Homemade Protective Essential Oil Blend

DIY thieves oil recipe

I had originally titled this post differently. However, after being threatened with legal action by Young Living Oils, I have changed the name of my blend, as well as all post titles. I apologize for any confusion.

If you have had any interest at all in essential oils, then you’ve probably come across folks talking about a particular oil blend that has a name that is a synonym of “robber.” (Apparently, I can’t say the name here…)

I know the first time I heard of it, I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck it was and why it had such a weird name…

The modern-day version of this oil is simply a blend of several essential oils that are known for their immune-boosting properties.

Legend has it that, during the Bubonic Plague in Europe, certain folks would rob those who had died from the plague. However, the robbers never actually caught the disease themselves, since they used a blend of different spices and herbs to protect themselves. Kind of a cool story, huh?

Now, I’m pretty sure that the formula that those guys used was fairly different than the “robber oil” on the market today. I found this post from the Kitchen Doctor to be fascinating, and it includes more complicated recipes for the supposed “Original “Robber Oil” Blend.”

There are numerous simplified versions of this recipe floating around today. If you’d like to try your hand at mixing up a batch of this old-fashioned blend yourself, I’ve included a recipe below.

There are five oils most commonly used in modern “robber oil” blends: Clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. 

thieves oil recipe

All fives oils in this blend are powerful immune system-supporter and protect against environmental threats. And this is a super-versatile blend–use it topically, aromatically (in a diffuser), or to make DIY household cleaners!

DIY All-Purpose Protective Essential Oil Blend

  • 20 drops clove essential oil
  • 18 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil

Combine all oils and store in a dark glass container (where to buy – aff link). This makes a fairly small amount, so feel free to double or triple the recipe.

Ideas for use:

  1. Use this blend in your essential oil diffuser to purify the air.
  2. Mix this blend into your homemade cleaning products for extra disinfecting power.
  3. Dilute the blend, then rub it on the soles of your feet.

*Very Important Note* Some of the oils contained in this blend are very hot and can burn your skin if used undiluted. It is very important to dilute this blend in a carrier such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil before using them on your skin.

I added some sweet almond oil right in the bottle with my blend and made a little note on the bottle,

Wanna Know Where I Get My Essential Oils?

I’ve been using the same brand of oils for 3+ years and couldn’t be happier. Click here for my personal story.

DIY All-Purpose Protective Essential Oil Blend
  • 20 drops clove essential oil
  • 18 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  1. Combine all oils and store in a dark glass container. This makes a fairly small amount, so feel free to double or triple the recipe.
To use this blend:

Use this blend in your essential oil diffuser to purify the air.
Mix this blend into your homemade cleaning products for extra disinfecting power.
Dilute the blend, then rub it on the soles of your feet.


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  1. Heidi C says

    Got your ebook on oils and downloaded it but when I try to open and read the saved file it is gobbledygook . Do you know what i am doing wrong?
    Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Jill says

      Hi Heidi-
      Do you have Adobe Acrobat reader? You’ll need it in order to view the book correctly. Let me know if you are still having problems.

    • Jill says

      Hi Debbie,
      The link is at the very top of the email. (It will be on the email you got this morning)

  2. Stacy C says

    Thanks for your recipe for Thieves Oil. Its very close to mine, but I hadn’t thought about adding melaleuca to it. I also wanted to tell everyone that I made some for Christmas for my brother and he started putting 3 drops on his feet diluted in olive or grapeseed oil before he goes to sleep. He’s a Type 2 diabetic with neuropathy really bad in his toes and feet. His doctor said there was nothing she could do. However, Mike says he now has some feeling back in his feet and his doctor, of course, cannot explain it. I only gave him some for the frequent infections he gets, not for neuropathy. It might be the cinnamon and clove oils working, so add helping circulation to the Thieves Oil job list. My mother also says that her feet are warmer now.
    Jill, I love your blog. I don’t always post, but thanks for sharing. Now, I’ll go back to lurking. :)

    • Cathy says

      I just read your blog about the oil being good for neuropathy. I have Raynauds Disease( poor circulation of the hands), I wonder if it would have the same effect,would love to try it. What combination of oils do you use, if you don’t mind me asking?


      • Glenn Austin says

        Our son has Raynauds too. He had a bio-hand reflexology frequency test done and the number one item that showed up was black pepper to improve circulation. I ordered it today and will soon be applying it . Great website Jill.

          • Andrea Freeland says

            I would like to know results as well! My sister has this!
            Thank you!

        • Bev says

          I’m not sure if you have figured out an oil that works for your son, but i have heard amazing things about cypress oil for raynaud’s…might be worth a shot! (like instant relief kind of thing!) good luck!

    • Jill says

      Hi Stacy,
      I’m SO glad you decided to comment today and share your story! What a wonderful testimonial for oils! :)

    • says

      Stacy, can you say exactly what you put in your recipe. My husband has neuropaothy of the feet too. It would be wonderful if it could give him some relief.

      • Stacy C says

        Dianne, my recipe is pretty close to Jill’s. I used 2 oz bottles for my Christmas gifts. I fill the bottle up to the shoulders of it (where the bottle is still wide, but starts to narrow to the neck) with whatever carrier oil I have. It can be grapeseed, olive, sunflower, etc. Then I start putting the essential oils: 4 drops clove oil, 4 drops lemon, 3 drops cinnamon, 2 drops rosemary, and 2 drops eucalyptus. I’m also not worried about extra drops, because my Thieves OIl is going straight into the oil. Shake well. I told Mike to put 3 drops on each of his feet. He says he rubs it in to the numb places and puts on cotton socks before going to bed. I hope it works for your husband, too.

        Cathy, for your hands, I would do the same, but put on cotton gloves so you won’t get it in your eyes. The cinnamon would burn them, even diluted, I would think. I also hope it works for your hands. If enough people show improvement with it, maybe Jill can write on that. Any positive word of mouth for essential oils is good.

