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Tulsi & Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic

Apple Cider Vinegar, tulsi (aka Holy Basil) and ginger ingredients on counter
Updated on August 4, 2020
Originally Posted in DIY on

While many of us see vinegar as a simple condiment or an ingredient in pickling, it’s actually a 10,000-year-old remedy that’s heightened when combined with medicinal herbs. Medicated vinegar, technically known as an acetum, was clearly documented as herbal medicine in the early versions of The United States Pharmacopeia and stocked in traditional herbal apothecaries worldwide. It’s hard to believe, but this modern day cooking ingredient was once combined with many powerful plants for herbal medicine. Our recipe below includes tulsi, a beloved herb in Ayurvedic medicine and aromatic nervine used to support a healthy response to occasional stress. We’ve also paired it with fresh ginger root, known for its unique spicy and pungent taste, that supports healthy digestion.* This blend makes for beautiful synergy of Ayurvedic herbs in a traditional western herbalism format.

These days, herbalists combine more tonic-like herbs with vinegar for simple and effective everyday use. It takes just 1-2 weeks’ steeping time to prepare and pairs well with a variety of plants, from aromatic lavender to spicy ginger, and can be used in anything from house cleaner to a shrub cocktail base. Talk about diversity! In fact, famous herbal medicines like Four Thieves Blend (a medieval formula used for protection) and Fire Cider (a folk formula to support seasonal wellness) also have vinegar as a base. Vinegar on its own has been used to support the cardiovascular system, and many other various bodily symptoms.*

The etymology of vinegar comes from the French words vin (wine) and aigre (sour). In ancient times, vinegar was often made by letting the wine made from fruits or grains pass, or go sour. Traditional herbal medicine practices lean on the wisdom of the five tastes, and this strong sour taste indicates digestive system support by aiding secretions of digestive enzymes and bile. And as any herbalist will tell you, healing starts with the gut. Using vinegar in lieu of alcohol when extracting herbs is especially useful for giving liquid extracts to small children, elderly, or someone simply abstaining from alcohol altogether. Consider this herbal tonic as a basic template with fixed ratios, but one you can interchange with basil, mint, rosemary or whatever fresh garden herbs you have handy. With only five minutes of prep time necessary, making herbal medicine couldn’t be easier.

Tulsi & Ginger Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic

A spiced tonic to support a healthy response to occasional stress.*

Servings: One 32-oz jar

Time: 5 minutes of prep, 1-2 weeks steep time


  • 32-ounce (quart sized) Mason jar
  • Parchment paper
  • Cheese cloth
  • Large bowl
  • Large liquid measuring cup (4 cups or more)
  • A sticker or masking tape for labeling


  • 3 cups fresh tulsi, or a fresh culinary herb you have handy
  • 1 small knuckle of fresh ginger
  • 32 ounces of organic and raw apple cider vinegar


  1. Fill one quart Mason jar ¾ full of fresh tulsi and with a few slices of the ginger root, cut lengthwise.
  2. Pour apple cider vinegar over the jar contents.
  3. Place parchment paper over the lid, then screw the metal cap over to close. This will prevent rust.
  4. Allow mixture to sit and extract for 1-2 weeks’ time.
  5. Uncover and use cheese cloth to strain out the herb while pouring out the infused vinegar into the large bowl.
  6. Transfer the infused vinegar into your measuring cup, and then pour it back into the Mason jar or large dark amber bottle for storing in the refrigerator.
  7. Label the jar with its ingredients and date, and use this mixture within a few months’ time in salad dressings or on beans. Alternatively, you can also mix the tonic with liquid honey, ice, and sparkling water for a spicy ginger soda-like treat!

If you want the benefits of tulsi and ginger right away, try our Organic Tulsi with Ginger tea. Or keep yourself busy while your herbal medicine infuses with more herbal recipes on our Plant Power Journal.