Shire City Fire Cider: Don’t buy it

You may have recently learned out the potential health benefits of fire cider: a sweet, spicy, sour, eye-widening infusion of pungent herbs in vinegar and hon. The taste is true to its name. It’s a popular addition to cold and flu regimens. Fire cider is considered to be a “medicinal food” that can be taken as-is or used in a variety of foods and beverages, such as juices, teas, salad dressings, soups, etc.

Rosemary Gladstar coined the term ‘fire cider’ over 25 years ago, and it’s been used as a generic term for pungent vinegar infusions since then. Shire City Herbals trademarked the term in 2012 and has been actively pursuing litigation against small herbal businesses for using it. They recently sent a cease sales letter to an herbalist for using the term ‘fyre cyder’.

Do not purchase Shire City Fire Cider, as you are supporting unethical use of trademarks and intellectual property theft in herbal medicine. Alternative fire cider suppliers can be found here.

You can also make your own! This is my favorite fire cider recipe (from Rosemary Gladstar).

  • ½ cup grated fresh horseradish root
  • ½ cup or more fresh chopped onions
  • ¼ cup or more chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup or more grated ginger
  • Chopped fresh or dried cayenne pepper ‘to taste’. (Can be whole or powdered.)
  • Optional ingredients; Turmeric, Echinacea, cinnamon, etc.
  1. Place herbs in a half-gallon canning jar and cover with enough raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to cover the herbs by at least 3-4″.  Cover tightly with a tight fitting lid.
  2. Place jar in a warm place and let for three to four weeks.  Best to shake every day to help in the maceration process.
  3. After three to four weeks, strain out the herbs, and reserve the liquid.
  4. Add honey ‘to taste’.  (Warm the honey first so it mixes in well.)
  5. Rebottle and enjoy!  Fire Cider will keep for several months unrefrigerated if stored in a cool pantry.   But it’s better to store in the refrigerator if you’ve room.

Favorite variations: elderberry-turmeric, Doug-fir+hawthorn, elderflower+yarrow.

For more information visit Free Fire Cider and Tradition not Trademark.

13 Responses

  1. David Kaye

    The only complaint was about the use of the trademarked term “Fire Cider”. If you or anybody else can show that the term “fire cider” (no capitals) was used generically prior to April 2012 then their claim to the “Fire Cider” mark is invalid. Just show ads in Common Ground or Prevention or other publications that can be verified as to having been published prior to April 2012 and you’re home free.

    1. David Kaye

      Who? Most people go into business with capitalist intent. They want to be the next Tom’s of Maine or Prevention Magazine or Dr. Bronner’s.

  2. Alison Underhill

    Rosemaary was making, and teaching how to make, fire cider a long time before this guy did. I’m all for protecting those who invent something and wanted to keep others from making money off their efforts. But this seems to me that he “stole” her work and is now trying to capitalize on it.! Not sure that’s in the right spirit.

  3. Mike

    While I disagree with this company bullying people with a term they copyrighted but did not create, I find it particularly absurd that anyone would disagree with someone trying to profit from their labor to bring quality products to market!

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