Mountain Rose Herbs’ Version of Four Thieves® Oil Blend

Mountain Rose Herbs'  Version of Four Thieves® Oil Blend

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.

Ingredients:

Mix all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle.

Applications

This essential oil blend is very strong and must be diluted!  The essential oil content should only account for 1 to 2% of the total formula. This means that up to 6-12 drops of essential oil can be added per 1 oz of carrier oil or other menstruum.  For more information about diluting essential oils, please refer to our Dilutions & Conversions Guide

There are many ways that you can use the blend, here are some of the most common applications:

- To sanitize and purify the air in your home or workplace, place 2-3 drops of the essential oil blend in a diffuser, nebulizer, or in a pot of simmering water on the stove.  Diffuse for approximately 20-30 minutes.  This is especially beneficial if someone in your home or workplace is sick.

- Make an antibacterial all-purpose spray for cleaning and disinfecting your home or workplace.  This is perfect for office spaces and shared areas! Fill a spray bottle with water and add the essential oil blend at a 1-2 % dilution rate.  Spray on counter tops, desks, and on other surfaces.  Make sure to shake before using as the oil and water will naturally separate.

- Use a 1-2% dilution rate of the essential oil blend in a base of water or alcohol, and spray onto insect bites, poison oak, and poison ivy rashes to help reduce inflammation, itching, and irritation.

- Mix the essential oil blend at a 1-2% dilution rate with organic Jojoba or Olive oil.  Use as a massage oil for sore muscles, the lower back, neck, and feet.  It can also be dabbed on skin throughout the day for general cold and flu prevention and immune support.

- When congested, mix a 1-2% dilution rate of the essential oil blend with organic Jojoba or Olive oil, and rub under the nose or on the chest. Or, place 1-2 drops in a bowl of hot, steaming water and inhale the vapors under a towel to relieve congestion.

 

* Essential oils are highly concentrated, strong, and powerful liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly.  This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We advocate caution when using them, and do not recommend using essential oils internally.  Please keep essential oils out of reach of children. We do not advocate usage of this recipe on babies, toddlers, or children

 

 

Thieves® is a registered trademark of Young Living Essential Oils, LC. Mountain Rose Herbs is not affiliated with Young Living Essential Oils, LC in any way.

38 Responses to “Mountain Rose Herbs’ Version of Four Thieves® Oil Blend”

  1. avatar denicehicks says:

    I can’t tell you how excited and pleased I am to get this recipe!! I used the YL brand of this blend a few weeks ago when I had a head cold and I never even felt like I needed to take cold medicine. I diffused it and also put it on the bottoms of my feet and on my glands at my throat. I believe the intensity and duration of my cold was greatly reduced as a result. It makes my day to be able to prepare my own. Thank you so much!

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi denicehicks,
      Thank you for leaving us a comment and for letting us know about your experience! It’s wonderful to hear that you have had such a positive experience with this classic mixture of oils. We hope that you enjoy preparing your own blend, and thank you again for sharing your story with us!
      ~ irene

  2. [...] will definitely be added to my medicine bag. Mountain Rose Blog shared this recipe and history of Four Thieves Oil, a blend of essential oils that is believed to date back to the 15th century. It is said that four [...]

  3. avatar sue5boys says:

    I am new to Mountain Rose Herbs & am making my forst elderberry syrup. Now I have found my Thieves Oil & so can’t wait to purchase these oils to create! Thank You so very much! <3

  4. avatar Christie B. says:

    What would be the best oil to substitute for the rosemary? My son is very allergic to rosemary, but I would like to make this. I would love to have something that protects against illnesses (sounds awfully good after our difficult winter). And if I were to substitute an oil, how much would I use? The same amount as is called for for the rosemary? Or does that depend on the oil? Of the extra oils listed, I know we have no allergies to oregano, thyme, sage, lavender and bay laurel. I’d rather not use tea tree oil (past reactions), but we are likely OK with juniper berry, hyssop, and scotch pine (but I prefer to stick to ones we know are OK, if they would be sufficient). Thank you in advance for your help!

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Christie,
      Thank you so much for your comment and for the great question! You could certainly substitute any of these essential oils for the Rosemary. Using the same amount (10 drops) should be a suitable replacement. You may want to do additional research on the properties of the essential oil options so that you pick the very best one(s) for your needs.
      Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns, and we’ll be happy to help you. I hope that your formula turns out wonderful!
      ~ irene

  5. avatar nellybean78 says:

    I made a batch of the Thieves oil, but I just realized I used cinnamon leaf and not bark…will it still be as beneficial? Thank you.

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi nellybean78,
      Thank you for reading our blog and for your question! The oil should still be effective, Cinnamom leaf essential oil has many of the same properties as essential oil distilled from the bark. This includes having antibacterial, antiseptic, and disinfecting properties.
      I hope that you enjoy your Thieves oil blend, and thank you again for reaching out to us!
      ~ irene

  6. [...] as is, however it is a blend of 5 essential oils and you can also make your own. Recipe found here. Tea Tree oil would also [...]

