I’m starting a series of posts on herbal preparations and giving out some great and easy recipes I use all the time. Here’s the inaugural post: oxymels!

Oxymels are sometimes called “sipping vinegars” and are a great way to preserve medicinal herbs. The process basically starts the same way as medicinal vinegars, but then honey is added as a sweetener, thickener, and preservative. Personally I really enjoy medicinal vinegars, especially since I’ve started avoiding alcohol, but for some folks vinegars can be a little intense. Oxymels are a great way to have the same benefit from the vinegar tincture but in a more palatable form. Here are a few recipes I make all the time:

Oxymel base: 1 part herbal matter : 3-4 parts vinegar and honey (depending on how sweet you want it).

Usually I make these in a quart jar. Divide the jar into fourths, fill ¼ of the jar with herbal matter, then ¼ with honey, then fill the rest with vinegar.

Colds and Immune System:
1 part elderberries
1 part ginger root (dried)

Another for Colds with Cough:
1 part Mullein
1 part Horehound

Stomach Complaints:
2 parts ginger
1 part peppermint
1 part fennel seed

Sinus Congestion:
2 parts garlic
1 part cayenne pepper
1 part thyme
1 part rosemary

With all of these oxymels you will need to let them sit for 3-4 weeks, and don’t forget to shake the jar everyday. After the 3-4 weeks strain off the herbs then bottle the oxymel. It will last quite a while on the counter, but even longer in the fridge.