Terra Sura Foraging » Foraging for Life

Conifer Oxymel | Shrub

Boost immunity in a delicious way.  Oxymel – from the Latin oxymeli meaning “acid and honey”  is a traditional Appalachian preparation using vinegar and honey infused in herbs of your choice.  For this recipe I used Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, reaping the following benefits:

  • Rich in enzymes & potassium
  • Support a healthy immune system
  • Helps control weight
  • Promotes digestion & ph Balance
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps remove body sludge toxins
  • Helps maintain healthy skin
  • Helps promote youthful, healthy bodies
  • Soothes irritated skin
  • Relieves muscle pain from exercise

Infused in the vinegar we put in a combination of fresh & dried conifers including, Juniper (with berries), Cedar, Pine, pine resin and Spruce.  For additional health benefits and flavoring we added cinnamon,orange peel and organic raw honey.  Shrubs can be made in a variety of ways as the possibilities are endless.  Since it was winter time and I wanted to connect with the trees around me, the following recipe is predominately local conifers which contain lots of vitamins & minerals.

One of my favorite places is this treasure of red pine trees where the needles fall to the ground so there is no need to take directly off the tree.

Fresh fallen pine needles, abundance of resin from the trees (never take more than is given as resin is there to protect tree), spruce & cedar trees.  After you have foraged for the conifers you were looking for.  It’s time to begin the first steps of making your oxymel.


  • 1 part conifers of your choice (mixture of Junpier with berries, Pine (can use resin), Spruce, Cedar)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 orange peel
  • 1/3 cup organic honey (or to taste)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


  • put conifers, cinnamon & orange peel into glass mason jar (1 pint)
  • smoother with honey
  • pour apple cider vinegar to top
  • poke with utensil of some sort (I used a stick) to get the bubbles out
  • cover with lid and shake, shake, shake til you cant shake no more
  • let sit between 10-20 days and shaking daily or as much as you can for maximum infusion
  • when ready, strain using cheesecloth or mesh strainer into a clean glass jar of your choice with lid

Shrubs can make great flu, cold and cough remedies as they extract the mineral & vitamins.  My favorite way to utilize them is to add in salad dressings or create a sparkling water fizzy drink.  I like to call it healthy pop!

Special thanks to Jesse Beldon as she introduced me shrubs through her winter conifer class this past year.

~ Be sure to positively identify plants before harvesting ~

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