The Story of the Four Thieves


Thieves®, an essential oil blend by Young Living, is a beautiful fragrant oil with a pretty fantastic story. There are many versions of this oil by different companies, some just as beautiful as the next, some, not so much. So, if you are going to purchase, I recommend Exodus II™, Young Living® or Edens Garden® who has a variation called the Fighting Five™, previously known as Four Thieves, is very pleasant indeed.  The blend is made up of cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary. This blend can be rather expensive, so if you’re looking for a smaller amount or you’re not confident about your blending percentages with a carrier oil, I have some options just for you at the end of the article.

How I use this blend

My preference is to diffuse this scent throughout my home, but many people use it directly on their skin. I recommend diluting it in coconut or almond oil and applying it to the feet and chest during cold and flu season, 7 days on, 2-3 days off. 


The Story Behind the Blend

There are a few versions of the myth, but they all center around one event, the Bubonic Plague. Out of fear that they might catch the plague, no one wanted to remove the bodies of those that fell victim to this merciless killer, so many bodies were just left unburied. However, it is said that during that time, four thieves went from house to house to rob those who had succumbed to the illness. After the thieves were captured and tried for their acts of robbery, the king offered leniency (actually a demand under pain of death) that they share how they were able to be around those afflicted so long and often enough to rob them, but not be affected by the illness. The king quickly realized that these ‘thieves’ were actually perfumers, who have concocted herbs, essential oils and vinegar. Guess what the herbs were? Right, you guessed it! Cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary. They put this concoction into their weird beak masks, rubbed vinegar over their bodies and went out a lootin’.

It’s interesting to note here that, during this time of the plague striking Europe, physicians were seen wearing long black robes, wide brimmed hats, and masks that appeared to have a beak. The reason for doing this was that the masks were said to have contained a combination of herbs, spices, and essential oils that the physicians would breathe in order to keep themselves safe from those afflicted with the illness. Their long black robes were also said to be doused in a similar fragrant concoction.

What we do know for sure, through extensive use and trial with the Thieves™ essential oil blend from Young Living®, is that a powerful combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary have been found to be strong enough to reduce bacterial cultures by 99.96%! This blend was created after years of research and results indicated that most viruses, fungi, and bacteria cannot live in the presence of some essential oils.

How wonderful essential oils are. They are unique, beautiful, and most of all effective at getting through the blood brain barrier, where pharmaceuticals cannot. They are safe when used appropriately, and take almost no time to use. In fact, many people are now realizing how special essential oils are and use them daily to treat a variety of chronic illness and problems. If you’re tired of popping pills, or you ‘have tried everything under the sun’ and you find you are still suffering, you might want to look into essential oils and see if they would be a right choice for you.


(Sources: Healing oils of the Bible by David Stewart PH.D., picture by Alchin, L.K. (Nursery Rhymes lyrics and Origins) e.g. Retrieved November 16 2007 from