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Casting Instructions for 'Herbal Vinegars'
Macerating herbs in vinegar is an excellent method of preserving their medicinal properties, as vinegar absorbs the minerals and calcium within herbs far more effectively than water does. Herbal vinegars are a good non-alcoholic alternative to tinctures, and an easy way to take tonic herbs. Externally, vinegar is antiseptic and anti-fungal. A cold compress will reduce swellings ease sunburn as well as insect bites and wasp stings, but should never be applied neat, or on broken skin.
Making Herbal Vinegar
When making herbal vinegars ensure that all your equipment is clean and sterile. Do not use any metal implements when making herbal vinegars. Seal jars and bottles with glass stoppers or plastic lids, as metal and vinegar react badly with each other. If using fresh herbs, allow them to dry overnight in a cool, dark place, if damp herbs are put into vinegar, they may spoil.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is antiseptic and antifungal, eases sore throats when gargled. It is also a good tonic that stimulates the immune system.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) soothes itchy skin conditions. Added to bathwater it helps treat fungal infections. As a hair rinse, it soothes sore scalps lightens hair.
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is antiseptic stimulating. It makes a good hair rinse for dry and itchy scalps. It soothes inflamed or sore skin.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is antiseptic, making a good gargle for sore throats. It also eases sore gums can be added to bath water to soothe sore skin.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an excellent tonic herb. It is also good hair rinse for itchy scalps. It can be added to bathwater to soothe sore skin.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is antiseptic and a good tonic herb. Used as a gargle it soothes sore throats. As a cold compress it eases bruises. It can also be used as a hair rinse for itchy scalps, and to darken hair. Avoid use during pregnancy.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a powerful antiseptic anti fungal herb, it eases coughs bronchial troubles. As a gargle it soothes sore throats gums. Avoid during pregnancy
Rosemary Vinegar Recipe
15g dried herb (or 30g fresh herb) 200ml white wine vinegar
Chop or shred the herbs and put in a sterilized glass or plastic container. Pour over the vinegar, ensuring that all the herb is covered. Seal and keep in a cool, dark place for two to four weeks (depending on how strong you want the vinegar), shaking every few days. Strain store in an amber glass bottle. This will keep for up to six months if refrigerated.
Dose: as a daily tonic, take 1 tsp in a glass of water once a day.
Herbal vinegars can also make a very effective gargle. Add 1 tsp to 250 ml of water.
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