Vinegar of the 4 Thieves
2 quarts - apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons - lavender
2 tablespoons - rosemary
2 tablespoons - sage
2 tablespoons - wormwood
2 tablespoons - mint
2 tablespoons - fresh, chopped garlic
Combine dried herbs (except garlic) and vinegar in a one-gallon jar with lid, and soak in the sun for 2 weeks, shaking often. Then strain out the used herbs, and retain the herbal liquid mixture. Add several cloves of crushed garlic, and close lid. Let soak for three days, and strain out the garlic fiber and discard. This liquid tincture needs to be stored in a cool place, like the refrigerator, or it can be preserved by canning. Fill canning jar with boiling liquid tincture to within one-half inch of top. Cap with rubber seal canning lid, tighten ring, and turn hot jar upside down; leave it undisturbed until it cools to room temperature. This will cause the jar to seal. Don’t forget to date and label it.
The Vinegar of the Four Thieves is a super-strong insect repellent. It should be diluted with water to half strength if you spray it directly on your skin. This repellent can be used many ways. Splashed on your socks or shoes will discourage ticks, chiggers, and mites. An herbal cloth kept in your pocket and rubbed on your skin every hour or so would be very beneficial during outdoor work or recreation. Or, a nightly bath with a little herbal vinegar and oil will keep it on your skin for many hours and could prove helpful for families who live in the country or while out on camping trips.
The name of the repellent was started following the Black Plague. Thieves would steal from people who had the plague, but for some reason they never got sick. They found out that they applied these herbs to themselves hoping to keep from getting sick and it worked.