        • Joyce Randall says

          Stacy, I want to ask you a question. Blend contains Clove, Wild Orange (Jill’s recipe uses Lemon), Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Cinnamon. I was glad to find Jill’s “recipe” because I wanted to make my own but I had no idea how much to use of each oil. I honestly don’t know how she came up with her recipe, but it sounded good to me ! I asked her a question but she hasn’t gotten back to me yet so I thought I’d check with you. My question to her was regarding the Eucalyptus in her recipe. Included with the recipe up above is this statement: “If you plan on ingesting this blend or using it on your body, please make sure that you are using 100% pure oils that are specifically designed for therapeutic use.” Of course all of oils meet this requirement, but eucalyptus oil states on the bottle that it’s only for aromatherapy and topical use. The oils that can be taken internally specifically say so on the side of the bottle. Do you know why this contains Eucalyptus and can be taken internally (1 drop in 4 ounces of water ) when Eucalyptus is not an internal oil ?

          • Stacy C says

            I only use eucalyptus externally and have always read that it should never be ingested. I don’t use any of the other multilevel marketed essential oils, so I don’t know if they are diluted enough to be ingested. Personally, I wouldn’t take eucalyptus internally. To be safe, you could blend your own without it. I think that Jill might have just copy and pasted that last bit from her other articles on essential oils and that she didn’t mean to ingest it. Hope that helps.

          • Joyce Randall says

            Thank you Stacy C. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my question. I just emailed to inquire. I’m certain they would not sanction anyone blending up their own version of OnGuard even knowing the exact percentage of Eucalyptus that’s used in their product, but I would like an answer as to why it can be ingested in OnGuard when it can’t be taken internally by itself. If I were Jill I would not post a recipe for a blend of oils that is “like” one that can be taken internally and recommend adding eucalyptus.

          • says

            Some people seem to say that eucalyptus radiata is considered to be safer for limited internal use than eucalyptus globulus. Opinions vary as far as ingesting eucalyptus radiata, and some sources say small amounts are OK. There are MANY “Thieves-type” blends floating around, including pre-mixed and DIY versions–they all include Eucalyptus. But it can always be omitted if you are mixing the blend yourself.

            This particular blend recipe was designed to be used in topical and aromatic applications and I have edited the post to make that more clear.

        • Chris Kelly says

          I was planning to purchase the oils from Garden of Wisdom but they carry 3 different types of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus Citriodora,Eucalyptus polybractea and Eucalyptus Smithii. Which should I use for the robber oil?: And for the rosemary they offer Rosmarinus officinalis and Rosmarinus officinalis v verbenon. Any suggestions? Thank you, Christine

    • Anita says

      That’s wonderful~! My husband has been a Type I Diabetic almost 40 years, so I am definitely going to try that. One thing that has helped him with his circulation has been yoga, so thought I should share that =) Same situation where the doctors said nothing could be done.

    • Jill says

      Hi Tina,
      Yes, I hope to do such a tutorial soon! (I have some fly-fighting tips in my new eBook!)

  3. Trish says

    Jill, Thanks so much for the awesome Essential Homestead book! I have read it thoroughly and plan to incorporate it into my homestead. Thanks for posting the recipe for Thieves. You are doing a great job!

  4. Colleen Mayberry says

    I just downloaded the Essential Oil e-book. I am looking forward to reading it and learning from it. Thanks for your generosity!

  5. mpbusyb says

    Jill – have you heard of Raindrop Therapy? My daughter, a massage therapist, has been using this technique with pure essential oils to strengthen the immune system among other benefits like improving circulation, detoxifying and general well-being. It has helped our family ward of colds and flus during the winter months. In fact, when she was in school two years ago for massage therapy, a guest teacher demonstrated the technique on my daughter. Later that month, my daughter was the only person in the class who did not come down with a flu that was being passed around. Essential oils really work!

    • Kelly says

      Funny you should mention Raindrop Therapy, as I am having a massage with this for the first time today! I can’t wait!

  6. Kari Clark says

    I am interested in using a thieves blend in a reed diffuser. I bought the essential oils and jojoba as a carrier. Can anyone suggest how many drops of the thieves oil I should use in an approximately 2 oz. bottle of carrier oil?

  7. says

    Thanks for all the hard work put into your book Jill, I’m looking forward to reading it and getting started with essential oils. My daughter has Raynaud’s and my dad has neuropathy of the feet so I am very excited to try these suggestions.

    • Amy says

      I’m no expert, but I doubt that. I’ve seen Thieves Oil blends everywhere in all different brands of EOs. I’d assume that their exact recipe is registered, though.

      • Malissa says

        😉 I’m never going to say that YL isn’t a good brand but they are seriously not the only brand out there that’s safe and high quality. I think if you’re a rep for a company you should of course be sold on it but maybe be honest right? It’s not the ONLY brand out there and they shouldn’t say so.
        My nephew was also threatened with legal action for calling his blend thieves oil–the funny thing is that it’s from a recipe from the middle ages so it’s not like YL made it up 😉

  8. John says

    Hi there, interesting article. I am going to give this a go. Thanks fot the inspiration, I’m very glad I stumbled across you. Smiles. John.

  9. Debbie Bour says

    Iam learning so much here at Patti’s Place ,Prairie Homestead and Camp Wander. I will slowly buy my supplies of oils until I am able to make more blends. Thank you for all the great info.

  10. jamie says

    I use this blend or something similar in my homemade deoderant and love it. 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup arrowroot powder, 2 tablespoons baking soda and 10-15 drops of the oil blend.

  11. Lorinda says

    I’ve been using this blend since you first posted it by it’s other name. I put it in a glass perfume roller bottle and my family applies it to our wrists several times daily. We have passed the Winter with nothing more than a few sniffles!! No flu shots needed, and no flu!! I even used it to help with nausea from food poisoning. Nothing else worked and I was in tears until I smelled my wrists and Thieves Oil Blend. It worked fast!! I’m a believer now!! (FYI, I don’t use this company.)

  12. magdaleen says

    I just want to thank you. Jill, for all the fabulous tips you are giving out! I have learned so much about essential oils and natural living from your web site. I live in Pretoria , South Africa and really appreciate all your advice. Keep up all the good work!

