The history of this fabulous concoction is steeped in both in legend and in magic. But let's start with the legend, because a good tale laced with scandal is always fun!
The Bubonic plague raged intermittently through Europe for nearly 600 years, and some say that it claimed nearly half the population. It was an awful disease that lead to an excruciatingly painful death, and everyone was terrified of being infected. Everyone, that is, except for four Frenchmen - who looted the bodies of the dead as if they hadn't a care in the world.
The story goes that they were finally caught and given a choice: They could be put to death for their crimes…or…they could tell the authorities exactly how they'd managed to stay healthy, while exposing themselves to the disease that had claimed so many. Of course, they chose the latter. The secret, they said, was a vinegar-based herbal concoction, which the plague could not infiltrate. They turned over the recipe, and Four Thieves Vinegar was born!
Whether the story is true or not is anybody's guess. But through the years, Four Thieves Vinegar has garnered quite a reputation: Both mundane and magical. It's been touted as a terrific disinfectant, and used as a household surface cleanser to counteract germs. But its magical uses go much further. Practitioners use it to protect themselves and their magical work areas from hexes, curses, and nasty energy. They spray the outside perimeter of their homes to protect against thieves. They dab it on the eyes, noses and mouths of poppets to blind others to their actions, stop gossip, and keep folks out of their business. And some of them even dab a bit on sigils, petitions and magical tools to safeguard against outside influences.
[Please Note: The Four Thieves Vinegar is NOT acceptable for human consumption!]