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.