Let's Talk: Herbal Oxymel for Cold and Flu Season

Herbal Oxymel

As the garden season comes to a close I am making an oxymel with herbs from the garden to have for the cold and flu season this winter. I've always wanted to try this old fashion elixir as a new way to bottle the goodness from the garden along with preparing to stay healthy for what’s ahead of us.  

An oxymel is an old fashioned herbal remedy that uses honey and vinegar; both medicinal in and of themselves (immune boosting and antibacterial), infused with herbs which offer added medicinal benefits. It's a delightful mix of acid and honey which creates a delicious sweet and sour taste and by the way, is a great way to administer herbs to kids!

You can mix it up seasonally in regards to the herbs you would like to use. This season I am using ginger, echinacea, thyme, sage and garlic – all except ginger are from the community garden. This particular blend is great for boosting the immune system, helpful for the respiratory system and a great sore throat remedy. 

Ingredients and tools you will need: 

  • ½ cup of honey
  • ½ apple cider vinegar
  • Herbs of your choice: ginger, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, sage, turmeric, lemon, garlic - the list is endless
  • Glass canning jar with tight seal

Herbal Oxymel Ingredients


  1. Fill ¼ of the jar with the herbs of your choice.  For this recipe I am using ginger, echinacea flower tops, thyme, sage & garlic.
  2. Pour in the honey and apple cider vinegar on top of the herbs. It's about two cups of menstruum to every ¼ cup of herbs.
  3. Seal the jar and shake. Let it sit for 4 weeks, shaking it periodically.
  4. After the 4 weeks, strain the herbs and store in a jar with a tight lid away from light – if you have an amber glass, all the better. It will keep for about 6 months. 
  5. You can take it daily like an elix 2-3 tablespoons, daily or when you feel a cold coming on. 
  6. This remedy is safe for kids, you may want to add a little more honey to take the edge off the garlic.  

*Note do not give anything containing honey to babies 12 months of age and under.