    • avatar Brit1 says:

      I would like to use this as a disinfectant spray in the kitchen and bathroom. What ratios of eo’s to distilled water 8oz would I use. I also have cinnamon leaf vs bark which I will have to use temporarily. Thanks

      • avatar Irene says:

        Hi Brit1,

        Thank you for your question and for reading our blog!

        I would add 1 drop of the essential oil blend for each ounce of water, which would equal 8 drops for an 8 oz bottle. Cinnamon leaf essential oil isn’t quite as potent as oil distilled from the bark, but it is still suitable to use in this blend.

        Thank you again!

        ~ irene

  7. [...] Recipe: Four Thieves Oil « The Mountain Rose Blog. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  8. avatar Emisev says:

    Hi, thank you for posting this wonderful recipe! My daughters and currently have been using the Young Living thieves oil; we consume 3 drops a day in about an ounce of water during cold & flu season, and if there is an onset we take an extra dose of 6 drops in an ounce of water. This was after a consulation with a licensed practictioner and it works wonderfully. My question is, if I were to make this recipe, would it be safe for consumption? Also, does it seem to work as well if rubbed into the feet or chest? The Young Living is so very expensive and I would especially love to make our own. Any thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing your amazing knowledge! Best, Emily

  9. avatar Irene says:

    Hi Emily,

    Thank you so much for reading our blog, and for your question! I’m glad to hear that you found this recipe interesting and useful.

    At Mountain Rose Herbs, we never recommend usage of essential oils internally and this recipe was not formulated for internal use. Essential oils are extremely strong and powerful, and we advocate caution when using them. Furthermore, as members of the American Herbal Products Association, we abide to their Code of Ethics & Business Conduct which includes labeling our essential oils for external use only. For more information, please see: http://www.ahpa.org/Default.aspx?tabid=224#section_undiluted_oils

    I apologize that I am unable to assist you further with this inquiry. Thank you again for your question and for your support of Mountain Rose Herbs!

    ~ Irene

  10. avatar kshilling says:

    I’ve just recently found your blog and new to learning about oils. I was wondering if you can put the oils in a nebulizer and wear the mask to breath in, instead of the steam from a pot? My 6 yr old can’t seem to shake this crud. I plan to purify the air as suggested, but didn’t know if that was an advised way for him to breath in the steam? If so, how many drops (and any other ingredients) would you put in his nebulizer?

    Kristi

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi Kristi,

      Welcome to our blog! I’m so glad to hear that you’re finding the information and recipes here helpful.

      The nebulizer that I’m familiar with is the type that we sell: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/aroma/diffuser.php#ar_dnb_dif_n). It is not attached to a mask, but rather releases microscopic oil particles into the air. You could certainly use a few drops of the essential oil blend in a nebulizer to help cleanse the air, but I would refrain from wearing a mask to inhale the fumes. Essential oils are extremely strong and potent, and must be used with much caution.

      Since we are not licensed physicians, we unfortunately cannot provide medical advice. My best suggestion would be to seek the guidance of a licensed health practitioner who will better able to assist you.

      I hope that this helps! Thank you again for your question, and for your interest in Mountain Rose Herbs!

      ~ Irene

  11. avatar sashanolan says:

    I’m thrilled to have found this recipe. My question is- would it be okay to use this on a toddler? Or could I just dilute it? Thanks again for posting this.

    • avatar Irene says:

      Hi sashanolan,

      Thank you so much for reading our blog, and for your question!

      Essential oils are extremely strong and powerful, and we advocate caution when using them. This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. Because of this, we would not advocate usage of this recipe on toddlers or children.

      Thank you again for your question and for your support of Mountain Rose Herbs!

      ~ Irene

  12. [...] Mountain Rose Blog, the 4 thieves blend is Clove Bud, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, but other [...]

  13. avatar silverlotus118 says:

    I was curious about how to make/properly use this recipe (or one that has other essential oils/different blend) into incense? what would be a good base to make cone and/or stick incense and how much essential oil blend of whatever recipe to use? i’d like to have it on hand to use when we are sick. or would it be better to heat the oils in one of those candle-heated oil diffusers (and if so, how much of the blend to diffuse in this instance?). in either case, would it be suitable for use for the whole family? we have a son who is 3 1/2. thanks!

  14. avatar Irene says:

    Hi silverlotus118,

    Thank you for your message, and for the great questions!

    I have never made incense before with essential oils, and most of the recipes that I’ve seen utilize dried herbs. However, you could certainly experiment with adding essential oils or incorporate dried cloves, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary into your incense. Here are several incense recipes which may be of interest to you:

    The Essential Herbal, Incense Cones
    Mother Earth Living, Herbal Incense
    Kiva Rose, Bioregional Plant Incense

    In addition, we offer a DIY book for incense as well as an Incense Making Kit:

    Book: Making Your Own Incense
    Incense Making Kit

    To use the essential oil blend in a diffuser, I would start with a very small amount since it is so potent. 1-2 drops would be a sufficient amount to begin with, and you could certainly increase the amount as needed.

