Homemade Four Thieves Oil Blend

As the story goes about “Thieves,” there were four thieves who protected themselves from the bubonic plague of the 15th century in Europe by employing the scent of four blended essential oils–cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  Since eucalyptus was not discovered by Europeans until the 17th century, eucalyptus is likely not the ingredient used, that is, if the legend is true.  It is possible that it was wintergreen which has the following properties–antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, analgesic, disinfectant, anticoagulant, vasodilator and stimulant (bones).  Consequently, instead of calling the blend Five Thieves Oil it will be referred to as Four Thieves Oil blend for the purposes of this article since eucalyputus was added much later to the blend.

There is the story of the Four Thieves Vinegar–a concoction of vinegar (either from red wine, white wine, cider, or distilled white) infused with herbs, spices or garlic that was believed to protect the thieves. The recipe for this vinegar has almost as many variations as its legend.  Four Thieves Vinegar include various herbs that typically include sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, along with garlic.  Additional herbs sometimes include rue, mint, and wormwood..

At any rate, “Thieves” has been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in the event of infringement.  Yet, one can safely blend the known essential oils in your own home.  You simply cannot call it “Thieves” and sell it.

Consequently, it is called the Four Thieve Oils here.

The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher
The bubonic plague described by Athanasius Kircher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Homemade Anti-infectious Recipes

In a dark glass bottle (to preserve the properties of the essential oils), and depending on the amount to make, add the followings:

Recipe #1–

40 drops of Clove Essential Oil

35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil

20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil

15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

Recipe #2–

200 drops of Clove Oil (Syzgium aromaticum)

175 drops of Lemon Oil (Citrus Limon)

100 drops of Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum)

75 drops of Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus radiata)

50 drops of Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Recipe #3

1 tbs. Clove Essential Oil

1 tbs. Lemon Essential Oil

2 ½ tsp. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

2 tsp. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

2 tsp. Rosemary Essential Oil

 Recipe #4

2 tsp Clove Oil

1 1/2 tsp Lemon Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon Bark Oil

3/4 tsp Eucalyptus Oil

1/2 tsp Rosemary Oil
*Note: One 15 ml bottle of essential oil contains approximately 285 drops and one 5 ml bottle contains approximately 85 drops.  Store away from and sunlight, preferably in a cool location.

Keep out of reach of children.  It may be possible to use Tea Tree Oil in lieu of Eucalyptus.  Tea Tree belongs to the same family as Eucalyptus.

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English: An illustration of an undertaker duri...
English: An illustration of an undertaker during the Bubonic plague. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some of the basic recipes and dilutions to make and use.  Experiment with these to come up with your own Four Thieves Oil recipes.

It is most important to purchase and use the most pure essential oils on the market.  This will be costly in some cases, especially when used to ingest it.  Then make sure it is food grade.  If not used for gargling, for example, it will not be necessary to get food grade.  Young Living promotes food-grade and/or theraputic quality.  

NOW essential oils pure or do they have anything added to them? NOW claims all of their 100% pure essential oils are labeled as such, and also sell clearly labeled oil blends that are formulated with essential oils or absolute extracts and another oil as a base, usually pure grapeseed oil.  One has to read the label.

All-purpose Spray:

This is an all-purpose spray solution for cleaning and disinfecting around the home. This  Four Thieves Oil recipe is great for purifying the air and eliminating odors.

  •  For each ounce of water (or Vodka), add 1 drop of Four Thieves Oil
  • Shake vigorously before each use.

For Diffusing

Diffusing Four Thieves Oil will purify the air, eliminate odors, and suppress mildew and mold.  Different diffusers have different directions that you need to follow.

Diffuse 15-20 drops of Thieves Oil for 15 minutes three or four time a day in an essential oil diffuser. This can help defend against infectious germs. This is valuable during cold and flu season or during infectious outbreaks.

We also run the diffuser in the bedroom of anyone who is sick, while they sleep at night. This gets a continuous flow of the therapeutic oils into the respiratory tract and is very healing.

Thieves Oil Recipes for Household Use

Stuffed Animals  |  To disinfect and clean, place toy inside pillowcase and tie shut. Fill washer with detergent, use fabric softener if desired. Add 5-10 drops of Thieves Essential Oil, (for small load) to washing machine. Wash on gentle cycle.  Also, Children’s and Pet’s Toys  |  Add 4-5 drops to sink water and wash children’s toys to clean and disinfect.

Hair spray buildup, gum, gummy adhesive  |   Dilute 8 drops in 4 ounces of water, spray, let set for a few minutes before wiping.

Cell phones  |  Lightly spray on a cloth and gently wipe phone.

Dishwasher |  Add 4-5 drops thieves oil to thoroughly clean dishes, eliminate bacteria and odors.

Laundry  |  Add 5-6 drops per load to freshen and disinfect.

Pet Bedding  |  Spray down cat boxes, dog houses, and pet cages to clean and disinfect.

