  The marinade is done, ready to eat now on cooked greens or…

Poke holes in your chicken (or tofu!) before you jerk it so it will hold the flavor better.

Marinate overnight.

When you are ready you can bake, grill, roast, etc your jerked chicken.  This would also work well with tempeh or tofu or other meat.

Here’s what I did with the chicken I let marinate in the fridge, well covered, for over 12 hours:

Pre-heat the oven to 365.  Spread the chicken breast (I had about 2 pounds) and the jerk sauce I used to marinate it, in a wide glass baking dish.  I covered the dish with aluminum foil (or a glass lid if you have one) and baked it for about 45-50 minutes, until the thermometer read 142 and when I sliced into it, it was juicy and cooked through!

Dana made coconut brown basmati rice to go with the baked jerk chicken.  I made a huge side of broccoli rabe dressed in olive oil and salt, which we ate with the remaining jerk sauce.

All covered in Jafakin' Jerk Sauce!

All covered in Jafakin’ Jerk Sauce!

Fire Cider and the Berkshire Co-op: Cooperative Values in Action.

Fire Cider and the Berkshire Co-op: Cooperative Values in Action.

Working with a local start-up to achieve mutual success.

By Daniel Esko, Grocery Manager at the Berkshire Co-op Market in Great Barrington MA

One of the most gratifying and exciting aspects of my job at Berkshire Co-op Market is building strong relationships with our local vendors, working together to achieve mutual success while delighting our owners and customers along the way. In fact, everything we do at Berkshire Co-op Market is guided by our operational vision, which states: “The Berkshire Cooperative Association cultivates a sustainable local/regional economy and cooperatively builds a vibrant community.” To this end we “foster the growth of local/regional food systems,” which allows us to work closely with local farmers, producers, and entrepreneurs to bring the highest quality local food to market. Over the past ten years I have had the opportunity to work closely with Klara’s Gourmet Cookies, South River Miso, Hosta Hill, High Lawn Farm, The Gluten Free Bakery, No. 6 Depot, Harney & Sons Tea, Shire City Herbals, and Tierra Farm, among numerous others. The work we have done together has varied from product development and retail and marketing consulting to promotions planning, new item introductions, farm and facility visits, education through product demonstrations, and most importantly sharing their stories with the community. All of this work has resulted in various successes for our local vendors and the Co-op, one of which I am particularly proud to share with everyone today.

On the retail floor of the Co-op in 2010, I ran into a couple of old friends from high school, Amy Huebner and Dana St. Pierre. In the process of catching up, they told me they had gotten married recently and when asked what they were up to, they excitedly proclaimed that they were going to make Fire Cider. For a moment I tried to play along like I knew what it was, but soon thought better of it and had to ask. They explained that Fire Cider was a health tonic made from apple cider vinegar, honey, and other whole food ingredients including garlic, ginger, and habanero pepper. Dana had been exposed to the individual whole food ingredients through his family experience and upbringing. His parents, uncle, and grandparents used these foods separately and in different combinations in their daily cooking, and medicinally to help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms, ward off the cold and flu, and strengthen their immune systems. Over the years he continued experimenting and adding ingredients. Then, in a collaborative effort with Amy, they developed the blend that eventually became what we know today as Shire City Herbals Fire Cider. Although impressed by their enthusiasm and excitement, I knew that they had a long road to travel before they would have a product ready for retail. In my capacity as a representative of the Berkshire Co-op I offered to provide them any support they might need as they prepared to pursue their dream of making Fire Cider for the public. Over the next year I provided a small amount of assistance, such as information about retail licensing and insurance requirements, UPC and packaging advice, and of course an open door to introduce and promote the product at the Co-op when they were ready.

