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Mountain Rose Herbs' DIY Version of Four Thieves Essential Oil Blend

Thieves Oil Recipe by Mountain Rose Herbs

Many aromatherapists and natural wellness folks are familiar with a certain notorious essential oil blend of ne're-do-wells past, a mysterious potion based on a recipe that originated in the 15th century. According to legend, the concoction was created by a group of four thieves and grave robbers to protect themselves from contracting the plague while robbing the bodies of the ill and deceased. When apprehended, the thieves admitted to using the formula and disclosed the recipe in order to receive a less severe punishment for their crimes.

Whether or not this story is true, the essential oils in this blend may be beneficial during the winter months and are commonly used to freshen the air.

This is a classic recipe, but you can customize it by adjusting the proportions or adding other air-freshening essential oils such as tea treeoreganothymesageravensara, lavenderjuniper berryhyssopbay laurel, or scotch pine.

Hand placing bottle of essential oil down with other bottles on rustic piece of wood in natural setting in fall.

Our Homemade Four Thieves Oil Blend



  1. Mix all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle.
  2. This blend is very strong and must be diluted for safe use. The essential oil content should only account for 1 to 2% of the total formula. This means that when formulating homemade cleaning products or other creations, 6 to 12 drops of essential oil can be added per ounce of carrier oil or other menstruum.

For more information about diluting essential oils, please refer to our Dilutions & Conversions Guide.


Hand pouring essential oil into cobalt glass bottle with other essential oils displayed on rustic wood.

common ways to use four thieves oil 

  • To freshen the air in your home or workplace, add 2 to 3 drops of the essential oil blend to an essential oil diffuser or a pot of simmering water on the stove. Diffuse for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Make an all-purpose spray for cleaning your home or workplace. Fill a spray bottle with water and add the essential oil blend at a 1 to 2% dilution rate. Spray on countertops, desks, and other surfaces. Make sure to shake before using, as the oil and water will naturally separate.
  • Use a 1 to 2% dilution rate of the essential oil blend in a base of water or alcohol, and spray onto skin for relief of minor discomforts.
  • Mix the essential oil blend at a 1 to 2% dilution rate with organic jojoba or olive oil. Use as a massage oil for weary muscles and tired feet, or dab on skin throughout the day for general support.
  • To help clear up occasional stuffiness, mix a 1 to 2% dilution of the essential oil blend with organic jojoba or olive oil and rub under the nose or on the chest. Or, place 1 to 2 drops in a bowl of hot, steaming water and inhale the vapors under a towel.

Please note: Essential oils are highly concentrated liquids that can be harmful if not used carefully and properly. This is an especially potent blend of essential oils which could cause irritation when applied to the skin, even in diluted amounts. We encourage you to exercise caution when using them, and we do not recommend using essential oils internally. Please keep essential oils out of reach of children, and we do not advocate usage of this recipe on children or infants. 

LOOKING For more ways to cleanse your space with Plant power? 

Learn 5 Ways to Green Clean with Lemon Essential Oil!


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Pin to DIY Thieves Oil Recipe

This blog was originally published in 2012. Because it's so popular, we decided to update it for you. Enjoy!  

Topics: Aromatherapy, Recipes, Green Living


Written by Irene on November 23, 2018

Irene, Chief Marketing & Customer Officer, supervises the daily operations of all our customer-facing activities at Mountain Rose Herbs. Her extensive experience with herbal products and DIY recipes goes back to 1997, and since 2012 she’s owned her own skincare business where she specializes in botanical-based facial care products. Irene’s recipes have been featured in local and national publications including the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) Journal, Amaze Magazine, Willow and Sage magazine, MaryJanesFarm Magazine and Newsletter, Earth First Journal, Farming Magazine, Eugene Magazine, and the Eugene Weekly. Irene also served as a member of the Board of Directors for nonprofit Cascadia Wildands from 2013-2016. When she isn’t ensuring your experience aligns with the goals and mission of our company, she can be found taking care of her adorable twin boys, harvesting wild plants, and gardening.

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