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Oxymels

SO, WHAT IS AN OXYMEL EXACTLY?

The ancient Greek word oxymeli translates to “acid and honey.” The simplest definition is an herbal extraction of vinegar and raw honey. Most often, I see people using raw apple cider vinegar, which boasts a host of healthful qualities on its own. Bringing together the acid of apple cider vinegar with the healthful properties of honey is a fantastic way to get the benefits of both, while also extracting and ingesting supportive herbs, particularly pungent ones that aren’t always pleasant to take on their own.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF OXYMELS?

Both apple cider vinegar and honey have been used for millennia to help boost the immune system, soothe dry throats, and temper digestive issues. Organic apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, and when you use the raw, unfiltered version, you are also getting "mother" strands of proteins, enzymes, and helpful bacteria. Meanwhile, the honey brings soothing qualities and provides germ-fighting properties. So, these two ingredients alone are beneficial to the body, and when you add herbs, you have an incredibly effective method of getting extra herbal support as well.

 

HOW TO MAKE OXYMELS

Traditional oxymel recipes from times past tend to use a higher proportion of honey to vinegar: as much as five parts honey to one part vinegar. Depending on your palate and your goals for herbal extraction, you may find this heavy-on-the-honey proportion too sweet for your modern tastebuds—which is why today, most oxymel recipes aim for a more equal balance of vinegar and honey. But one of the beautiful things about oxymels is that you have a lot of room to play with the proportions in order to best match your health and herbal needs.

 

Some of my favorite herbs for Oxymels:

 

Salty/Nutritive Herbs:

Alfalfa

Burdock

Cornflower

Dandelion

Lambs Quarter

Mulberry Leaf

Nettle

Oat straw and tops

Red Clover

Mullein

 

Aromatic/Pungent Herbs - Nervous system and Digestive Support

Ashwagandha

Basil

Cinnamon

Clove

Elecampane

Evening Primrose

Fennel

Garlic

Ginger

Holy Basil/Tulsi

Lemon Balm

Linden leaf and flower

Mints - peppermint, spearmint, orange mint, etc.

Monarda/Bee Balms

Oregano

Pepper

Rose

Sage

Star Anise

Thyme

 

Sour/Cooling/Sweet herbs/fruits for Immune support, and flavor

Elderberry

Hawthorn

Hibiscus

Rosehips

Schisandra

Sumac

 

Bitter Herbs for nervous system, digestive support and extra nutritive

Mugwort

Motherwort

California Poppy

Blue Vervain

Mushrooms like Chagga, Reishi, Lion’s mane, Turkey Tail

 

Folk Method Recipe: 

Choose 1 salty herb and 1-3 aromatic, pungent, sour or bitter herbs to suit your taste and herbal actions.

  1. Fill a pint jar 1/4 - 1/2 full of with herbs

  2. Cover with equal parts apple cider vinegar and honey to fill jar.

  3. Cover with a tight-fitting plastic lid. I avoid metal lids with oxymels because the vinegar reacts to metal. 

  4. Shake jar until thoroughly mixed.Infuse with gratitude.

  5. Store jar in a warm dry place to extract for two weeks. Shake jar at least twice a week to assist in extraction.

  6. Strain out herbs through a fine mesh strainer, pressing down on the herbs with a spoon get as much liquid as possible. Set herbs aside to compost.

  7. Pour strained oxymel into glass jar or bottles.

  8. Label and date

  9. Using dried herbs these sweeties will be shelf stable for about 6 months. 

 

 HOW TO ENJOY YOUR OXYMELS

By the spoonful, in warm water, in carbonated water for an amazing spritzer. garnish with fresh herbs and add mixers for amazing mock-tails. Can be mixed with oil and citrus for an amazing vinaigrette! Get creative and enjoy the process. 

 

References:

Article from: https://blog.mountainroseherbs.com/herbal-oxymels

Caroline Riley Mutable Earth Botanicals; mommacaroline@gmail.com

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