Vinegar is relatively shelf stable with decent extraction; it’s not as potent as alcohol for most constituents, but it does well for alkaloid rich plants (like milky oats, berberines, lobelia) and is superior to alcohol for mineral rich herbs. You can use vinegar topically as well. Vinegar lends its own healing properties: antiseptic, digestion enhancing, hypoglycemic. In culinary recipes, a splash of vinegar brightens flavor and can be used in salad dressing and marinades. Use apple cider vinegar for medicinal vinegars; distilled white or apple cider vinegar for topical uses; and high quality clear vinegar (like white wine, champagne) for colorful culinary recipes. Vinegars typically can be kept for at least a year. However, fresh plant vinegars may not last as long as dried herb vinegars.
What You’ll Need:
- Fresh or dried plant material
- Vinegar of choice
- Jar with tight plastic lid
- Coarsely chopped fresh plant material, if using. Fill your jar loosely to the top with fresh plant material or approximately halfway with dried.
- Fill to the top with vinegar. Use a plastic lid (vinegar eats through metal, including mason jar lids)
- Shake regularly. Strain when the liquid tastes good, typically after 2 to 4 weeks.