ingredients shindy 2013

Amy, Dana, and Brian (Amy’s brother) worked hard over the next year and we received our first delivery of Fire Cider on October 3rd, 2011. In only three months, Fire Cider became the number one unit seller and number two dollar seller in the supplement department. This is no small feat for a small local start-up. Fire Cider was now selling better than our number one vitamin supplement! I attribute this early success first to the superior quality of this uniquely marketable product, its effectiveness, and of course its following in the community. In addition, the level of success we achieved would not have come about if we had not worked closely with Amy and Dana on a strong promotional plan that included an introductory sale, placement in our Local Deals flier, and several product demonstrations. By the end of 2012 Fire Cider was still number one in unit sales and had become number one in dollar sales. In 2013 we started to promote Fire Cider more aggressively with more frequent sales, product demonstrations, and a huge cross-merchandising push to get Fire Cider in more places throughout the store. We had introduced the 16 oz. size in late 2012 and saw an amazing 378% unit increase in 2013, while still achieving 10% growth with the 8 oz. size. All year, people were raving about the product. Fire Cider was getting national press, sales continued to increase, and this fiery tonic had quickly become a staple in many households across the Berkshires and beyond. Admittedly, the Co-op was and still is only a small part of their success, but what it represents for the Co-op is our values in action– strengthening the local economy by cultivating strong vendor partnerships and of course harnessing the incredible power of the third principle of cooperatives: member economic participation. Simply put, Fire Cider is an amazing local success story and Berkshire Co-op Market is proud to have played a role in helping them achieve this success.

But let me back up a moment. Some of you may still be wondering what exactly Fire Cider is? Who makes it? How is it made? Where is it made? Well, one day I decided to pay a visit to the folks at Shire City Herbals and had the opportunity to make some with them.

Shire City Herbals Fire Cider is made from organic raw apple cider vinegar, raw wildflower honey, organic oranges, organic lemons, organic onions, organic horseradish root, organic ginger root, organic habanero peppers, organic garlic, and organic turmeric. They use locally produced honey from Merrimack Valley Apiary in Billerica, MA, which they purchase by the ton directly from the beekeeper. One ton comes on a heavy-duty pallet and contains 36 x 60 pound buckets, or 2,160 pounds of honey! Although they continue to search for a supply of local (New England), organic, raw apple cider vinegar, they currently source from Spectrum Organics in California, a trusted name in the industry and a reputable producer of the highest quality organic and natural oils and vinegars. The remaining ingredients are sourced through Albert’s Organics and Frontier Natural Products Co-op, long-time organic produce and herb/spice suppliers in the natural foods business.

That's a TON of organic produce!  Amy looks pretty stoked to turn it all into the best medicine she's ever had!

That’s a TON of organic produce! Amy looks pretty stoked to turn it all into the best medicine she’s ever had!

Fire Cider is marketed as a dietary supplement and is generally used as a natural, whole food remedy for common symptoms related to cold, flu, and seasonal allergies among numerous other medicinal uses. Many of the ingredients have known immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and have been used safely and effectively the world over in herbal healing traditions for centuries. As a whole food product, Fire Cider has a wide variety of culinary uses as well, including sauces, dressings, marinades, and beverages (in a Bloody Mary is particularly delicious). I have been making some amazing salad dressings with it and have recently heard of Fire Cider infused meatballs and even Fire “Soder” (Fire Cider and soda water). But like most people, I usually take a shot a day to keep me going.

Fire Cider is made by a company called Shire City Herbals, which is located in Pittsfield, MA. Incorporated in January 2011, the company is a family affair, co-owned by husband and wife Dana St. Pierre and Amy Huebner, Brian Huebner, and several other family members. A homegrown business, they started making Fire Cider in the kitchen of their home and then at the neighborhood Unitarian church on Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield. Starting off in just a handful of stores, farmers’ markets, and fairs, they are now in almost 350 stores across the country. They currently produce in a licensed commercial kitchen in Greenfield, MA, owned by the Franklin County Community Development Corporation. The FCCDC is an economic development nonprofit organization providing comprehensive business development education, access to capital, and a commercial office and manufacturing space to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the greater Western Massachusetts area. The facility is called the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center and is the same facility where Co-op favorites Ooma Tesoro’s, the Bean Cake Company, and Katalyst Kombucha produce their fine local food.

