Popular name for a "medicine" or repellent against the plague. The internal and external use of vinegar against various diseases and as a protective agent was already common in ancient times. According to one of the versions, the "invention" of plague vinegar dates back to 1720, when the plague raged in the south of France. According to tradition, four thieves roamed around robbing the dying and the dead. They were guaranteed impunity if they disclosed the secret of their apparent immunity from the epidemic. And so they did. This is why it is also called predator vinegar or poison vinegar; lat. Acetum pestilentiale prophylacticum. To protect against infectious diseases, one should rinse one's mouth with the plague vinegar, wash various parts of the body with it or take a few spoonfuls of it daily.
The recipe spread quickly throughout Europe. In England the plague vinegar was known as "The four Thieves Vinegar", in France as "Vinaigre de quatre voleurs". Many different recipes for plague vinegar have been handed down. In most cases, fragrances were extracted using alcohol or wine vinegar and camphor was added. The Meyers Konversationslexikon of the 1888 edition states that plague vinegar is still used for smoking or the following recipe was used: "Wormwood, rue, peppermint, rosemary, sage, 22.5g each, lavender flowers 30g, angelica root, calamus root, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, 3.75g each, are treated with 2kg wine vinegar and 120g concentrated vinegar, squeezed off after a few days and 11g camphor dissolved in 30g alcohol is added See also under Ancient Wines.