Thieves oil is actually a blend of more oils, and there is an interesting story behind its name.
During the Middle Ages, this oil was used by merchants as a cure against the Black Plague, due to the powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties of essential oils.
In the early 1990s, Gary Young studied the powers of essential oils and found that there are 17 different version of the “Story of Thieves” that use different amounts of different oils.
Therefore, he decided to find the perfect combination for everyday use and found out the historical story of the “Thieves” this mixture was named after.
The “Thieves” were a group of merchants and traders who lived in the 15th century and brought cinnamon and cloves from India across Europe. Yet, the bubonic plague put an end to the international shipping and trade, and they needed to find another way to support themselves. They decided to loot the plague-ridden bodies and profit from the sales o the clothes, shoes, jewelry, by trading them for money and food.
Yet, they were aware of the medicinal properties of spices, so they used mixtures of oils, vinegars, and spices, and thus saved themselves from getting sick.
However, the King found out about their practice, and caught them in order to learn their secret that preserved their health- they could either share it or be burned at the stake. The rest is history- they told him the combination, and the recipe was quickly spread around.
Dr. Sarah LoBisco, a naturopathic medical practitioner certified in functional medicine, speaks about the same story too:
“The legend states that a combination of various herbs, most often cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, and lemon as protecting four robbers from contracting the plague in France while rummaging through the houses of the infected sufferers. Their freedom was won by revealing to the King that the herbal vinegar, which they drank and sprinkled on themselves every two hours, had been their saving grace.
There have been several variations of this formulation passed down through the years. Thomas Jefferson was said to have fancied a version that consisted of vinegar spiked with lavender, rosemary, sage, wormwood, rue, mint, garlic to keep his Presidential body infection free.”
Thieves oil has a pleasant cinnamon scent, and it can boost the immune system, help digestion, cleanse the air, or serve as a cleaning agent in the household. Its beneficial properties are a result of the impressive medicinal qualities of essential oils in its content.
“ Essential oils are volatile secondary plant metabolites extracted from aromatic plant material by steam distillation or mechanical expression. Oils which are produced with the use of chemical solvents are not considered true essential oils due to the resulting alteration of chemical constituents from the solvent residues.
These powerful compounds are produced by plants in order to provide defense from infestations, modulate immune function, and to stimulate various molecular pathways needed for thriving. Their constituents can interact with cellular pathways to alter biochemical responses and optimize physiological function. Essential oils have been demonstrated to: inhibit microbe growth, act as antioxidants, support hormones, and calm inflammation.
Essential oils are absorbed easily into our system through skin application, inhalation, or ingestion and excreted quickly, mostly through the kidneys. They have a low toxicity profile when used in their proper, pure form. “
-- If you diffuse 15-20 drops of this oil for 15 minutes in an essential oil diffuser several times daily, you will strengthen the sinuses, lungs, the whole respiratory system, and eliminate any odors and toxins from the air
-- Add it to a spray bottle with water, 1 drop for every ½ ounce of water, and use it as an all-purpose spray to disinfect and clean the home
-- To soothe skin irritations, add a drop of it to 4 drops of some carrier oil, like coconut, jojoba, or avocado oil, and apply it topically. Use the same mixture to massage the feet, lower back, neck, and behind your ears and boost the immune system
-- Add this mixture to dishwasher and laundry loads, or spray it on countertops and the floor in order to clean them
-- Clean the car, office air vents, beds of your pets, and even cell phone with it
-- To soothe the pain in the body, dilute 15 drops of Thieves oil with 15 drops of some carrier oil and massage the back, thighs, and neck
-- To clean the digestive tract and strengthen the immune system, add a drop to a cup of warm water and drink it as tea, or add it to a bottle of water and drink it during the entire day
-- To relieve a sore throat, gargle a mixture of 2 tablespoons of water and 2-3 drops of Thieves oil
-- Put a drop on the thumb and place it against the roof of the mouth, but do not lick it. This will soothe a headache
-- To use it as a toothpaste or mouthwash, add 1 drop per ounce for mouthwash, and 2 drops to 4 tablespoons of baking soda and shake well
Now, here are several blend recipes for you to make your own Thieves oil at home:
Thieves Oil Blend #1
- 2 ½ tsp. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
- 2 tsp. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 2 tsp. Rosemary Essential Oil
- 1 tbs. Clove Essential Oil
- 1 tbs. Lemon Essential Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #2
- 20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
- 15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 40 drops of Clove Essential Oil
- 35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #3
- 1 tsp Cinnamon Bark Oil
- 3/4 tsp Eucalyptus Oil
- 1/2 tsp Rosemary Oil
- 2 tsp Clove Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #4
- 100 drops of Cinnamon Bark
- 75 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
- 200 drops of Clove Oil
- 175 drops of Lemon Oil
- 50 drops of Rosemary Oil
*Note: A 15 ml bottle of essential oil contains about 255 drops, and a 5 ml bottle contains approximately 85 drops.
When mixed, store the oil blends in a dark bottle, in a cool and dark place. Then, just reap all the benefits of these essential oil blends!