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Four Thieves Oil

a Mountain Rose Herbs recipe

There are scores of uses for Four Thieves Oil. Aside from helping to eliminate bacteria and ease the symptoms of cold or flu, the oil can be used around the house. For instance, add a few drops to dish water to remove stubborn grease. Similarly, add a few drops to a load of laundry, or to your homemade surface cleansers. The oil can also be added to garlges and mouthwash. Finally, because there is scientific evidence that the essential oils in this formula counter airborne bacteria and viruses, you can diffuse the oil in your home to help clean the air.


The recipe for this blend is believed to have originated from thieves during the 15th century. According to popular theory, the concoction was created by a group of four thieves and grave robbers to protect themselves from contracting the plague while robbing the bodies of the gravely ill and deceased. When apprehended, the thieves admitted to using the formula and disclosed the recipe in order to receive a less severe punishment for their crimes.


Whether or not this story is true, the essential oils in this blend are antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious. They will stimulate the immune system, circulation and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more. Modern testing has shown the effectiveness of this blend and studies have found it to have a high kill rate against airborne bacteria.


This is a classic recipe, but you can customize it by adjusting the quantities or adding other antibacterial essential oils such as Tea Tree, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Ravensara, Lavender, Juniper Berry, Hyssop, Bay Laurel, or Scotch Pine.




40 drops organic Clove Bud essential oil
35 drops organic Lemon essential oil
20 drops organic Cinnamon Bark essential oil
15 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops organic Rosemary essential oil


Mix all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle. To use on the skin, add 3 to 5 drops of this blend to each teaspoon of carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil. A traditional application is to rub a small amount of diluted oil on the soles of the feet or to the chest area for cough and congestion. The oil can also be inhaled from a few drops placed on a tissue, cloth or cotton ball.


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