Everything You Need to Know About Thieves Essential Oil

We're fans of essential oils, especially in the cooler seasons, when the change of weather and increase in stressful situations can wreak havoc on immune systems. You can check out our list of fall favorites here, but one oil that deserves a post of its own is Thieves. Thieves is a combination of several other oils and has an interesting back story as well as a laundry list of uses for both the body and the home. So why the name "Thieves"? The story goes like this:

When the Black Plague hit Europe, four spice traders found themselves forbidden to trade and had to find another way to generate income. Since the plague was claiming many victims, and most were afraid to touch the bodies of those who had died or were dying, these spice traders began to enter homes and loot the bodies and homes of the victims. To prevent themselves from becoming casualties as well, the four thieves rubbed a mixture of vinegar, oils and spices on their feet and bodies before entering the homes. 

When the king found out about these four thieves who had somehow managed to find immunity, he threatened to have them killed if they didn't share their recipe, which they did. Once the king had the recipe, he shared it with the kingdom and it eventually made its way all the way here!

Of course, we don't have to worry about the Black Plague in our modern day, but we do still get the sniffles and have to watch our immune systems closely when the weather begins to get chilly! Just like in days past, Thieves oil can help us to fight off sickness and maintain a healthy body

While there are many recipes for Thieves oil, depending on who you ask, the ratio of oils is generally very similar. 

For a small amount of oil, try:

10 drops of Clove oil
9 drops of Lemon oil
5 drops of Cinnamon oil
4 drops of Eucalyptus oil
3 drops of Rosemary oil

If you need a much larger amount, use:

80 drops of Clove oil
70 drops of Lemon oil
40 drops of Cinnamon oil
30 drops of Eucalyptus oil
20 drops of Rosemary oil


You can use these basic recipes to adjust for the amount of oil you need, but be sure to always use therapeutic grade essential oils, as other kinds may be toxic. We recommend seeking out Fair Trade as well! 

Once you've mixed your oil in a glass container, how do you use it? Thieves has a wide range of uses, but these are some of our favorites:

  • Mix Thieves in a 1:1 ratio (1 drop to 1 oz) with Witch Hazel or water to use as a general disinfectant and all-purpose cleaner
  • Mix in a 1:1 ratio (we like 9 drops of each) with carrier oil and massage on feet, back and chest to support a healthy immune system
  • Add one drop of Thieves to at least a cup of water and drink, cool or warm, to support immune system and lung functioning. You can even add a drop of lemon oil to make a great tea for throat pain!
  • Add a few drops to steaming water and use as a steam facial to support head, chest and lungs
  • Diffuse or add a few drops to a cinnamon stick to make your holistic space smell warm and welcoming, like the autumn and winter seasons, and to purify your indoor air!

We'd love to hear your favorite ways to use Thieves in your holistic spaces. Happy mixing!

by Anjie Cho