Pet Dishes  |  Add 1-2 drops to soapy water and wash dishes. Rinse well.  (Do not use Tea Tree in blend.)

Plants  |  To repel aphids spray plants with a mixture of 2 drops thieves oil to every 4 ounces of water.

Floors  |  Add 10-15 drops to ½ bucket of cleaning water.

Surface Disinfectant  |  To clean and sanitize surfaces-add 8-10 drops to 8 oz of water in spray bottle.

Fragrance  |  Add a few drops to potpourri or cinnamon sticks to fragrance your home.

Purify the air  |  Add several drops of oil onto a cotton ball and place in home, office, car, or hotel air vents to eliminate odor.

Freshen laundry  |  Drop 4–5 drops onto a cloth and place in clothes dryer.

Bed Bugs  |  Spray mattresses to help dispel bed bugs.

Thieves Oil Recipes for Common Ailments

Influenza (Flu)

Dilute 15 drops of Four Thieves Oil  with 15 drops of carrier oil (Jojoba, almond, avocado oil) . Apply to lower back (where viruses and bacteria tend to hibernate), to the upper back of thighs, and back of neck to help with symptoms.

Some members of our family have sensitive skin and it is too “hot” for them to apply it undiluted like I do to my back and thighs. They need to dilute it. So always test first for sensitivity and have vegetable oil nearby to wipe off if necessary.

Capsules of Four Thieves Oil Recipe for Flu (consult physician)

6 drops of Thieves Essential Oil

4 drops Oregano Essential Oil

4 drops of Mountain Savory Essential Oil

2 drops of hyssop Essential Oil.

Place in a size “00” capsule and take up to four times a day.

Four Thieves Oil Recipe for Immune support

Dilute 1 drop of thieves oil to 4 drops carrier oil and apply to feet. Apply twice daily, morning and night, for extra support during cold and flu season. (especially before leaving for school, work, or going out in public)

For defense against colds, flu, and other infectious disease, apply to the bottom of feet.

Bronchitis  |  Dilute 1 drop of Thieves Oil to 4 drops of carrier oil and apply to lower back, sternum, chest and throat. Rub on the feet sinus and bronchial “vita-flex” points.

Insect bites (mosquito, bee & wasp stings)  |  Apply to bite or sting to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and counteract toxins.

Sore throat  |  Add 2-3 drops of Thieves Oil to 2 tbsp. of water and gargle, or add 1 drop of thieves and 1 drop lemon essential oil in warm water, drink as tea.

You can lick 1 drop off top of your hand and swallow or you can drop 1 drop directly on your tongue, swish around in mouth to mix with saliva, and swallow slowly.

You can lick 1 drop off top of your hand and swallow or you can drop 1 drop directly on your tongue, swish around in mouth to mix with saliva, and swallow slowly.

In a small spray bottle add 1 drop of Thieves Oil to 1 ounce of water. Shake well and spray on back of throat.

Cuts and scrapes  |  Dilute 1 drop thieves oil to 4 drops of organic vegetable or carrier oil and apply to wound to help prevent infection and speed healing. You can apply Thieves on gauze or band-aid and cover wound or scrape.

Headache  |  Place a drop of Thieves Oil on your thumb and place on the roof of your mouth. This may require a few repeated applications. Be careful not to lick your lips as this can burn. Use vegetable or carrier oil to wipe off if you do.

Head and lung congestion  |  Place a few drops in a steaming bowl of hot water, cover head with towel and inhale vapors.

Poison Ivy  |  Mix 2 drops of thieves with 2 drops of vegetable or carrier oil, if there is swelling add 2 drops of lavender.

Acne  |  Apply undiluted to pimple. This works great and drys the pimple out quickly. If skin is too sensitive dilute with water.

Health and Wellness  |  Put a drop of thieves on your toothbrush before brushing to kill cavity producing germs and to sanitize your toothbrush.

Mouthwash  |  Add 1 drop per ounce of water, shake well before use.

Toothpaste  |  Add 2 drops to 4 tbsp. of baking soda, place in small container (not plastic) and shake well. Dip toothbrush in mixture and brush.

Freshen Breath  |  Drop directly on the tongue, or add to a spoonful of honey, Agave, or even on a piece of bread and swallow.

Boost Immune System, Break Up Internal Mucous, Clean Digestive Tract  |  Add 1 drop to a bottle of water (not plastic) and drink during the day.

Cleaning Digestive System  |  Add 1 drop to a cup of warm water and drink as a tea, wait 15 minutes before eating.

Break Up Phlegm and Congestion  |  Add 1 drop to orange juice, soy milk, apple juice, etc.

Support Longevity, including Boost Immune System |  Place 1–3 drops in a size “00” capsule with 4-6 drops of vegetable oil and swallow daily.  Adds extra support during cold and flu season.


Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. In strict accordance with FDA regulations the information and products on this website are not intended to treat, cure, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any illness or disease.

YOUNG LIVING has given its distributors a list of 145 uses of their Theives product.

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