Herbal Fire Tonic
This recipe comes from folklore dating back to Medieval Europe. Legend has it that four thieves used a concoction of vinegar with garlic, herbs and spices to protect them from the plague as they robbed the houses and graves of those who fell victim to the deadly disease. In fact, it is believed that many people used this powerful medicine, including priests, doctors, those who had to retrieve the bodies of the dead, and the gravediggers.
The recipes for this ancient concoction are as varied as the stories about them. They have been passed down for hundreds of years under names such as Marseilles Vinegar and Four Thieves Vinegar. The most recent name, which was introduced in the 1980s by renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, has been called Fire Cider. She began teaching students this old remedy in her herb school and thus revived the tradition in the US..
Today, we use this as a daily tonic for the many systems of the body that these various herbs support. Our recipe consists of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar, infused for a minimum of two months with 12 different organic herbs and spices. We then strain off the vinegar, bottle it, and then use the remaining "pulp" to make our Herbal Fire Spice. So, you get the whole plant!
We have included brief vignettes of each herb, below. Spend some time learning about these plants, and their ability to work in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle to provide real health benefits, and you will enjoy this delicious tonic even more!
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Published by Rodale Press, Inc. 1987
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve, Dover Publications, 1971
Herbal Medicine, Classic Edition, by Rudolf Fritz Weiss, M.D., 2001 Georg Thieme Verlag