Oxymel. I just love the word. But then I’m a word nerd 😉
WHAT IS AN OXYMEL?
It is a very basic blend of vinegar and honey. Yep. That’s it. Just vinegar and honey. And if you use organic, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother and raw, local honey, you’ve got yourself one pretty powerful home remedy right there.
These little herbal concoctions have been around for a long time, Witches. They date back at least as far as Ancient Greece. The Greek physician Hippocrates was a fan. But that’s no surprise coming from the man who coined the phrase, “Let food be thy medicine”. Now is it?!?!
I’m not sure what you might find out there on the web concerning ratios for the mix. I practice folkloric herbalism and so I don’t really use measurements most of the time.
I prefer to make oxymels that I’ll be taking for specific health concerns at about a 1:1 ratio (by eye), and I make my daily brew at a 2:1 ratio (vinegar:honey). I take one shot daily of oxymel, in order to reap the health benefits of apple cider vinegar (acv). These health benefits are proclaimed all over the web. I find it off-putting that the claims are as ‘one remedy fits all’ as they are. I don’t know the extent of how apple cider vinegar can serve you from a health standpoint. I do know that since I’ve been taking it I have seen positive results in a few areas. It is yet to be seen if these health issues will clear up completely. But I feel like I’m headed in the right direction. I also know others who have taken a daily shot of acv with great success! I prefer making an oxymel with my acv as opposed to taking it straight, as the taste is pretty difficult for me to bear.
The plus side to this technique is that raw, local honey also carries a wide array of benefits. Some of which you can read about on another blog post of mine, titled Allergies & Honey.
I never compromise on the quality of vinegar I use. It is always organic, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. I do sometimes compromise on the honey. Because I live remotely, I am occasionally unable to get my hands on local, raw honey. But I can usually at least pick some up from a local source. Honey that is purchased in the store is generally pretty undesirable. It is, as are so many, one of the products we as consumers have been highly deceived about in the quest for producers to make big money 😞
INFUSING HERBS IN YOUR OXYMEL
Brewing a few herbs into your oxymel can seriously ‘beef up the brew’. Add a little extra medicinal ‘umpfh’! Take the benefits ‘over the top’. You get the idea, right?
Choose herbs that are suited for the issue you want to address …
Here’s a short list of suggestions for you:
Heart Health ~ Rose Petals, Hawthorn, Hibiscus
Cough (Wet) ~ Pine Needles, Mullein, Elecampane, Hyssop
Nutrition ~ Nettles, Chickweed
Digestion ~ Rosemary, Fennel
Relaxation ~ Damiana, Chamomile
Liver Health ~ Dandelion, Burdock
Cold/Flu ~ Garlic, Elderberry, Ginger Root, Bee Balm
Poor Circulation ~ Rosemary
OXYMELS ALSO MAKE A GREAT ADDITION TO YOUR DIET
There is nothing more gratifying than taking herbal ‘medicine’ and turning it into a delight for the tongue. And anytime that I can incorporate an herbal remedy into my diet I’m on board.
So go ahead and infuse your oxymel with herbs intended to enhance your culinary experience, if you prefer to get them into your diet that way. In Persia they are often made with mint and then used as a dip for lettuce. This is a really amazing cooling treat in the heat of the summer. Drizzle some over some cucumbers to increase the cooling effect, as cucumbers lower body temperature. I like to infuse mine with thyme, oregano, bay, or rosemary and then use them as a salad dressing. Really so yummy!
Another way I get these herbal goodies into my diet is to use them as marinades. I have no idea what cooking does to the remedial qualities of the herbs. But to be perfectly honest I don’t care a bit. When I use them in this way I do it primarily for the pleasure of eating the incredibly tasty treats I can make with them. Meat and veggies alike. None are safe from an oxymel soak in my house. I can’t even begin to express how amazing these marinades are when used in conjunction with a bbq grill. Holy deliciousness!
Don’t hesitate to give mixing up a really refreshing drink with them a try. With summer coming this is sort of a must-do, Witches! Get those oxymels brewing so they are ready for hot summer nights. I brew mine in a pitcher using 1 shot oxymel, 1/2 cup fruit (juice) of choice, herbs (sometimes), and 1 cup club soda. They’re fabulous! Try lemon, lime, orange, watermelon, or pomegranate juice. Don’t forget to give some grated cucumber a go. And if you fancy add some mint, rosemary, or ginger.
MAKING AN OXYMEL
If you have a mason jar, some organic, raw acv, and some vinegar you’re ready to go. The mason jar should have a plastic lid. If not, you will have to lay a piece of wax paper between the lid and the jar when you seal it. As the vinegar will react with the metal and cause corrosion. Thereby, contaminating your brew.
If you’re adding herbs to your mix then be sure to have those on hand too.
Fill your mason jar about 1/3 of the way with your herbs.
Then pour in your honey. Fill the jar just about 1/3 of the way for a more tart brew. Or 1/2 way for one a bit sweeter.
Top off with your acv.
Stir. And stir. And then stir some more, LOL! It can take a bit to mix because of the thickness of the honey.
Once your oxymel is mixed thoroughly there will be some room in your jar. Fill it up with more honey and vinegar. To taste of course!
Seal the jar and allow to sit for 4-6 weeks. You are going to want to shake it once a day. And you should keep it outside of direct sunlight.
You will also want to label it. If you used wax paper you can write on it with a sharpie in lieu of a label. As you can see that is what I did with mine.
After the allotted time has passed strain the herbs from the mix. You will likely put the finished product into a smaller jar. Be sure you label that jar as well. It is uncanny how quick you can fill a cupboard with unlabeled herbal brews. And then you have no idea what they are. Don’t try to convince yourself that you will remember. It is VERY likely you won’t!
AND … voila! There you go! You’ve got yourself an oxymel 😉
LET’S GROW TOGETHER …
Let’s meet in the comments and grow together …
It would be great to hear your experiences with oxymels. I’d love to know how if you’ve ever made one or tasted one. And how you liked the experience. I’d also love to hear from you if you are interested in making one or tasting one and you have some questions about that. I really would!
AND I truly feel that when one Ancient Allies Witch shares ALL Ancient Allies Witches benefit ❤️😉❤️
May good fortune chase you throughout ALL of your days, Witches!
And May Bountiful Blessings Be Yours ~ Diane (The Ancient Allies Witch)