Lifestyle | March 07, 2024

DIY Spring Herbal Vinegar

3 min read
Author: Chelsea Freeman
Photo by Jane Doe
Photo by Jane Doe

Culinary Delight + Medicinal Tonic

Did you know that herbal vinegar has been used for centuries not only as a flavorful addition to culinary dishes but also for its medicinal properties? The ancient Greeks and Romans used herbal vinegar as a tonic for various health ailments, including digestion issues and even as a disinfectant.

DIY Spring Herbal Vinegar

Finally, the first fresh leafy greens emerge from the yard after a cold winter. The first greens to grow are typically the bitter ones: dandelion, yarrow, cleavers, and mustard greens. This is nature’s way of telling us to consume more bitters and clean out our bodies from a sluggish Winter. Whether you like to forage your herbs or buy them at the grocery store, you can make simple herbal medicine at home to incorporate into your daily meals and boost a gentle detoxification. A fun and easy place to start in spring is by making herbal vinegars. Keep scrolling for our secret recipe!
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The health benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar “with the mother” have been promoted for years now, and with good reason! It has shown to have antimicrobial actions, stimulate digestion, and balance blood sugar, while containing polyphenols, antioxidants, and natural probiotics. When taken before meals, it can prevent blood glucose spikes. It has been used for centuries by our ancestors to naturally preserve foods before refrigeration. Little did they know, they were actually improving their microbiome and metabolic health! 

Infusing herbs into vinegars is a common way to make medicine by herbalists, as it draws out the alkaloids and releases the minerals from the herbs. It will add an extra health punch to the already amazing benefits that apple cider vinegar contains. You can choose any fresh or dried herb to infuse in your vinegars. For Spring, look for herbs with high minerals or floral/ aromatic flavors. After the infusions are finished, the vinegars can be used for a wonderful salad dressing, a pre-meal mocktail, or even used to clean! 

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Getting Started

What you need:

  • Mason jars
  • Herbs (dried or fresh)
  • Organic raw apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • Optional: Raw honey

Directions:

  • Fill your mason jar up halfway with the herbs. 
  • Top with apple cider vinegar.
  • If using honey, fill the jar ¾ full of apple cider vinegar and ¼ of raw honey.
  • If using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper under the lid.
  • Close the lid, store in a cool, dark place.
  • Shake once a day for 4 weeks.
  • After 4 weeks, strain out the herbs and store herbal vinegar in the refrigerator. 
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Herbal Combinations

Garden Vinegar for high vitamin & mineral consumption

  • Violet
  • Dandelion leaf and flower
  • Lavender
  • Mint

Immune Defense for seasonal allergies

  • Nettle leaves
  • Turmeric root
  • Ginger root
  • Garlic
  • Black pepper

Thieves’ Vinegar for cleaning

  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • Lavender
  • Cloves 
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Recipes with Herbal Vinegar

Salad dressing

  • 1-2 tbsp Herbal vinegar
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Raw honey (if not in the vinegar already)
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp Honey mustard
  • Whisk all ingredients together and use right away or store in the refrigerator. 

Pre-meal mocktail for digestion and blood sugar regulation

  • 1-2 tablespoons herbal vinegar 
  • ½ lemon, juiced.
  • Sparkling water