  13. Ali says

    OMg you *udderly* make me laugh some days! <3
    Having copyright or trademark over Thieves blend is like copyright / trademark over the word 'pizza' I am sure lol! Well. I think you handled it well! When some people get on their horse, they just ride. Guess I know which company to avoid!
    Cheers to you!

  14. Zina Holter says

    I, too, was threatened with legal action by Young Living. The problem with them is this: they tried to trademark the name
    ‘Four Thieves’ and were not allowed!! So, they trademarked the name ‘Thieves’ instead. In this way, they feel that they can get away with using the Lenham Act against anyone else and therefore cornering (monopolizing) the market on this age old essential oil blend.
    Because this essential oil blend (and all of it’s variations) has been around for hundreds of years and called Four Thieves, the name Four Thieves is looked upon as a generic term for all the formulations of this concoction based on the 1600th century legend of the four thieves.
    I say, we start finding people who have been threatened with a lawsuit and do a class action suit against THEM! They could not trademark the name Four Thieves and they know it! The problem is, they don’t know that I know it! 😀

    • Zina Holter says

      Oh, by the way, Young Living can NEVER trademark the oil blend itself. Nothing that comes from nature (essential oils, fragrances, etc.) can legally be trademarked or patented. Only names can be trademarked. As I mentioned above, Young Living was not allowed to trademark the name Four Thieves.
      I also made a mistake – the legend is from the 15th century, not the 16th century according to numerous sites.

      • says

        You are thinking of a patent, which is different than a trademark. Anyone can trademark anything… just by using it and putting a TM next to it. But the next step is to register it as a trademark (or service mark). That is where the (R) comes in. (circle R).

        A Patent is a formula, creation, etc that you want to protect. You cannot trademark a creation and you can’t patent a word. LOL.

    • says

      I find this veeeeerrry interesting Zina! 😉 When I got the first “cease and desist” notice, I changed my original post to “Four Thieves” blend. however, I then received another email from the lawyer saying I couldn’t use that name either since the name included the word “Thieves.” Hmmmmm…

  15. says

    I was looking at this recipe and wonder how it would work in dilution for a teat spray for the goats . . . or on my stack of cloths for udder wipes. I’m avoiding all detergents at my place, so for udder wipes I’m currently using the CleanWell spray on either cloths or if I’ve been laundry-lazy, paper towels. But that stuff is expensive – thinking this just might be a good alternative.

    • says

      Hmmm… I’ve never thought of that Kimberly– it just might work! I would make sure that you diluted it quite a bit, though– just b/c the cinnamon and clove oils can be “hot.”

  16. says

    Hi there!
    2 questions:
    Assuming a 2 oz bottle, how much carrier oil would you use for this recipe?
    Is there any reason to NOT use Oil of Oregano?
    Thanks in advance,


  17. Deidre LIn says

    Hi Jill,

    I came upon your site and am very excited. I’ve recently gone ‘green’ with my cleaning around the house and want to incorporate EO in my own cleansers. I love some of the ones I can get that are all natural but frankly, I’d rather mix my own. What does the melaleuca and frankincense add to the mix?

    Thank you !!!

  18. says

    Hi Everyone, Just stumbled onto this blog today via Lauren at Empowered Sustenance, one of my favorite bloggers. I am Julie of Little Prairie Homestead so how serendipitous is it to find this delightful site called The Prairie Homestead? Anyway I am looking forward to adding Four Thieves back into my life and creating it myself. Many years ago a little girl in my class brought me a bottle of Four Thieves from the litigious company which shall not be named! I loved the stuff but could not afford to replace it. Presently I am recovering from a long term illness and am very pleased to find you and be able to make this myself. Two more things:
    1. I would also like to make a wipe for my sheep who sometimes struggle with lice and or definitely itching. Has anyone experienced using this on livestock? and
    2) My website isn’t finished but just to say, I’m a Waldorf School teacher and am transitioning to Farm-Based Education here is Little Prairie, Wisconsin. Hope to connect with you all in the near future. Great Blog here.

    • says

      Hi Julie- so happy that you found me!

      I havn’t had much experience with sheep or with lice, but I know you can use oils for goats, so I’m assuming sheep would be along the same lines. I’d be cautious using this blend on critters since it has some of the hotter oils in it– you might enjoy this website— http://www.everythingessential.me It has a great reference section. :)

    • says

      I would look into diatomaceous earth for your sheep, and also Miracle II Soap… the Miracle Soap can be used as a dilute for essential oils as well. It should rid animals (and people) of lice and fleas…. And it is a great shampoo to use. :) Good luck!

  19. says

    I have to agree. Why to to re-invent the wheel. The Youngliving oils are not just essential oils. They are Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and as a Certified Master Herbalist I always recommend the best/highest grade possible. The Thieves Blend is superior and measured in a way that’s effect against many viruses. At any rate thank you for your post as it does highlights the value of Essential Oils and their medicinal benefits in our lives.

    • stina says

      Therapeutic Grade is just something YL came up with to make you think they are superior. They are a multilevel marketing company – just advertising speak. Nothing more. There are lots of great Essential oil brands out there – not just one.

      : ) Aura Cacia has been tested (actually a better grade than YL) and is MUCH less. Why? YL is an MLM.

      • says

        I so agree, there are many companies selling genuine therapeutic grade oils in the world, Young Living Oils are not the only ones. I have made my own Thieves blend and love it.

      • Donna says

        Technically, any store or place we buy from is a network marketing company. Some choose to pay marketers big bucks to advertise etc; Avon, Mary Kay etc have all done very well for many years, doing the same thing – letting people buy the product w/o all the hoopla. I personally will only use YL, they are the best by far – and cost – well, it could always be cheaper, but the bottle sure goes a longgggggg way! Love the power of EO’s!!! Thank you for your information! It’s a blessing to learn more

    • Betty says

      Essential oils are wonderful. And all you need to do is read to see that they are of Quality, . I have & use 3 brands, All Theraputic grade and certified, ,BUT I do have to question when the labeling has changed & product is not the same as it was: smell is one give away.
      I like to mix my own as well since I use them on animals as well …. today it will be for kennel cough

      • says

        The scent of essential oils can change depending on the weather, what season the crop was produced in, the type soil, which pressing/distillation your batch was in, how you store them and so many other factors that the biggest surprise is why they usually smell consistent at all.

