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Repost of Archive Article – Fire Cider Withered Herb

The Unmentionable Cider – A Response to the Notion of Trademarking Words

Several days ago, I received an email from the online marketplace, Etsy.com,  informing me that one of  my products, Fire Cider, had been deactivated (removed) from my Withered Herb shop because of trademark infringement.

Dear TheWitheredHerb,
Etsy deactivated some of your shop’s item listings in accordance
with our Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.

I was stumped – how could someone trademark a recipe that has been around for a very long time?

Ahh…they did not trademark the recipe but rather bought the name ‘fire cider.’  The ownership of language is a crazy thing…and has become a money-making strategy in the new world of intellectual property (the buying and selling of possible web domain titles is a multi-million dollar business for one example).

I am not referring to copyright – the ownership of creative works – which I fully support. No one should be able to use my writing, photos and artwork without my permission.

But to own two words that have been used to describe a recipe that has been around for at least decades seems a bit outrageous. But then again I admit to not being a very knowledgeable or successful capitalist.

I do believe in natural healing based on traditional knowledge that has been handed down over the years. I have been making and selling fire cider for the last few years and my inspiration for my recipe came from Rosemary Gladstar’s books – the godmother of American herbalism.

I must admit to being a bit dismayed at the notion of ownership of language.  After posting this event on Facebook, a friend shared that she had to remove the phrase, ‘At A Glance,’ from her creative calendars because someone owns the phrase!

Herbal medicine has a long history of being the people’s medicine. The knowledge of traditional and historical plant-based remedies has been a SHARED one; handed down through families and communities by many generations of healers, mothers and fathers, grandmothers/fathers, aunts/uncles, etc.

Horseradish and garlic

Horseradish and garlic

As I ponder a creative new title for my version of the herbal tonic/remedy formerly known as Fire Cider (AKA Master Tonic) I thought I would share my recipe.

Fyre Cyder 

1 part fresh horseradish, chopped finely (I advise doing this outside!)

1 part fresh onion, chopped finely

1 part fresh garlic, chopped finely & left to rest for 15 minutes before use

1 part fresh ginger, chopped finely

(Note: Because I grow and buy organically, I leave  the skins on for additional nutritional benefits. Wash off all soil. If you can’t find organic produce, then peel the skins. You can also increase and decrease amounts as you prefer.)

1 -3 fresh peppers, finely chopped (I use jalapeno)

Several fresh cuttings of rosemary and thyme, chopped finely

Mix ingredients and place into a glass jar (about ½ – ¾ full) and cover with organic, raw apple cider vinegar (do not use distilled white vinegar). Place a piece of wax paper over the top and cover with lid. Store in pantry for 4-6 weeks, shaking/stirring when you remember.

Strain and add 2-4 Tbsp. of ground dried turmeric (or if you have access to the fresh rhizome, chop and include with the other roots for steeping).

Add raw honey to sweeten enough so that you will drink it!

Because I like the kick and mucous clearing action, I add several drops of cayenne tincture (or ground cayenne).

This concoction can be used in cooking and on top of fresh salads but it is especially useful for the following conditions:

  • When you experience the beginning symptoms of a cold. Take a swig (1 Tsp or more), mixed with warm water if you insist, every 1-2 hours for the first day of symptoms
  • Nasal nastiness: morning congestion, allergen congestion, lung congestion
  • Sore throat
  • As a daily immune-support tonic (one of my customers swears that she has not had the flu or a cold since she started taking it daily)

The taste is different for sure; some people will like it, some will ponder it…for a long time… and others will twist their face in disgust and make you promise to never give it to them again. (You know who you are)

Create your own Fyre Cyder, Master Tonic, Mucous Extract, call it whatever you like except do not call it the now trademarked name of Fire Cider.

Don’t have the time or energy to make your own? You can purchase a 2 oz dropper bottle of my version here…hurry, these bottles will be the last to illegally use the name of Fire Cider. Could be collectible down the road…

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