How to Make Violet Oxymel

by Jade Shutes

Herbal Oxymels

Have you heard of oxymels? This ancient Greek tonic, which literally means “acid and honey,” is gaining popularity once again as a healthful and delicious way to support overall well-being. Oxymels have been used for centuries, dating back to the time of Hippocrates, and were even included in European and American pharmacopeias as an important folk remedy.

What is an Oxymel?

At its most basic, an oxymel is a mixture of raw honey and vinegar, often infused with herbs to provide additional health benefits. Combining these ingredients creates a syrup-like tonic that is both tasty and packed with potential health-promoting properties.

The use of oxymels can be traced back to ancient Greece, where they were prescribed by physicians like Hippocrates for a wide range of ailments. The Greeks referred to this tonic as “oxymeli,” and its use soon spread to neighboring cultures, undergoing slight name changes along the way. In Persia, it was known as “serkangabin,” while in Arabic, it became “sekanjabin.” The Turks called it “sirkencubin,” and in India, it was referred to as “shikanji” or “sikanjabeen.”

Throughout history, oxymels have been included in various pharmacopeias as important folk remedies, and now, as science begins to shed light on their potential health benefits, they are once again gaining popularity among health-conscious individuals looking for natural ways to support their well-being.

The Ingredients and Their Benefits

The two main ingredients in oxymels – raw honey and vinegar – each bring their own unique health-promoting properties to the table.

Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a popular choice for oxymels due to its high acetic acid content and the presence of the “mother” – strands of proteins, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria similar to those found in fermented kombucha tea. Apple cider vinegar has been associated with a range of health benefits, including supporting healthy blood sugar levels, aiding digestion, and promoting a healthy gut microbiome. 

Raw honey, on the other hand, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments. It is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to soothe sore throats and support the immune system. When choosing honey for your oxymel, opt for raw, unfiltered varieties to ensure you are getting the most beneficial compounds.

The Emotional Balm of Violets

Just as violets soothe physical inflammations, they also have a subtle yet profound effect on our emotional well-being. Partaking in violet medicine can ease the worries that cloud our thoughts, releasing mental tension and promoting a sense of peace. For those struggling with anxiety, restlessness, or anger that feels stuck, violets can be a cooling balm, guiding us towards a more balanced state of mind.

Violet Oxymel: A Sweet and Soothing Elixir

One of the most delightful ways to experience the nourishing and soothing properties of violets is by creating a violet oxymel. An oxymel is a simple yet powerful blend of vinegar (oxy) and honey (mel), often infused with herbs or flowers. Violet oxymel captures the essence of these enchanting blossoms, creating a sweet and sour elixir that soothes the throat, supports digestion, and uplifts the spirit.

To make your own violet oxymel, you’ll need:

    • 1 cup violet flowers
    • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar
    • 1/4 to 1 cup honey (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Fill a clean glass jar with the violet flowers.
  2. Pour the vinegar over the violet flowers, ensuring it is fully submerged.
  3. Seal the jar and let it steep for 1-2 weeks, shaking it gently every few days.
  4. After the steeping time, strain out the violet flowers, reserving the infused vinegar.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the infused vinegar with honey to your desired sweetness level.
  6. Pour the violet oxymel into a clean glass bottle and store it in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.

Enjoy your violet oxymel by the spoonful as needed, or dilute it in warm or cold water for a soothing and refreshing beverage. You can also get creative and use it as a base for salad dressings or cocktails, adding a delightful floral note to your culinary creations.