        Most of the big EO suppliers have their products sourced in many different countries. The good ones will tell you where they are sourced. If you find a source country that you love, just try to buy product from that country. Don’t get hung up on brands–as someone else said, there are great companies, average companies and then the ones you only buy from once—and NEVER EVER again! LOL

        Also, keep in mind each particular supplier will usually have a group of oils that are exceptional, a huge group that are just fine and then a group that are terrible. You have to pick and choose from each supplier–that is why I don’t get all my essential oils from one place. I try to buy the ones I think are exceptional from each supplier. That takes years and years of research. HTH someone!

  20. Laura says

    I had never heard of Thieve’s Oil until today, but a friend was raving about it so I googled it. I am sure the Young Living folks are still monitoring you 😉 So I just wanted to let them know that their ridiculous litigious behavior has lost them a customer. I guess I will always have to make my own because I don’t think I could support a company that’s pursuing frivolous lawsuits and harassing bloggers that are promoting natural wellness, the same thing Young Living supposedly does…

  21. Debbie A says

    I was wondering if you could make your own oils by taking the say the rosemary and put it in olive oil and letting it sit for a while. You might have to use a few more drops to make it effect. I know that the oils these places sell are made by distilling but I am on a fix income and trying to by all these oils is costly. Thanks for you help.

  22. says

    I would definitely leave the Rosemary out, as yes, it can trigger seizures if someone is already prone to them. The blend should still work well without it– or you could go an entirely different route together and use something like Melaleuca- it’s still really good for disinfecting.

  23. christianmotherof5 says

    HELLO. Thanks for this recipe. How much carrier oil should be used in this recipe to dilute?

  24. says

    Hello Jill – I just found your blog and this being the first post I read really intrigued me! I too received a cease and desist letter from the aforementioned company because I made the same blend and sold it at a festival using a similar name. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a ‘cult’ member approaching you in a public forum (other than here) but they are quite forward. We have researched the term ‘therapeutic essential oils’ only to find it is basically a marketing buzzword. To each their own. I buy my oils from a very old company (over 100 years now) that sells several grades of oils including organic, edible oils. I guess you could say that other company gets my goat! If anyone were to form a class action procedure please include me.
    Now I will smell some lavender and carry on :)

    • says

      Very interesting Mary. 😉 I have noticed the “cult-like” following, which has been a huge turn-off for me as well. I find some comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has been given a letter!

  25. angela says

    I have made this blend for years now and chose to add oil of oregano for an extra boost. I mix it into a small spray bottle to carry with me at work, I’m in retail, and if a sick or sniffely person comes thru my line I give a spray into my mouth, just as a precaution. I also have been known to wipe my register down with to kill anything that might be lurking, LOL. I researched for the recipe after paying for a bottle of YL’s when my Dad was in the hospital w/ bacterial pneumonia. I never wore a mask in the room with him, much to the dismay of the nurses, and did not get so much as a simple cold that winter. I gave the only open minded nurse there my bottle of it because she was so amazed that I showed no signs of getting BP from my Daddy. I make a quart mason jar (that’s stored in the back of a cabinet to prevent light getting on it till I take it out to mix another bottle. I also put some of the spray into my steam cleaner to do my floors. Works and smells MUCH better then “Lysol” or bleach.

  26. Tara says

    I am loving how much I am learning from your blog! I had no idea there were so many blogs out there – it’s a bit overwhelming really – but I have yours bookmarked. :) I am still undecided where to get my EOs as I start to create my home collection. I have a few Aura Cacia oils that I started with, but I’m not using them for ingesting, just cleaning and topically. I was curious why you wrote a post about the YL recipe but not the OnGuard recipe? I had assumed you’d promote the OnGuard one over the Theives blend. just curious! I just made our own hand sanitizer with your recipe and love having it around (my 3 year old thinks she needs to “wash” her hands all the time, so thankful it’s a better alternative now.) Thanks so much for your help in greening and healing my family! :)

    • Andrea Freeland says

      I am too! I am very new to essential oils! All of my friends here in Alabama are using Young Living so I am now trying them, but they are very expensive…I am not happy with what I have read on your blog about how they have treated you a some others in regards to Thieves however, It is disappointing.
      I have trouble with my sinuses and I am in desperate need of some guidance on how to use EO to help maintain healthy sinuses. I am so grateful that I came across you today!!!!! I have learned so much already just from reading through.
      I am curious, in your opinion, what is the best mix for a sinus infection. I was encouraged to use balsam fir, thieves, lemon, oregano and basil for a bomb….what do you think? And what do you think about using these oils in a detox bath? AND to maintain healthy sinuses, what would be a good mixture to ingest in my capsules. And yes, all I have right now are YL because that’s all I knew…. My husband just ordered Frankincense from Aura Cacia for me but I know nothing about that brand yet, nor am I sure how to even use Frank. Sorry for all the questions!
      Any help or advice is greatly appreciated! The Lord bless you!

  27. Leah says

    Thanks for the recipe for 4 Thieves oil. I cannot wait to try it. I had a peek on the YL Site…..good news, their oil is called thieves oil and your is 4 thieves oil, legally they do not have a leg to stand on. I hope you change the name back :)

    • says

      Well, originally I had changed the name to the “Four” title, but that earned me another letter from their lawyer saying I couldn’t use that either. :/

  28. Leah H says

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I think it’s preposterous that YL would think that they own the rights to a recipe that was created in the 1500s during the Bubonic Plague! Maybe the “Thieves” will come back to haunt them for stealing it. HaHa!

  29. Erin says

    I am also finding different kinds of Cinnamon oil…Ceylon Steam Distilled, French CO2 Extracted and Chinese Steam Distilled/ Do you prefer one to another?

  30. Amy says

    I’m making this – and adding in oregano and black pepper. I have estimated the drops based on the recipe that you referenced (the one at the bottom of the page) and am going with 20 drops oregano and 12 drops of black pepper.
    I am making roller bottles diluted with FCO and also some dropper bottles undiluted. How many times would you think my kiddos (one in school and one at home) would need to roll this on themselves during the day to be fully effective? I’m trying to decide whether or not to send a roller bottle with my son to school or not. What do you think?

