BiotiQuest® Gut Health & Probiotics Blog with Martha Carlin

Gut Health Recipe: How to Make Fire Cider with Martha Carlin

Martha Carlin | Aug 28, 2023 | 2 minutes read

Today I’m sharing a recipe for classic fire cider! This old folk recipe is an herbal tonic, known for all kinds of things, but it’s especially beneficial for gut health due to the potential beneficial properties of its ingredients. It’s full of antioxidants for immune support and enzymes for digestion support. It’s also great for supporting heartburn.

It can be quite potent, especially if you're not accustomed to spicy or pungent flavors. Start with a small amount daily and gradually increase your intake as desired.

Here's a basic fire cider recipe that you can easily prepare at home!

Fire Cider Recipe for Gut Health


  • 1 medium organic onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1/2 cup organic fresh horseradish root, grated
  • 10 cloves organic garlic, crushed or minced
  • 2 organic hot peppers (such as jalapeno or cayenne), chopped (use more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tablespoon organic turmeric powder or fresh turmeric root, grated
  • Zest and juice of 1 organic lemon
  • Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup raw honey
  • Optional: dried rosemary leaves or other fresh herbs like thyme and oregano


  1. Prepare the ingredients: wash and chop the vegetables and herbs as needed. Be cautious when handling hot peppers, and consider using gloves to avoid irritation. If you have a food processor, you can use the grater to shred the horseradish. With the ginger, I typically include some chopped and some graded with a fine grader.
  2. Layer the ingredients: In a ½ gallon clean glass jar, layer the chopped onion, grated ginger, grated horseradish, crushed garlic, chopped hot peppers, lemon zest, turmeric and lemon juice. Scoop in the honey.
  3. Add apple cider vinegar: Pour the raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar into the jar, ensuring that all the ingredients are fully covered. Leave some space at the top to allow for expansion during fermentation.
  4. Seal the jar.
  5. Infuse for several weeks: Place the jar in a cool, dark place and let it infuse for 4 to 6 weeks. Shake the jar gently every day or so to help the flavors meld together to help circulate the compounds.
  6. Strain and bottle: After the infusion period, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a clean glass bottle or jar. Press the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.
  7. Store and use: Seal the bottle with a lid and store the fire cider in the refrigerator. It will keep for several months. Take 1-2 tablespoons daily or use it as a health-boosting ingredient in dressings, marinades, or sauces.

I hope you enjoy this fire cider, and be sure to check out our YouTube channel for more gut-supporting tips and recipes!

Bonus: About the bioactive compounds in the Fire Cider ingredients!

Horseradish:This plant is rich in glucosinolates, particularly sinigrin, which are sulfur-containing compounds with potential anticancer, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. When horseradish is crushed or chewed, the glucosinolates are broken down into various byproducts, including isothiocyanates, which also have been studied for their potential health benefits.

Ginger: Ginger contains several bioactive compounds such as gingerols, shogaols, paradols, and zingerone. These compounds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. Gingerols, for example, are responsible for the characteristic flavor of fresh ginger and have been reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Garlic: Garlic contains a variety of bioactive compounds, the most well-known being allicin, which is responsible for the characteristic smell of garlic. Allicin has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties. Other compounds include alliin, ajoene, and several sulfur-containing compounds, which have been associated with cardiovascular benefits and anticancer activity.

Lemon: This citrus fruit is rich in bioactive compounds like vitamin C, flavonoids (such as hesperidin and naringenin), and essential oils. The flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Lemon also contains limonene, a compound found in the peel and essential oil, which has been studied for its anticancer properties.

Rosemary:Rosemary is rich in a variety of bioactive compounds, including rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and carnosol. These compounds are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Rosemary also contains essential oils like cineole, camphene, and pinene, which have antimicrobial effects.

With gratitude,

Martha Carlin photo Martha Carlin, is a “Citizen Scientist”, systems thinker, wife of Parkinson’s warrior, John Carlin, and founder of The BioCollective , a microbiome company expanding the reach of science and BiotiQuest, the first of it’s kind probiotic line. Since John’s diagnosis in 2002, Martha began learning the science of agriculture, nutrition, environment, infectious disease, Parkinson’s pathology and much more. In 2014, when the first research was published showing a connection between the gut bacteria and the two phenotypes of Parkinson’s, Martha quit her former career as a business turnaround expert and founded The BioCollective to accelerate the discovery of the impact of gut health on all human disease. Martha was a speaker at the White House 2016 Microbiome Initiative launch, challenging the scientific community to “think in a broader context”. Her systems thinking background and experience has led to collaborations across the scientific spectrum from neuroscience to engineering to infectious disease. She is a respected out of the box problem solver in the microbiome field and brings a unique perspective to helping others understand the connections from the soil to the food to our guts and our brains.

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