Homemade Herbal Bug Spray {Toxic Free} & Vinegar of the Four Thieves Herbal Mix

I have not liked bug spray ever since my babies were born. I have never liked using it on myself. The bugs have to be pretty bad before I will use any spray. But they don’t really bug me all that much any way. Generally when others are complaining of bugs biting, they are leaving me alone.

I have my speculations as to why. For one bugs like warm-blooded bodies. Women are generally warmer blooded than men, but me… I’m cold.all.the.time. (Part of lyme.) Also it depends on what you eat. Bugs like sweets (sweet blood), so a person who eats more sugars and processed foods just may get eaten quicker.;) And I have heard that taking garlic before going out helps keep them away. But be sure it is not the odorless, and eating it raw would be best I am sure. I tried it, but knowing the bugs don’t bug me much, not sure how much I would trust my own testing.

A year or two ago someone gave me a natural bug spray to make. But it had so many ingredients that I don’t always keep on hand. So I never got it made. And I cringed every time we would go camping and the boys begged for bug spray, even if I got the ‘least toxic thing’ I could find. (Is there even such a thing??)

So this summer I was determined to find a spray that would work… I did. But I don’t promise it will work, as I just made it last night so it needs to sit 3 wks.:( Why do I wait so long to find things that take time to make??!?!?! We are camping next weekend.)

I have heard about the Vinegar of the Four Thieves before, but hadn’t had the time to dig into it. Well, I still didn’t have the time, but it came to my inbox, so I learned a bit more.:) And it was simple enough I quickly went and made it. Yes, I had all the ingredients in my kitchen.

I followed Shoshanna’s video tutorial, and didn’t add the Tansy or Lemon Grass as I didn’t have those two herbs.

Recipe for your own Vinegar of the Four Thieves Mix
2 TBS Each of

I think I actually about doubled that amount for a qt. jar. Put in a glass quart jar, fill with plain white vinegar, and mix to get all the herbs wet. Put on a lid, and store for 3-6 wks. Shake every day or two. Strain off the herbs, and add about 1/4 the amount of vinegar of water. Just guess, no science here. Put in a spray bottle and use as needed. You can store in a cool, dry place.

So simple…

Rosemary – is a strong antiseptic.

Wormwood – is the bitterest of herbs. It is antiseptic and vermifuges (kill worms). Wormwood is great in a parasite cleanse program.

Lavender and peppermint are high in volatile oils, hence excellent ingredients for a very good insect repellent, as well as being pleasant smelling.

Sage – is also antibacterial. And is lymphatic, which helps in a disease outbreak.

If you google ‘Vinegar of the Four Thieves’, you will find other recipes, amounts and added ingredients. Even the original recipes on Shoshanna’s article has garlic, but her video doesn’t. So I am not planning to add it. Not sure I want to wear garlic on my skin, unless I would know som plague or such is going around!!

It is interesting to read Shoshanna’s article on plagues and how people kept from getting sick and dying like so many of their family and neighbors were… The most common thread being herbal vinegars.

The following story is how Vinegar of the Four Thieves got its name…

The most famous and interesting story of healing coming out of the great Black Death plague was the story of the four thieves and their amazing concoction that came to be known as The Vinegar of the Four Thieves. History records that the four thieves were arrested for stealing from the homes of the many dead victims. After their arrest, they were taken from prison and forced to bury the dead with the promise that if they lived, they would go free. One of the thieves was a herbalist, whose herbal wine vinegar purportedly kept the four thieves alive all during the Black Death. As their resistance to the disease became obvious, others started using their vinegar tincture—reportedly with great success. They lived to credit the vinegar potion for their survival. (And there are many variations to this story as well.)

And something so simple kept them so healthy!! So why should we not try it ourselves??!??!

A couple of links to more info on Vinegar of the Four Thieves –

The Garden Remedy that Survived the Bubonic Plague: Four Thieves Vinegar

Four Thieves Vinegar: Evolution of a Medieval Medicine – this link has lots of info and links to more info on ingredients in the products we use.

Four Thieves: Historic Anti-Plague Remedy – This page has a lot of different combinations of herbs for the 4 Thieves recipes, research and decide what would work for you.

Do you have a favorite Natural Bug Spray?? Please share.

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4 Responses to Homemade Herbal Bug Spray {Toxic Free} & Vinegar of the Four Thieves Herbal Mix

  1. Heidi R says:

    I really enjoy your blog & love seeing into your sweet family. We have two boys & a babe on the way so I can relate; I feel like I know you. : ) I will have to try this bug spray; I can’t stand the toxic kinds & would almost rather suffer. Thank you for sharing! God bless you. : ))

  2. Bev says:

    funny…i went and made this right after watching her video too! 🙂 I’m going to see if I can hurry it up so I can take it camping.

  3. Marilyn says:

    I made the tincture a couple years ago and we still have some left, I can hardly get my family to use it ’cause they don’t like the vinegar smell! Lol! Next time want to try using witch hazel and see if that’ll work. Last summer I made a cream and added EO’s like citronella, lavender etc to it and it worked very well as a bug repellent. But it’s easier to have a bug spray than rub on a cream, esp for kids.

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