So, on a warm sunny day in early September I hitched a ride with Amy, Dana and Brian up to the processing center in Greenfield. As we ascended the winding road of beautiful Route 9, our eyes were greeted with lush green foliage and the expansive ridgelines of the eastern edge of the Berkshire Hills in the background. On the way we stopped off at the Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington, MA. The Old Creamery General Store recently converted to a cooperative and the Berkshire Co-op has been assisting them in various capacities over the past several years. We left with some of the Old Creamery’s famous deli sandwiches. It turned out to be a classic late summer Berkshire day, with the sun shining warm and bright as we continued on our journey to Greenfield. When we arrived at the facility, I found out that Katalyst Kombucha (now Artisan Beverage Cooperative) is actually one of the anchor tenants at the food-processing center and I learned that they are the co-packers for Fire Cider, doing all of the bottling on their behalf. This is also where Real Pickles, a huge local favorite, got their start. I felt a profound sense of connection to the local food movement. I was excited to take a look on the inside and have another experience of getting to know more deeply the food we provide to the owners and shoppers at the Co-op.

From the left: Brian, Dan and Dana are ready to get to work!

From the left: Brian, Dan and Dana are ready to get to work!

We began by suiting up in heavy waterproof boots and other necessary gear as they explained how things would get quite messy in the process. They told me their process includes three phases – production, pressing, and bottling. That day was a pressing day. We started by setting up a stainless steel IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container) filled with 350 gallons of organic apple cider vinegar and almost 700 pounds of other ingredients.  This is no easy task. Fully loaded, the IBC weighs over two tons (4,250 pounds). Dana and I used a pallet jack, slowly pushing and pulling the hulking IBC into the kitchen, careful not to let the pallet jack wheels roll over the floor drains. We then lined up another temporary holding container adjacent to the IBC. This IBC was prepped about six weeks prior, during the production phase of the process. After we got the tanks in place, Dana and I began to set up the pump and hoses necessary to pump the cider back and forth between the IBC and the holding tank during the pressing and filtering operation. He described the production phase to me while we were setting things up. Production starts with raw fruits and veggies, peels and all. They engage in minimal processing, scrubbing the horseradish and rinsing everything, cutting the citrus and garlic in half, and pulping the ginger, horseradish, and onion. Everything then goes into the tank with the vinegar, habanero pepper, and turmeric and is allowed to steep for a minimum of six weeks (1,000 hours).  Meanwhile, Amy was setting up the 35-ton hydraulic juice press in the cold room and Brian was washing and sanitizing all of the utensils, buckets, and containers to be used in the process.

After all the setup was complete, we were ready for pressing. Dana fired up the pump and the cider slowly started to flow from the stainless steel IBC into the adjacent holding tank. He had to bang on it several times with a mallet to get the aging pump up to full pressure. Dana was like the engineer on an old steamer ship, coaxing the turbines to produce as much power as possible. The klaxons, bells, and whistles from the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine” played through my head for a second and I could not hold back the huge smile and accompanying laugh that followed. Once the holding tank was filled, he opened up the door of the IBC and we proceeded to scoop out all of the solid ingredients for pressing. Suited up in full production gear, Amy was in charge of the pressing. Utilizing the incredible hydraulic force of the 35-ton juice press, she made sure to squeeze every last vital drop from the vinegar-infused oranges, lemons, onions, garlic, and other ingredients, with the liquid from each press being poured back into the IBC. The pressing is a crucial step in the creation of Fire Cider because the vitamin- and nutrient-rich liquids are essential to the nutritional composition and the taste profile of the finished product. We all helped Amy at various times with the pressing, cleaning, sanitizing, and disposing of compost and other waste throughout the day. Next, Brian, Dana and I blended in the raw wildflower honey, filtered the batch one final time and we all muscled the IBC back into the warehouse. Finally, there was end of day cleanup, a very extensive and meticulous process, removing all traces of production from the shared commercial kitchen space as well as washing and sanitizing every piece of equipment used that day. From start to finish, it took four people seven hours to complete, and after all of this hard work, we had produced 350 gallons of Fire Cider ready for bottling. One finished IBC can yield roughly 5,600 8 oz. bottles of Fire Cider. They currently have five IBCs in regular production, with several more lined up for purchase in the near future.

