If you want to learn how to make an elixir and discover herbal elixir recipes from medieval times, continue reading this article and find out what they are. But first.
Over the centuries, the herbal elixirs and liqueurs used in folk medicine have fully demonstrated their healing virtues. In the Middle Ages, in countries such as Germany and Switzerland, monasteries had true alchemical laboratories where monks would prepare various herbal elixir recipes, tinctures, and ointments for charms, enchantments, or spells. These monks and friars not only knew medicinal herbs very well, but they also had a thorough knowledge of alchemical processes, including boiling and distilling, which explains the numerous exceptional herbal elixir recipes that we have from those times.
But before we jump into the 4 medicinal herbal elixir recipes from the Middle Ages, here are the things that you need to make an elixir at home.
How to Make an Elixir at Home
Elixirs are made using a strong alcohol. The reason is that a large number of active substances in plants are hardly soluble or totally insoluble in water. However, they dissolve very well in alcohol. Alcohol, however, also contains a small amount of water, so that the substances dissolved in it are added to those dissolved in the water content, thus resulting in an extract of maximum efficiency.
Preparing a medicinal herbal elixir is simple, once you have all the ingredients ready.
Put the freshly picked plants and flowers in a glass bottle and then cover them with alcohol. Keep the elixir in a warm place for the following 4-6 weeks. Then strain and pour in sealed amber glass bottles. You can use it immediately.
The utensils needed to prepare herbal elixirs and tinctures are readily available in most kitchens: glass jars and cheesecloths for straining. If you use cork bottles, make sure that they are compact, not porous, because otherwise, the alcohol will evaporate slowly. For aesthetic reasons, you can leave the plants in the bottles and not strain them.
Freshly picked herbs, ripe fruits, and if possible, organic or wild harvested. Thus, it would be ideal to make the elixirs during the harvest period of the ingredients used. The alcohol for the herbal elixirs should be of good quality. We recommend buying from local farmers or producers, ie homemade brandy, with a high concentration of alcohol, which can be diluted without affecting its quality. The best one is fruit brandy – apples and pears – which harmonizes perfectly with flowering plants, or rye brandy, single or double, which is more suitable for seeds, bark, and roots. The higher the alcohol content, the more effective the herbal elixir will be.
4 Medical Herbal Elixir Recipes from Medieval Times
1. Wildflowers Elixir for Detox
- 7-10 common daisy, cowslip, sweet violet, and dandelion flowers (each)
- 7-10 plantain, yarrow, bugleherb (Ajuga septans), and ivy leaves (each)
- 1 l of fruit brandy
How to Make This Herbal Elixir
Wash the fresh flowers and leaves well and wilt. Cut into halves the blue bugle leaves and cut the tails of the common daisy flowers. Put all the plants in a glass bottle and pour the alcohol over them. Allow the elixir sit for 8 weeks in a warm room.
This herbal elixir stimulates the metabolism, detoxifies and cleanses the body. If you want to follow a cure, have a shot of this elixir twice a day.
2. Theriac Elixir for Better Digestion
The Theirac elixir is a bitter liqueur, whose original recipe dates back to antiquity and which was drunk by Emperor Nero himself as a preventative measure against poisoning.
- angelica root
- valerian root
- turmeric root
- tormentil root (Potentilla erecta)
- dandelion root
- 5 g ground cinnamon
- 2 g myrrh
- 10 g cardamom seeds
- 10 g mint
- 3 g common rue (Ruta graveolens)
- 30 g raisins
- 1 l double refined rye brandy
- 10 teaspoons acacia honey
- 20 g bog arum (Calla palustris)
How to Make The Herbal Elixir
Chop the roots and put them in a bottle, alongside the cinnamon, myrrh, cardamom seeds, mint and raisins. Pour over the rye brandy and incorporate the honey and the bog arum plant. Let it “sit” for about two months.
Have one shot in case of acute digestive problems, use only in case of need.
3. The Witches’ Elixir
- 15 fresh fragrant rose flowers
- 1 vanilla bean
- 10 fresh verbena leaves
- 10 g dried hibiscus flowers (Hibiscus trionum)
- 100 g fresh and fully ripe raspberries
- 6 tablespoons acacia honey
- 1 l fruit brandy
How to Make The Witches’ Elixir
Break the rose petals and put them in the bottle, together with the vanilla seeds, the cut verbena leaves, the hibiscus and the raspberry. Add honey on top and brandy and shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients well. The elixir must rest for at least 6 weeks in a warm place before use.
This magical elixir has a relaxing and calming effect on the whole body.
4. St. John’s Wort Elixir for Wounds
- about 40 g St. John’s wort flowers (fresh or dried)
- 200 ml double-refined rye alcohol
How to Make The Herbal Elixir
Put the St. John’s wort flowers in a bottle and cover with alcohol. Seal the bottle tightly and let it sit in a bright spot for 2 weeks. Strain the elixir and pour in in amber glass bottles. Keep in a dark place.
This herbal elixir helps treat wounds and pain, and can also be used in case of muscle soreness and neuralgia. It is very calming and soothing.
We really hope that amazing herbal elixir recipes here will open your mind and soul for alternative ways of healing. Elixirs are magical as long as you believe in them and in your inner power to heal. Stay healthy and happy, naturally!