    • says

      I would start with applying it 2-3x per day. If your son is younger, I’d be careful sending it as those oils are a little “hot.” But if he’s older, I don’t see it being a problem. 😉

      • Amy says

        Thank you! He’s 9 and in 4th grade, so I don’t see a problem sending them – just need to check with the school first. I also want to find a small enough roller bottle so that I’m not sending him with my entire supply of the roll-on, but enough of it so he can leave it at school – in his teacher’s desk perhaps – and can apply it when needed. :)

        • Amy says

          Also, he wears socks and shoes to school. What would be another good place he could roll it on himself to get maximum effectiveness? Back of his neck (brain stem) maybe??

          I’m sure sicknesses will start making their rounds through the schools soon. I am praying that using the oils will keep them from getting sick (I REALLY don’t want to have to get them the flu shot but hubs’ dad is a doc, so it’s difficult not to).

        • says

          Aromatools.com has some of the smaller rollers. And yes- I’d have him apply it to the base of his neck and also his wrists if he can’t put it on his feet. :)

    • says

      Yes, I don’t believe that’s a problem– however– I think there is a stipulation that you aren’t allowed to list them as the official “ingredients” in products designed for resale.

  31. Phoenix says

    I am disturbed to see how many people are bamboozled by Young Living. The Four Thieves blend originated in the 15th century and unless any of those grave robbers are vampires and still living then no one else should copyright it. Young Living did not come up with it. Yes, nuances in the blend exist but the basic blend is the same and has been the same for centuries. I am a Master Herbalist and have been studying herbalism for well over a decade now. In all my older books, the Four Thieves blend is in there. It’s like if someone made up their own recipe for spaghetti, then copyrighted the word spaghetti, then threatened legal action to anyone that used the word for their own spaghetti noodle. Just because you can legally do it, doesn’t mean you ethically should. And many need to think about the ramifications of a greedy company that poses as if they care for your well being and health. If you put that bad mojo into your product, it certainly falls down onto the customer/client. Basic lesson in herbalism education right there. If you support Young Living and greedy companies like it, then you are against your family/village herbalist who now has to fear law suits from greedy companies for using a name for a recipe that has existed for centuries. It’s like saying you support family farmers, but in fact you are supporting Monsanto and other companies like it. Something to ponder. Make your own blend. It is absolutely just as effective as long as you are using the traditional recipe. One that has existed well before Young Living was even thought of.

    • JD says

      I agree with everything that Phoenix said. When I first came across this and read that YL had threatened you with legal action, my thought was “How is that possible?” While I am not, nor have I ever been an herbalist, I did study an alternative religion for five years, and one of the most spoke of waters/vinegars/oils that was mentioned time and again was Thieves. If YL wants to ever take legal action against you then you can tell them that they will have herbalist and Wiccans to deal with as well.

      • Malissa says

        I mentioned this in a comment above but my nephew was also threatened with legal action for calling it thieves oil.
        Turns me off too and I agree with you about the “spaghetti” idea…I heard of Thieves oil years before I ever heard of YL.

  32. Patty says

    I would like to add the “robber oil” to my all purpose cleaning spray. How many drops do I add? To you have a recipe for your own cleaning spray with the oil added? Thank you

  33. Kathryn Ditri says

    Hi Jill and everyone! I just heard of thieves oil very recently from one of my clients that swears by it. I was surprised to find what it consists of. btw I first went Young Living then saw how to make yourself. I hate MLMSs and will never support them in any way. Thank you for your site. I will frequent it regularly and pass it on to my clients. My question is does it help skin issues such as psoriasis or excema or even athletes foot? Just curious.

  34. Theresa says

    I would LOVE that too!! The OnGuard blend is similar to this one I think. No lemon, wild orange instead.

  35. Joyce Randall says

    I buy essential oils and love the them and wanted to make up my own using the ingredients on the bottle. When I found your “recipe” I was thrilled because I obviously had no idea how much to use of each oil. One question, the Eucalyptus doesn’t say add one drop to 4 ounces of water on the side of the bottle like all of the other oils that can be taken internally. I find that odd because which includes Eucalyptus is to be taken internally. Any thoughts on this ?

  36. norma says

    It is a shame that in the name of “money” people are not allowing other people to share their knowledge. Some people cannot afford these high end oils and the truth, I believe, is that although some might be better than others, if you purchase from a reputable company, you can still get the NON brand name and still be ok. Of course, not all of these oils can be safely taken internally so be careful. As of using the COPYRIGHT name (joke) I have the perfect solution. Ready? You can name it LOS CUATRO LADRONES” There..they cannot say anything now! Thanks for sharing this recipe. :)

  37. Sharon says

    I found you by doing a search for a recipe for Four Thieves oil. So glad I found you. I have already made up a triple batch and had one cup of the tea.

    No way would I pay the ripoff prices YL charges. I’d protect my con game to the hilt, too, if I were making the astronomical profits they are!

    Thank you so much for providing us your recipe. :)

  38. Kris says

    Hi, what do you mean by adding Melaleuca and Frankincense for extra kick? is this for strength or for the smell? Just curious.

  39. Amina says

    Hi thanks for the idea… Almost went to buy their “thieves” brand when I stumbled upon your post… Will go an dame my own…, and as of “stealing” someone’s name… Don’t know whats the fuss about it….
    they stole it from history!!!
    Don’t worry about it… We all know the truth….and America is wrapped up in legalization of this and that, and all corporal greed…that’s what the fuss is all about! Thanks for the idea!

  40. says

    Hello Jill.
    I stumbled across your site after doing a search for the 4 Thieves Blend. I am traveling and do not have my own personal EO 4 Thieves Blend recipe with me.

