According to herbalists, nature offers herbs, spices and vegetables to help people naturally avoid colds and the flu. Two local herbalists recommend a tonic based on apple cider vinegar called "fire cider", saying that people can easily make the folk medicine remedy at home. Common ingredients include apple cider vinegar, onion, garlic and horseradish, and many also include citrus and hot peppers.
Every afternoon, during the cold and flu season, Aniko Zala takes a dose of a special mixture of herbs, tubers and spices that, according to her, is destined to stimulate her body's immune system so that it can fight disease.
The spicy and spicy mixture keeps her spending the rest of her day.
"You get a fast buzz and you feel warm," he said.
A herbalist who lives in Westerville, Zala said that the mixture is not only a good injection of immune stimulation, but also used in salads and to flavor other foods.
Fire cider has been manufactured and sold by herbalists and DIY enthusiasts worldwide for decades. Recipes vary according to local ingredients and taste preferences.
The popular herbal folk remedy is usually made by soaking a combination of herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits in apple cider vinegar for a month, then strain the liquid and add honey to taste. Depending on what you add, it can be sweet, spicy or spicy.
"There are many things that people can do naturally to fight respiratory infections," said Lily Kunning, a Clintonville herbalist. "It wasn't until recently that people even had the ability to go to the doctor for these things."
While herbs and natural remedies can complement or complement modern medicine, doctors recommend getting a flu shot and listening to a doctor's advice if you get sick.
Dr. Miller Sullivan, Franklin County Public Health medical director, said he receives many questions about natural remedies in his private practice as a pediatrician. Although he does not advise people to use natural remedies, he does not advise against its use.
"I have no problem with people who use alternative or other means other than typical cold and flu medications to try to stay healthy and healthy, if it doesn't harm things," Sullivan said. "If you do something good, I think it's fine."
But Sullivan cares about people who use only herbal remedies.
"It's complementary medicine," he said. "They have used alternative medicine for years, and there are some benefits. I would recommend doing both. The key is not to get sick."
One injection of fire cider a day can prevent disease, the two herbalists in central Ohio said, and small sips throughout the day by people who are already sick can reduce symptoms.
"Once I started making fire cider, I stopped getting sick," Zala said.
Zala calls fire cider "infinitely adaptable," depending on the ingredients he uses. Usually, use a recipe that includes onion, ginger, turmeric, garlic, jalapenos, horseradish root, cayenne, lemon and apple cider vinegar. Garlic and apple cider vinegar are the most important, he added.
"These things together are really strong and really powerful," Zala said.
Put all the ingredients in a jar and let them stand for four weeks. But it's okay to skimp a little if you need a little boost before the end of the month, he said.
After the mixture has soaked, strain the solids, then mix the remaining tonic with honey and water, Zala said. It can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator or in a cold, dark place.
Zala said he uses herbs not as a replacement for traditional medicine and recipes, but to help nourish and support his immune system and body so that they are better able to fight disease.
"Fire cider is a remedy for generations," Kunning added.
"It helps eliminate cold hands and feet in winter, and also fights pathogens," he recently told a group of about 15 people who had gathered for the Mothers in Arms community dinner in October at Gahanna Youth Center to learn how to make fire cider. .
It has also been the subject of much news after a Massachusetts company, Shire City Herbals, tried to dial the name "Cider of Fire" in 2012.
Several herbal brand owners requested to cancel the registered trademark in 2014, and Shire City Herbals sued several herbalists who used the name of fire cider. Shire City Herbal lost that battle in September when a federal judge ruled that the name is too generic to be registered.
In addition to drinking fire cider, Kunning recommends that people cook with fresh garlic, onion and thyme, which have powerful medicinal effects. She said that thyme kills pathogens, and onion and garlic have antibacterial properties.
"Herbalism is the medicine of the people, and the wonderful thing about herbalism is that you can grow your own medicine," Kunning said. "All these things are food, and you should incorporate them into your diet as food, and your body will recognize them more that way."
Garlic, onion, lemon balm, yarrow flower and elderberry also have antiviral properties, he said, and can be used in teas or as a concentrated tincture or liquid extract of herbs.
"Plants remain the main source of medicines for people worldwide," Kunning said. "In the United States, we use many drugs of synthetic origin, but that is very recent."
Zala extolled the benefits of some of the same herbs, in addition to sage, oregano and rosemary, which also have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, he said.
"All culinary herbs are medicinal in varying amounts," Zala said. "If you bite fresh oregano or thyme, they numb; they reinforce the body's immune response."