May 5, 2010

Just Say No to Bugs!

This summer I am mixing up yet another batch a wonderful substance that keeps away the mosquitoes and bugs. It’s called Vinegar of the Four Thieves. It is herbs mixed into vinegar which is then brewed and then applied externally to skin and clothes to keep the bugs away. It has no bad smell, doesn’t feel sticky, but best of all it works!!

The Vinegar of the Four Thieves is a super-strong insect repellent. It should be diluted with water to half strength if you spray it directly on your skin. This repellent can be used many ways. Splashed on your socks or shoes will discourage ticks, chiggers, and mites. An herbal cloth kept in your pocket and rubbed on your skin ever hour or so would be very beneficial during outdoor work or recreation. Or, a nightly bath with a little herbal vinegar and oil will keep it on your skin for many hours and could prove helpful for families who live in the country or while out on camping trips. It should only be used externally.

You can purchase the herbs seperately at Bulk Herb Stores and follow these directions below or purchase a premix at Bulk Herb Stores . Their button is on my side bar.

• 2 tablespoons Rosemary
• 2 tablespoons Sage
• 2 tablespoons Lavender
• 2 tablespoons Wormwood
• 2 tablespoons Peppermint
• 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped garlic
• 2 quarts of apple cider vinegar

Combine 12 tablespoons of the premixed herbs and 2 quarts of vinegar in a sealed glass jar, and steep in a cool, dark place for 2 weeks or so, shaking daily. Then, strain out the used herbs, and retain the herbal liquid mixture.
Add several cloves of crushed garlic, and close lid. Let soak for three days, and strain out the garlic fiber and discard.
This liquid tincture needs to be stored in a cool place, like the refrigerator. It can be preserved for a very long period of time by canning. To do so, fill canning jars with boiling liquid tincture to within one-half inch of top. Cap with rubber seal canning lid, tighten ring, and turn hot jar upside down; leave it undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. This will cause the jar to seal. Don’t forget to date and label it.

The name, The Vinegar of the Four Thieves, comes from an interesting story of healing from the time of the black death plague in Europe. History records that the four thieves were arrested for stealing from the homes of the many dead victims. After their arrest, they were taken from prison and forced to bury the dead with the promise that if they lived, they would go free. One of the thieves was an herbalist, whose herbal wine vinegar purportedly kept the four thieves alive all during the Black Death. As their resistance to the disease became obvious, others started using their vinegar tincture—reportedly with great success. They lived to credit the vinegar potion for their survival.

Well, off to brew. Have a bug free summer.

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