The entire experience, from the day Amy and Dana told me of their dream over three years ago, right up to the moment we finished cleaning everything up at the end of the pressing day, helped me fully understand what it really takes to create a wholesome, local product for market. I thought of their tireless dedication, working around the clock to build their business in a very grassroots and personal way with limited resources. What the folks at Shire City have been able to accomplish in three years is truly an inspiration to all of us at the Co-op and in the greater Berkshire community and beyond. For me it all comes back to the power of food and the idea that food is destiny. It truly has the power to transform the lives of people, the communities in which they live, and the world as a whole.

Over dinner at the People’s Pint in Greenfield, a favorite brewpub serving wholesome local food and handcrafted beer, I learned of their dream of buying a farm one day and growing the ingredients for Fire Cider themselves. They told me about their mission statement, which is borrowed from Hippocrates: Food is the best medicine and the best medicine is good food. They explained the idea of Fire Cider as a gateway food; something that is unmistakable, potent, and which can immediately convince people of the power of raw, whole foods. I ended the day feeling incredibly grateful to have had this amazing opportunity to build a better world through food—in my daily work with all of our valued local farmer and vendor partners, and especially with the good folks at Shire City Herbals.

Solar Powered Awesome

We are finally finished moving into a new, larger warehouse, but we still have the same neighbors: Blue Q runs their shipping operation out of the same building.  Shire City Herbals joined them there this past week/end one year exactly since we moved Fire Cider out of our house.  Not only is the space larger and better suited to our needs, it’s also solar-powered.  How cool is that?

Part of the huge solar array at 703 West Housatonic St in Pittsfield.

Part of the huge solar array in our new backyard.

The solar array provides about 80% of the electricity that the entire building uses, on average, year round.   Yeah, we were impressed too.

And Blue Q also spent time last year building a sweet garden and outdoor picnic spot for everyone to enjoy.   Clearly, our businesses were meant to be together.

We really hope Time Warner will hook up our internet soon.  It’s been over a week without service.  We got creative and have been using a cell phone as a hot spot.  Seriously, it’s like 1990 over there, I can almost hear the wacky dial-up noise, you remember that?!

Moving in and setting up took longer than expected but we are super happy in our new space!

Moving in and setting up took longer than expected but we are super happy in our new space!

We have a small corner, about 1,000 sq ft of a much larger space.  Hopefully we won’t have to move again for the foreseeable future.   Having another 10,000 plus sq ft to expand into certainly helps!

It’s a beautiful day here in the Berkshires, Dana is excited to get his skis on for the first time this winter!   Happy snow day to all of you, here’s a cartoon starring your favorite weird little guy, Go Go:

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Eating From The Ground Up!

One of the coolest bloggers in the Berkshires has done a great write up on Fire Cider, including a new version of the Hot Toddy recipe and a contest where you can win a Fire Cider Gift Box!  It’s as easy as leaving a comment on her post and you are entered to win!  Here the beginning of Alana’s post, click the link to read the rest on her blog:  EatingFromTheGroundUp.com

“Oh, Fire Cider. Where to begin?

Let’s start in the Fall of 2011. My friend, Gina, asked me to be a judge at Hancock Shaker Village’s Harvest Festivalfarmers’ market, which basically involved wandering through the shortbread and local honey, trying to take myself very seriously. Sadie helped, trailing along after, whispering about this and that product over my shoulder, peering at my scribbled notes.

