Just when I think I’ve tried just about every hippie home remedy under the sun, I come across one that surprises me. While scouring the internet the other day, I stumbled on an article about oxymels, and it stopped me cold in my tracks. Huh?
Turns out, oxymels are more common than you think. The term oxymel comes from the Latin meaning “acid and honey,” and it’s just a simple combination of apple cider vinegar and honey (source). It is used to administer herbs that might not taste so pleasant on their own. By infusing your oxymel with immune-boosting herbs, you’re left with a potent medicine that can help keep your immune system strong and aid in your body’s natural detoxification processes. Simple, no?
Here’s how to make your own stay-well oxymel to get you through the next cold and flu season in one piece.
How to Make an Oxymel
Who doesn’t love drinking apple cider vinegar (ACV) and honey? Okay, so probably not everyone. But as far as home remedies are concerned, ACV and honey pack a one-two punch. ACV helps alkalize the body, which in turn kills bacteria and viruses. And raw honey relieves sore throats and inflammation (source).
They’re certainly rockstars on their own, but if you toss in a bunch of immune-boosting herbs, you’re left with an herbal remedy that would make even Rosemary Gladstar proud.
To fend off a cold, try herbs like ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, and lemon zest. To improve circulation and calm an upset stomach, go with rosemary and ginger. And for soothing nerves, toss in some lavender, nettles, and chamomile. But don’t stop there. Endless combinations of herbs are available for use, so it’s important to pick the ones that work for you and your particular ailments (source).
There are actually two different ways to make oxymels. If you’re already feeling under the weather, you can simmer your way to a quick oxymel, but you run the risk of decreasing the nutritional value of the herbs you are using.
Instead, I like to infuse my oxymel with the herbs gently and over a longer period of time. While it takes a few weeks to make, the medicinal benefits you get from taking it are well worth the effort and extra time. Just start your infusion at least a month before cold and flu season hits, and you should be ready to go at the first sign of sniffles.
To use, simply swallow it by the spoonful or dilute it ever so slightly with seltzer water or ginger ale.
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup raw honey*
- Wellness herbs like ginger, echinacea, lemon peel, sage, thyme, and garlic.
- Glass canning jar with lid.
- Fill a jar ¼ of the way with herbs. Pour in the raw honey and raw apple cider vinegar.
- Screw on the top (if using a metal lid, place a piece of parchment paper in between the lid and the vinegar mixture), shake, and then let it sit on your kitchen counter for 4 weeks.
- Strain the herbs out and store in a lidded glass jar away from heat and light.
- To use, take 2 teaspoons at a time up to 3 times a day. If you don’t like the taste, turn it into a salad dressing and consume it on fresh greens.
*Note: do not give anything containing honey to babies 12 months of age and under.