Four Thieves Vinegar

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How to Make Four Thieves Vinegar – a tonic for home and health! Four Thieves Vinegar is an old-time concoction of vinegar, herbs and spices with a wealth of benefits and uses.

four thieves vinegar recipe
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a hand holding a jar filled with vinegar and herbs

What is Four Thieves Vinegar?

Legend states that during the plague that devastated Marseilles, France during the 17th century, four thieves managed to remain free of illness whilst robbing the dead thanks to this little concoction of vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic. While I can’t attest to that kind of strength and effectiveness, I can attest that the ingredients in my own version of Four Thieves Vinegar have their own wonderful cleansing, immune boosting, anti-bacterial properties that suit a variety of uses!

a stack of vintage books, measuring spoons and  jar with bay leaves


  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Garlic.
  • Rosemary.
  • Peppercorns.
  • Thyme.
  • Juniper berries.
  • Lavender.
  • Sage.
  • Bay leaf.

Note: this is just a summarized list. For the full recipe + amounts, please refer to the recipe card towards the bottom of this page.

a jar filled with herbs on a dark wooden backdrop

How to Make

  1. Add garlic and dried herbs to a clean jar.
  2. Cover with vinegar.
  3. Place the jar in a cool, dark place to sit for 2 weeks before straining and using.
a hand holding a wooden scoop filled with dried lavender buds

How to Use

  • As a natural cleaning spray: add one part Four Thieves Vinegar and one part water to a spray bottle. Use to clean kitchen countertops, mirrors, windows, wood furniture, bathroom tiles and more!
  • As a natural facial astringent: Using 1 part Four Thieves Vinegar, two parts water — gently pat on your face after cleansing for a natural toning effect.
  • Drink as a wellness tonic: take one teaspoonful a day to keep germs at bay.
  • In food: you can use Four Thieves Vinegar just as you would any other vinegar when creating in the kitchen — in salads, drizzled over roasted veggies, as a bread dip or even splashed into water or tea.
  • For protection: in pagan traditions, Four Thieves Vinegar is used for protection. You can sprinkle it around or throughout your home to keep negative energies at bay.
a jar filled with bay leaves lavender and garlic cloves on a wooden background

Tips and Tricks

This is a versatile recipe!

  • Do not have apple cider vinegar? You can use plain old white vinegar.
  • Do not have all of the dried plants listed here? You can replace them with their fresh counterparts, omit them altogether or replace with any herbs or spices of your choosing!
  • Straining is completely optional. You can leave the ingredients to steep in-between uses.
  • If you strain your vinegar, you can use the soaked plant material to add a boost of flavor to soups, stews, stock recipes and more. Or you can dispose of it in a compost pile.
  • The vinegar (an acid) can react with the metal lids commonly used with jars. I like to place a paper muffin liner in the lid before screwing it onto the jar!
a jar of four thieves vinegar with a wooden spoon submerged in it and a stack of vintage books in the background

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a jar filled with four thieves vinegar alongside measuring spoons books and bay leaves

Health Disclaimer

The information shared in this post is not intended nor should be used in place of a medical professional’s advice. All opinions expressed are my own, and are based from my own lifelong relationships with plants. If you are worried or concerned about any of the ingredients listed in the recipe, please consult with a medical professional or do your own extensive research.

a potion bottle next to a canning jar filled with four thieves vinegar
four thieves vinegar recipe

Four Thieves Vinegar

How to Make Four Thieves Vinegar – a tonic for home and health! Four Thieves Vinegar is an old-time concoction of vinegar, herbs and spices with a wealth of benefits and uses.

4.83 from 17 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverages, Lifestyle, Vegan
Cuisine: French, Herbal
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Halal, Hindu, Kosher, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Low Salt, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 14 days
Total Time: 14 days 5 minutes
Servings: 32
Author: Kristen Wood



  • In a large jar add garlic, thyme, bay, rosemary, peppercorns, juniper berries, lavender, and sage.
  • Pour apple cider vinegar into the jar.
  • Place a piece of cheesecloth or a paper muffin cup over the jar, then screw the lid on tightly (vinegar reacts with the metal in jar lids).
  • Give it all a good shake, then place in a dark, cool place to sit for 2 weeks.
  • When ready to use, you can strain the vinegar and keep stored in a clean jar, or leave the plant material suspended in the vinegar throughout use. Please refer to the post above for all tips, substitutions and uses!
  • Enjoy.


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Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 456mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 152IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 7mg
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One Comment

  1. This sounds like something we could all use right about now. This would make an amazing salad dressing or just over some freshly roated beets!