Friday, January 2, 2015

Four Thieves Vinegar -- to chase away the nasties

It was a scary time. The bubonic plague was spreading and people fell on desperate times as they watched their loved ones dying and feared for their own lives. 

It must have been a rough time for robbers as well. But a group of clever thieves came up with a solution. They concocted a prophelactic remedy that would protect them as they robbed the bodies of people who died from the plague. Hmmm. Guess what the main ingredient was? 

Of course! Vinegar! Welcome to the first Vinegar Friday of 2015. May the tips you receive throughout the year help you to live healthier lives. In addition to new tips and recycled old ones, I'm hoping to bring you an updated version of my book, VINEGAR FRIDAYS, in both print and ebook. If you have a tip you'd like to add, please email me at and let me know. I'd love to add a chapter called, Favorite tips from the Green Grandma community. 

But back to the bubonic plague. Whatever could the thieves have used to keep them safe as they touched the bodies of those who died? And could it possibly help us today in warding off the flu viruses and other nasties out there? It certainly couldn't hurt!

Four Thieves Vinegar

According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, it is also called Marseilles Vinegar, Marseilles Remedy, Prophylactic Vinegar (and no, it doesn't protect you from getting pregnant), Vinegar of the Four Thieves, camphorated acetic acid, Vinaigre des Quatre Voleurs, and Acetum Quator Furum.

Start off with a quart jar filled with organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Do not use the filtered stuff, as the effectiveness will be greatly reduced! 

Add the following to the ACV:

I highly recommend sticking to organic ingredients so their property is not compromised by RoundUp or other toxins.
  • 1 TBSP lavender 
  • 1 TBSP peppermint
  • 1 TBSP rosemary
  • 1 TBSP sage
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 TBSP chopped garlic 

Seal tightly and shake. Then store in a cool, dark place for 2 - 3 weeks, shaking daily. (Some people recommend placing it in the sun -- your choice.) At the end of the stewing period, strain. Add several garlic cloves, crushed, and steep for an additional 3 days. Strain once again and store the liquid in the refrigerator.

Alternate recipes add mint, wormwood, or marjoram.

Note: Since vinegar can be erosive, you may want to put a piece of plastic wrap across the top before screwing on the lid.

As an immunity booster, adults can take 1 TBSP a day and kids can take 1/2 TBSP, diluted with lots of water!

If you're squeamish about taking the tincture internally, that's okay. It still is a powerful disinfectant that can kill germs effectively. Consider soaking cloth wipes in the liquid and carrying them with you for quick disinfecting of restaurant tabletops, high chairs, and shopping carts. You can also use the wipes after shaking hands with business associates or people at church. (I recommend doing this discretely, of course!)

Adding it to a spray bottle to use on kitchen and bathroom surfaces is effective as well. Make sure you save some for the summer, too, as many claim it works well at keeping insects at bay. Bonus: this is safe to use on your pets.

Of course, do not use it on broken skin or open wounds.

While I can't promise you a flu-free season, I'm pretty confident the Four Thieves Vinegar will protect you from the bubonic plague, should it show up in your neighborhood!

Keeping it green and healthy with vinegar,

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