DIY Thieves Oil: A Safe, Natural Disinfectant & Health Aid
With cold and flu season in full swing, everyone should have a bottle of Thieves oil in their natural first aid kit to help kill germs in your body and around your home.
Powerful and versatile, Thieves oil will stimulate the immune system, circulation and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more. Here’s how to make it…
History of Thieves Oil
Legend has it that a band of spice merchants became thieves in the 15th century, when pandemic Plague crashed the economy. They used the following essential oil concoction to rob the gravely ill and deceased without becoming infected themselves. When finally caught for their crimes, the thieves supposedly traded their recipe for a lighter sentence.
Whether or not the legend is true, the ingredients in this mixture are antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral, and have immune-stimulating properties. That means it should keep just about any flu, cold or virus at bay.
In fact, Thieves oil (sometimes called Four Thieves oil) was tested by Weber State University in Utah in 1997, and found to kill 99% of airborne bacteria when diffused into a room.
How to Use Thieves Oil
Thieves oil is one of Ten Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System, but that is not all Thieves oil can do for you. Here are some suggestions for how you can use it.
Thieves Oil for Household Use
Diffusing – Diffusing Thieves Oil will purify the air, kill germs and eliminate odors. Diffuse several drops of thieves oil for 20-30 minutes three or four times a day in an essential oil diffuser, nebulizer, or in a pot of simmering water on the stove. (Where to find an oil diffuser online.)
If our house or family members have been exposed to any colds, flu or other infectious illnesses, we run the diffuser continuously for a few days. At the very first sign of any cold or flu we diffuse the oil continually until symptoms subside.
We also run the diffuser in the bedroom of anyone who is sick, while they sleep at night. This provides a constant flow of the therapeutic oils into the respiratory tract, and is very healing.
Thieves Oil Recipe All-Purpose Spray – This all-purpose spray solution cleans and disinfects around the home, purifying the air and eliminating odors. Add 1 drop of thieves oil for each ounce of water in a spray bottle. Add the thieves oil first, then add water. It mixes better that way. Shake vigorously before each use.
Use in the air or on countertops, doorknobs, toys, phones, litter boxes, pet beds, and other places that need disinfecting.
Dishwasher and Laundry - Add 4-5 drops to your dishwasher soap cup or to the water in your laundry machine to thoroughly clean, eliminate bacteria and odors. This is especially great to use for washing cloth diapers.
Floors - add a 10-15 drops to ½ bucket of cleaning water.
Pests - To repel aphids, ants or bedbugs, spray plants, surfaces, floors, and mattresses with a mixture of 2 drops thieves to every 4 ounces of water.
Thieves Oil for Common Ailments
Basic Thieves Oil Recipe for Massage – Add 1 drop of thieves oil to 4 drops of a nice massage carrier oil like almond, jojoba, grapeseed or olive oils. Massage on the feet, lower back, neck and behind the ears. On babies, massage just their feet. Test for sensitivity first.
Colds, Flu and Bronchitis - Dilute 15 drops Thieves oil with 15 drops of a carrier oil like almond, olive or jojoba. Apply to lower back (where viruses and bacteria tend to hibernate), to the upper back of thighs, and back of neck to help with symptoms. For coughs and bronchitis, also apply to your feet, sternum, chest and throat.
If you can take a stronger blend, add a few more drops of Thieves oil, to tolerance. (See caution below)
Head and lung congestion - Place a few drops in a steaming bowl of hot water, cover head with towel and inhale vapors.
Sore throat - Add 2-3 drops to 2 Tablespoons. of water and gargle, or add 1 drop of thieves and 1 drop lemon essential oil in warm water, drink as tea. You can also make a throat spray using 1 drop of Thieves oil to 1 ounce of water.
Headache - Place a drop of Thieves oil on your thumb and place your thumb on the roof of your mouth. May require repeated applications. Be careful not to lick your lips because the cinnamon bark oil in the mixture can burn. Use vegetable or carrier oil to wipe off if you do.
Cuts, scrapes - Dilute 1 drop thieves oil to 4 drops of carrier oil apply to wound or scrape to help prevent infection, reduce pain and inflammation, and speed healing. You can also apply diluted Thieves oil to your gauze or bandage.
Poison ivy, insect bites (mosquito, bee & wasp stings) – Combine 1 drop of Thieves oil and 1 drop of lavender essential oil for each ounce of water in a spray bottle, and use on insect bites, poison oak, and poison ivy rashes to reduce inflammation, pain, itching, and irritation.
Bad breath, tooth decay - Add a drop of Thieves oil to your toothbrush to kill germs in your mouth and sanitize your toothbrush. Or, alternatively, add a couple drops to 4 tbsp. of baking soda, place in small container (not plastic) and shake well. Dip toothbrush in mixture and brush.
Immune support – For protection against colds, flu, and other infectious disease apply a few drops of Thieves oil undiluted directly to the bottom of feet. You can also rub a few drops into your hands as a safe, natural hand sanitizer.
Caution: The cinnamon bark, clove and eucalyptus oils in Thieves oil can feel very “hot” or irritating to babies and people with sensitive skin. Always test yourself or your child for sensitivity, and dilute your Thieves oil with a carrier oil like almond, grapeseed or olive oil to the strength you can tolerate. If for some reason you use too much or it feels too strong, use carrier or vegetable oil to quickly remove it from your skin.
Note: Some people recommend ingesting diluted or encapsulated Thieves oil for health purposes. I am not comfortable with this because the cinnamon bark, clove and eucalyptus oils in the mixture can be very irritating—or even toxic—if not used properly.
Essential oils should only be taken internally if you have received a detailed consultation or a prescription from a trained and qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
DIY Thieves Oil Recipe
- Mix all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle and shake well to mix.
- Adjust the ratios to suit your needs and smell preference, if you wish. (I always add more cinnamon and rosemary.)
- Shake well before each usage.
Note: One 15 ml bottle of essential oil contains approximately 250 drops and one 5 ml bottle contains approximately 85 drops.
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MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Your health is between you and your health care practitioner. Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.