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Recipe: Fire Honegar

*Honegar is the word used for a medicine that is a mix of Honey and Vinegar.
It is the middle of cold and flu season. It is cold out. We need a little something to spice life up. So here is the recipe for my favorite cold and flu (and hangover!) remedy. Some call it Fire Cider, or Dragon Cider, or Dragon's Breath. I learned this recipe from my teacher Gina McGarry back when I was in her wonderful school of herbalism and healing and I have been making it yearly ever since.
It's not hard, but it does take time, and is much easier with a food processor. You will need:
Apple cider vinegar (1 quart or so), raw honey (1 quart or so). Strong onions. Garlic. Horseradish. Ginger. Very spicy peppers – these are a Thai pepper of some kind I found at my farmers market.
What we are going for is “equal spice parts”. The peppers are much hotter than the onion so we need more onion than pepper. Does that make sense? I have never once in my life – in the 12 years I have been making this – actually measured the ingredients. I just wing it and it seems to work.
The first step is to wash and prep every thing. Peel the onions, top the peppers, separate the garlic cloves… I always use my food processor to mince everything up, so I cut everything into large chunks. I don't peel the garlic cloves or the ginger.
Very important note: wear gloves. The oils from the peppers and the fumes from the horseradish will get everywhere. If you have kids you can transfer those oils on to them or you can wipe your eyes and YOW. Wear gloves. See my gloves in he picture?
Mince your ingredients in the food processor, one at a time. You want them to be very finely chopped. You can do this by hand if you don't have a food processor. I have often hand chopped my ingredients and it works well. It just takes a very long time. Add each ingredient to a large bowl and mix them together.
Another very important note: the fumes released while your food processor chops the horseradish could be used as a chemical weapon. Do the horseradish last. Drape a towel over the food processor while you are chopping and then let it sit for 5 minutes to rest those fumes. Have babies and little ones in a different room. DO NOT open the food processor and look in to see if it looks right. It hurts. A lot.
Fill a clean jar about half way with the chopped mix. Fill some jars with vinegar and some with honey. It ray to make about half and half. Use a chopstick to stir and release air bubbles. Top off with vinegar or honey and tightly lid. Shake thoroughly and dance around for about 5 minutes.
In the picture below, the honey is in the middle.

Now we get into the alchemy. I know plenty of people who don't do the next part. I know people who have scoffed at me for the next part, so feel free to skip it and tell me I am full of hippy-woo-woo.

We bury our fire cider & honey for a moon cycle. I wrap each jar in a plastic bag, we dig a shallow hole, and let the jars rest in the dark, under cover of dirt, for a month. This is how I learned to make this medicine and, honestly, it is my favorite part. It feels special and sacred and magical. I swear it makes my medicine more potent.

When I dig the cider, I strain the chopped mix through a piece of clean muslin. This is another time to wear gloves! I combine the honey and the vinegar usually, but that is personal preference. You can also keep one bottle of honey and one of vinegar. It is so very tasty combined – sweet, acidic, and ever so hot. I also combine and save the remaining chopped mix. It makes a wonderful spicy relish for people who like a little heat in their food. Try it in a tuna sandwich.

The liquid gets stored in dark bottles. The relish is stored in the he fridge in small jars. It doesn't last long around here. It is our go-to in all adult cases of cold and flu. You can imagine how it moves congestion with all that spicy goodness!

That's all. It's not hard or expensive and the health benefits are immense.




4 responses »

  1. Even more magical if made and buried under a fire moon. Learned from Gina too. ❤ it. May be the longest lasting tradition in my house that came from that school.

  2. I still plant and harvest all root vegetables on the dark of the moon. There is something to it!
    Love this idea.


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