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Natural Awakenings Austin

"Fire Cider" Cannot be Trademarked, says Federal Judge

Nov 03, 2019 03:22PM ● By Cat Carrel
The term fire cider, coined by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s, is used to describe a warming elixir of herbs, honey and apple cider vinegar that is typically used during the fall and winter to treat colds and flu, aid digestion and boost the immune system. A federal judge in Springfield, Massachusetts has ruled that the term “fire cider” is generic and cannot be trademarked. The term was challenged when a company trademarked it so no one else could sell the herbal remedy under that name.

The Fire Cider 3—Kathi Langelier, of Herbal Revolution, in Maine; Mary Blue, of Farmacy Herbs, in Rhode Island and Nicole Telkes, of Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, in Austin—had brought suit against the company, arguing that fire cider has been reproduced, adapted, used and sold by thousands of herbalists over the past 40 years.  The trial lasted nine days after which the federal judge determined in a 40-page decision that fire cider is a generic term.

The lawsuit sparked a petition that garnered more than 15,000 signatures, the Tradition Not Trademark Facebook page, and the website Herbalists from around the country rallied and supported the Fire Cider 3 in their quest to revoke the trademark.

Pictured: The Fire Cider 3 (L-R) Nicole Telkes, Mary Blue, and Kathi Langelier (far right), with Rosemary Gladstar (second from right). For more information, visit  

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