Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Earth Pages

[Show all]


Views: 634,226


Week of: June 1st. 2014 ...

Nature Healing


Week of: May 18th. 2014 ...

Climate Change Deniers? Still?


Week of: August 4th. 2013 ...

The Deeper Meaning of Harvest Celebration


Week of: March 31st. 2013 ...

Harp! Sing For Me: Musings on a More Sustainable Future.


Week of: March 3rd. 2013 ...

Artisan Sea Salt: Organic, Traditional Healing, Medieval Re-creation, and Cleansing Magic!


Week of: December 30th. 2012 ...

Four Thieves Vinegar: History, Uses, and Recipe


Week of: October 28th. 2012 ...

Samhain: a New View


Week of: September 2nd. 2012 ...

A Pagan Chaplaincy Perspective


Week of: August 19th. 2012 ...

More Than Animals: The Totemic Ecosystem


Week of: July 22nd. 2012 ...

Thoughts Are Energy: "The Dark Knight Rises"


Week of: July 8th. 2012 ...

Spiritual Learning and Social Change


Week of: April 10th. 2011 ...

Better People = Better World


Week of: August 1st. 2010 ...

Compost and Natural Fertilizers: Practical Offerings to the Land


Week of: November 22nd. 2009 ...

A True Inspiration for Healing Our Planet


Week of: November 1st. 2009 ...

Nature's Way


Week of: October 11th. 2009 ...

I Buried Maia Today


Week of: May 17th. 2009 ...

Ideology and Ecology: A Matrifocal Existence


Week of: March 8th. 2009 ...

Why Hug a Tree - Or To At Least Pay More Attention To One

Our Mother Crystal


Week of: April 27th. 2008 ...

She Needs You to Listen, Her Children...

Musings About the Land: The Turning of Spring to Summer


Week of: April 20th. 2008 ...

What We Can Do For The World


Week of: March 23rd. 2008 ...

Paganism is a Dirty, Dirty Word


Week of: January 20th. 2008 ...

Pagans and Environmental Issues: Can We Save the World?

"An Ye Harm None" On A Global Scale


Week of: January 6th. 2008 ...

Higher Knowledge: The Enriching and Enabling Factor


Week of: December 30th. 2007 ...

On Being a Pagan Omnivore


Week of: December 23rd. 2007 ...

A Sacred Retreat


Week of: September 9th. 2007 ...

Nature Spirits: Tree Spirits


Week of: July 16th. 2006 ...

Think Your Paganism Isn't Nature-based? Think Again...


Week of: April 24th. 2005 ...

Natural Allies


Week of: March 19th. 2004 ...

Confessions of a Dirt Worshipper


Week of: April 20th. 2003 ...

Night Vision: Where Did the Stars Go?


Week of: April 22nd. 2002 ...

Every Day is Earth Day

From the Waterfront...


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.












Article Specs

Article ID: 15301

VoxAcct: 238626

Section: earth

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 629

Times Read: 2,675

RSS Views: 9,271
Four Thieves Vinegar: History, Uses, and Recipe

Author: Treasach [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 30th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,675

From what evidence we have, infused vinegars have existed almost since we first discovered vinegar. It's so useful by itself, and infusing it increases its effectiveness and potency. Its many functions include:

- culinary
- preservation
- beauty regimes
- cleansing
- disinfection
- anti-infestation

Herb infused vinegars are natural, organic, non-toxic, inexpensive, traditional technology that used to and still can replace so many of our modern products. They can be full strength for cleaning and disinfecting, as an insect discouragement or anti-fungal. With the proper ingredients, they are remarkably effective against bacteria, as well as an efficient cleanser, which leaves a refreshing scent. I personally have used the diluted spray to cure my apple trees of a debilitating fungus that had been plaguing them for years. I also got rid of the aphids on my Virginia Creeper and created a scent barrier against ants getting into my house.

Diluted, often with rosewater, it was used as a cosmetic, to tone the face, clear up eruptions, refresh clothing, and in a sponge nosegay, was kept near the face to ward off the Plague. Certain physicians are still called quacks due to the medieval practice of wearing a duck-like mask with a sponge of aromatic vinegar resting in the beak when visiting areas of contagion. Perhaps it's currently an insult to call a doctor a quack because it implies their techniques are right out of the Middle Ages.

