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Monday, April 9, 2012

4 Thieves Vinegar

   Well this blog isn't about anything heathen or CR related, but it is about something I really like and use myself. 4 Thieves Vinegar is an herbal vinegar mixture that has been used, so the story goes, since the time of the Black Plague. According to the myth during the time of the Plague four thieves were caught robbing the dead and dying; in exchange for their lives they revealed a secret blend of herbs and vinegar that they were using to keep from getting sick - hence the name 4 Thieves Vinegar.
  Most recipes for 4 Thieves are edible and make a yummy salad dressing, or can be used in any other way that vinegar could be. Some people swear by 4 Thieves as a health tonic and include it in their diet every day, and others believe that it will prevent contagious diseases. It is generally viewed as an immunity booster. As with anything else if you intend to use it in food be sure you know what's in it (if you are buying it) and store it properly. If you make it yourself be sure to use herbs that are edible and that are safe for you personally to use with your own medical history - it is always a good idea to consult an herbalist or doctor before using any herbs medicinally, to be certain it will be safe for you to do.
  In magic it is used for protection and banishing; it is good for getting people to leave, unhexing, uncrossing, protecting your aura, and protection against magical attack. I also use it in healing work. There are many different ways to use 4 Thieves Vinegar, limited really only by your own imagination. It can be added to cleansing baths to clear out negative energy, break another person's negative magic being sent at you, and to strengthen your own protections for a time. You can use it to anoint candles for any purpose related to what 4 Thieves does. A little bit could be dabbed on the forehead for cleansing or protection as well. To banish others it can be added to banishing spells or dripped out on the person's footsteps; it can also be used as an ink (symbolically but effectively) or added to a witches bottle for protection. If adding to a witches bottle I would recommend an alternate version of 4 Thieves used in Hoodoo that is made with different types of peppers and garlic.
   There are many different recipes for 4 Thieves vinegar, which can be made with any type of vinegar and with any combination of the following herbs: Rosemary, Lavender, Garlic, Lemon Balm, Sage, Hyssop, Peppermint, Wormwood, Juniper, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Clove, Pepper, or Marjoram. To make 4 Thieves Vinegar a selection of herbs - generally 3 to 7 - are placed in the vinegar, and the bottle is then stored in a cool dark location. Each day for 6 weeks the bottle should be gentle shaken, and then after 6 weeks the vinegar can be transferred to another container for use. There are, naturally, many other ways to make it as well.
  You can, of course, buy it but I prefer to make my own and I have two different types I use. One I make with white vinegar and the other with cider vinegar; each I think has slightly different properties. I generally add herbs I have grown myself, have found wild, or which have been given to me by the person who grew them. I tend to favor using Sage, Rosemary, Lavender, Mullein, and Wormwood, personally, but each batch tends to involve a little variety.

Further Reading


  1. Out of curiosity, have any scientific studies been conducted about the health benefits of 4 Thieves Vinegar?

  2. I love this floor wash, I use a combo of lavender, rosemary, garlic and sage- makes a good dressing and a good floor wash!

  3. Rusty - I believe it's all anecdotal. It would be interesting to see an actual study done though.

    Angelina - I love the idea of using it as a floorwash; I hadn't thought of that : )

  4. So what is the difference between using white vinegar and cider vinegar?

  5. In my practice I use the cider vinegar more for healing work and protection and the white more for cleansing and banishing. For eating the cider vinegar is slightly sweeter.