Four Thieves Vinegar is a very old, renowned recipe for a vinegar that packs a huge sickness-busting punch! It’s also called Marseilles Vinegar, Marseilles Remedy, Prophylactic Vinegar, Vinegar of the Four Thieves, camphorated acetic acid, Vinaigre des Quatre Voleurs, and Acetum Quator Furum. Whatever you call it, my dad’s family has been using it for years and I can vouch for its abilities.
This vinegar is attached to a legend of four thieves who would steal valuables off plague victims. When questioned by authorities, they claimed they would soak rags in this vinegar solution and it kept them from becoming sick. Now this legend may be totally fabricated, but historians have discovered a similar recipe called “Forthave’s Vinegar”, a popular concoction created by an enterprising fellow by the name of Richard Forthave.
So how do you make it? You will need:
- 4 cup white vinegar (apple cider vinegar also works well)
- 1/2 cup sage
- 1/2 cup rosemary
- 1/2 cup thyme
- 13 star anise pods
- 13 cloves
- 5 garlic cloves (halved)
- 1 lemon (sliced in wedges)
- 1 knob ginger (roughly chopped)
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 10 drops peppermint oil
Take vinegar, add all herbs. Add oil. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and press to release all juices. Store in a clean glass jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
I use this for EVERYTHING. I use it to clean, I gargle with it when I have a sore throat, I even add it to warm water and drink it. The herbs are all expectorant in nature, and also help fight off bacteria. The vinegar clears the sinuses and releases mucus. The peppermint takes the place of the traditional camphor and has expectorant and antibacterial abilities.
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