Four Thieves Vinegar is a legendary combination of herbs infused into vinegar that makes a welcome addition to a healthy, natural home. It can be taken internally in salad dressings or as a health supportive tonic, applied topically on skin (diluted!), used as a household cleaner, laundry booster and some more!
The recipe for the thieves’ vinegar comes from the Middle Ages Europe, where during the black plague, thousands had died and no one seemed to be immune to the devastation. As appalling as it sounds, some people were taking advantage of the situation though. 4 thieves were noticed to rob the graves and steal from the dead bodies. Miraculously, the villains never ended up getting the plague themselves. When they were eventually arrested and asked what their secret was to never getting infected, they agreed to reveal it in exchange for a lesser punishment. It turned out they ingested and anointed themselves in an herbal formula which has since come to be known as Four Thieves vinegar.
The Four Thieves Vinegar is related to the Four Thieves essential oil blend found in many natural food stores today. Unlike the vinegar that can have many different applications, the essential oil is very concentrated and can only be used sparingly on the skin or diffused. Though this herbal remedy has changed over the centuries and their many variations of it, here’s a simple and easy way to make it.
Lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme have traditionally been used for their anti-bacterial and aromatic properties.
How to Make the Four Thieves vinegar:
about 2 cups *vinegar
1 tablespoon dried lavender buds
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1. Place the herbs in a pint (16 oz) jar.
2. Pour the vinegar over the herbs, filling the jar to the top. Make sure the vinegar covers the herbs by a few inches. Stir the mixture with a clean spoon to thoroughly saturate them with the vinegar.
3. Cover the jar with wax or parchment paper and put the lid on.
4. Label, shake well and move to a spot away from light and heat.
5. Steep for a month, occasionally shaking the contents.
6. Use a cheesecloth lined sieve or nut milk bag to strain the herbs from the vinegar. Squeeze well to extract all the infused vinegar.
7. Pour the strained vinegar into a new jar or bottle. Label and put in a dark spot.
8. Compost the herbs.
Shelf life 1 year.
How To Make a Salad Dressing the Four Thieves vinegar:
1/4 cup infused vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1 garlic clove (optional)
salt, pepper to taste
Combine everything in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well to combine.
To Make a Household Cleaner:
1oz (1/8 cup) cup infused vinegar
2 tablespoons Castile soap
5 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
5 drops peppermint essential oil (optional)
16oz (spray bottle)
Combine the infused vinegar, Castile soap and optional essential oils in the spray bottle. Fill the rest with warm water and shake thoroughly. Use on kitchen counters, door handles, light switches, bathroom fixtures and more.
To Make a Facial toner:
This can help remove excess oil and dirt, and tighten pores.
Combine 1 tablespoon of herbal vinegar with 3 tablespoons of distilled water. Saturate a cotton pad and and apply to freshly cleansed skin, avoiding the eye area.
To use as a laundry booster:
Add 1/4 cup to each wash load.
How else can I use herbal vinegar?
-in marinades and sauces
-in drinks and mocktails
-add to bone broths to coax the minerals from the bones
-add a teaspoon-tablespoon to water as a daily tonic
-as a hair rinse to leave the hair soft and shiny (1/4 cup vinegar to 1 quart of warm water)
-as an insect repellent (1/4 cup vinegar to 1 cup of water combined in a spray bottle)
-add to a bath or foot bath to soften the skin
-as a beautiful gift!
Whatever the truth may be of how this powerful potion remedy came into public knowledge, I hope you take the advantage of this traditional, centuries-old herb-infused vinegar benefits!