Backyard Medicine Pt. 1 – Oxymel

The warmth of Summer is here and the abundance of Spring and Summer blooms are all around us. Wildflowers and wild herbs rich in nourishment are growing, for many of us, right in our own backyard.

Whether you’re an herbalist or just wanting to benefit from these nutrients and minerals, the sheer abundance of wild edibles and herbs (especially during the warm season) can be overwhelming. 

Many people miss out on these gifts simply because they are unaware or don’t know where to begin as far as preparation goes.

Just for fun, I thought I would share some preparations that I have learned. The first one is Oxymel. Oxymel is an old recipe, derived from the Latin word oxymeli meaning acid + honey.


It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity. It can be made different ways, but what I use is Apple Cider Vinegar and Raw Organic Honey. This base of acid + honey then becomes your vessel that you infuse your chosen herbs, flowers and/or berries in. 

You can choose to make an Oxymel for medicinal or nutritive purposes (or both). The ratio of vinegar to honey is based on your own personal preference and what you would like the end result to be.

For example, you could be aiming to create more of a sipping vinegar filled with specific medicinal herbs for the purpose of clearing out a chest cold, boosting the immune system, stimulating lymphatic flow etc.. Or you could just want nutrient infused vinegar that you can then use in cooking preparations, like yummy immune boosting salad dressings!

Either way, the standard preparation is the same.

You will need:

~ A clean, sterilized Mason Jar

~ Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

~ Raw and/or organic honey

~ Fresh wildflowers, herbs or berries

Place desired plant material (In the pictured Oxymel, I used Viola Tricolors) into the mason jar (1/4 – 1/5 of the way full), cover with the apple cider vinegar and honey.
You can choose to use a lot of honey or a little.

You can stir before sealing the jar, or seal the jar and shake until well mixed. Then let the jar sit somewhere cool and dark and shake a couple of times a week. After two weeks, strain and pour into a glass jar for storage, your Oxymel is now ready to enjoy! You can taste at this time and adjust with more honey, or add olive oil and other ingredients to create a salad dressing.

*A Note on Herbs: If you are picking fresh herbs or wildflowers, always pick in clean pesticide-free location far away from road traffic. Always thank the plant. Never leave an area depleted. You can also use dried herbs for this recipe, but I would like to focus on using the beautiful wild herbs and flowers growing here in Newfoundland. You can look into the flowers and herbs in your local area, just stay safe, have respect and always give back to mama earth to replace what you take, in some form or another. 

Hope you enjoyed this post! Any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Love to you all.


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