The Plague You Say? How very renaissance of you
4 Thieves Vinegar
There are quite a few different versions of the story but that’s also the fun mysterious part!
The story I like the most is a blend of one I'd heard as a child and one I heard about in school.
During the medieval times, four thieves were said to rob the homes of those suffering from illness and those who had died from the 17th-century plague, the Black Death, in Marseilles, France. It didn’t matter whose home it was; herbs were a common thing to have laying around. One of the homes they robbed was that of an herbalist who was out tending to the sick. There on the counter was a mystery jar that not only looked to have resale value but also smelled amazing!
It is said that on moonless nights the thieves would anoint their bodies with that bottle of vinegar that had been infused with “protective” herbs and also take nips from it ever day. We now known that the herbs in the jar have antibacterial and antiviral properties. This herbal vinegar was thought to give the thieves an advantage against contracting the illness. Fleas were thought to be one especially sneaky carrier of the plague and in all honesty, they still are.
Although the original Ingredients have changed and adapted over time, it is said that a renowned herbalist and aromatherapist from the early 20th century, Jean Valnet, used a formula perhaps closely related to the original Four Thieves vinegar blend.
Today many of the same herbs are used and modern herbalists typically use a combination of: Sage, rosemary, lavender, thyme, garlic, juniper, and black pepper seed when making Four Thieves vinegar preparations.
As many of you know, I write nearly every single blend myself but in the case of 4 Thieves, this formula has been written and re-written since the forever. Why reinvent the wheel? Credit for this one goes to Rosemary!
When I had the shop, I would make 4 Thieves during the cold and flu season since some of the herbs were fresh. It was a wonderful seller too and I never worried about it. Then I closed the shop!
When I decided to turn the 4 Thieves Vinegar into a DIY kit, I wanted herbs that I both know and love but I couldn’t use any fresh herbs! I also wanted herbs that most closely resembled my original formula with the adaptogen component. I wrote and rewrote for weeks! Different tasting, different formulas, different herbs, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t my original formula! I was miserable.
And then? Too funny…. I was studying up elecampane and pulled out a book I’d had sitting on the shelf for a while. I kid you not, right there on page 235 was a dried version of 4 Thieves! Some of the herbs are different from my fresh version but when I made this one, I fell in love. Maybe it’s because Rosemary Gladstar wrote it? Who knows lol. Either way, credit for this one goes to Rosemary!
Organic Ingredients: Rosemary, Elecampane, Horehound, Angelica, Sage, Wormword, Meadowsweet, Marjoram, Juniper Berries, Cloves.
Now THAT is a lot of herbs to cover so I’m going to boil it down a bit for our live and say that when you combine these herbs into a RAW apple cider vinegar base you open and unleash the most amazing properties hidden within!
It becomes: Anti-bacterial, Anti-viral, Anti-microbial, (Anti-cootie), Antioxidant, Antiseptic, an Expectorant, a Nervine, a Stomachic (stomach, digestion, appetite), a Circulatory stimulant, and Carminative – for the gassy tummy and farts
An amazing blend of herbs that: support the immune system, support the lungs and help get the funk out, support the digestive system and knock out the cooties, support the brain and keep you sharp, and best of all…. It is super easy to make!
As you can see, this is a formula that can be used year-round which is one of the reasons I wanted to reintroduce it as a DIY just in case finding some of the herbs becomes a challenge.
Downside – caution in pregnancy and lactation.
Although I am working on a Prego safe version =)