I found Amy, Dana and Brian at their little card table, sandwiched on either side by the cloth-wrapped soaps and homemade jams and jellies one usually finds at such a market. I was drawn right to the table for so many reasons–that there were three people under 40 I did not recognize (laugh if you will, but anyone who’s grown up in a small town will understand) and they had this relaxed and glow-y rockstar effect going for them. They were surrounded by little bottles with the most amazing label, and yes, yes, I’m a sucker for a good label. And in the air around their stall, I could pick up notes of ginger, and lemon, and… was that horseradish? Whatever it was, it all came together to create a sort of tractor beam that pulled me in. I was transfixed. Continue reading →

http://www.eatingfromthegroundup.com/2014/02/fire-cider/#more-7004

Fire Soder!

Or,  call it Fire Pop!  I think it depends on what part of the country you’re from.  Lately, it’s been so cold, you know, the Polar Vortex?  I think that’s a terrible misspelling of Global Warming!  Anyway, the extreme weather has us drinking a lot of Fire Soder! to stay hydrated and Fire Tea to stay warm.  Thanks Chef James for naming this recipe,  we can’t wait to see you behind the butcher counter at Berkshire Organics!

Soda water and a repel wolves dose of Fire Cider....

Soda water and a repel wolves dose of Fire Cider for Amy….

All you need…

1 pint of soda water

1 teaspoon to a full shot of Fire Cider, you know how much you need!

Combine and Drink up!

...Fire Soder!

…Fire Soder! kinda looks like orange soder.  The similarities end there.

You can make the same drink, only hot, using 2 mugs, 16 oz of boiling water and as much Fire Cider as you like for an immune boosting eye opener to share with whomever is coughing and sniffling near you, you’re welcome!  They will probably thank you.  Perhaps add a heaping teaspoon of fresh grated ginger root or ginger tea, now you’re on to something.  To your health!

Guest Blog Post: Health Benefits of Ginger

Here’s one in a series of post’s we’ll be doing on the health benefits of the ingredients we use in Fire Cider®.  Let’s start with one of my favorites, GINGER!

This guest Blog post is by David Novak from Healthline.com:

Ginger is widely used in different culinary cuisines and has numerous therapeutic health qualities. It is a rhizome, or mass of roots, from the plant Zingiber officinale, and with the numerous members of this plant family, all have their own uses as a delicacy, medicine and spice. Ginger can be served in solid form as fresh, dried or powdered, and in liquid form such as juice, extract or oil. It has been found to be highly effective in fighting a variety of diseases and conditions because of its ability to relieve excessive inflammation, which is a notable underlying cause of many illnesses. Here are several areas where ginger has been shown to be very effective:

Diagram of the Ginger Plant.

Diagram of the Ginger Plant.

Anti-inflammatory effects

Ginger has been known to have tremendous anti-inflammatory effects. It contains gingerols, which is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is believed to reduce pain for people who have arthritis. Ginger also aids in improving the mobility of arthritic patients, particularly those who are suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

In studies conducted in patients who responded to conventional drugs and those who didn’t, researchers found that 75-percent of arthritis patients and 100 percent of patients suffering with muscular discomfort experienced relief from swelling and pain. Other neurodegenerative diseases can also be aided by ginger’s ability to inhibit the production of nitrous oxide and proinflammatory cytokines.

Cancer

Gingerols, which is the main active component in ginger and responsible for its distinctive taste, can also help in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. In a colorectal cancer research study, mice were injected with cancer cells, and only 4 tumors were found in those treated with gingerol, compared to the 13 tumors found on those without gingerol. An ovarian cancer study and ginger also produced positive results. The cancer cells were exposed to a ginger powder solution, and these cells either died due to apoptosis, in which they commit suicide, or autophagy, where they digested or attack themselves. According to the researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, the ginger solution can also prevent the cancer cells from building up a resistance when it comes to cancer treatment.

