This is a variation of the Recipe of the Four Thieves who plundered the houses of people killed by the Black Plague during the Middle Ages. At first the authorities did not pursue them, feeling that they soon would be dead from contagion. When the four thieves continued to survive, interest changed from their crimes to their ability to not get ill. When finally arrested they exchanged the recipe for their lives.
My version exchanges some unavailable or toxic herbs for those readily available and will kill germs and strengthen your immune system. It can be taken internally, used to kill germs externally, and can be used preventatively or to help knock out viruses or bacterial infections. Take it by the tablespoon in water or use on salads or preventatively in cooking.
Use 1/4 cup of the following herbs:
Lavender , Sage, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Peppermint and 2 TBSP Chile Peppers, 8 minced cloves garlic and a one ounce tincture bottle of Artemesia annua. Blend ingredients in a glass jar and cover completely with apple cider vinegar. Cold infuse (let sit at room temperature in a cool place) for four weeks and then strain.
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During the plagues of the middle ages, a gang of thieves managed to go into houses where people had died of the Black Death without contracting the disease themselves. Finally authorities captured them but were willing to let them go in exchange for the recipe, purportedly developed by the midwife mother of one of them. Here is how to make the vinegar.
- Get a quart jar with a good lid.
- Get a quarter cup of dry or 3/4 cup fresh Lavender, Sage, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Peppermint and and Artemesia annua (wormwood, sweet Annie) and place them in a jar. Freshly dried herbs make the strongest vinegar.
- You can add or substitute thyme, oregano, bee balm (monarda), white sage or similar herbs. Basil tends to turn black and mushy. If you can’t find the sweet Annie, you can find a one ounce tincture bottle from a health food store and add it.
- Add 2 TBSP chili peppers and 8 minced cloves garlic. The chili is a modern addition since the sweet Annie is less strong than the European wormwood.
- Cover the herbs with apple cider vinegar. I prefer a live vinegar like Bragg organic which has some of the mother of vinegar in it, but any cider vinegar will do. Make sure all of the herbs are covered so they will not rot.
- Cover with a lid. The vinegar should not contact the lid.
- Top off the jar after the herbs absorb some of the vinegar.
- Let stand for at least four weeks. If you want some before, take it off of the top.
- Strain and squeeze out the leaves. Place in glass bottles.
- Take a tablespoon a day to prevent illness, especially during the flu season. You can use it over salads or meat as well.
- Don’t be afraid to substitute if you can’t find all of the herbs. Many kitchen spices are medicinal, but they must be fresh.
- If you grow herbs, dry them in a dark dry place a few days before starting. This will keep the vinegar stronger than using fresh herbs.
- If you are coming down with the flu or a similar illness, then take a tablespoon every few hours until it passes.
- The leaves in the vinegar also provide minerals for your bones in the acid form that is most easily assimilated.
- Be kind to the earth and compost the herbs after using!
- The usual disclaimers about seeing a medical professional for diseases apply.
Sources and Citations
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