*It should be used only with extreme caution during pregnancy, * as some of the herbs are abortifacient. I used it when I was pregnant with my son to no ill effects, but I took care not to get any on my skin.

Four Thieves Oil is a very modern invention, and not the same thing at all. It usually contains essential oils of similar herbs, but oils and aqueous infusions do not often share the same properties. It cannot be used for all the same purposes as the vinegar formulations, and are often far more expensive. Though it apparently can be used for similar magical purposes, such as banishment, in Vodun and other systems...

The first actual record we have for the version known as Four Thieves is not medieval. If it is indeed an actual record. Most of the "documentation" is really stories. I will take the liberty to re-post this excellent history. (I'd credit it if I knew the original source, but this exact version is all over the 'net.) :

"The famous French aromatherapy doctor, Jean Valnet, has two recipes in his book. He claims corpse robbers who were caught red-handed in the area around Toulouse in 1628-1631 revealed the original recipe. His story is the more credible of the many one can find. Given the virulence and deadliness of the plague, the judges were astonished by the indifference of the thieves to contagion. Valnet quotes the archives of the Parliament of Toulouse:

"During the Great Plague, four robbers were convicted of going to the houses of plague victims, strangling them in their beds and then looting their dwellings. For this, they were condemned to be burned at the stake, and in order to have their sentence mitigated, they revealed their secret preservative, after which they were hanged."

Here's one of versions stated to be the original.

Four Thieves Formula

3 pints white wine vinegar
handful wormwood
handful meadowsweet
handful juniper berries
handful wild marjoram
handful sage
50 cloves
2 oz. elecampane root
2 oz. angelica
2 oz. rosemary
2 oz. horehound
3 g camphor

Dr. Valnet has a variation of his own described as an antiseptic vinegar.

Marseilles Vinegar

40 g. greater wormwood, Artemesia absinthum
40 g. lesser wormwood, Artemesia pontica
40 g. rosemary
40 g. sage
40 g. mint
40 g. rue
40 g. lavender
5 g. calamus
5 g. cinnamon
5 g. clove
5 g. nutmeg
5 g. garlic
10 g. camphor (not synthetic camphor)
40 g. crystallized acetic acid
2500 g. white vinegar

Instructions: steep the plants in the vinegar for 10 days. Force through a sieve. Add the camphor dissolved in the acetic acid; filter.

Years of experimentation using historical and modern recipes have helped create my interpretation of this legendary liquid. My version is an amalgam of several different recipes, taking into account what was commonly available, especially in England, during the medieval period, and what was in my garden fresh. It is a concoction of white wine vinegar steeped in aromatic and anti-bacterial herbs such as garlic, rue, and wormwood for a number of days, then filtered and used in dilution with water for cleansing the house and other areas.

Remember: Only use real, brewed vinegar for all infused vinegar recipes. Ordinary store bought white vinegar is just lab-created Acetic Acid diluted to 5%. It doesn't have the same richness of composition or balance of acids as real brewed vinegar, or the same sustainability. Try these recipes with other base vinegars, too, such as apple cider and rice wine!

Here is my exact recipe, for those that want to try it at home, or who just want to see how crazy I get when I make these things.


My Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe:

Approximately the same sized twig piece of each:

fresh peppermint
fresh thyme
fresh rue
fresh rosemary
fresh wormwood
fresh sage
four cloves garlic (slightly crushed to release the allicin)
3 bay leaves
4 cloves
4 small pieces cinnamon bark

Place ingredients in old, clean, spaghetti jar. Fill remainder of jar with white wine vinegar, stir to get rid of bubbles. Add lid, and place in sunlight, like windowsill. Herbs will lose colour after a few days. Then you filter and can add a bit more herbs for a really strong batch.

Filter out completely in a few weeks; bottle and label.




Footnotes:
article previously posted to author's blog



ABOUT...

Treasach


Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Website: http://gifts-of-nature.blogspot.com/

Author's Profile: To learn more about Treasach - Click HERE




Other Articles: Treasach has posted 20 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Treasach... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Treasach ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).