How Thieves Essential Oil Got its Name and How I Use It To Stay Healthy


Labor day is already a few days away, most kids are back in school, people are getting back into their routines, the stores are filling up with pumpkins and fall decor and (depending on where you live) the weather may be starting to cool off some.  For many this time of year also signifies the start of something else, something less desirable: the spreading of germs.  Thankfully, there’s an oil for that.  Actually, there are several, but today we’re going to talk about Thieves.

Thieves essential oil is my go-to for maintaining good health in our household.  A powerful blend of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon essential oils, Thieves oil is amazing at supporting the immune system.  Its name was inspired by the legend of four French thieves in the 15th century who wore a special blend of rosemary, clove and other botanicals while they robbed the dead and dying.  The story goes, when the thieves were caught they were offered a lesser punishment if they would divulge to the king the secret to their immunity, despite being exposed to a highly infectious, deadly disease.  In 1991, Young Living founder D. Gary Young researched these ingredients while studying the history of essential oils in London and recounts the following about the history of Thieves:

“I must tell you that I have read 17 different versions of the Thieves story,” says Gary, “Some that claim there were four thieves and others that claim there were 40! Many of these legends took place in the 15th century, but still others put the date in the 18thcentury. The formulas also varied from one story to the next, but through my research, I was led to four key botanicals that were mentioned again and again. Those ingredients were clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon—four of the same ingredients that make up Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend today.

“The legends speculate that the thieves believed that wearing this special combination of botanicals provided protection while they were stealing. French authorities recognized that there was such value in this mixture that upon the thieves’ capture, they received a more merciful punishment on condition that they divulge the ingredients in their secret formula to the king.

“To round out my modern Thieves formula and add another element of protection, I included eucalyptus radiata, which would have been rare to find in those days.”

As I mentioned in a previous post, disease cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment, and Thieves essential oil help to create a highly oxygenated environment that is unfriendly to bacteria, viruses, fungi and other nasty things.  Thieves essential oil can be used aromatically and topically, and it also comes in a Vitality version to be used internally as a supplement.

Because of the spicy cinnamon and clove essential oils, Thieves is considered a “hot” oil and should be diluted with a carrier oil (coconut, almond, avocado, grapeseed, V-6 etc) when used on children so as to not irritate their sensitive skin.  When my kids have been around coughing, sneezing children we bust out our Thieves essential oil.  Before bed, I rub diluted Thieves on the bottoms of their feet and put some Thieves in their diffusers.  I am a big DIYer, so I also make my own Thieves spray that I carry in my bag.  During “cold season” I bring it with me to school and before my son goes into class I spray him with it.

At the first sign that I may be coming down with something, I take Thieves Vitality in a veggie capsule and I drink it down with water, or I add a single drop to my daily NingXia Red shot in the morning.  Thieves is also great for oral health; I used it to numb my inflamed gums around an impacted wisdom tooth, and many use it (diluted of course) on the gums of teething babies.  In a 1997 study conducted at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a 90% reduction of airborne microorganisms was shown after diffusing Thieves for just 12 minutes, and 99.3% were gone after 20 minutes!


Thieves is a blend I love in my downstairs diffuser in cooler weather not only for its immune system supporting qualities but also because it smells wonderfully like the holidays.  The warm, spicy aroma goes to work on the limbic system of the brain and calls to mind cozy fall and winter memories.  I think of my mom’s famous spiral ham covered in cloves and freshly baked Christmas cookies.  When my little nephew wants his mama to add Thieves to their diffuser he asks her for “pumpkin pie.”  The cinnamon and clove really shine in this blend.  It’s a much healthier alternative to the toxic fumes that come out of most scented candles and wickless candles these days, and it pulls double duty since it also cleans the air and boosts immunity.

Thieves Vitality essential oil comes in the current version of the Premium Starter Kit, along with 10 other essential oils.  Thieves essential oil was the first oil I tried from Young Living that absolutely sold me on becoming a wholesale member, not only because of its heavenly smell but because it is SO effective.  It is so wonderful that a whole line of Thieves products was created so people can replace their toxic household cleaners and personal care products with the power of Thieves, but we’ll talk about that another day.

If you have any other questions about Thieves essential oil or would like some support with a specific body system you’re having trouble with, feel free to contact me through any of my social media accounts.  You can email me at or you can friend me on Facebook.  If you are curious about becoming a wholesale member so you can save 24% percent off the retail price, click here to find out more.  I hope you learned something new today.  Have you already tried Thieves essential oil?  What’s your favorite use?  Let me know in the comments below!

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