Oxymel is just a fancy word for a honey-vinegar tonic. In Latin, “oxy” means acid and “mel” means honey. Oxymels have been around since Roman times and are used as elixirs or tonics to help improve the immune system. Because the basis of the oxymel is vinegar and honey, it can be incorporated into gravies and salad dressings so it’s easy to eat and add to your diet.

Oxymels are easy to make and will take on the added benefits of whatever you choose to add to the vinegar and honey. For this recipe, I’ve chosen to add dried rosehips, dried elderberries, and freshly-crushed garlic to add Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and Vitamin K. Rosehips are also powerful antioxidants and can help with inflammation. Here is some more information about Rosehips and their nutritional value. Elderberries and garlic also help in warding off colds and flu. Ceylon cinnamon* contains cancer-fighting enzymes and offers antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. I prefer to make this oxymel with dried rosehips and elderberries, and I grow my own in my garden. But if you don’t grow your own, you can find them on Amazon and in most health food stores.

*Ceylon Cinnamon differs from Cassia Cinnamon in that Ceylon has a sweeter flavor. Even more importantly though, Cassia cinnamon has a much higher amount of coumarin, a naturally-occurring chemical that can act as a blood thinner. So if you’re taking any hepatoxic medications, have any kind of liver or bleeding issues, or are prepping for any kind of surgical/dental procedures, you should avoid Cassia cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon is available at Amazon as well as in any health food store–but it’s very hard to find on generic grocery shelves.

Other than using the amount of vinegar and honey this recipe calls for, you can add more or less rosehips and elderberries according to how you like the taste. The recipe below for Rosehip Oxymel dates back to colonial times. That is why Sarah Munro, (my PhD historian and heroine in book 2 of the Deadly Force series, ONE DARK WISH), has added it to her collection of DIY herbal recipes.

Sarah Munro’s Rosehip Oxymel

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 12 ounces Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother
  • 8 ounces raw honey
  • 1 whole head of garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tablespoons dried rosehips
  • 2 Tablespoons dried elderberries
  • Dash of Ceylon cinnamon
  • Cheesecloth & Colander
  • 1 pint glass jar with tight-fitting lid


Crush the peeled garlic and set aside for thirty minutes so the enzymes can form.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the apple cider vinegar, reships, and elderberries. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and place on a towel on the counter. Stir in the crushed garlic and Ceylon cinnamon. Cover the pot again and let it sit until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. (but it could take longer)

Line a colander with cheesecloth. Set the colander in a large bowl. Once the mixture has cooled, strain it in the cheesecloth. Using your fingers, squeeze out as much juice as you can. Discard the solids.

Pour the oxymel into the glass mason jar. Stir in the 8 ounces of raw honey. Once you put on the tight-fitting lid, shake the jar gently.

Store the glass jar in a dark cabinet for up to six months.

This oxymel can be used immediately after being made. Take 2 Tablespoons per day to books your immune system. I like to add it to salads (as a dressing) and I also drizzle it over cooked chicken or pork.


I am not a medical professional and nothing written on this blog is medical advice. None of my statements have been evaluated by the FDA (I am legally required to give you this disclaimer).

It is important to do your due diligence before foraging, harvesting, and/or consuming any type of medicinal plant.

  • If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about any potential drug interactions.
  • If you are allergic to anything, make sure whatever you are foraging is not in the same family. Example: While dandelions are typically considered safe, those who are allergic to ragweed, latex, daisies, or any other plants in the same or similar families, may not be able to consume dandelion.

Always research potential side effectsdosage recommendations, and how to properly prepare and consume each medicinal plant.

Always make sure you are foraging what you believe to be. Fully prepare and study the anatomy before harvesting wild plants.

Always make sure your kitchen/work area is clean and that all materials are sterilized.

Do not forage plants from areas that have been sprayed within the past 2 years at the very least.

I am not legally or morally responsible for the health of any of my readers. Please do your own research!

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