Popular name for a "medicine" or a defense against the plague. The inner and outer application of vinegar against various diseases and as a protective agent was already in use in ancient times. According to one version, the "invention" of the pestilence dates back to 1720, when the plague raged in southern France. According to tradition, four thieves went about robbing the dying and the dead. They were guaranteed impunity if they disclosed the secret of their apparent immunity to the epidemic. They did that too. Therefore, he also becomes robber's vinegar or venom vinegar; Latin acetum pestilentiale prophylacticum called. To protect against infectious diseases, one should rinse the mouth with the pesticide, wash various parts of the body or take a few spoonfuls of it daily.
The recipe quickly spread throughout Europe. In England, the pest vinegar was known as "The Four Thieves Vinegar", in France as "Vinaigre de quatre voleurs". For the pest vinegar many different recipes are handed down. Mostly one extracted fragrances by means of alcohol or wine vinegar and added camphor. In the Meyers Konversationslexikon of the edition 1888 is stated that the pest vinegar is still used for smoking or for disinfecting hospital rooms with the following recipe: "One treats vermouth, lozenge, peppermint, rosemary, sage, from each 22.5g, lavender flowers 30g, Angel root, calamus root, garlic, cinnamon , Nutmeg, cloves of each 3.75g, with 2kg of vinegar and 120g of concentrated vinegar, squeeze after a few days and add 11g of camphor dissolved in 30g of alcohol. " See also below Ancient wines,