    I was amused by your disclaimer comment at the beginning of this posting and the fact that you changed the name of your blend to “Original Robbers Blend”. :-) I have been involved in herbology for almost 30 years, and I am surprised that the company you mentioned threatened you with legal action. As long as you are not posting the EXACT formulation of their product along with the name and claiming it to be EXACTLY the same as theirs, there are no worries . The name of a formulation from a historical legend CANNOT be trademarked or patented (thus why they cannot TM the actual historical name of “4 Thieves” and instead call their product “Thieves Blend”.). I saw that several other people posted concerning this, and just thought I’d add another comment of support. Why not just call your posted blend “4 Thieves Blend”? I am from the UK and was not familiar with the company mentioned, but now that I have seen this and read further on them; I will definitely NOT be associated with them in any way and will alert my colleagues and friends of the somewhat questionable practices I have read concerning this company(at least in this specific circumstance).
    Lovely site with a wealth of solid information!
    Keep-up the great work.
    Genesis 1:11&12
    Kind Regards,

    • says

      Thanks for your comment SKV!

      Yes, it’s a little confusing… I had actually changed the name of the post to “Four Thieves” blend after they initially contacted me, but I got yet another email saying that that wasn’t allowed either… Seems a little fishy, but I didn’t feel like hiring a lawyer to pursue it, so I just complied. 😉

      • Nate says

        Good choice – searching for “Thieves Oil” still gets people to your site

        A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. (Pro 15:1)

        Thanks for your work here.

      • Kg says

        Some years ago i was a paying member of yl, after my wife died, i was not using enough of their products to the make it worth maintaining the membership. I have heard of their high handed practices before, and want to let them know that they have lost another customer. I have reached a point where i need to replenish my supply of eo, that will not be purchased from yl. Thanks Jill for the fomulary and the heads up.

  41. Darcy says

    I figure most germs enter our bodies from only a few openings, mostly the lips, nose, and eyes. So I had an Etsy seller make a few lipbalms for me with the antibacterial essential oil blend. As I write this, I’m running out again and have ordered more lipbalms.
    BUT I also have a cold now!
    I used to think that whatever anti-cold thing I was using that winter (zinc tablets, Vitamin C tablets, antibacterial oil) was working… until I caught a cold. Does that prove the “anti-cold thing of the year” doesn’t work? I think it proves that my system of testing doesn’t work.

  42. Heather says

    I have been using essential oils since the mid-90’s as a (former) massage therapist, aromatherapist and Auyervedic therapist. Other than the time that I would buy my oils in bulk from a wholesale supplier, I have always purchased Now brand EO’s. I do not take EO’s internally, and Now brand is in my budget. Is there any reason that I should be cautious making this blend with Now brand?
    Thank you!

    • says

      I personally would not use NOW or Aura Cacia for anything therapeutic. I use them for aromatherapy, though.

      I use Plant Therapy brand because they are not MLM, they are amazing quality and very afforddable. I do use them internally ON OCCASION. What I mean is when I oil pull, I put two drops of their “Thieves” blend in the oil to swish around in my mouth and then spit out. I use their peppermint (or spearmint) oil to swish around my mouth after I brush my teeth (with my homemade clay toothpaste) as a “mouth wash / breath freshener” but I don’t swallow anymore.

      I read an article and was hoping to find it again to post here, but NEVER ingest an oil of any kind no matter what the packaging or marketing materials say, unless under the supervision of a certified aromatherapist or a doctor.

      The MLM companies have “consultants” who think they know what they are doing but they have no clue. (I am paraphrasing from the article, by memory, lol). Would you trust your health to an “Avon representative”? or other “home sales consultant” — I wouldn’t. They aren’t certified in aromatherapy.

      The example given to me was peppermint oil. Just because you take a drop internally every day and it isn’t causing any issues immediately doesn’t mean that it won’t build up and eventually cause you issues. one drop of peppermint oil is like a gallon of peppermint leaves (not exactly, it could be more, I just wish I could find that article). Everything in moderation and oils are SO SO SO potent… I USED to swallow the peppermint but over time what if it causes holes in the stomach lining being used at that concentration? So I stopped after reading that article.

      I will look once more for that article… sorry about not being able to find it. It was within the last 6 months that I read it… Between 3 and 6 months ago when it was written…

      So now unless my doctor (naturopathic) or a certified aromatherapist tells me something is ok to ingest, I will not do it. I have hundreds of bottles of EOs and use them for so many things…

      • Andrea Freeland says

        Can someone please explain to me the difference in therapeutic and aromatherapy? I mean I know what Aroma is, but how is it different in oils? And can therapeutic be ingested?

        • Andrea Freeland says

          Oh well…I just read your the rest of your note about ingesting oils….so I guess I need to be careful of that.

    • says

      I FOUND The article, woohoo I am so stoked :) I hope this helps. EOs are so powerful… in people’s quest for better health naturally, I hate to see this potent healer be used incorrectly.

    • says

      Here is an excerpt from the article I linked above:

      Internal Use of Essential Oils

      Consultants are taught to recommend internal use of essential oils to the general public. However, this contradicts the respected advice and scope of practice recommended by Aromatherapy and Herbal associations, organizations and health care providers (including both mainstream and alternative medicines). Essential oils are quite potent. For example one drop of an essential oil is the equivalent of 75 cups of the herbal tea of the same plant.for example recommends for peppermint oil – “take one drop internally to calm indigestion or upset stomach” in their Introduction to Essential Oils. Essential oils are very powerful and there have been reported cases of poisonings and fatality due to the self-dosing of essential oils. It is not something to do lightly as I often see recommended by consultants.

      The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) warns –

      Some oils are associated with toxicity problems (e.g. a risk of accumulative effects), and so internal use is not entirely hazard or risk-free.

      The International Federation of Aromatherapists Code of Ethics states –

      No aromatherapist shall use essential oils for internal ingestion or internal application nor shall any aromatherapist advocate or promote such use of essential oils unless the practicing aromatherapist has medical, naturopathic, herbalist, or similar qualifications and holds an insurance policy which specifically covers the internal application of essential oils. (IFA code of ethics. Simply Essential, No. 11 December 1993).

      Salvatore Battaglia in The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy writes –

      Oral administration does have a number of disadvantages:

      possibility of nausea and vomiting
      irritation of the gastrointestinal tract
      much of the essential oil will be metabolized by the liver
      destruction of the essential oil constituents by stomach acidity or enzymes in the intestines.

