What a delight it is to wander around the garden smelling and tasting the many lush, edible “weeds,” herbs and medicinal plants that are springing up everywhere. We often throw them into salads, use to garnish a dish, or just simply snack as we tends the to the garden beds. Today we opted to make some medicine. Instead of making a traditional tincture we made an Oxymel which is a kind of herbal elixir that the kids can enjoy it too. An Oxymel is an herbal infusion made with honey and apple cider vinegar instead of alcohol. You can use fresh or dried herbs and it’s an incredibly simple process. It is a lovely way to enjoy herbal medicine – stir in warm water for a soothing medicinal tea, add it to salad dressings or marinades, enjoy in summer spritzers and cocktails, or just take by the dropper full everyday.
I made mine today with the herbs that popping up from last years seeds and plants – California poppy, nettle, lemon balm, chamomile, mint and yarrow. The poppy is wonderfully calming to the nervous system and promotes restful sleep. The nettle is a liver and blood tonic and happens to be one of the riches sources of minerals among edible plants. It can also help with allergies as does yarrow. Yarrow is also famous for making its namesake Achilles invulnerable and has been used for thousands of years to treat wounds on the battlefield. It possesses a myriad of health benefits relating to the blood, skin, digestive and immune systems. Chamomile and Mint also provide a whole host of benefits including improving digestion, and pacifying the liver and nervous system. Lemon balm also soothes and softens anxiety and benefits sleep. I have listed just a few of the very many qualities these herbs offer us. Overall this particular blend soothes, softens and strengthens the Liver, tonifies the Liver blood, calms our nervous system and promotes a sense of peace.
How to make your Oxymel
- Pick the herbs you want to use – cut and place in a jar
- Cover the herbs with equal parts Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar – I use a ratio of 1:1, but you can adjust to your own taste, traditionally they were made with more honey
- Cover with a lid and shake daily
- Leave to infuse for 2-4 weeks or longer – often aligned with lunar cycles
- Strain, bottle and enjoy!