The name and recipe for Thieves Oil have an interesting backstory and explains why this blend of oils is so good for you.
The recipe varies and dates back to the Middle Ages where Thieves Oil kept a group of merchants safe from the Black Plague. The mixtures of antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties were able to stave off the Plague and keep these merchants safe.
The Thieves Story
In the early 1990s, Gary Young studied essential oils and recreated a blend he had been researching. According to Gary, there are 17 different versions of the “Story of Thieves” and each contains different amounts of different oils. This intrigued Gary to research essential oils and make the perfect Thieves Oil blend for everyday use.
He researched the properties of the different oils in the multiple ingredient lists he found. His research lead to a proprietary oil blend called Young Living Thieves Essential Oil. His research also lead him to the historical story of the “Thieves” this blend is named after.
His research lead him to the spice traders and merchants called the “Thieves” who lived in the 15th century and traded the likes of cinnamon and cloves from India across Europe. When the Bubonic plague struck, international shipping and trade stopped. These spice traders therefore needed to find a new way of supporting themselves.
A Dark Time
With dead bodies everywhere, the Thieves decided to loot the plague-ridden bodies for clothes, boots, jewelry, pots, pans – really anything they could get their hands on to trade for food and money. Using their vast knowledge of the medicinal properties of many spices, they believed they wouldn’t get sick from the dead bodies by mixing a unique blend of spices, vinegars, and oils.
Lucky for them, they were right! Because their repossession process was lucrative, the King naturally found out. He wanted to know their secret – why were they not getting sick? Four of the Thieves were caught and brought before the King. He gave them a choice: share their death-defying secret, or be burned at the stake.
A Kingly Proposition
With an offer from the King that they couldn’t refuse, they shared the oil blend secret and the rest is history. The King spread word around town and spread the “medicine” as well. A few recipes have stuck around, so you can try your hand at making your own Thieves Oil blend, or buy a premixed blend wherever you buy your essential oils.
How To Make Thieves Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #1
40 drops of Clove Essential Oil
35 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
20 drops of Cinnamon Essential Oil
15 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #2
200 drops of Clove Oil
175 drops of Lemon Oil
100 drops of Cinnamon Bark
75 drops of Eucalyptus Oil
50 drops of Rosemary Oil
Thieves Oil Blend #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
Thieves Oil Blend #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 255 drops. One 5 ml bottle contains approximately 85 drops.
Store these blends in a dark bottle, in a cool place, and out of the sun. You should use Thieves Oil every day, as it can be used for so many different reasons – not to mention it has a nice cinnamon scent. You can diffuse the oil, use it topically, clean household items with it, or ingest it to aid digestion and support your immune system.
Diffusing Thieves Oil
This purifies the air in your home, eliminates odors, acts aromatically to support your lungs and sinuses. Diffuse 15-20 drops of Thieves Oil for 15 minutes three or four time a day in an essential oil diffuser. As you breathe the oil you will strengthen your lungs, sinuses, and entire respiratory system.
Thieves Oil All-Purpose Spray
Make an easy all-purpose spray out of Thieves Oil and water in a spray bottle to clean and disinfect just about everything. Take odor out of pet beds*, clean microbial bacteria off surfaces, and keep baby’s room spic and span with Thieves Oil.
*Note: Cat’s cannot process essential oils – if you’re using this blend to clean a litter box that’s fine, but do not spray on a cat’s bed or use as an aromatic without a diffuser around your feline friends.
Add 1 drop of Thieves Oil for every ½ ounce of water used. This is a strong solution that can be lessened to 1 drop per 1 oz if you find it overpowering. You’ll need to shake the bottle vigorously
Topical Thieves Oil
1 drop of Thieves Oil to 4 drops carrier oil. (Grapeseed, Jojoba, Coconut, Avocado – any healthy oil will act as a carrier)
This lets you use Thieves Oil topically. Some folks can use Thieves Oil without a carrier, but some peoples’ skin will get irritated. You can massage this blend on your feet, lower back, neck, and behind your ears. Rubbing this oil blend on your feet daily promotes a healthy immune system.
Because of its antibacterial properties, Thieves Oil is a great all-around cleaner. Add to laundry loads, dishwasher loads, and floor and countertop cleaning solutions to remove any stubborn, sticky buildup, or even just to give a great, deep clean.
You can freshen up your kids’ stuffed animals or your dog’s bed, clean your cell phone and other devices, even keep plants bug-free and happy. Adding Thieves Oil to a cotton ball placed in the home, car, or office air vents eliminates nasty odors. Thieves Oil even helps to dispel bed bugs!
Dilute 15 drops of Thieves Oil with 15 drops of carrier oil and massage over lungs, chest, and back to improve your respiratory system. Massaged into the back, thighs, and neck helps relieve minor aches and pains that come with your daily routine. You can also use Thieves Oil to relieve insect bites.
Ingesting Thieves Oil
Add 1 drop of Thieves oil to a bottle of water and drink all day long. This will help clean your digestive tract and support a healthy immune system. Add Thieves Oil to a cup of warm water and drink as a tea. Wait 15 minutes before eating, and benefit from the system-cleansing oil.
Add 2-3 drops to 2 Tbsp of water and gargle to relieve a sore or dry throat. You can even add 1 drop of Thieve Oil to 1 oz of water and, using a spray bottle, spray onto the back of your throat.
Thieves Oil Miscellaneous
Dilute 1 drop of Thieves Oil into 4 drops of carrier oil and apply to the affected area. You can apply the oil directly, or using a gauze or bandage.
To relieve a headache, put a drop of Thieves Oil on your thumb and place against the roof of your mouth. Be sure not to lick your lips as this may burn.
A few drops of Thieves Oil in a bowl of steaming water and lean over the bowl covering your head with a towel. Inhale the vapors for sinus and lung support.
Using Thieves Oil topically promotes healthy skin, and can help fight acne and other skin issues. Thieves Oil can also be used in the bathroom as toothpaste or mouthwash. Use 1 drop per ounce for mouthwash, and 2 drops to 4 Tbsp of baking soda and shake well.
What can’t Thieves Oil do?
Editor’s Note: There is a lot of controversy about whether it is safe to ingest essential oils. It is up to each of us to make a decision based upon our own health, medical situation, and advice from reliable sources. Guidelines from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy state: “Do not use essential oils internally unless properly trained in the safety issues of doing so.”