      It’s common practice in the aromatherapy, herbalism, and alternative medicine health care that essential oils are not to be taken internally unless under the proper care of qualified care providers. There are two major aromatherapy organizations and both have in the scope of practice and ethics that members do not recommend the use of internal essential oils (to the general public for example), it’s in just about every aromatherapy respected book written by experts in the industry (some of which are quoted in this blog post). And it’s in all of the well known educational programs for aromatherapy and herbalism. They agree with each other on this. However, the only places it differs (not including personal blogs and such) is these multi-level marketing companies. They are actually the ones in the minority when it comes to recommending internal use of essential oils.

  43. Nancy Melton-Sims says

    Love all the articles and posts…and comments too! How funny that I just bought a blend from Edens Garden called ‘Four Thieves’, and I’ve had a recipe for some time, that I love! Finally decided to compare it to something! My recipe is: 8 parts Clove Bud; 7 parts Lemon; 4 parts Cinnamon; 3 parts Tea Tree; 2 parts Rosemary and 1 part Eucalyptus. I love this and ‘nebulize’ it every day!

  44. Jennifer says

    Hi! I found your blog a few months ago and love what you post. I never actually comment but I felt like I needed to on this one.

    I am a YL user and just don’t understand why there has to be so much “drama” between DT and YL. Seriously, aren’t we essentially on the same team? I’ll explain. No matter what company of oils you choose and that works for you and your family aren’t we all trying to achieve the same goal? We are all trying to take charge of our health without Big Pharma. Shouldn’t we all support one another in this quest? Anyway, the whole YL and DT thing makes me crazy because it’s almost like we are in HS again and trust me, I am SO glad that those years are behind me.

    Thank you for posting all the wonderful info that you do!

  45. Bob says

    Merry meet! I just wanted to let you know that I support you in the aforementioned Four Thieves kerfuffle and in fact, I encourage you to start calling start calling it just that again. This is not only an historic blend, it is made of only naturally occurring ingredients and therefore cannot be trademarked, unless you somehow managed to crack their tightly-guarded ingredient ratio. (This is also why the FDA “cannot, will not” approve EO for external, internal use.) There’s no way to TM nature, and no money to be made. There’s no money to be made by attacking you legally–especially since you’re not a competitor. Not to mention the negative publicity they’ve already generated, however inadvertently. Bon chance!

  46. Claudia says

    Hi Jill, Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I see this really helping out our family! I have just one question, you suggested 1/4 teaspoon of carrier oil to be added to this mix, is that really enough? I was thinking more in the line of 2 tablespoons maybe, it’s quite a large amount of e.o in total? I don’t mean to be critical, just wondering if 1/4 teaspoon is really enough with this amount?

  47. Juanita says

    Mountain Rose Herbs products are superior to young living and I have made my own blend similar to theives for a long time and it is excellent stuff.

    • Anita says

      I agree. I love Mountain Rose Herbs and have a lot of other great suppliers for EOs. I don’t like the MLM structure and am repelled by how pushy the people selling are – like coming onto blogs like this uninvited to just put down the preferences of the author in order to declare their product superior. I especially dislike this type of aggressive competition in the EO world where we should all be helping each other to find the best fixes. You don’t see Mountain Rose going around posting trash talk about other people’s wares. I have a skin care brand and would never conduct business that way, either. If your brand is the best, it will rise to the top naturally. No need for all the hate.

    • Dianne D. says

      I, too, am allergic to citrus and have been taking Slim and Sassy oil blend which has both grapefruit and lemon oils in it. So far, I have not had any reactions. A few weeks ago, I was using the lemon essential oil as part of a cough remedy and again I didn’t react to it. Normally if I touch the juice of any citrus, or eat anything with citrus (and kiwi, too), my hands would instantly begin to itch as would my mouth. Makes life interesting when cooking with lemon juice as I constantly am rinsing my hands off. This oil blend is one I will be making up to keep on hand to combat any illness which may come this way again. Three weeks of the crud was just too much for me this year.

      • catrina says

        Thank you! I have the same. If I touch my skin starts to burn! Same with tomatoes and most fruits. I love the smell of citrus and wish I could eat oranges!
        Glad to know that it may not bother me. Will try a small amount first and see what happens.

  48. Jenn says

    Regardless of blame, thanks for sharing your recipe. I second all the sentiments pervious folk have posted in support of you in the naming drama.

    With two small kids, I have gotten into EOs and non-pharm solutions in the last 18 mo, and I mixed this up for the first time last year. I am pretty sure it warded off several colds and lessened the severity of the colds I had. I was even surprised to get my mom on the bandwagon. She just asked me to refill her roller bottle.

    You mention the drama around EO posts is exhausting, but I hope you take some gratification in knowing your blog is improving lives. Sincere thanks!

  49. says

    Jill, thank you for sharing this recipe! I only recently became aware of essential oils and their health benefits–first shipment coming tomorrow–and I’ve been needing some tested recipes.

  50. Bishop says

    Wow. Can’t believe young living tried to bully you with the word ‘thieves’. In relating the story, they can hardly prove an infringement for use of the word thieves. Old story. Public domain. In regards to their specific product, by fair use you can certainly name and discuss a product.

  51. Annmarie says

    I’m new to essential oils. Right now I have essential oil of clove boiling in some water on the stove because one of my children has a slight cold. I was wondering though if this is an appropriate way to diffuse the oil. Does the heat do anything to decrease its beneficial properties? Can I use the oil straight when I diffuse? I wouldn’t need to add any oil to it, is that correct?
    Thanks for any help! I plan on getting your book.

    • says

      Yes– heating oils can cause them to lose some of their beneficial properties. I prefer cold air diffusers– I have one of the Spavapors from amazon and it works great!

  52. Dawn Johns says

    Can i use cassia bark oil for the cinnamon? i cant imagine using pure cinnamon oil it is so HOT!

  53. says

    I have been using this formula for months except that I switched out the lemon for sweet orange. I make a salve/balm using coconut oil, beeswax and sweet almond oil and add the essential oil blend to it. I use it on my feet (with a few drops of OnGuard, to boot) morning and night. I now have really soft feet and haven’t been sick at all since adding this to my routine. Thanks for posting this.

