Legend of the Four Thieves: An Essential Oil Story

June 14, 2021

Have you heard the Legend of the Four Thieves?

As the story goes, a group of thieves snuck into the homes of defenseless victims of the Black Death - all while retaining immunity and never falling sick themselves. As their crimes grew, so did their infamy as everyone wondered how these thieves protected themselves from disease (concepts of hygiene were little understood then). Only when the thieves were finally caught and threatened with execution, did they give up their secret.

The thieves, who had previously been spice traders, gave up their secret recipe which (as one variation of the story tells it) was simply rosemary, lemon, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and eucalyptus steeped in vinegar. To protect themselves from the Bubonic Plague, they spread this concoction on their bodies as they robbed the ill.

Whether or not the myth is grounded in truth, the recipe of the four thieves has been used and adapted many times over the centuries, particularly in essential oil form.

When you take a closer look at the benefits of each ingredient, it’s no wonder that the five together would be so potent - and so widely used for immune support, allergy relief, and as a disinfectant.

Most essential oil companies sell their own Four Thieves recipe, but you can tailor your own blend if you already have the oils on hand. Below is the suggested ratio for each essential oil along with their individual benefits.

Four Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Clove: (antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory) A natural antihistamine and expectorant, clove essential oil has an invigorating scent and is excellent for helping to relieve allergy symptoms and to stimulate a foggy mind. (Recommended ratio 6-8:24)

Lemon: (antiseptic) with immuno-stimulant properties, the scent of lemon essential oil is known to energize and uplift, encouraging focus and general positivity. As a germicide, the oil is commonly used in DIY cleaning products. (Recommended ratio 5-7:24)

Cinnamon Bark: (antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, anti-parasitic, antiseptic) A powerful essential oil with a long history of medical uses, cinnamon essential oil is now most commonly used to invigorate sluggish digestion and relieve stress and symptoms of rheumatism. (Recommended ratio 4-5:24)

Eucalyptus: (antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory) One of the most potent essential oils for respiratory health, eucalyptus is great for relieving congestion, stimulating circulation, and promoting clarity. (Recommended ratio 3-4:24)

Rosemary: (antispasmodic, antiseptic) Great for restoring and balancing the body and mind, rosemary has been used for centuries to treat aches and pains, promote circulation, and stimulate the immune system. (Recommended ratio 2-3:24)

Clove: (antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory) A natural antihistamine and expectorant, clove essential oil has an invigorating scent and is excellent for helping to relieve allergy symptoms and to stimulate a foggy mind. (Recommended ratio 6-8:24)

Lemon: (antiseptic) with immuno-stimulant properties, the scent of lemon essential oil is known to energize and uplift, encouraging focus and general positivity. As a germicide, the oil is commonly used in DIY cleaning products. (Recommended ratio 5-7:24)

Cinnamon Bark: (antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, anti-parasitic, antiseptic) A powerful essential oil with a long history of medical uses, cinnamon essential oil is now most commonly used to invigorate sluggish digestion and relieve stress and symptoms of rheumatism. (Recommended ratio 4-5:24)

Eucalyptus: (antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory) One of the most potent essential oils for respiratory health, eucalyptus is great for relieving congestion, stimulating circulation, and promoting clarity. (Recommended ratio 3-4:24)

Rosemary: (antispasmodic, antiseptic) Great for restoring and balancing the body and mind, rosemary has been used for centuries to treat aches and pains, promote circulation, and stimulate the immune system. (Recommended ratio 2-3:24)

Uses

  • Diffuse to help clear up your airway and to kill airborne pathogens. Great for when your allergies are acting up. Bonus: it’ll smell yummy too.
  • Add to vinegar for a DIY cleaning solution or bug repellent.
  • Use topically with your favorite carrier oil (cocoa butter, grapeseed and rosehip oils are my personal favorites) to help ease inflammation. Also great as an antifungal.
  • Mix with aloe vera, witch hazel, and a carrier oil to make a DIY hand sanitizer.

Hannah Parks l Mukha Yoga
By Hannah Parks; All Rights Reserved @2021

Hannah Parks l Mukha YogaBy Hannah Parks; All Rights Reserved @2021



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