Garlic Formula

Ingrid Naiman


During the time of the Plague, there were thieves who went into the homes of people who were infected and stole their belongings.  They were eventually captured and offered a less horrific form of execution on the condition that they divulged their formula.  It was based on garlic and herbs that were extracted in vinegar.  Essential oils were added at the end of the process.  There are authentic recipes and countless derivative ones.  Several years ago, I formulated Potent Protection as a sort of Mediterranean variation of the original thieves recipe.

Plague doctors wore masks with a long beak into which herbs were packed.  This means that they were constantly inhaling the aroma of whatever they put into the beak.  If the concoction used was sufficiently anti-microbial, they did not succumb to the illness.  There was more to it, of course, because their clothing was coated with either oil or bees wax and often burned before they entered their own homes.

These safety measures allowed people like Nostradamus to survive the Plague, but all the employees in his perfume enterprise were also spared premature death since they, too, were constantly inhaling medicinally beneficial essences of the oils used to make perfume.

The Recipe

Unlike some formulas, there is no one right or wrong way to make a Nostradamus-type formula.  I took a very quick shortcut some days ago and strained out the mixture an hour or so ago.  It started with some store bought peeled garlic, really, really pungent.  There was probably the equivalent of 2-3 bulbs of garlic. The entire house smelled of it for days, but it became less intrusive as the process went forward.  I used 32 oz. of apple cider vinegar with the mother and a large jar.  The garlic began to flavor the vinegar instantly.  Since I had not planned this far in advance due to the lockdown, I just used a bag of my own Cleavers Tea and added it to the mixture.  It has lots of spices, like an herbal masala chai, and some cleavers and sarsaparilla, all good for the lymphatic system.

I prowled through my very small cupboard to see what else I might add and found an open bottle of Everclear and poured what was there into the large jar with the vinegar and herbs.  From this point forward, I took a chopstick and stirred the mixture a bit each day.

However, I wanted to add more, including black cumin seeds.  Instead, however, I took a two ounce bottle of Black Cumin Extract and then another bottle of Fennel Extract and added both to the jar.  Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong here.  Sometimes I receive a shipment with a damaged label and put the bottle aside; those two bottles were just begging to become useful.

There is also no exact day on which we can say the process has gone as far as it is going to go.  I noticed that the garlic was starting to float and decided to choose an auspicious moment to pour.  The Moon is conjunct Neptune in Pisces and it’s a Sunday so I strained the mixture and decanted it into bottles. 

For those who do not putter in the kitchen as much as I do, let me explain what is in the picture.  The large strainer is usually sold as a three-piece set because it comes with the stand, strainer, and a wooden pestle.  I set that over a glass coffee pot.



There is a funnel in the bottle that once held the Everclear and a much finer strainer on top of that funnel.  To show you how efficient the large strainer is, I am showing you what was left in the fine strainer at the end, surprisingly little!

 The Rest

What you saw in the large glass jar filled the bottle that had once contained the alcohol plus about 7 ounces that I will gift to a person who is currently battling Covid-19.

There is one more step, optional, but traditional.  It is to add some essential oils, not much, just a few drops, but the oils will increase the potency and, of course, change the smell and the taste.

It is important that the oils are absolutely top quality, not fragrances or flavoring, but 100% pure essential oils or CO2 extracts.  The oils that are often used in cooking that have superior immune enhancing properties are cinnamon, clove bud, lavender, thyme, and wild oregano.  Some people may be surprised that lavender is included here, but I have tasted some really lovely lavender cheese cake as well as lavender ice cream.

The other oils that can be considered are black pepper, lemon, lime, nutmeg, the favorite of Nostradamus, ravintsara, rosemary, sage, and tarragon.  You want to be very careful when using essential oils.  At the very most, you might use 1.5 drops of essential oil per ounce of liquid.  That is at the most.  Start with much less, taste it, and stop before you overdo it.

Once you are satisfied, put the lid on the bottle and make sure the lid is very tight because aromas have a way of escaping and much of the benefits are in the volatile compounds. This is my finished product.


It is a very potent remedy, both in taste and efficacy.  You can take it only when you think you really need it, or you can take a very small amount daily.  Obviously, you can share with friends as well.  It can be taken using a tiny spoon, eye dropper, or added to salad dressing or some steamed vegetables that could benefit from a little more kick.

I did not calculate the cost but the tea and garlic plus one bottle of vinegar and a little alcohol did not set me back much.  If you consider that the yield was more or less the equivalent of 8 bottles of 4-ounce immune tonics, the DIY project costs probably 20% of what you would spend for a similar amount of a quality product from my own product line.


Besides, it was fun to make this, and it can be a little different each time so I don’t get bored.


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