Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe

Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe

Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of champhor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.

There are endless recipes for Four Thieves Vinegar, used to wash and ward the home. Here is a simple recipe from The Witching Herbs by Harold Roth (an excellent book I highly recommend purchasing).

The ingredients need to sit, covered, for a month and a day. The herbs are then strained out.

I would like to make some on a First Quarter or Full Moon :full_moon:

:warning: Practical Note: Don’t use this on marble surfaces! Granite is fine.


  • 1 gallon red wine vinegar
  • 2 oz. lavender tops
  • 1.5 oz. rue leaves
  • 1.5 oz. sage leaves
  • 1.5 oz. mint leaves
  • 1.5 oz. wormwood leaves
  • 1.5 oz. rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 oz. cinnamon
  • 1/4 oz. clove
  • 1/4 oz. garlic
  • 1/4 oz. calamus root
  • 1/2 oz. clary sage or chamomile (leaves or flowers)

If wanting to work in (experimental) TCM correspondances, you could try adding Nutmeg and Pumpkin Seeds (antiparasitic).

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An even simpler recipe:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup lavender flowers
  • ÂĽ cup rosemary leaves
  • ½ cup sage leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Apple cider vinegar

Put the garlic and herbs into a wide mouth jar and pour in enough warmed vinegar to cover them. Let sit in a warm place for three to four weeks. Strain out the herbs. Pour the vinegar into a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Let it stand in a cool, dark place; it will keep for a year.

Ref: Magical Folkhealing by D.J. Conway

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I’ve heard of that mixture 4 thieves. I read of it but not the ingredients for it. It’s supposed to be a medieval salat dressing to put on salats yes I purposely misspelled salad because apparently salad used to be spelled salat once upon a medieval time or at least in King Henry the 8ths time. Good to see the recipe though I don’t plan to make a gallon worth so probably won’t try making it that’s way too much dressing for 1-2 peopke :person_shrugging:

Add: I wonder if anyone ever came up with a pint recipe version. If so I’d try it. It’d be easy to use a pint on a timely manner.

No idea how legitimate this is:


Ref: Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Antiviral Properties of Herbal Materials (Parkham et al. 2020)


I will probably use:

bay leaves (crushed), chamomile, cinnamon, clove, fennel, garlic, horehound, lavender, mint, mugwort, nettle, pumpkin seeds (crushed), rosemary, sage, thyme, vervain, wormwood.

I’ll keep a stock (mixed red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar), and mix a portion of it with hellhound oil for house wash.


Good choices.

If you have it you may want to add hyssop to it (hyssop is a traditional room cleansing herb). Broom too obviously since even today some people sweep with brooms made of actual broom straw (not many though, most brooms are made with oat straw or wheat straw or synthetic fibre straw).

Side note in case you’re interested…Traditional pest repellent herbs (to repel fleas, ticks, ants etc) are yarrow, tansy, pennyroyal, rue and of course the ones you named already wormwood and lavender.

Lavender is pretty much an all purpose herb :slight_smile: