I've been wanting to share my favorite recipes for herbal vinegars and with the the transition from summer to fall it seemed like now is the perfect time! Herbal vinegars are such a versatile preparation. From hair rinses to salad dressing, they are an amazing nutritious addition to your everyday rituals and a great way to preserve the summers bounty. This preparation is the perfect gateway into making herbal medicine because you really can't go wrong.
Although other vinegars can be used, apple cider vinegar is my favorite for herbal elixirs. The benefits are abundant. Improves digestion, lowers blood sugar & blood pressure, contains lots of nutrients including; magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, amino acids & antioxidants., antimicrobial, balances pH, reduces acne, wrinkles & inflammation, adds shine to hair & prevents dandruff! I always choose raw, unfiltered "with the mother" (Good bacteria, containing probiotics & enzymes). I also stock rice vinegar, white & red wine vinegar for cooking and of course white vinegar for cleaning!
My favorite is using an infused ACV as a facial toner at night before bed. After gently cleansing, i take a warm damp cloth and add a few dabs of the vinegar and wipe gently wipe my face with it. It astringes while also soothing my sinuses and i leave it to dry. I only do this a few times a week as not to dry my face out. I actually enjoy the smell of vinegar as weird as that may be, so if ya don't then obviously stick to the witch hazel.
A lil' story... When i was little, i had pneumonia which resulted in pretty severe asthma, aligning with my Sun in Cancer which has an affinity for the lower respiratory system. I was on a few different inhalers throughout my childhood but there was one remedy that always worked like magic. I would wheeze & wheeze, as my little struggling lungs would fight to breathe. A soothing folk remedy from my Nonnie, was rubbing my back with a warm cloth infused with vinegar. It would relax & ease the tension and i was able to breathe without restriction once again. The smell of vinegar now remains a calming medicine i've grown to rememeber and return to. Its truly amazing in how many different ways you can prepare medicinal vinegar. Below i am going to list my favorite vinegar preperations for every season.
Onward to some wonderful recipes!
This is one of my favorite recipe's, similar to fire cider, but not as harsh! In my home we start taking two tablespoons in the morning & night at the start of cold & flu season and stay healthy all season long! You can add a spoonful to warm water & lemon or use it as a dressing! It's so tasty. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking.
- 4-6 Cayenne peppers (less for fresh or more for dried)
- 1 whole fresh head garlic (smashed & roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger (grated or chopped)
- 1 medium white (or purple) onion (chopped)
- 32 ounce mason jar with lid
- About 2 Cups Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs is my favorite & very accessible)
- About 2 cups of Local Raw Honey
* Oxymel is 1:1 ratio of AVC to Honey.
- Gently warm ACV on very low heat on the stove. You want it to be just warm.
- Add all the ingredients into clean mason jar.
- Pour honey over and fill about half way.
- Add in the ACV, stir with a wooden spoon, screw on lid & shake gently.
- Store in a cool, dark place, giving a gentle shake every few days, for 2-4 weeks then strain & enjoy! * I always err on the longer side for maximum potency.
* You should use a plastic lid or place a piece of parchment paper in between to prevent oxidization.
* A little trick is to use a honey jar! I hate to waste all that good honey that gets left on the sides of the jar so i will either make a nice herbal water infusion in the jar or use it to make an oxymel!
Infused Apple Cider Vinegar:
This is basically a tincture using apple cider vinegar as the menstruum. You can use any herb you'd like, filling a jar with fresh or dried herbs & top with ACV. Now, using fresh plants you will fill the jar from half way or to the top (depending on how concentrated you'd like it) and with dried plants fill just half way. Let it steep in a cool, dark place for 1 month then strain, bottle & label. (Labeling is so important! You will forget!! Name & date) You can let it steep longer but for herbal vinegars i don't find it necessary.
Herbs I like, but you can use any depending on what your looking for. I opt for herbs that are high in minerals & nutrients to enhance the medicinal qualities of both the plant and the ACV. Sage, Nasturtium, Nettles, Red Clover, Hyssop, Echinacea, Holy Basil, Lemon Balm, Rosehips, Oatstraw or Milky oat tops, Rosemary, Thyme, and the list continues...
Simple ACV infusion
* Optional, 2-6 drops of essential oils - Peppermint, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme
Simple ACV infusion, choose 1 or up to 4 plants (I find it best to keep my formulations at 5 or less different plants as to keep it as specific as possible)
- Lemon Balm
That's all i got for now, as life is busy this time of year and i want to get this out to you all so you can start making medicine for the transition to colder weather! This post will be here for you to return to and i will definitely update it with more recipies!
Comment below your favorite herbal vinegar preparations or drop any questions you have! Thanks so much, be well!