Medicine Making: Fire Cider and Garlic Oxymel

It’s that time of year to put up some medicine to carry us through the winter. Elderberry syrup, herbal teas and ginger lozenges are all great to have on hand and easy to find at the health food store; but some medicines are just better if made at home. Today I am going to share two traditional folk remedies that I think are crucial to the witch’s medicine cabinet. Fire Cider and Garlic Oxymel. These remedies are extremely effective at bolstering the immune system and assisting our bodies to overcome colds and flu; and they are easy to make with very flexible recipes…the measurements do not have to be exact and the ingredients can vary based on preference or availability.

Fire Cider is a vinegar infusion of spicy herbs and veggies that is beneficial to the circulatory and immune systems. It is a warming tonic that aid in digestion, which is great for the cold months when we tend to eat rich and hard to digest foods. The recipe I am sharing in the image below is from Rosemary Gladstar. If you are not familiar with Rosemary, seek out a few of her books. They are a great starting point for those interested in making herbal remedies. You can find dozens of easy Fire Cider recipes online. Try a few and see which you and your family prefer–or keep several on hand for variety. You also need not wait until your are ill to take a spoonful of the tonic. After heavy meals, before a stressful day, or when you know you’ll be amongst a crowd of people are just some of the instances when you may like to have a taste of Fire Cider.


Fire Cider is an excellent remedy for adults and teens, but children might not like the “heat” and prefer an Oxymel. An Oxymel is a mixture of honey and vinegar with the added herbs of choice. There are many different Oxymel recipes and I encourage you to seek them out in books and online and experiment with several. The honey in the Oxymel sweetens the tonic and makes it easier for children to eat. Just remember that honey shouldn’t be given to a child younger than one year of age.

I chose to share the recipe for a Garlic-Ginger Oxymel because of its simplicity and adaptogenic nature. This tonic is suitable for treating sore throat, respiratory congestion, to help break a fever and to rid the body of cold and flu. Making an Oxymel is a super simple process and very flexible. You can always add more honey when serving a dose if the child/person prefers it sweeter.

Recipe by Larken Bunce



I hope these simple recipes will get you started making some medicine in your kitchen and inspire you to research other Fire Cider and Oxymel recipes. To me, crafting medicine is one of the witchiest things anyone can do. It is so empowering to heal yourself and others and these folk remedies have stood the test of time for good reason! Do you have a medicine recipe that you love to make? Please share it in the comments section below; and check my Instagram page in the coming weeks to see pictures of the medicines I will be making. Thank you for stopping by and reading and stay well!

~ Blessed Be ~

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