Oxymel is a word you don’t hear used in everyday conversation.  So, what is an oxymel and why would you want one?

The word comes pretty much straight from the Latin, oxymeli which means acid + honey.  An oxymel is a traditional way of preparing herbs that have an unpleasant taste on their own.

Besides the therapeutic qualities of the herbs you also get the stimulating qualities of vinegar plus the soothing qualities of honey.

Oxymels will keep for a considerable amount of time.  Make some at the start of winter and you’ll have an inexpensive addition to your kitchen pharmacy.

The garlic oxymel below is particularly beneficial for when you notice that first scratchy sign of a sore throat and want to avoid a head cold developing.

I also think this is delicious as a base for a homemade salad or warm vegetable dressing.  Get creative with “food as medicine”!


30g garlic (approx. 10 cloves) peeled and smashed

4g (1 heaped tsp) fennel seeds

4g (1 heaped tsp) caraway seeds

100mL apple cider vinegar (containing the mother tincture)

40 mL (approx 2tbsp) honey – raw, organic

1. Gently warm seeds in vinegar without boiling for a few minutes.
2. Add honey until incorporated.
3. Poor over garlic and let steep (up to 24hrs) The longer you leave it for the stronger/hotter it will taste.
4. Strain and put in a dark glass bottle. ** ensure you sterilize the bottle before use.

Store the oxymel in the cupboard for up to 12 months, preferably in a dark glass jar. The vinegar, garlic and honey are all anti-bacterial so it is unlikely to go off.

You can substitute cloves (about 6) for the caraway seeds for a super boost of antiseptic qualities!

Adults: Take 1 tsp 3-6 times a day at the first sign of a cold or during colds/flu.


If you enjoyed this you might also like:

Three supplements to help fortify your immune system this winter


Need help with your immune health?

Norelle Hentschel is an experienced Naturopath with a clinic in Stones Corner, Brisbane who enjoys supporting her clients to reach their health goals.


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