Protective Herbs: How to Make Four Thieves Vinegar

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A long, long time ago, in a world so different than our own, four, now immortalized thieves managed to survive the great plague with an elixir now referred to as Four Thieves Vinegar. As the tale goes, they lived in the city of Marseilles in the seventeenth century, and while the plague ravaged, they looted. When they were finally caught, they were found with some potent herbed vinegar which is believed to have saved their lives.

There’s no way to know if this is just a story or if these four men really existed, but I can tell you that the herbs in this blend will kill anything. (Ok, that didn’t sound right, so let me rephrase.) This blend of protective herbs is a powerful germ killer and immune booster. You can add it to your food, make salad dressing out of it, or even use it to clean your countertops with.

There are several different recipes for the fabled tonic. This is the one that I make.

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You’ll need:

Glass Jars

Garlic

Sage

Rosemary

Hot peppers (Any kind, as long as they’re hot.)

Apple Cider Vinegar (With the ‘Mother’.)

Honestly, I don’t measure anything when I make this. I just make sure I have enough herbs to fill the jars about 2/3 of the way.

It’s better to use fresh herbs but if you don’t have any available, dried ones will work too. Bruise the herbs by breaking them up a bit. Jit rip them apart and put them in your jar (or jars). Crush your garlic to release the natural oils.

Be careful to wear gloves while you cut your peppers, especially if you’re sensitive to them. Don’t touch your eyes or face, or you will seriously regret it. (I know, I’ve done it.) Be sure to toss the seeds into your jars along with the rest of the pepper.

Pour the ACV over your herbs and make sure you completely cover them. Leave a little empty space at the top of the jar.

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Some people like to set their vinegar out. I recommend putting it in the refrigerator just to be extra safe. After two weeks it’s done steeping. Drain the vinegar out from the herbs and use it on your food and around the house for cleaning. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated by this point, but you certainly can put it back in the fridge if you’d like. The left over herbs can be used in your favorite recipes.

Red Raspberry Leaves for Tea

Every morning my cat, Salem, gets me up. He has a continuous feeder, so he’s not hungry, he just wants mom up. After jumping in bed with me and purring like crazy his sister, Honey, joins us and we go into the kitchen to put the kettle on for a cup of red raspberry leaves with rosebuds. The cats stay with me while I start my morning routine. I’m up before the rest of my household, which I love because it’s quiet and I have some time to think before our day officially begins.

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Raspberry leaves drying in my sunroom. It smells so good in there that I could stay all day. 

The leaves from red raspberry bushes can be made into a tea with a flavor reminiscent of black tea, and it doesn’t contain any caffeine. It’s also great at reducing cramps during menstruation. It’s been my experience that it works best when taken regularly.

 

Photo of the Day: Milk Thistle Drying

NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT
(NO ONE ATTACKS ME WITH IMPUNITY)

Latin motto of the Scottish Order of the Thistle

The thistle is the national flower of Scotland, and this motto is perfect for the humble weed. When I harvest them in the late summer I have to wear my long sleeves and thick gloves.

Milk thistle is a natural liver cleanse, aids in gall bladder issues, and may even lower cholesterol. It can also help milk flow in nursing mothers.

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I harvested this window full of thistles for making teas out of later and hung them up to dry. Naturally, they burst open in my sunny windows, and the seeds came out. I gathered up the seeds (they only made a little mess in my sun room) and saved them. I plan to plant them in an empty corner of my herb garden.