Fire cider is one of many examples of foods that are treated as medicine and is basically a spicy tonic used to prevent and treat colds by supposedly boosting your immune system. Apple cider vinegar is the base of fire cider and may be among the most accessible health items found in the world. It has been used for issues ranging from gastrointestinal problems to heartburn, and for mental clarity, energy, immune health, and a variety of first-aid measures and results have been successful enough, it seems, to have its uses passed down through time. The final concoction of fire cider combines hot, sweet, pungent, and sour tastes into one drink. While it has been promoted for its potential health benefits, including immune support and digestive health, scientific evidence on its specific effects on gut health is in the early stages and therefore limited.

What Makes up Fire Cider? 

Fire cider is a traditional herbal remedy made from a combination of various ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers. Some of these ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, and onions, are known to have potential health benefits.  There are many different recipes for fire cider and some are included in the links found in the sources at the end of the article.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • has been shown to have antimicrobial properties [1]
  • Ginger
    • has anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve nausea [2]
  • Garlic
    • has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties [3] 
  • Onions
    • contain prebiotic fiber that may support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria
  • Honey
    • potential antimicrobial properties [4]
  • Hot Peppers
    • they are rich in vitamin C and may have antimicrobial properties [5]

While a number of these individual components of fire cider may have some potential general health and/or gut health benefits, the combined effects as fire cider have not been studied scientifically and there can be no definitive health benefits assigned to it.

What are the Claimed Benefits of Fire Cider?

  • Supports the immune system
    • From the above list you can see that many of the individual components have anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial properties, but there’s currently no direct research on fire cider and its role in immune health [1-4].
  • Promotes better blood sugar balance
    • There’s currently no direct research on fire cider and its role in immune health
  • Prevent and treat cold symptoms
    • See Supports immune system above.
  • Helps with digestion
    • Ginger has been shown to be a safe and effective remedy for nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset [2]. 

Fire Cider Cons

  • Due to spice levels it may cause heartburn or stomach discomfort in some people
  • Acidic drinks may damage tooth enamel and should be consumed in moderation
  • Might cause cramping, bloating, and diarrhea in some people

Final Thoughts

While no scientific studies have been done on fire cider specifically, it appears to be safe for most people. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to herbal remedies can vary, and while some people may find fire cider beneficial, others may not experience the same effects. In addition, it can take time and consistency for any supplement or natural remedy to show anticipated results, and overall results can vary from individual to individual. Of note, the preparation of fire cider involves potent ingredients, and consuming it in excessive amounts may lead to digestive discomfort for some individuals.

As with any herbal remedy, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating fire cider or any new supplement into your routine, especially if you have existing health conditions or are taking medications. While traditional remedies can offer potential benefits, it’s essential to approach them with a balanced perspective and be aware that scientific evidence may be limited.



[1] Yagnik, D., Ward, M. & Shah, A.J. Antibacterial apple cider vinegar eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and resistant Escherichia coli. Sci Rep 11, 1854 (2021).

[2] Anh, N. H., Kim, S. J., Long, N. P., Min, J. E., Yoon, Y. C., Lee, E. G., Kim, M., Kim, T. J., Yang, Y. Y., Son, E. Y., Yoon, S. J., Diem, N. C., Kim, H. M., & Kwon, S. W. (2020). Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 12(1), 157.

[3] Parham, S., Kharazi, A. Z., Bakhsheshi-Rad, H. R., Nur, H., Ismail, A. F., Sharif, S., RamaKrishna, S., & Berto, F. (2020). Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties of Herbal Materials. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(12), 1309.

[4] Ajibola, A., Chamunorwa, J.P. & Erlwanger, K.H. Nutraceutical values of natural honey and its contribution to human health and wealth. Nutr Metab (Lond) 9, 61 (2012).

[5] Omolo MA, Wong Z, Mergen AK, Hastings JC, Le NC, et al. (2014). Antimicrobial Properties of Chili Peppers. J Infect Dis Ther 2: 145. doi:10.4172/2332-0877.1000145