How To Make 4 Thieves Vinegar And How To Use It In Magic

four thieves vinegar

There are many stories when it comes to the origins of 4 thieves vinegar (also called Marseilles vinegar,vinaigre des quatre voleurs, Marseilles remedy and vinegar of the four thieves, among other names).

One of the most well-known of these stories takes us back to France during the plague epidemic.



According to the story, there was a group of four thieves during the Plague outbreak in Europe.

Unlike other thieves that were afraid of contracting the plague and dying, this band of thieves fearlessly walked into the houses of the sick and the dying (or already dead) by the plague and robbed them. The reason they were so fearless was that they had created a secret concoction that provided them protection from the disease. According to this story, the thieves were never caught.

Other stories say that they were thieves that got caught and sentenced to burying plague victims, and that’s how they developed their recipe to protect themselves and survive the punishment.

Yet another story says that -armed with their secret recipe- they would rob the houses of the dead and the dying from the disease until they got caught. To avoid being sentenced to death, they traded their secret recipe with their lives.



So what was their secret recipe and did it actually provide protection from a disease that took the life of millions of people?

Just like the stories about the origin of the 4 thieves vinegar recipe, there are many different versions of the formula itself.

Many of the recipes found from that period contain ingredients that are natural flea and insect repellants, such as wormwood, garlic, sage, and camphor. Since flea bites was one of the main ways a person would contract the plague, it makes sense that four thieves vinegar would provide some degree of protection against it.

On the other hand, though, ingredients such as camphor and -to some extend- wormwood make many of the traditional four thieves vinegar recipes unsuitable for consumption. So if you decide to follow one of those recipes, keep in mind that they are only for external use (to clean a room for example) and not to put in your salad.



In addition to being an insect repellent, four thieves vinegar has some important magical uses as well.

You can use four thieves vinegar to:

  • Protect yourself from disease
  • Protect yourself from magical attacks (especially ongoing ones that don’t seem to stop)
  • Drive an enemy away
  • Break up a friendship or a couple (and sour relationships in general)



As I mentioned, there are many different recipes for four thieves vinegar. The recipe below is edible, so you can add it to your salad or other dishes, drink in a glass of water etc too in addition to all the other ways you can use it magically.

I follow the tradition where one herb is added for each of the four thieves, so both the main recipe and the modified one (which you will read about below) have vinegar and garlic cloves plus four other ingredients.



You will need:

4 thieves vinegar ingredients: garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme cayenne pepper, black peppercorn

Garlic cloves, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, cayenne peppers & black peppercorn.


  • Vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar are best; you can use red vinegar too but I don’t recommend it because it stains fabrics)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • Thyme (fresh or dried)
  • Cayenne peppers
  • Black peppercorn
  • A glass jar with a lid




    1. Wash and dry the glass jar and prepare the rest of your ingredients. You can chop up the garlic cloves or leave them whole, put make sure to peel them.
    2. Starting with the garlic, take each ingredient and ask it to do what you want it to do (the general purpose of four thieves vinegar is to remove negative energies, spirits and people and to provide protection and good health, so you can use that as your goal). Then add each ingredient into the jar.

      Finished jar of four thieves vinegar

    3. Take the vinegar, ask it for what you want like you did with the herbs and then pour it into the jar. Stir everything and then put the lid on the jar and leave it for 4-6 weeks away from direct light, opening the jar about once a week to stir the contents.
    4. After 4-6 weeks have passed you can strain the vinegar, discard the herbs and then pour the now ready four thieves vinegar back into the jar.


Note: if you are making four thieves vinegar to use specifically to sour relationships, use chili peppers and poppy seed instead of rosemary and thyme.



There are many ways to use four thieves vinegar:

  • Add to your food or drinks to protect yourself
  • Add to the food or drink of someone you want to drive away from you or protect yourself from
  • Anoint yourself or someone else after they have had a nightmare or for protection
  • Add to the water you’re going to use to wash, to remove curses and crossed conditions or for protection
  • Add a few drops in the water you use to clean your floors and/or doorways to clean them from negative energy and/or to protect your home from hostile energies, spirits, and people.
  • For banishing, by sprinkling it across the target’s doorway or where you know they will walk.
  • In a vinegar jar, used to sour relationships between specific individuals (see modified recipe note above).


Since four thieves vinegar has such diverse uses, make sure to ask it for what you want before each use.

Have you used four thieves vinegar before? What are your experiences with it? Do you have a favorite four thieves vinegar recipe? Let me know in the comments!



Four thieves vinegar isn't just delicious, but it's also used for a wide array of purposes in magic. Learn how to make your own and how to use it for protection, to cleanse yourself & your home, to stop nightmares & to remove troublesome people. Unseen Seraph | Magick | Witchcraft | Block Removal | Transformation
Written by Scarlet