Nature’s Best Health Tonic: Vinegar of Four Thieves

This kind of apple a day will definitely keep the doctor away! I stumbled upon this health tonic vinegar recipe about two years ago from the Wellness Mama, and have ‘brewing’ batch after batch ever since.  It is now one of my household essentials. I not only use this for edible consumption, but also as a topical anti-microbial for both my body and my home. The base of this health tonic is Apple Cider Vinegar, one of nature’s most versatile natural health remedies. If you haven’t already heard the buzz about it, I’m excited to share with you.

Everyone’s Drinking the Cider!

Apple cider vinegar has been credited with everything from weight loss, to boosting the immune system, to stabilizing blood sugar, and even curing the hiccups.  These health benefits mainly develop during the fermentation process while the apples turn to vinegar. Firstly, crushed apples are exposed to yeast which begins to ferment the sugars turning them into an alcohol. Bacteria is then added to this alcohol turning it into ‘acetic acid’ – one of the main active compounds of vinegar.  Apple cider vinegar in it’s natural unfiltered state also contains ‘the mother.’ This gives the cider a murky, cobweb like appearance. Aside from looking a little swampy, the mother is filled with strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria, which in combination with acetic acid, make this one of nature’s best health tonics.

Vinegar of Four Thieves

This recipe centres around Apple Cider Vinegar. It is used as the base liquid and paired with chopped garlic and four specific dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage and mint. People have been using these herbs for centuries for their powerful antibacterial, anti viral, antiseptic and anti fungal properties that are still highly applicable in today’s society.

Say goodbye to your pharmaceuticals, and #nourishnaturally with this homemade health tonic. (Tweet it!)

Use this Tonic for the following:


  • Improves nutrient absorption: by adding 1 tbsp of of vinegar of four thieves to your salad dressing will help increase your body’s absorption of the important minerals in your food.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar: apple cider has strong anti glycemic properties. It acts by blocking some of the digestion of starch, preventing it from raising your blood sugar. Consume about 1 tbsp of this tonic before a heavy carbohydrate meal.


  • Consume about 1 tbsp every morning when you wake and after you brush your teeth. This tonic will not only keep your immune system strong and health during seasonal transitions, but will also help wake you up when consumed first thing in the morning.


  • The second you start to feel a scratchy throat, stuffy nose or overall aches, consume 1 tbsp every 4 hours for up to 48 hours.
  • Kids not feeling well? Follow the same rule of thumb above, but dilute 1 tsp in room temperature water.


  • Topical spray: pair 1/4 cup of vinegar with 8oz room temperature water in a spray bottle. Use to clean the air if you or a household member is sick.
  • Nail or foot fungus: pair 1/2 cup of vinegar in small foot tub of room temperature water.  Use this to soak your feet for 15 minutes 3 times daily. After soaking them, dry them thoroughly and dab a few drops of Vinegar of Four Thieves on the affected area.
  • Boo boo disinfectant: apply a small of the vinegar tonic on a cotton pad and use as a disinfectant on any cut or scrap on the body.

How Do I Make This Recipe?

Check out my video for a demo on how to make your own batch. Luckily, this health tonic only has a 5-minute prep time, but does require some patience. Please note, don’t just buy any apple cider vinegar. Make sure it is unpasteurized and still has ‘the mother.’ One of my favourite brands is Braggs, Apple Cider Vinegar.

Vinegar of Four Thieves
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4 cups
What You Need
  • 32oz unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (with the mother)
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 tbsp dried mint
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried lavender (optional)
  • 6 cloves of minced garlic
What You Do
  1. Place all dried herbs and minced garlic in a large glass jar (I just use the half gallon apple cider vinegar jug, but usually need to pour out about 8-10oz of ACV to ensure the herbs and garlic fit without overflowing)
  2. Add apple cider vinegar back to the jar with the dried herbs and garlic and mix well.
  3. Seal the lid tightly. Note: if you are using a container that has a metal lid, put a plastic lining between the lid and the jug as the vinegar is strong enough to corrode some metal lids.
  4. Leave in a cool, dark place for up to 8-weeks. Shake every couple days if possible.
  5. After 8 weeks, strain the herbs and garlic (throw them away) and store your tonic in smaller glass jars for easy access and use.


About Nora DeBora

Nora DeBora is one of Toronto's leading Health and Wellness professionals who is certified in holistic nutrition, yoga and personal training. She specializes in digestive wellness and is passionate about educating and empowering her clients to achieve their optimal health goals.

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