Acid + Honey + Nutrients
What Is An Herbal Oxymel
This type of herbal preparation dates back centuries. In Ancient Greece, a variety of oxymels were created to address different concerns. The two base ingredients needed to make an oxymel are vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar with the mother and raw, unprocessed honey. The word itself translates to “acid and honey” and together, they make a powerful duo that is full of flavor.
Why Make An Herbal Oxymel
As I’ve learned throughout my herbal studies, a plant’s constituents and benefits can be extracted through different menstrums (water, alcohol, acid or sugar to name a few). When creating an herbal oxymel, since there are two bases, you will have double the potency. The high acetic acid in apple cider vinegar works to pull out the minerals of the herb you are using. Adding in raw honey, provides a high sugar content which aids in extending the shelf life of your recipe. Not to mention, the added benefits of minerals and live enzymes honey has.
This immune boosting herbal preparation is great for gut health, respiratory health and is full of antioxidants. I can see why oxymels have been a standard herbal practice for centuries!
Benefits Of Nettle
If I were to chose one herb that, through the course of my studies, surprised me as quickly becoming one of my favorites, it would have to be nettle! This dark green leaf packs a powerful punch and I am not just referring to the sting you’ll get if you don’t wear gloves while harvesting. I am talking about the phytonutrients found in this lovely herbal ally.
Some of the things I love about Nettle:
- Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids
- High in chlorophyll
- A great source of; calcium, magnesium and iron
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine which helps with sinus congestion or allergies
- Nutritive tonic for the kidneys
Nettle nourishes, supports, and energizes the whole body, and is richly nourishing to the blood. – The Herbarium
Plus, the earthy taste of nettle is delicious too! Turning this herb into an oxymel combines some of my most favorite ingredients and I love having it on hand.
How To Make A Nettle Oxymel
This process is straight forward and has a lot of wiggle room. Using the folk method, we will be doing a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to honey. Feel free to adjust according to your taste. For a less sour taste, simply add more honey than vinegar!
- In a jar, add in nettle, filling about 1/4 of the jar with the herb. You can use either fresh or dried. However, if using fresh, fill the jar 1/2 way.
- Next, pour in apple cider vinegar, filling the jar 1/2 way full.
- Pour in raw honey next, filling the jar the rest of the way.
- Give it a good stir & using wax paper as a barrier, place a lid on top.
- This oxymel will need to sit for about 2 weeks. Make sure to flip it every couple of days to ensure the nettle is being distributed throughout. You will notice it will float to the top and that’s ok, but giving a good flip and shake will help!
- When the 2 weeks is up, use a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth to filter out the nettle. Pour the oxymel liquid into a bottle and store in the pantry.
The shelf life for an herbal oxymel is about 6 months.
You can use this much like any other herbal creation, when your body needs some extra help! Spring is allergy season for most and this is a wonderful way to help reduce some of the irritation. For women, this is a great option to take during moon time. Replenishing iron and vitality is always beneficial when you feel depleted.
Happy creating friends!
P.S. Don’t forget, kiddos under the age of 1 should not have honey products!