Holistic Animal Therapies: Apple Cider Vinegar and Oxymels, what you need to know.

Ancient tonic ‘Oxymel’ is not only really fun to make, but it’s a grand and great exploration for any budding herbalist too.

I recently took on a rescue Dog called Rollo, who has recently been Coughing (Suspected  Kennel Cough). 

I prefer to use conventional medicines in extreme circumstances only.. So I took to my bible ‘The Complete Herbal Handbook for farm and stable’ (Julette de Bairacli Levy, 1975) 

In this book, she frequently mentions Honey a healing remedy for dogs.

So, I took to my stove. I poured 2/3rds of Vixen’s Raspberry and Blackcurrant Apple Cider Vinegar, (Already packed with Vitamin C) heated it gently and added 1/3rd of Manuka Honey (Make sure you use a quality, or Local honey, it does not have to be Manuka, but for Viral infections I find it is best). Heat gently without boiling. 

For Rollo I added some fresh Thyme and Rosemary and carried on stirring for 5-10 minutes until the honey had dissolved, after which I strained off the herbs. Bottle and keep in a dark, cool place. This cough tonic will keep for up to a year as honey is a natural preservative as is Apple Cider Vinegar. For Rollo, its only been 24 hours, but he seems to be coughing much less, and appears brighter in his face.

Oxymel –  from the Latin oxymeli meaning ‘acid & honey’ is an ancient Greek drink made from herbs, vinegar and honey. Traditionally an Oxymel recipe would be used to administer beneficial herbs that might not be so pleasant to take on their own. Different herbs can be used for personal taste or to meet your health needs – rosemary is energising, thyme and Oregano would be beneficial for upper respiratory infections and elderflowers help support the immune system. To find out more about Oxymels click here: 

Dr. D. C. Jarvis authored a bestselling book in 1958 called Folk Medicine 

in which he touted honey and apple cider vinegar as a panacea or cure-all.  He used this ancient Oxymel preparation to treat arthritis, gout, high cholesterol, as a metabolic stimulant to promote weight loss, and for longevity and life extension. 

If in doubt, consult a licensed health care professional before embarking on any kind of therapy.