Recipe Friday: Thieves Blend


Thieves Blend, or Four Thieves Blend, has been around since the Middle Ages, give or take a few centuries. There are many stories surrounding the name and the mixture, but most herbalists, scientists, and doctors agree on its effectiveness.

Thieves Blend of essential oils is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal & anti-viral. Granted, many microbes are beneficial to the human body, but God provides amazing protection against the harmful ones through His plants.

Benefits of Thieves Blend:

  • Cleans the air of germs and molds as you diffuse
  • Respiratory support
  • Prevents against food spoilage
  • Stops unwanted microbes and superbugs
  • Antioxidant
  • Oral health
  • Digestion
  • Alleviates discomfort due to arthritis, muscle pains, joint pains, nausea, vomiting, gum issues, and ulcers
  • Powerful emotional and physiological effects from diffusing

According to , here is the story:

The use of Thieves oil dates all the way back to the year 1413.  The time of the infamous Bubonic Plague (aka The Black Death) ran rampant through Europe and Asia. The plague spread like wild-fire amongst the citizens, and the physicians alike.  It seemed impossible to be in the vicinity without contracting it, and at the time, the sickness really did mean ultimate death.

However, four thieves, who were notoriously robbing the infected dead bodies of all their possessions, miraculously never contracted the highly infectious plague, were captured and charged for stealing from the sick and dying.

The crime these four men committed was punishable by being burnt alive.  The judge was so intrigued by how these men had stayed immune to this terrible disease, that he told them if they shared their secret he would spare them this punishment. Taking the deal, they told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways.

The Thieves told the judge their secret: they were perfume and spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of the sea ports and the devastation of the plague.  In this age, physicians were seen wearing long black robes, wide brimmed hats, and masks that appeared to have a beak. The reason being that the masks were said to have contained a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils that the physicians would breathe in order to keep themselves safe from those afflicted with the illness.

Their long black robes were also said to be doused in a similar fragrant concoction and current research continues to build upon this theory. They had prepared an essential oil recipe that when applied to their hands, ears, temples, feet and masks over their mouths, kept them safe from infection.

The judge stayed true to his word.  The men were not burned alive, but instead they were hanged for their crimes.

From then on, the doctors who treated the Black Death victims appropriately used this special blend.  The beak is how doctors got the long-lasting nickname “quack”.

Yet another version of the story relates that a man named Richard Forthave developed and sold the preparation, and that the blend was originally referred to as Forthave’s. Over time, his name became corrupted to Four Thieves.

There are many versions of how Thieves Blend is made, but the basic ingredients are essential oils of lemon, clove, cinnamon, and rosemary. Those are included in the Young Living brand, as well as eucalyptus. Other mixtures contain also oils of  white camphor, sweet orange, thyme, and sage.

A sample recipe for Thieves Blend:

8 drops of Clove Essential Oil
7 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
4 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
3 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil

How to use Thieves Blend

Using the blend straight:

Combine 1 drop Thieves Blend to 4 drops of carrier oil to massage on soles of feet, lower back, neck, hands, temples, and behind the ears. This can be used on everyone, but you may wish to spot-test for sensitivity first.

  • Add to dish water
  • Add 5-6 drops to a load of laundry
  • Wash pet dishes in a solution of soapy water and 1-2 drops of oil
  • Add 10-15 drops to a bucket of soapy water to clean floors
  • Sprinkle on your face mask to kill microbes coming and going

All-Purpose Spray: 2 drops of Thieves Blend per ounce of water. Add the oil to the bottle first, then the water. Shake well each time you use it. Use the spray for cleaning around the home.

You can also combine with vodka and/or witch hazel instead of water, and spray on surfaces as an anti-microbial; wipe off or leave on, as indicated. Suggested surfaces:

  • Stuffed animals / toys
  • Cell phones
  • Dishwasher
  • Pet bedding
  • Mattresses / bedding
  • Air vents
  • Take on trips and use in guest rooms or hotels
  • Spray on your face mask, both sides

Thieves Blend is good for diffusing throughout the air.

Much information can be found at this site:

There is also a Thieves Vinegar. Fill a jar with herbs and slices of lemon, garlic, sage, lavender, thyme, rosemary, mint, and wormwood. Pour vinegar to cover all, and cap tightly. Allow to steep for several days. As with Fire Cider, this is shelf-stable. To use, rub over hands, sip lightly, or consume with rice or vegetables (do not cook it, though).

According to Wikipedia, “an original copy of the recipe posted on the walls of Marseilles during an episode of the plague: Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadowsweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of camphor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.”

*image from google images

8 thoughts on “Recipe Friday: Thieves Blend

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