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Staying Healthy in Autumn.

Fall is upon us, as the cool air flows into our windows at night and in the early mornings, we may start to notice leaves falling, or a change in color from greens to reds and yellows. Or you may have had to or heard people running to the store for school supplies, seeing kids on the sides of roads waiting for the bus as school starts up again. As I look around I notice this. I noticed that fall was coming sooner than later when I walked outside and looked at the gardens.

My nemesis in the garden, Poison Ivy (P.I.) or Toxicodendron radicans turned its beautiful burgundy red. The character of Poison Ivy is evasive to change, but does so readily. It dislikes the cold, immediately retracting its nutrients to protect itself from any threat of change, cold, or insult as it starts to stiffen and become more rigid. Its job in the garden is to recondition the soil, return nutrients to that area so that it and others may thrive.

I think about its job when I prescribe this remedy as a homeopathic. The symptomatic picture of a person needing this remedy, tends to have achy joints, be a bit chilly, hot tempered and dislike change but does the change somewhat easily – these are the people that work through it, you might hear them say, “I don’t like it, but I do it.” They have a strong sense of duty, they tend to bear the load, you might even hear them moaning and groaning but the task at hand is done perfectly. These people tend to stay in motion, for when they stop they start to tighten and the pain in their body starts to come back.

With school starting back up, our children in close quarters, touching every surface, wiping their noses on their hands and sneezing everywhere – regardless of how many times you show them how to properly sneeze into their elbow, so as not to spread the storm of bacteria here-there-and-everywhere. We know that this brings the increased chance to contract colds and flu. A home remedy that you can make for yourself and loved ones to help keep the seasons illnesses at bay and see you into next spring is Four Thieves’ Vinegar.


The Four Thieves’ Vinegar comes from a folklore story; passed down from generation to generation, stating the use during times of great illness and death such as the plague. The “thieves” who are believed to be grave robbers, survived while others died, and were eventually caught. The court was lenient with them so long as they disclosed their secret as to avoid contraction, they were punished to bury the members of the community who died from the plague. There is another story stating that they would raid the houses of the ill and take what they pleased. These four thieves were stated to never contract any of the diseases that they came into contact with due to their use and ingredients of the vinegar.



  • Pat under nose to decrease the ability to smell foul odors

  • Pat on all surfaces of skin as a natural bug (flea) repellant


  • Cold & flu season

  • Boost energy and immunity

  • Elimination of parasites within the body

Avoidance and Discontinue Use:

  • If there is a known allergy to one of the ingredients or families of plants

  • Consult with your naturopathic doctor prior to internal use

  • Do not place in eyes, wash thoroughly with water or saline solution if eyes come into contact with

  • Wash hands thoroughly after touching vinegar or getting vinegar on hands


Ingredients: These are two different recipes combined. Herbs starred (*) are essential and must be in the vinegar. The other herbs you may add at your discretion.

  1. 2 oz. angelica sinensis (Apiaceae family)

  2. 40 g Greater Artemisia Artemisia absinthum (Asteraceae family) *

  3. 40 g Lesser Artemisia Artemisia pontica (Asteraceae family)

  4. 12 g. Calamus (Acoraceae family)

  5. 40 g. Rosemary (lamiaceae family)*

  6. 40 g. Sage (Lamiaceae family)*

  7. 40 g. Mint (Lamiaceae family)*

  8. 40 g. Rue – ruta graveolens (Rutaceae family)*

  9. 40 g. Lavender (Laminacea family)

  10. 5 g. Cinnamon (Lauraceae family)*

  11. 5 g. Nutmeg (Myristicaceae family)

  12. 2 entire heads of garlic (Lilliaceae family)*

  13. Handful of meadowsweet (Roseaceae family)*

  14. Handful of juniper berries (Cupressaceae family)

  15. Handful of wild marjoram/oregano (Lamiaceae family)*

  16. 50 cloves (Myrtaceae family)

  17. 2 oz. elecampane root (Inula helenium) (Asteraceae family)*

  18. 2 oz. horehound (Marrubium vulgare) (Lamiaceae family)*

  19. Apple Cider vinegar 2 pint (32 oz.) with mother*

  20. 1 one gallon glass jar with lid

  21. Smaller jars for easier storage

  22. Cheese cloth

  23. Wire mesh strainer

  24. 1 blender


Need to do in small batches. Fill blender with herbs; pour vinegar for liquid and blend. Once all plant/herb material is very small, place in one-gallon glass jar. Repeat process until all herbs are blended and placed in jar. Stir with a large spoon to mix the herbs together. Cover jar with lid and let sit for 6 weeks in a somewhat cool and dark area – such as pantry. Stir every few days to help the extraction process. At the end of 6 weeks, strain with mesh wire strainer – separating the herb from the vinegar into smaller jars. Take herb from strainer and place on cheesecloth. Cover the herb with the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze the remaining liquid out into a large bowl or jar.

For use: make sure to test externally before ingesting; see how below.


  1. Use cloth soaked in vinegar and wipe down entire body. test with cotton ball or similar small apparatus to the wrist or the inside of your elbow (these areas tend to be most sensitive) if there is any reaction within 24 hours such as: burning, redness, swelling, itching tongue/throat, difficulty breathing discontinue use and consult your Naturopathic Doctor.

  2. Clean surfaces – apply to cloth and wipe topical surfaces.

  3. May add 1 cup of Thieves’ vinegar to bath.


  1. Use as a salad dressing.

  2. Take a one-ounce shot of vinegar placed in 1 cup of lukewarm water and swallow or drink leisurely.

  3. If any of the reactions are seen or felt in the External use of number 1, discontinue and consult your Naturopathic Doctor.

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