Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Four Thieves vinegar...

This brew has been used for centuries and is said, so the story goes, to have originated during an out break of bubonic plague in France...
Four thieves had been ransacking the homes of people who had died, or were ill with, the plague. Eventually the long arm of the law caught up with them and they were brought before judges in Marseilles, who wondered at their seeming immunity to the plague. the thieves answered that they washed and took internally this vinegar preparation....
Recipes vary but a basic one follows...

2 quarts apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lavendar
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons wormwood
2 tablespoons rue
2 tablespooons mint
2 tablespoons fresh garlic cloves

Combine the dry herbs and steep in the vinegar in the sun for 2 weeks. Strain and rebottle. Add the cloves of garlic, steep for several days, strain out. Melt paraffin wax around the lid to preserve the contents, or add 4 ounces of glycerine, for preservation.

This aromatic antibacterial vinegar is an goodly wash for rooms of healing, bathrooms and kitchens. It will offset a smell of dampness, and be a helpfull floor and wall wash in overcrowded situations.

Externally, this vinegar may be used in small amouts in a bath or diluted as a body wash. Some of the herbs in this brew are too strong for the skin, so the vinegar must be diluted.

Internally, the dose is a teaspoon at a time in water- no more than 3 times in an hour ( equivalent to a tablespoon). This acts as a preventative during an epidemic.

A modern addition would be to put the brew into a spray bottle....

Some say the brew was created by apothecary Richard Forthave and its eficacy led to the four thieves story..

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