Making herbal vinegars

Infusing herbs in vinegar is a nice way to capture and store the flavours and properties of different herbs throughout the season. They can be used for cooking, medicine, cosmetics, hair and skin tonics and even household cleaning. Vinegar is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and has anti-inflammatory properties. It contains acetic acid that acts as a solvent and preservative. Vinegars are particularly useful for extracting minerals from herbs eg. calcium and other alkaline minerals. They are also useful for extracting the flavours of pungent and aromatic herbs.

Method

  1. Fill your jar loosely with chopped up herbs
  2. Cover with any type of vinegar eg. apple cider, rice, balsamic, red wine
  3. Leave in a dark place for up to 4 weeks remembering to shake the jar every few days.
  4. Strain out the herbs and store in a cool, dark cupboard.

Take 1 teaspoon a day for a mineral dose or use in salads and cooking. You can also infuse fruits and berries into vinegars. Infused vinegars have a shelf life of about 2 years.

Herb combinations to try

Take internally
Digestive Tonic: Dandelion root, Yellow dock root, Thyme, Sage, Basil, Fennel, Oregano
Circulatory Stimulant: Rosemary, Chilli, Hawthorn berries, Cinnamon
Mineral rich: Nettle, Horsetail, Chickweed, Dandelion leaves and root, Burdock root, Mallow root and Cleavers
Inflamed joints/Arthritic conditions: Stinging nettles
Use externally
Skin – Mint, Marigold and Rose, dilute 2-3 tablespoons in a basin of water and use as a general face toner
Hair – Rosemary, Sage, Chamomile, dilute 4 tablespoons in 250ml of water and massage into the hair and scalp after shampooing

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