Beautiful blueberry herbal vinegar features ingredients that are good for your brain and body!
Learn how to make blueberry vinegar, plus how to turn it into a brain boosting oxymel (herbal sweet and sour syrup).
This recipe was inspired by an interesting study I read about blueberry vinegar and its potential to improve cognitive function.
“…The BV [blueberry vinegar] group showed significantly restored cognitive function in the behavioral tests. BV facilitated cholinergic activity by inhibiting acetylcholinesterase activity, and enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity. Furthermore, BV was found to be rehabilitated in the cornu ammonis 1 neurons of hippocampus. In our study, we demonstrated that the memory protection conferred by BV was linked to activation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)/serine-threonine kinase (AKT) signaling.”
Since I’ve spent my life struggling with attention and memory issues, I’m always on the lookout for things that are brain-beneficial, plus with fresh blueberries in season, this is one I had to try!
In addition, I included a handful of herbs in my vinegar for added benefits. Feel free to leave them out, or add your own favorite herbs to the mix.
Brain-Friendly Culinary Herbs
Here are the herbs I added to my vinegar and why I chose them.
Following each herb is a link to a related scientific study that may be of interest. (I also consulted favorite herbal books, since science has barely touched what herbs can do!)
I chose fairly common kitchen or garden herbs and used just a small amount of each, similar to the amount used when cooking. Still, if you have any health concerns, are on medication, pregnant or nursing, check with your health care provider before using home remedies like this one.
- basil (I used purple) – high in antioxidants (STUDY: improves memory & motor skills after stroke)
- borage flowers – protective of memory, adrenal support (STUDY: borage & Alzheimer’s disease)
- rosemary – a classic herb to improve memory (STUDY: rosemary & spatial memory; STUDY: benefits of low doses)
- thyme – anti-inflammatory (STUDY: thymol from thyme neuroprotective)
How to Make Blueberry Herbal Vinegar
- Fill a jar about half way with fresh blueberries.
- Add several pinches of fresh herbs, if you’d like.
- Pour vinegar into the jar until it’s almost filled.
- Stir with a knife or chopstick to release air bubbles, then add more vinegar if needed.
- Cover and let steep for 1 to 3 weeks.
- Strain and store the finished vinegar in your fridge for about 6 months.
- Alternatively, infused vinegars can be processed in a water bath canner for 10 minutes to increase shelf life to at least 1 year.
Tips when infusing vinegar:
- For the vinegar portion, use white wine, red wine or apple cider vinegar.
- Place a layer of parchment paper or plastic wrap between metal lids and vinegar to prevent corrosion.
- Want to use frozen berries? Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living has helpful information on the prep work you need to do in her article “How to Make Berry Infused Vinegar from Frozen Berries“.
How to Make a Blueberry Herbal Oxymel
An oxymel is an herbal sweet and sour syrup that’s used for medicinal purposes.
They’re often used for respiratory issues, but in the case of this blueberry oxymel, I’m using it for brain benefits.
(Read more about oxymels in my article: How to Make Medicinal Vinegars & Oxymels.)
- Combine equal parts of honey and strained blueberry herbal vinegar in a small jar.
- Taste to see what you think of the balance of sweet and sour.
- If you feel the mixture is too sweet, add more vinegar. If it’s too sour for your taste, add more honey.
- The amount is flexible since both honey and vinegar act as preservatives, so you can’t mess up with this recipe!
- Stir the honey and blueberry herbal vinegar together; it might not blend well at first, that’s okay.
- Store in a cool place or the refrigerator for around 6 months.
Take oxymels by the spoonful. I try to take 1/2 to 1 tsp one two times a day, with a meal. (I just guessed on that dose, you may want to take more.)
You can also stir a spoonful of oxymel into a beverage such as lemonade.
More Blueberry Infused Vinegar Recipe Ideas
Blueberry, blackberry and raspberry vinegars are often interchangeable in recipes.
See my article: Blackberry Vinegar + 3 Recipes to Use it In for a fruit dip, salad dressing & main dish idea.
You could also use blueberry vinegar to replace elderberry vinegar in my Elderberry Vinegar Honey Caramels Recipe. (<- that blog post is coming very soon!)
If you enjoyed learning how to make blueberry vinegar, let’s keep in touch!
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