Vinegar is one of nature’s great gifts to mankind, and vinegar history shows us why. It is a truly natural product. Any alcoholic beverage, whether it is made from apples, grapes, dates, rice or plain white sugar, once exposed to air, will turn naturally to vinegar. It is the ever-present bacteria in the air that converts the alcohol in cider, wine, and beer, into acetic acid, which gives vinegar its characteristic sharp sour taste.
Recorded vinegar history starts around 5000 BC, when the Babylonians were using the fruit of the date palm to make wine and vinegar. They used it as a food and as a preserving or pickling agent.
In ancient Greece, around 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar mixed with honey for a variety of ills, including coughs and colds.
This recipe centers around herbs that have been known for their antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties for centuries. The most famous mention of these herbs in this specific combination was by four thieves during the Bubonic Plague.
According to legend, four thieves, one of whom was an herbalist, robbed the homes of many who had died of the plague. They were eventually caught and brought to trial. One version of the story recounts that they were sentenced to bury the dead but would be set free if they survived. Another version tells that they were released in return for the recipe for the tonic that they credited with protecting them from the plague.
Either way, the thieves survived, as did the legend and the recipe for their herbal vinegar. Hopefully you won’t ever need this remedy for anything as serious as the plague, but it still serves as a valuable remedy against many illnesses.
Medicinal vinegar’s are perfect for children and those intolerant to alcohol.
Fend off illnesses with antiviral, immune-boosting “Four Thieves” Vinegar.
Healing “Four Thieves” Vinegar Recipe
• 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
• 2 tablespoons dried sage
• 2 tablespoons dried lavender
• 2 tablespoons dried wormwood
• 2 tablespoons dried peppermint
• 1 quart raw, organic apple cider vinegar
• 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
1. In a clean, quart-size glass jar, combine the first five herbs and apple cider vinegar. Cover and steep in a cool dark place for about 2 weeks, shaking daily.
(1 week in)
2. Strain out herbs and return vinegar to jar. Add garlic and cover. Let steep for a few days more and strain again. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.