Herbal vinegar infusions are sometimes called vinegar tinctures. While they aren’t really tinctures, they are vinegar extracts and they are especially well suited to herbs that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Many mineral-rich herbs aren’t as active in tinctures unless they are made with low alcohol percentages, but their water-soluble nutrients are easily extracted in vinegar. Milky oat (Avena sativa), an herb that is beneficial for the nervous system, is one plant that works very well in vinegar infusions.
To make your vinegar infusion, harvest your oat tops when they are just entering the milky stage – you should be able to see a white, milky substance exude from the immature seed when you squeeze the top between two of your fingers. In my growing zone, the milky oat tops are ready for harvest in May or June.
Rinse your oat tops clean if needed, then place them in a clean mason jar until it’s about 2/3 full. Pour raw, organic apple cider vinegar over the tops until they are covered by about one inch, then cover the jar. Store it in the fridge as it infuses for 2-6 weeks. Strain out the milky oat tops and store the finished vinegar in the fridge to extend its shelf life.
To use your vinegar, you can add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of it to a glass of water or juice every day or as needed. You can also add a cup of it to an herbal bath!