Afro-Dominicana herbalist Suhaly Bautista-Carolina enjoys making fire cider, a sweet-and-spicy medicinal tonic, in advance of seasonal changes when our immune systems are likely to be compromised, so the cider's herbs and vegetables have a full moon cycle (27.5 days on average) to stew in apple cider vinegar.
Suhaly grew up with her AfroKisqueyan mother, who often left bubbling pots of food and plant medicines on the stove in their Brooklyn home. Today, she is proud to contribute her medicine and knowledge to new generations as owner of Moon Mother Apothecary. In her fire cider, ingredients like pungent peppers, garlic, ginger, horseradish, and onion fill the body with antioxidants, clear airways, and improve digestion.
"I recommend one to two tablespoons daily when you're feeling healthy and using this tonic to build immunity. When I'm feeling sick, I double the dosage. It can be taken straight or mixed into juices," Bautista-Carolina said. "I usually make a few big batches, one for my family and loved ones, and another for the online shop at Moon Mother Apothecary. It's also the perfect plant medicine for the creative kitchen witch, since there's not just one way to make it. I start with an old recipe, figure out what we are needing more of, and make the appropriate additions from there. Fire cider is very intuitive, and everyone will have a different version in the end."
Try Suhaly Bautista-Carolina's Dominican fire cider recipe here.