Herbal infused vinegars are great choices for “getting the medicine to the people in ways they’ll enjoy taking, so that healing can occur.” Vinegar extracts vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, a bit of the essential oils and some alkaloids from plants as well loads of flavors. The acidic nature of vinegar assists in the uptake of calcium and iron into our cells. For those dealing with health issues such as anemia, arthritis, and bone loss, herbal vinegars can be helpful in restoring health. I always use organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar as it contains the nutrition and some of the medicine of apples including virus killing antioxidants. Allowing herbs to soak in the ACV makes it even more medicinally powerful.
How to use your herbal vinegars:
- Drizzle on cold noodle salads, stir fry, fruit, spinach and/or field green salads, cooked greens
- Marinate seafood, pork, chicken, beets and other vegetables Makes an ideal marinade
- Mix with ketchup, mustard, brown sugar or molasses, grated ginger, minced onions and fresh garlic for a delicious homemade BBQ/dipping sauce
- Combine with olive oil for dipping crusty bread
- Add to egg, chicken, tuna, tofu salads, deviled eggs
- Cool a fever or hot flash by dabbing the vinegar on your pulse points, forehead, back of the neck and knees
To make an herbal vinegar:
Finely chop edible wild and garden plants of your choice. Pack the plant material tightly into a pint jar. Fill completely with apple cider vinegar. Add a piece of parchment paper between the jar and lid (if metal lid) to keep the lid from rusting, or use a plastic lid. Let the mix stand on your counter for 3 weeks to a month. Strain and enjoy! Note: if using a metal lid and parchment paper, change the paper weekly.
• Chives, dill, and basil
• Garlic, onion, oregano, thyme and parsley
• Spring nettles and dandelion leaf and root
• Blueberries and raspberries
• Wild raspberry leaves and wild currant leaves
• Comfrey leaf and calendula
• Wild or garden violet leaves and flowers, wild or heritage roses
• Chickweed, lambsquarters and nasturtium flowers
• Motherwort and Mugwort
• Lavender flowers and fresh ginger
To learn more about the medicinal value of vinegar, read D.C. Jarvis’ book Folk Medicine.