Garlic and the 'Four Thieves Vinegar'

by Michele Young

BSc., MSc, SixSigma Masterblackbelt, NaturoTherapist, Community Herbalist


Garlic has been used for thousands of years as an agent to treat disease and maintain health. In fact, it is one of the earliest documented herbs used for the treatment of disease. This herb has had many biblical references and is referred to in ancient medicinal texts from all over the world including China, Greece, Egypt and India. In addition to what we now know as antibacterial and anti viral properties, this herb is a wonderful tonic for heart health and the circulatory system.


During the black death epidemic of the European plague , a myth behind the recipe involves a group of thieves which were known to rob the dead and dying but were somehow protecting themselves against the disease. It is said that the group of thieves used a vinegar concoction to protect themselves against contracting the plague and that one of the key constituents of this secret recipe was garlic. When they were finally caught, it is said that they were offered a plead of leniency in exchange for their secret recipe (see recipe below).






Support systems


Cardiovascular System Support

This herb has a wonderfully positive action on heart health. Garlic provides a real boost to the circulatory system, opening the peripheral blood vessels to help lower blood pressure and improve circulation and blood flow through the tissues therefore improving oxygenation of the tissues and distribution of blood and lymph.


Immune System Support

My favourite way to use garlic is to help fight colds and flu just when they begin to surface, during the winter season. Each time I feel a cold coming on, twice a day, I chop up a large clove of local organic garlic, very fine, and gulp it down (without chewing!) with a small glass of water or juice. This keeps the system well protected and much stronger to fight off incoming virus or bacterial infections.


Four Thieves Vinegar Winter Wellness Tonic


4 crushed garlic** cloves

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon lavender

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

optional : add mint!


2 cups apple cider vinegar


Cover herbs with 2C apple cider vinegar

Shake and let sit in dark , cool area for 1-2 weeks

Strain and discard the used herbs


Usage: 1 tbsp 1-2 x daily or simply include in your salad dressing



** to note that organic or local garlic has a very different taste, chemical constituents and much higher potency than garlic bought from China or other mass producers - test them to see!


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