    I hope that this helps to answer your questions, and thank you again for contacting Mountain Rose Herbs!

    ~ Irene

  15. avatar Elle Jay says:

    Hi Irene,
    I have purchased an Australian brand of Four Thieves oil blend, which contains the five basic oils plus Tea Tree (Melaleuca). I want to mix the Thieves blend with a carrier oil for my teenage daughter to rub on her feet. She had post-viral fatigue last year and is very susceptible to colds and flu. It is Winter here right now, and she also suffers from cold feet, so it might help with that too. My question is, how many drops of Thieves should be added to a 100ml (3.38 US fluid ounces) bottle of carrier oil? I know you recommend 1 or 2%, but I don’t know how to convert drops to mls. Also, is sweet almond oil a suitable carrier oil or would jojoba be better? Many thanks for your great blog!

    • avatar Irene says:

      Dear Elle Jay,

      Thank you for your message and for the question!

      1-2% of 100 ml would be 1-2 ml, this is equivalent to 20-40 drops of the essential oil blend. Since this is such a potent combination of oils, I would recommend beginning with a small amount, and then increase the amount as needed. Sweet Almond and Jojoba oil would both be great choices to use as a carrier oil.

      Thank you again for your question, and for your wonderful comments about our blog. We deeply appreciate it!

      ~ Irene

      • avatar edsam says:

        Hello! This may be a dumb question, but how do I know how much I need to buy of each oil to make my own thieves oil? How many drops would be in 1/2 oz approximately?

        Also, how do people go about mixing oils like this? With a dropper? I have gotten doterra oils before and it’s hard for me to control the amount of drops coming out — sometimes it’s too fast or too slow. Thanks in advance for your response!

        • avatar Irene says:

          Hi edsam,

          Thank you for reading our blog, these are great questions!

          There are approximately 300 drops of essential oil in 1/2oz. You could certainly purchase a glass dropper to use with your bottles. Our 1/2oz bottles of essential oil have an orifice reducer affixed to the top, but it can be removed so that you can use a glass dropper instead. The drops do come out of the orifice reducer at different speeds. Thicker and resinous oils come our much slower than thinner essential oils including citrus, mint, and many florals.

          Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns, and thanks again!

          ~ Irene

  16. avatar susanna27@gmail.com says:

    HI

    what would you recommend as a vessel for this from your website? and does this blend ever expire? in fact, do essential oils ever expire?

    thanks

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Susanna~
      Thank you for your question. I think either our amber or cobalt bottles would work quite well for this blend (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/supply/glass_bottles.php)~dark bottles are best to keep the oils from being exposed to direct light. They will last for a very long time, but they can get “off” smelling or lose some of their potency over time. I’ve never kept any long enough for them to expire, however!
      Good luck!
      ~Kori

  17. […] I also found a very interesting article on Mountain Rose Herbs blog concerning their version of Four Thieves Oil and its applications. To find out more about it click here. […]

  18. Hi, Can we purchase the ‘Thieves Oil Blend’ premixed? Along with the glass diffuser? and how much$$$ – We’re in Happy Valley and having toxic mold issues or @ least many of the symptoms.
    Thanks,
    503-653-3321

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi there, John~We do not sell this blend premixed, but you can purchase the amber bottles and droppers from us, along with all the essential oils used to create this blend.The cost will depend on sizes, individual oils, etc. I hope this points you in the right direction and thank so much for reading the blog! ~Kori

  19. avatar Patty Stulc says:

    Your recipe calls for 110 drops of essential oils. At 6 drops in a 1% solution this would call for an enormous amount of carrier oil. 18 ounces at least if I figure it correctly. Is this accurate? I understand I can cut the recipe down

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Patty~Yes, this does make a large quantity and you can definitely make less, if you’d like. Since we suggest 6-12 drops of the blend per 1 ounce of carrier oil, you can make a large batch and use it as you need it (saving the rest for future use) or adjust the recipe and make the amount you need or want. Thank you for reading the blog and good luck! ~Kori

  20. avatar Deb says:

    I have many allergies and have tested allergic to both tea tree and eucalyptus. The otheres in the recipe I am fine using. I was wondering if the Thieves blend without eucalyptus would be effective or if you have another essential oil you would recommend me to use?

  21. avatar Petra Kues says:

    Hi, I have been using the 4 thieves a an insect repellent spray with excellent effect for several years. However I wonder if this will be OK in CP soap and at what percentage. I previously used some in M&P soap (you need far less than in CP) for a family with 6 kids and it was a big hit. I just have some concerns about clove and cinnamon, etc as a skin irritant when using much more in CP soap. Your advice would be appreciated.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Petra~Thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to share your question. The amount you use for soap making is going to depend on your recipe. My experiences with clove and cinnamon oil in making cold process soap has been that they can definitely make the soap thicken quickly or even “seize” in the pan if you use too much, so it is better to start out with a moderate amount. It might take some experimenting as there are just so many variables. Good luck! ~Kori

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