  54. Laura E says

    Hi Jill thank you so much for the information on essential oils I love them I finally bought a diffuser like the one you show on your website do you have any ideas on what cleaner to use for cleaning the unit thank you.

  55. Lori says

    Personally thank you for the recipe, I hate going to sites to look at blends they say to make but these have oil blends from their favorite EO company, many of us chose not to go this way for various reasons and if we did use proprietary blends of company’s, our company’s blend could different than someone else’s blend(of brought up in so many comments that I quit reading as I wanted to leave you this thank you for breaking it down, I’m having to go to wiccan spells and such< which I love, my son is a wiccan male witch, and I have not explored that realm a lot, as I was brought up against it but as I am on my own as a divorced 53 year old grandma with 6 children 7 grandchildren, 3 of which I'm helping to raise with one of my other sons, I personally questioning many things, ooops off subject I do that a lot my mind is being awakened, I started on pintrest exploring healthy natural life style, and have learned so many things are so interconnected, like oils, yoga, yin/yang, mantras, chakara, I could go on, things I've always had a little curiosity in but was stopped by others onions, which personally most don't really matter much to me I love most of these people but they are so closed to any new things, what I'm really trying to say is thank you for helping me on that journey, hope yours goes well to I follow you on pintrest, get your e-mial, and on google plus but I'm still not sure how to use that one, since I stay away from FB, my family's all on there I don't follow you there but I love your info, one of these days I want to do a blog but I'm technology challenged, my grandson tells me I would be a great teacher and it would be my joy to help and challenge people on their journey

  56. rachael says

    if i wanted to use this to make an anti-bacterial hand spray, what percent dilution should i use? it’ll be used on kids and adults.

  57. David says

    Before I start mixing my oils, I’m wondering about the size of bottle that I should use. Does the recipe at the top of the page easily fit into a .5 oz. bottle – leaving plenty of room for shaking? (which I assume is to be done after the oils are all added)

  58. says

    shingles hit my right side about the size of a football PAIN PAIN PAIN That was 3 years ago,,,, still having pain everyday it hits various times sometime the pain is intence other times its mild to mid. have tryed anything to help a lot of oils or even an old banana peel so far nothing Doctors have given me strong medication (drugs) can not take them thay make me a zombe Doctors are at a loss pharmaceuticals do not see a gain $$$$$$ like there gold mine for cancer meds. so I dont see any help from the big pharms. I prey every day for a natural help I feel very strong there is something WHAT ?????????? it is well known the pain comes from a dameged nerve ,,,,,,,,oils that penatrate the skin to repair the nerve??????????????? Thanks for reading Nathan

  59. Shari says

    Hi Jill.
    I subscribe to your blog, but I do not ever remember getting the download for the essential oils book you wrote. Is there a way I can still get that??


  60. Elyse says

    Hi! Love your blog and thankful for the info. Wanting to try this recipe to make the “robber” blend (too funny!) but wondering if I need cinnamon leaf or cinnamon bark essential oil? I see both on the Mountain Rose Herbs site. The bark is much more expensive, so I just wanted to double check. Thank you!

  61. Temperence Peterson says

    I am learning so much about essential oils and would really like to make a cleaning/disinfectant spray with this blend to use in my kitchen. What would you recommend? ie, amount of water, amount of vinegar, oils etc.

    I have two small children 3 and 5 and am just very cautious.
    Thank you

  62. says

    According to the US Trademark database, a Trademark for the word “Thieves Oil” was submitted by ” Wallingford, Josiah K CORPORATION UNITED STATES 6590 Farm to Market Road Whitefish MONTANA 59937″ in 2007, but has since been abandoned and no new Trademark is on file for that word. I also searched “Thieves Essential Oil” and the site says there is no trademark for that either. YL’s site has the “Registered” R on their pages, but I’m not finding them in the government’s database.

    The original folk lore includes many herbs not included in YLs or dTs oils. In addition, “thieves vinegar” was not an oil. It was more like a tincture.

    I got a kick out of how you edited your post “robber oil” teeheehee, clever girl.

  63. Bella says

    Hi Jill,
    What a great blog. I’m hoping you and/or some others can help me with making my own scent using essential oils and Fractionated Coconut oil as the carrier. I have been looking online and there are so many differing info of how much EO to add. I’ve read places saying to use only 1-2% EO in a blend for it to be skin safe and then seen other places say you can use anywhere from 10-35%, wow that’s a huge jump! I’d like to create some of my own scents that are not too strong and math is not my strength which does not help LOL I am using .33 ml glass ball roller. So if I wanted to use say lavender or orange as a scent, how many drops or ml would I use in a .33ml roller? Also if I wanted to make a batch of qty 3 .33ml bottles to give to my friends woudl that change the amount or just multiply x3? I know for my soaps that you don’t just multiply….so just starting this….any help or reputable sites would be good as well, not trying to make money preferably as who you have been talking about LOL….also I know this is so rudimentary but how do I figure out what is 2% of .33ml? How many drops of EO and then I guess I woudl fill up the rest with FCO….it must be so little, how would it have scents? Thank you!

  64. says

    I’m still new to the EO world and am just now starting to mix my own. Maybe it’s a silly question but I’m wondering about the glass bottles. Are they necessary or can I use a small plastic bottle? Thank you for all this amazing information! It’s is beyond helpful to a beginner like me and so very appreciated!

  65. says

    What essential oils would you recommend to help treat bumblefoot in it’s early stage? I have essential oils and would rather try that before opting to use antibiotics or do surgery.

  66. Jeri says

    I don’t suppose there is a recipe of this sort for the pur***cation oil blend 😉 ?


  1. […] If you have had any interest at all in essential oils, then you’ve probably come across folks talking about a particular oil blend that has a name that is a synonym of “robber.” (Apparently, I can’t say the name here…) I know the first time I heard of it, I couldn’t help but wonder what the heck it was and why it had such a weird name. There are numerous simplified versions of this recipe floating around today. If you’d like to try your hand at mixing up a batch of this old-fashioned blend yourself, I’ve included a recipe below. Click To Keep Reading […]