Thieves oil is a potent mix of five essential oils possessing antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The five oils are clove, cinnamon bark, lemon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. It is fabled that this combination of oils got its name when fifteenth-century grave thieves used the blend to protect themselves from the black death while they looted graves and robbed corpses of their treasures. True or not, the combination of these five oils may very well be beneficial to our health.
Fans of Thieves oil use it in several ways: neat, i.e., without another oil or water to dilute it; in water bottles as a spray; diffused in an oil diffuser; or even as a dietary supplement. Unsure about this mysterious sounding oil? Here are 25 reasons to use Thieves oil, with a few ideas about its application:
Clove has the highest ORAC value: ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and it measures the antioxidant capabilities of biological substances. Ground cloves carry the highest known ORAC value, and so clove oil also carries an extremely high amount of antioxidants. Clove oil also contains a large amount of eugenol, which has been shown to provide protection against liver disease.
Lemon oil may be among the strongest antimicrobial agents available: A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology found that lemon oil may prevent the spread of skin infections, including acne. It has also been shown to kill bacteria on hard surfaces.
Cinnamon bark oil may help control cholesterol and blood sugar: Cinnamon bark oil contains cinnamaldehyde, a component that has traditionally been used to treat diabetes in India. According to the National Institutes of Health, cinnamaldehyde has also been shown to lower total serum cholesterol in subjects. Total serum cholesterol is the measurement of the combined levels of HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood.
Eucalyptus oil is useful for the treatment of illness: The eucalyptus leaf has been used for a variety of ailments for centuries, including respiratory infections, upset stomach, asthma, joint pain, acne, burns, liver and gallbladder problems, and even cancer.
Rosemary oil may improve memory and serves as an anti-inflammatory: Rosemary’s fresh scent is attention-grabbing and can help us focus on the task at hand, while its therapeutic potential is equally impressive. According to a study from the Department of Pharmacology at Al-Fateh University of Medical Sciences in Tripoli, Libya, rosemary may be useful for the treatment of “bronchial asthma, spasmogenic disorders, peptic ulcer, inflammatory diseases, hepatotoxicity, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, cataract, cancer and poor sperm motility.”
It supports a healthy immune system: With anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and balancing ingredients, Thieves oil may help support a healthy immune system when diffused, taken internally, or applied topically.
Air fresheners are full of toxins: One of the reasons Thieves oil is so appealing is that it has a lovely, spicy scent that reminds you of the holidays. Instead of using chemical-based air fresheners that are bad for your health, try diffusing some Thieves oil to freshen the air.
It cleans surfaces: Lemon oil cuts through grease like a knife, while rosemary offers a moisturizing component.
It’s a chemical-free alternative to antibacterial hand sanitizer: Just like air freshener, antibacterial hand sanitizers expose us to a slew of chemicals if we don’t use the correct kind. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, a few drops of Thieves oil mixed into a carrier oil makes a great alternative hand sanitizer that isn’t harsh on the skin.
Our cell phones are germy: Whether or not they’re germier than toilet seats, we do take our cell phones with us just about everywhere we go. A quick swipe with a soft cloth dampened with Thieves oil can’t hurt to prevent the spread of disease via our cell phones.
It repels aphids: Spray some Thieves oil diluted with four times as much water on household plants to repel aphids. They can’t stand the smell of cinnamon, cloves or eucalyptus.
Bed bugs are gross: According to lifestyle expert Ellen Whitehurst, cinnamon oil, clove oil and eucalyptus oil — three ingredients in Thieves oil — repel bed bugs.
It may help sore muscles: Thieves oil is often described as a “hot” oil, meaning it can produce a burning sensation when it touches the skin. This characteristic makes it a nice additive to massage oil after a workout, or when you have minor aches and pains.
Seasonal allergies can be a pain: Since eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory and can be used to relieve respiratory problems, keeping some Thieves oil on hand may help keep allergic reactions at bay.
Acne-prone skin needs all the help it can get: Try dabbing a little bit of Thieves oil on a problem blemish. The combination of oils may kill the bacteria in the pimple without being too harsh. Diluting it with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil can prevent Thieves oil from irritating your skin.
It may help repair and prevent gum disease: The American Dental Association has found that some essential oils — including clove oil — can be just as effective as over-the-counter mouthwashes.
It adds a flavor boost to your tea: If you like the spicy flavor of cinnamon and cloves, a couple of drops of Thieves oil in your tea offers a flavor, and possibly an immunity, boost.
Headaches are no fun: Some people swear by Thieves oil when they have a headache. A single drop on the roof of your mouth may give you quick headache relief.
It makes a great cough remedy: The anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus oil and the antimicrobial properties of lemon oil can help to relieve respiratory problems. Thieves oil mixed with organic honey may help soothe your cough the next time you come down with a cold.
It cuts through stubborn grease: The acid in lemon oil combats grease. Add a little bit of Thieves oil to a sink of soapy water to clean stove burners or pans coated with stubborn grease.
It may eliminate airborne bacteria: A study published in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology found that cinnamon bark is a natural antibiotic. Diffusing or spraying Thieves oil into the air may help you stay healthier by eliminating airborne bacteria.
It may provide relief from insect bites: The anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary combined with the antimicrobial properties of lemon and cinnamon bark oil may help you find relief from bug bites. It may also prevent other bugs from biting you — they don’t tend to like the smell of cinnamon bark.
We all need a mood boost from time to time: The combination of spicy and somewhat sweet scents of rosemary, lemon, cinnamon bark, clove and eucalyptus oil will add a little pep to your step.
It freshens a load of laundry: Adding a few drops of Thieves oil to a load of laundry will give it a fresh, pleasant boost. It may even kill any lurking bacteria too.
It removes sticky labels from food without chemicals: Ever had a bell pepper or tomato with an extremely sticky label? Use a bit of Thieves oil to peel that label right off. You can even dilute Thieves oil in water and use the solution to wash your fruits and vegetables.
Thieves oil is readily available from a number of retail sources, or you can make your own. Just mix equal parts lemon oil, cinnamon bark oil, rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil and clove oil together in a bottle. You can either dilute it with a carrier oil, like olive oil, or water for use in spray bottles. Remember to use food-grade essential oils for internal applications, and when in doubt, consult with a natural health practitioner you trust for advice on the use of essential oils.
Have you ever used Thieves oil? Do you use it for something that we’ve neglected to mention?
—The Alternative Daily