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Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe

Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe

There are many different recipes for Four Thieves Vinegar and different stories claiming different historical origins. It’s a very effective household cleaner. This has been used down south as a banishing vinegar and can be seen in voodoo shops at a pretty penny.

All of the herbs in the Four Thieves Vinegar formula are potent antibacterials or antivirals and all are edible, making it a powerful mix for internal and external use.

If you plan to use this vinegar for cleaning only, you can use white vinegar. If you plan to use it internally as well as for cleaning, cider vinegar (preferably raw, unfiltered with the mother but any cider vinegar will do) is a better choice.

This recipe is made assuming you’ll be using either all dried or all fresh herbs. If you will be using some dried and some fresh, adjust the proportions accordingly.


  • apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, enough to cover all your plant material
  • 1 part lavender flowers
  • 1 part sage leaves
  • 1 part rosemary leaves
  • 1 part mugwort aerial parts


  1. Blend your herbs and pour them into a class container such as a wide-mouth canning jar.
  2. Add enough vinegar to cover your blend completely. (If you’re using dried herbs, you may need to add a little extra because the dried herbs will expand as they rehydrate.)
  3. Cover the jar and let the mixture stand at room temperature for six weeks.
  4. After the mixture has finished infusing, strain the herbs out of the vinegar and store the vinegar in an appropriate container.

Storage and Use

Label and store and your Four Thieves Vinegar in a colored glass container to protect it from the deteriorating effects of sunlight.

Dilute Four Theives vinegar with five parts water before using it. You can use it as a spray or a wash for disinfecting surfaces. It’s wonderful for all kinds of house cleaning.

For first aid use, you can use Four Thieves vinegar to disinfect wounds, rashes, and skin in general. Do not put vinegar in your eyes. Just as with household cleaning applications, you will want to dilute it with four parts water before using it externally.

Four Thieves vinegar is edible and can be taken as a “spoonful a day” medicine or added to olive or coconut oil as salad dressing. It’s tasty and provides support to the immune system.

Other herbs you can use as substitutes include:

  • thyme
  • lemon balm

You can also add a handful of garlic cloves or cayenne peppers if you don’t mind their scent.


Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

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