Gastric distress

Ginger also has the innate ability to ease gastric distress and it does more than simply relieving pain. In a study conducted for those suffering from dyspepsia, they were instructed to take ginger capsules, and the study found that ginger was indeed helpful in stimulating the emptying of the stomach without any negative effects. Ginger contains an antispasmodic agent that has been shown to be very beneficial for the digestive tract. It also inhibits H. Pylori, which is a bacterium found in the stomach that causes several types of stomach ulcers.

Toxicity

Ginger has been found effective in preventing toxic effects from a wide array of substances. This includes doxorubicin and excitotoxin monosodium glutamate or MSG. The cancer doxorubicin has been found damaging to the kidneys, however, ginger is found effective in alleviating it. MSG has been widely used as a food additive and although its effects are still controversial, it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA. Ginger extract has been shown effective in protecting the nerves against damage caused by MSG.

Nausea, vomiting and motion sickness

Ginger has been found effective in nausea in all kinds of situations. It has been long used for sea sickness and motion sickness prevention. Ginger can also be used effectively for pregnant women, even for those who suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum, which is an acute form of nausea and vomiting that often requires hospitalization. In a randomized controlled trial published in 2005 by Obstetrics and Gynecology, ginger was found effective in relieving the severity of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The review also confirmed that ginger has no side effects or adverse effect during and after pregnancy.

Dysmenorrhea

Based on a study conducted in young women suffering from menstrual pain, ginger has been found as effective as other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ponstel and ibuprofen. It is one of the safest alternative medicines you can use instead of over-the-counter drugs.

Immune boosting action

Ginger has been found very effective in promoting healthy sweating, which can be helpful for colds and flu. It assists in detoxification by removing toxins thru sweat glands. According to German researchers, sweat carries a potent germ-fighting agent that aids in fighting off infections.

David Novak’s is a nationally syndicated columnist, and his byline has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world.  He’s an avid health enthusiast, and frequently is featured in regional and national health publications. He is also a weekly writer for Healthline.  To visit his other features, visit http://www.healthline.com/

Tales for Tee Shirts, Part II

I hope you all had a happy, healthy Thanksgiving!  I have to say  I am super thankful for all of the support Brain, Dana and I have gotten from all of you!  It is so rewarding to be contributing in a meaningful way to our community. And I get to work with two of my favorite people, how cool is that?!
A loud and clear message on the back!

A loud and clear message on the back!

Recently I asked folks on our Facebook page to send in stories or recipes with a focus on Fire Cider in exchange for one of our new t-shirts.   G.S. from Connecticut recently sent us this story and  we think it’s pretty great:
“Hi guys – I found your website last evening after a friend at the racquet club told me about it. And I can honestly say I’ve seen every video and read pretty much every word on your website. And I could not wait to try it out – and it was pretty late at night so I had to wait. I know it sounds silly, but it really was annoying to wait to over 12 hours to try it.
I had ZERO doubts that I’d have to drive miles to find an ‘esoteric’ product like Fire Cider but turns out you are in my town at the local health store! I couldn’t believe it!  So first thing this morning on the calendar was to pick it up and I opened it in the health store, asked for a spoon, and tasted it right there. AND LOVED IT. And started giving taste samples to folks in the store right there –  happily becoming your unofficial salesman and spokesperson. And then I went to lunch (technically a business meeting), and I let folks at the restaurant try it and then I added it to my corn chowder. And yes, delicious corn chowder gets to be even more delicious with a tablespoon of Fire Cider!

I just wanted to send you guys a quick email to say how much I love Fire Cider- it is just flat out awesome. There is only one problem: I collect hot sauces and now there is something that is NOT a hot sauce, but rules them all! What am I going to do with the hot sauces?”

Not a bad problem to have!  G.S.’s Fire Cider T-shirt is in the mail and if you want FREE Fire Cider swag, send in your recipes or Fire Cider story to Amy@FireCider.com.  Mega bonus point to anyone who made a Fire Cider Turkey for the big day!

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