The Back Story of Four Thieves Vinegar
Four Thieves Vinegar - Ingredients
2 Tlb Thyme (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Rosemary (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Sage (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Lavender (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Mint - spearmint, peppermint (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Wormwood (dried) - double with fresh
2 Tlb Rue (dried) - double with fresh
4-8 cloves of fresh minced garlic
2 32-ounce bottles of organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Put all the dried OR fresh herbs and garlic into a large glass jar – ½ gallon size if you have. I always use fresh plants as I believe the final vinegar is superior in the end. I know some are fine with dried herb use and happy with the end result too. You will find your way that you prefer. Use what you have or have access to.
If using dried herbs: I do suggest to warm the vinegar to just the point of seeing a little steam off the top. This helps the dried plant material to open up. Please don't boil it or you destroy much of the benefits of raw vinegar. Use mason or heat safe jars too.
Pour the vinegar over the herbs and garlic and seal tightly. Be sure the herbs are covered with 2-3” of vinegar which may take a day to assess once things have soaked and settled. Add more vinegar if you need to. Vinegar corrodes metal lids. Consider putting waxed paper or plastic wrap on top then capping with metal lid.
Leave in a cool, dark, place for 6-8 weeks shaking daily to a few time a week.
After 6-8 weeks, strain the herbs out and squeeze all the goodness out of the plants too using a cloth-lined strainer. Rebottle and label your tonic. Use within 1 year and make a fresh batch. Store in glass in a dark cabinet.
Suggested Dosing: 1-2 tablespoon in a glass water for a daily tonic during flu season. Increase to every 4 hours when you are actively sick.
"Apple Cider Vinegar contains 19 of the 21 essential minerals needed for growth and repair in our bodies"
Fire Cider Tonic
This is an old recipe I learned about from Rosemary Gladstar so many years ago. I added beets to her orginal recipe for immune boosting 'food' for the blood and it just tastes and looks divine! This is made each fall in my home as we greet the cooler weather. A little each day helps my body acclimate to the cooler weather a bit faster. I prefer to greet colds and flus like unwanted, unexpected house guests. Remain cordial, never let them travel too deep into your home, shoo them out as quickly as you can, and clean up deep after they leave. Here is our greeting drink while the soup pot is cleaned and prepared for work.
Fire Cider Tonic with a Beet
1 part horseradish - fresh grated is BEST; otherwise use the jar variety
1 part onions -chopped
1 part beets - I grate these too
½ part garlic - chopped
½ part ginger- minced
Cayenne to taste (just a pinch, OR chop a few hot peppers instead)
Honey to taste
Apple Cider Vinegar-organic raw is best
The amounts and proportions can be varied according to your particular taste. For your first time, start with equal amounts of the first three ingredients and one half part garlic and ginger. You can always adjust the flavors in future batches.
Chop enough of the first five ingredients to pack a quart jar approximately 3/4 full.
Put in wide mouth quart jar and cover with Apple Cider vinegar and keep vinegar about two inches above the herbs. Add cayenne to taste and just a small amount or it will be too hot! Let sit 6-8 weeks shaking occasionally. Strain and discard spent herbs. Add honey to taste until you get that sweet and tangy balance.
This is our 'flu shot'! One tablespoon a day to every 4 hours with symptoms in warm water is strong good care during flu season. Your final Fire Cider should taste hot, spicy, tangy, and sweet. It's great as a winter tonic or as a remedy for colds and coughs. Many love to take little shot glasses as a tonic or add 1-2 Tlb to your mug with warm water and sip. I prefer the diluted, warm route which is little easier on the delicate digestive tract when we're not feeling well. I've also met many vibrant elders who swear by this for managing 'all my aches and pains'. And yes, it's delicious used in salad dressings or on rice or steamed vegetables.
Jennifer Costa, Herbalist-RN, Teacher, BS, EM-CST, and Founder of ElderMoon School of Herbs & Earth Medicine