One of things I love most about oxymels is how simplistic and potent they are. With just a few household ingredients you're able to capture the essences of plants in this medicinal concoction. They're very simple and cheap to make but be warned; they're addictive and your cabinets may be busting with your creations!
Oxymel comes from the Latin word oxymeli meaning "acid and honey" and have been part of peoples lives for many centuries. This sweet and tangy liquid can be used in a variety of ways to help maintain a healthy body. The honey provides antibacterial properties (if local honey is used it will help with seasonal allergies over time) while the apple cider vinegar pulls minerals from the the plants. This is also a great option for those that are alcohol free but want nourishing herbal remedies not in tincture form.
Simple How To:
1 glass jar (including lid)
Raw apple cider vinegar
Raw local honey (if vegan you may use agave nectar but the antibacterial properties honey has will not be present)
Herbs / Roots / Flowers (dried or fresh)
1. Fill your sterilized jar 1/4 way with your plant material
2. Add equal parts ACV and honey to the remainder of the jar
3. Lid , label and date. Store in a dark place
4. Shake daily for 2-3 weeks then strain with cheesecloth.
Thats it! You can let it infuse longer if you'd prefer ( I usually do it for 4 weeks). Oxymels made with fresh herbs will have a milder flavor and can last up to 6 months in the fridge. Oxymels made with dried herbs can last up to a year in a cupboard. Please note that ACV is corrosive to metal so try to look for a jar with a plastic lid or a bail jar OR use wax paper between the oxymel and the metal lid. You don't need to be super exact with these either. You may prefer a sweeter version or more acidic. Take notes and experiment!
What Plant Materials To Use
The sky is the limit! For some folks it's whatever is rummaging around in the cupboards, garden, grocery store or local farm. Some easily accessible herbs are rosemary, thyme, holy basil (tulsi), ginger root, tarragon and oregano. My favorites are fir needles, lemon peel, nettles and dandelions. Have any stinky or bitter herbs that you'd love to try but can't get past the taste? An oxymel is a great way to incorporate them! I urge research on this since you can create a powerful oxymel, targeting specific things (digestion, circulatory, nutrition, calmative etc) or just make something very delectable that's good for you, but you always want to be safe and research!
How To Use An Oxymel
My favorite "I'm in a rush" method is just to take a shot glass full since I really love the taste of vinegar. An easier to swallow way would be to splash it onto a salad as a vinaigrette, added to carbonated water for an herbal fizzy drink, mix in with syrup for waffles, gargle for sore throats, a spoonful for a cough or a splash in some hot tea or water. How you use it is dependent on what you brew up; it's properties and for the intention it was made.
I hope you enjoyed this little crash course into making oxymels! If this inspired you to create some be sure to tag me on IG and use #BalefireApothecary !