Our ancestors would remark on many things if they were to be reawakened in 2017: technological gadgets; 24-hour news channels; the Kardashians. They would also more than likely marvel at the dozens of varieties of vinegar on sale. From red and white wine vinegar to rice vinegar, balsamic and black fig vinegar, the choices are endless. Today, though, we want to talk about one vinegar and one vinegar only: Four Thieves.
Four Thieves Vinegar: The Backstory
Every story starts somewhere, and in the case of Four Thieves Vinegar, the setting just happens to be 17th-century France. The year is 1628 and a fresh outbreak of the Black Death plague is sweeping mercilessly across the Toulouse region. In the eye of this uncontrollable storm, four wily French thieves devise a remedy to immunise themselves from contagion.
When they are arrested by the authorities for robbing corpses and looting houses, the quartet of enterprising plunderers give up their secret. Before setting out on the prowl, they smear themselves all over with a special vinegar in which they’ve steeped a blend of aromatic plants. The inspiration came from Acetum bezoardicum, a recipe from the century past which combined wine and vinegar.
Fast-forward 124 years and Four Thieves Vinegar (sometimes called Marseille Vinegar) is officially listed in the French Codex Medicamentarius, or Pharmacopoeia, and sold widely in pharmacies as a natural antiseptic.
Of course, there’s some dubiety about the veracity of the tale’s origins. Some speculate that the backstory was a cynical fiction devised by clever marketers. Others aver that a man named Richard Forthave pioneered the formula and that his surname, over time, became corrupted to "Four Thieves".
Myth or legend? Truth or lie? When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter. Whether the four bandits existed or not, the popularity of Four Thieves Vinegar continues unabated in plague-free 2017. And it’s no surprise: the wholesome vinegar’s flavour is as rich as its history. The health benefits, meanwhile, are numerous.
What’s in Four Thieves Vinegar?
The question you’re likely asking is, “How does Four Thieves differ from the vinegar in my kitchen cupboard?” Well for one, your regular vinegar isn’t infused with an array of botanicals – fragrant herbs and spices known for their positive impact on health. Many of the ingredients in Four Thieves possess antiviral, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
The composition of Uberti’s Organic Four Thieves Vinegar unites their popular Apple Cider Vinegar with fruit juices and purées, herbs and spices (rosemary and sage, thyme and mint, cinnamon and garlic; plus others) and vegetables juices from beetroot, tomato, carrot, horseradish and parsley. Raw, unfiltered, unheated and unpasteurised, it is also camphor- and gluten-free and suitable for children and expectant mothers.
Compared to other brands of Four Thieves, Uberti’s special elixir is far more comprehensive. As such, you are able to enjoy the benefits of the traditional, centuries-old recipe while also getting the goodness of many other extracts and fruits.
Uberti’s Four Thieves Vinegar has an intensely pleasant aroma and taste, no surprise given the flavourful ingredients, from mango and blueberry to chicory and rosehip. Among its various uses, it is often employed as a flavour-intensifier, enhancing dishes like salads and soups. True to its roots though, it is invariably cited as a healing product for a number of health complaints.
Uses for Four Thieves Vinegar
Four Thieves easily outstrips most supposed natural health panaceas, a testament to its time-honoured formula. It is known to help with:
- Sore throats and congestion (gargle with 2 tsp. of vinegar in 1/3 cup of warm water and swallow; repeat as needed at hourly and later two-hourly intervals)
- Disinfecting minor cuts and grazes
- Repelling insects
- Strengthening the immune system and fighting infection (drink 1 tsp. in a glass of warm water or herbal tea each morning; you can also rub the vinegar into your body)
- Relieving insect bites, itching and skin irritation
- Clearing the airways
- Relieving joint and muscle pain (arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism etc.)
- Promoting clear skin and luxuriant hair
Many people also use Four Thieves Vinegar (diluted) as a natural facial toning lotion, while others incorporate it into their detoxifying regime. The options are endless.
The question isn't why would you add Four Thieves to your daily healthcare routine: it's why wouldn't you?
Uberti: A Friendly Family Business
Mondial Uberti has been in the vinegar business for nearly twenty years. Of course, vinegar isn’t their only offering; the company export a number of healthy organic food products throughout Europe, from bitter apricot kernels and super seeds to aloe vera powder and their very own high-energy breakfast supplement.
The French family business was founded by paterfamilias Louis Uberti, a 75-year-old naturopath and yoga teacher, in the year 2000 and their philosophy has always been to encourage and facilitate good levels of wellbeing in their customers. Sadly, Mr. Uberti passed away last November at the age of 91. The large-hearted Frenchman was a true one-off, spry and alert well into his twilight years. He will certainly be missed.
Uberti started with one product – apple cider vinegar – and it’s vinegar for which they are most well-known. The legacy of the company, however, encompasses so much more: a vision and spirit; an optimism and compassion; a heartfelt desire to assist people in bettering their health. Four Thieves Vinegar embodies that desire. To try it for yourself, click the image below or call us up: we’d love to hear from you.