A history lesson on Thieves blend

I have a timeless lesson to share with you today! It’s about some of the history of the Thieves® essential oil blend. It is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils. Formulated by Young Living founder, D. Gary Young, this blend was created from research recorded in the archives of the British Museum library about a group of 14th century European perfumers and spice traders who rubbed oils on themselves while they robbed the dead and dying. The first essential oil blend to be scientifically evaluated in a university research laboratory, Thieves has a rich, spicy aroma, and is a key ingredient in our Thieves Home Collection – your go to for an invigorating clean and healthy home. Thieves Vitality offers the key benefits of overall wellness and support for a healthy immune system.* Thieves and Thieves Vitality are the same essential oil blend.

How the oils have been used historically – what can we learn from this?

Let’s dig in and learn more about the oils that make up this blend. Read the info below on how the oils were individually regarded in historic times. And let’s think about how powerful they can be when used together!

Clove – The people on the island of Ternate were free from epidemics until the 16th century when Dutch conquerors destroyed the clove trees that flourished on the islands. Many of the islanders died from the epidemics that followed. Cloves were reputed to be part of the “Marseilles Vinegar” or “Four Thieves Vinegar” used by grave-robbing bandits to protect themselves during the 15th century plague. Additionally, healers in China and India have used clove buds since ancient times as part of their treatments. 

Lemon – Research by Jean Valnet, MD, showed that vaporized lemon oil can kill meningococcus bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in 1 hour, Staphylococcus aureus in two hours, and Pneumococcus aureus in two hours, Pneumococcus bacteria within three hours. Even a 0.2% solution of lemon oil can kill diphtheria bacteria in 20 minutes and inactivate tuberculosis bacteria. Lemon oil has been widely used in skin care to cleanse skin and reduce wrinkles and combat acne. Lemon has shown to have antidepressant effects in research done by Komori, et al. 1995.

Cinnamon Bark – Listed in Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica (A.D. 78), Europe’s first authoritative guide to medicines, which became the standard reference work for herbal treatments for over 1,700 years. Cinnamon was reputed to be part of the “Marseilles Vinegar” or “Four Thieves Vinegar” used by grave-robbing bandits to protect themselves during the 15th century plague.

Eucalyptus Radiata – For centuries Australian Aborigines used the disinfecting leaves to cover wounds. Shown by laboratory tests to be a powerful antimicrobial agent, eucalyptol is an ingredient in many antiseptic mouth rinses. It is often used for the respiratory system. Eucalyptus trees have been planted throughout parts of North Africa to successfully block the spread of malaria. According to Jean Valnet, MD, a solution of 2 percent eucalyptus oil sprayed on the skin will kill 70 percent of ambient staph bacteria.

Rosemary – Rosemary was ALSO part of the “Marseilles Vinegar” or “Four Thieves Vinegar” that bandits who robbed the dead and dying used to protect themselves during the 15th century plague. The name of the oil is derived from the Latin words for dew of the sea. Since the time of Ancient Greece (about 1,100 BC), rosemary was burned as incense. It was listed in Hildegard’s “Medicine”, a compilation of early German medicines by highly regarded Benedictine herbalist Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179). Until recently, French hospitals used rosemary to disinfect the air.


Topical: Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex. Test on a small area of skin on the underside of arm. Apply to desired area as needed.

Aromatic: Diffuse up to 10 minutes 3 times daily.


  • Cleansing when applied topically
  • Diffuse to create a fresh, healthy environment
  • Immune system support*
  • Cleansing to the digestive system*
  • General wellness support*
  • Antioxidant properties*


  • Diffuse 8-20 Drops to create a healthy home.
  • Dilute and apply to the bottoms of your kids’ feet in the morning and for a great day at school.
  • Add a few drops to your dishwater or dishwasher to eliminate odors and boost cleaning.
  • Dilute and apply to the bottom of your feet during cold winter months.
  • Take in a capsule to help support the immune system.*
  • Put a drop in your morning juice, tea, or coffee.
  • Add a drop to oatmeal, granola, or other cereal to elevate your breakfast and help cleanse the digestive system.*
  • Add 1-2 drops to a shot of NingXia Red for quick spicy boost.


Thieves – emotionally it can bring certainty and peace. It is not a coincidence that during the holidays is when we use these spices and fruit and also when we are often in need of certainty and peace. Now we are up against a global upset (of many kinds) that is causing us to be unstable… and, I don’t know about you, but we are diffusing it for the virus but we are benefitting from the emotional support as a side effect.

Tap Thymus gland with Thieves to awaken your immune system. This is a fantastic oil for when we feel we need extra protection following uncertainty. Use it, diffuse it during global events/catastrophes you feel energetically. Make a spray with 1/2 ounce water and 3 drops Thieves vitality and 1 drop of Rose oil to release fear, spiritual connection, and feel emotionally supported.


I’ve bundled some of my favorite Thieves items together here

Drop me a line if you grab some of these things. I’m so curious!

Lori Tisdale

Young Living Brand Partner, #1780608


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