How to Make Herbal Vinegars

When you think of vinegar you probably think of salads. You probably donít think of it as having any therapeutic properties, but when herbs are added to naturally-created vinegar like apple cider vinegar, the herbs add big flavor and transfer their potent healing abilities to the vinegar. And, with the wide range of edible herbs, you can enjoy an unlimited assortment of herbal vinegars as well.

Herbal vinegars are made in the same way as alcohol-based herbal tinctures, except that you use vinegar in place of the vodka or grain alcohol used to preserve the herbsí medicinal properties. Obviously the taste and therapeutic properties will vary depending on both the herbs and the type of vinegar used. Not all herbs make great-tasting vinegars, so select herbs you are familiar with and love the taste of and start there.

Use red or white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar, depending on your personal preference. Red wine vinegar has a strong but slightly sweet flavor that works well with herbs like tarragon while white wine vinegar has a more delicate flavor that works well with basil or thyme. Apple cider vinegar has a unique apple flavor that works beautifully with herbs like lavender or chive flowers.

To make herbal vinegars, simply grind the dried herb youíre using to a coarse powder. Mix with the vinegar of your choice. Let it sit for fourteen days, shaking frequently, then strain through a few layers of cheesecloth and pour into a sterilized bottle. As with tinctures, youíll need to strain out the herbal matter through a few layers of fine cheesecloth to prevent mold growth. Cap and store in a cool location.

The shelf life of herbal vinegars varies depending on the type of vinegar and herbs used, but in general itís best to use them within a month or two. As with any food, discard the vinegar if you notice mold formation.

Herbal vinegars can take some practice to perfect, but they add a delightful taste to salads and salad dressings and add the therapeutic benefits of the herbs you select. They are worth the effort and the practice.

Related:
8 Healing Benefits of the Herb Thyme
Donít Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind
4 Proven Natural Antibiotics

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

65 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

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Jack Y
Jack Y4 months ago

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John J
John J4 months ago

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John J
John J4 months ago

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Marija M
Marija Mabout a year ago

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

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Philippa P
Philippa Powers2 years ago

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George L
George L2 years ago

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Nang Hai C
Nang Hai C2 years ago

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