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Easy and Effective: Vinegar, Garlic & Herb Disinfectant for Your Home

Easy and Effective: Vinegar, Garlic & Herb Disinfectant for Your Home

A friend who is keenly interested in all things natural, found an interesting recipe for household disinfectant in the book Herbal Remedies by Christopher Hedley & Non Shaw.

The recipe is called “Four Thieves Vinegar,” and comes with an interesting little tale. I shall share both in a moment, but first, I am excited to share that we made this disinfectant at home, and it has actually made surfaces and counter tops around the house cleaner, without the unpleasant chemical cleaner smell.

Now here is the tale:

Four thieves concocted this recipe during the great Plague in France, so they could safely rob the dead without getting infected. It worked and they grew rich. When they were finally caught, they plea bargained to be given a merciful death in exchange for sharing the recipe!

The Recipe:

1 tsp each clove, nutmeg and cinnamon; powdered
2 teaspoons each rosemary, sage and peppermint; dried
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
4 cups cider vinegar

Put the ingredients in a tightly covered glass vessel and leave in strong sunlight for 15 days. Strain and bottle. (We omitted the sage and peppermint, which are not easily available here in India).


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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


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6:26PM PST on Jan 30, 2014

Great article! The Lord gave us so many essential oils from plants to heal ourselves.
All of these listed are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-microbrial, and one that was left
out is eucylptus which is anti-viral along with cinnamon.
As far as using them for cleaning....that could get expensive, but I use them all the time
for cooking; especially garlic and onions.

3:22PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Love the story, hate the smell of garlic but will try adding the rest. Thanks!

1:31PM PST on Jan 22, 2014

Thanks for sharing I am going to try this.

4:29PM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Not sure I want my home to smell of garlic. I love to eat garlic though. Maybe w/ the addition of the sage & peppermint (which the author omitted due to availability) Might lessen the garlic smell. How do you make this during the winter if you need strong sunlight? Maybe its a recipe for later in the year.

3:48AM PST on Jan 21, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

5:54PM PST on Jan 20, 2014

Thank you.

7:06AM PST on Jan 20, 2014

I like herbal recipes, especially if it can take harmful chemicals out of the products. What a interesting tale that is to go with it. I am just wondering how it smells? Thank you for sharing this.

2:46AM PST on Jan 19, 2014

Thank you :)

5:21PM PST on Jan 18, 2014

Interesting history behind the concoction. Thanks.

2:45AM PST on Jan 17, 2014


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people are talking

@Paul L: Mind you : the tongue is also a very important diagnostic in TCM :-).

It just shows that we should/could trust what our bodies are telling us. Thanks for the info.

I did sing along, but you may not want to listen. Play it again Sam.


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