Oxymel's are an age-old method, a natural remedy and technique that originates from ancient Greek times. First formulated by Hippocrates, Greek physician and "Father of Medicine", Oxymel's were crafted with indigenous herbs, local to a herbalist's environment to aid and heal their patients. This simple yet pungent tradition, is a very effective formula that can be used through our daily ritual, added to your food, tea and taken directly. For modern day herbalist's oxymel's are still used as an added kitchen and medicine cabinet essential, a perfect go-to to prevent and protect us from common ailments, especially during these colder times!
The Word Oxymel is derived from the greek word 'Oxymeli' which translates to 'acid and honey'. The combination of apple cider vinegar and local honey penetrates the herbs used, the acidity and natural sugars extract the potent properties from the plants infused within this method and concoction.
Three simple and well known culinary essentials can be used, fresh Sage and Thyme from your garden and a decent amount of fresh Ginger Root. A complementary trio that adds a fragrant and fiery taste, with many properties that protect, nourish and harness your health and wellbeing.
Sage, a classic culinary herb commonly added when cooking is frequently used for many conditions by herbalists, it's potent natural oils (volatile oils) carry a substantial amount of benefits such as; antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can boost and protect our immunity. Thyme, again is more than a herb for the kitchen, throughout history this herb was famously known to strengthen the respiratory system, soothes the common cough, throat infections and even supports asthma. Ginger Root used traditionally in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), is a potent herbaceous plant that helps fight infections, boosts immunity and is one of natures strongest antioxidants!
250ml of local honey
250ml of Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother
1 handful of fresh Sage leaves
1 handful of fresh Thyme
2 thumb sized pieces of fresh Ginger Root
You will also need:
A 500ml sterilised glass jar with the lid and a piece of parchment paper to cover the top of your jar.
To prepare your herbs, roughly chop your sage leaves, breakup your thyme into small pieces and chop your ginger root into thin slices (leave the skin on) and layer your prepared herbs into your sterilised jar. Next, add your honey into a pan, apply a low heat and stir until the honey has loosened, followed by pouring your Apple Cider Vinegar, adding to your loosened honey, mix and combine until fully incorporated. Take your pan off the heat and gently pour your vinegar and honey blend over the top of your herbs, let the oxymel cool. Once cooled, place a piece of parchment paper over the top of the mouth of the jar and screw lid on tightly.
Leave your oxymel to infuse for a whole lunar cycle, usually 4-5 weeks. Once infused, strain through a sieve and muslin cloth and add to a pipette bottle or a jam jar. This infusion can be added to soups, stews or salad dressings. For a direct form of medicine, pour into a dropper bottle and apply 10-15 drops 2-3 times a day under the tongue. Safe to use on children, reduce drops to 8-10 drops and 2 times a day. This ancient medicine has a shelf life for up to 2 years.
Happy herbal medicine making! We will be selling a small batch of this oxymel on our online shop soon!
- Blessings, Harriet - Medicinal Herbalist and Founder of West Apothecary.
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