Links contained in this post and elsewhere on my website may include affiliate links. When you make a purchase through these links, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only link to products and services that I love - and that I think you will love, too!

Combining three ingredients and some vinegar creates a surprising flower vinegar recipe that’s useful for herbal self-care. As a bonus, it’s alcohol-free!

As usual, the formulas I prefer are the workhorses of the herbal world- nothing fancy, but versatile; and nice and strong. Deceptively simple, Three Flower Vinegar is no exception. It’s a wonderful concoction to have on hand for angry, irritated skin, but it works equally well for soothing emotional irritation, too. The finished product smells divine, so don’t avoid trying it just because you’re thinking “Eeeew! Vinegar!”

How I use this flower vinegar recipe

Topically, I use Three Flower Vinegar for soothing skin after a sunburn, as a facial toner just to pamper myself, or as a liniment for muscles that are tight and achy from stress. For all of these applications, adding it to a spritz bottle is a great idea.

Three Flower Vinegar can also be used as a condiment or beverage. I add a teaspoon to a glass of sparkling water with a little honey as one of my favorite drinks when I’m feeling stressed out. It’s much more interesting than soda, and much better for you, too. If you like kombucha, you should give it a try. It’s similar to some of the “botanic” kombucha formulas on the market.

2 tbsp dried lavender buds
1/2 cup dried rose petals
1/4 cup dried elder flowers
2 cups apple cider vinegar


  1. Combine all the flowers in a clean glass canning jar, and add the apple cider vinegar. 
  2. Stir to combine. 

The flowers will float to the top, so you will need to stir a few times over the next two weeks.

Where to buy the ingredients

If you need a source for ingredients, consider buying from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite source of high-quality dried herbs. I’m also an affiliate, so purchasing from my links below earns a commission that helps me run the blog.

Finishing up

The vinegar will start taking on a reddish hue from the rose petals almost immediately.  Stash it someplace dark and cool to infuse. After one to two weeks, it will be ready.

As you can see, the final flower vinegar takes on a gorgeous color. It also smells amazing at this point. Strain the mixture through muslin or cheesecloth into a clean bowl, then transfer to a brown glass bottle with a screw top. I prefer to keep mine in the refrigerator, but as long as it is kept in a relatively cool, dark place it will be fine. Label, and enjoy as desired!

Learn more about herbs for self-care

Feeling stressed out? The Herbal Academy has an excellent course called Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management (#affiliate) that you might enjoy! They also offer a wonderful Botanical Skin Care Course (#affiliate) if you like making your own herbal soaps, lotions, and potions to pamper yourself and your loved one.

$50 off the Botanical Skin Care Course for a limited time!

Originally published February 6, 2014. Updated October 7, 2021

Learn more about herbs for self-care in 4 Nervine Herbs for Emotional Support 

Agatha Noveille

Agatha Noveille

Agatha is an herbalist and author in Atlanta, Georgia. She founded Indie Herbalist in 2011. Her herbal recipe book, The Complete Guide to Adaptogens, is available wherever books are sold. To listen to her podcast, visit Indie Herbalist's sister site, Teacup Alchemy.
Previous post Spring growth in my herbal garden
Next post Spring garden growth: February 9th