Thieves’ Oil Recipe

I have been getting more into aromatherapy and herbs again lately. I had an interest in them before Mackenzie was born but when I was pregnant, I couldn’t work with most of the oils so those interests were curbed. But after reading The Complete Book of Herbs which has a section about essential oils, I decided to order a couple books and really dive in to aromatherapy.

I lot of people try to claim it’s all in the head and there are no medical or pharmaceutical purposes for essential oils, but generations and generations of people disagree. I think each person needs to consider themselves how deeply they’d like to dive into holistic methods. There are always risks with essential oils and each person should consider their own health before they begin using any aromatherapy methods. Meeting with an herbalist who can inform you about all the risks is also a wise choice.

When I started looking around for information about making your own hand sanitizer, I came across something called thieves oil. Legend has it, that thieves in the 15th century used this essential oil concoction to protect themselves against the plague. It was said to be so effective that they were able to rob the gravely ill and the deceased without becoming infected themselves.

Whether or not that’s true, the ingredients in this mixture are antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral. That means it should keep just about any flu, cold or virus at bay. And at the moment, a lot of people who sell thieves’ oil are claiming it will even protect you from swine flu.sickness

All you need to do is apply a drop of oil on your chest before going to bed and gently massage it in. Carry a small vial of it with you wherever you go and apply it the same way during the day. Because this recipe uses a jojoba oil base, it will not leave the skin feeling greasy. Jojoba oil also has an indefinite shelf life whereas most other carrier oils (like sweet almond or grapeseed) only last around 6-12 months.

To clear the air in your home, you only need to boil a pot of water on the stove and add two or three drops of thieves oil to the simmering water. The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial aromatherapy properties will sanitize the air.

The following recipe is from an article on ehow. There are many recipe variations out there, but all of them involve the same 5 essential oils and in theory they should all be effective.

There are also a lot of other websites with suggestions of ways to use thieves oil’, from using a few drops in your laundry to helping you to stop smoking. But be very cautious about anything that suggests putting thieves’ oil in your mouth or otherwise ingesting the ingredients. Cinnamon essential oil, for example, should never be ingested undiluted because it is quite toxic. This combination is also not recommended for small children or infants. Try this homemade natural spray disinfectant instead.

Visit this page if you’re looking for more information about using Thieves Oil to combat black mold.

Thieves Oil Recipe


  • 1 cup jojoba oil (or other carrier oil if preferred)
  • 1 tablespoon clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum a.k.a. Eugenia aromaticum or Eugenia caryophyllata)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon oil (Citrus limon)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon oil (Cinnamomum verum a.k.a Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • 2 teaspoons eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus radiata)

For a smaller amount of oil, try this scaled back version. It still makes about 40 ml of thieves oil but you can scale it down further as needed. For reference, there are about 25 drops of essential oil per ml, although that is really just an estimate since each oil has a slightly different viscosity.

  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) jojoba or other carrier oil
  • 50 drops (1.9 ml) clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum a.k.a. Eugenia aromaticum or Eugenia caryophyllata)
  • 50 drops (1.9 ml) lemon oil (Citrus limon)
  • 38 drops (1.5 ml) cinnamon oil (Cinnamomum verum a.k.a Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
  • 30 drops (1.25 ml) rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • 30 drops (1.25 ml) eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus radiata)


  1. Measure out jojoba oil into a clean glass container. Add essential oils. Stir or shake the oil well to blend all the essential oils with the carrier oil.
  2. Pour it into glass bottles for personal use. Store out of direct sunlight in dark glass bottles to retain oil strength.


  1. says

    where do u buy the essential oils in germany? do u get them in bulk? most recipes i use involving essential oils counts drops instead of teaspoons. some vials bought at the apotheke contain only a few tablespoons of oil at 7 euros a pop.

    • Tiffany says

      I get my oils from They have really good prices on everything and every oil imaginable including all the carrier oils you need. I just put together a huge order from them since I’m putting together my own home aromatherapy kit. Really getting into the power of herbs. Many more details to come about that :)

  2. says

    I have been studying Aromatherapy for years and I find it fascinating. It’s like the soul of a plant in a little bottle. They do so many wonderful things.
    You may want to check out the very best book I’ve found on the subject, “The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy” by Julia Lawless. My local essential oil supplier uses this book almost daily.

    I’m a new blogger, but I will be posting more about Aromatherapy in the future.
    Here is one of my posts about essential oils in the home.

    • Tiffany says

      I actually just bought a couple of aromatherapy books and will posting more about it in the future. I got The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. It has tons of recipes using essential oils, from home products to beauty to actual dishes. I’ll check in to the book you mentioned though. It sounds very useful.
      Looks like we have very similar tastes in posts lately lol.

  3. paula says

    after doing weekly bible reading in exodus, mentions use of oils insructed by Jehovah. I did further reading and research and see why Jehovah requried their use. I would really like to learn more, I have the complete book by valerie ann worwoodand refrence book by connie and alan higley. also where to purchase oils for now I get them from health food stores. paula

    • Tiffany says

      Essential oils really do have amazing properties and you can treat many different ailments with just a couple drops of oil.
      I’ll be adding a few more posts soon with reviews of additional books I have recently purchased and read but I will also likely do some actual training with aromatherapy too because I’d like to get into it professionally. I think there is far too much dependence on pharmaceuticals right not and not enough on alternative healing.
      I usually buy oils in America from or Both have very reasonable prices and a really good selection. For the most pure oils, always try to buy cold pressed, organic herbs. And if you buy them in person, make sure they are always in dark colored glass bottles and NEVER in direct sunlight.

  4. paula says

    thank you so much for the information. let me know when you do training for I to think we depend on pharmaceuticals also paula

  5. Mich says

    I love the recipes! Would I omit the carrier oil if i wanted a concentrated version? I am new to this and appreciate any advice. Thanks!

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Mich,
      Yes you can omit the carrier oil and create a concentrate of just the essential oils. But you must be very careful using the oil in the concentrated form. If you are going to apply it to the body only place a dab on the bottom of your foot. It’s not generally recommended to apply straight essential oils to the body and these will burn a bit even with the carrier oil. I can verify that to be true since I spilled a bottle of the oil while mixing up this recipe. Drinking pure essential oils should also be done with great caution.
      What are you planning to do with the concentrated oil? Maybe I can give you a few additional words of advice.
      Thanks for your comment :)

      • Sandra says

        I have been using Young Living Thieves Oil which is so expensive but I love the smell of their oil. Not sure if you have smelled their Theives Oil, but does this recipe smell similar to Young Living’s Oil? I have tried another immune defense from another company but didn’t like the smell at all. I am excited to make my own oil at a fraction of the cost…….

        • Tiffany says

          Hi Sandra,
          Sorry but I’ve never smelled the Thieves’ Oil from Young Living so I can’t say for certain how it compares in smell. Perhaps another reader can share their experience. But the basic ingredients are the same and unless they are adding something like lemon or another oil to lighten the smell a bit, or using a slightly different combination of the oils, it should be more or less the same. I’d suggest making up the smallest batch you can or just cutting the mixture down until you’ve only got a few drops of each component going into it. Then you can test what the smell will be like without wasting oils. You can adjust the amounts of oils put into the blend slightly to better suit your preferences.

        • Sarah L says

          I haven’t used YL, but I blend my own using equal portions of all 5 oils. My daughter had a horrible, hoarse, hacking cough, and I finally put a few drops in the humidifier. She woke up fine the next morning! I use it for steam tents, humidifiers (it’s not good for the plastic if you use too much), disinfecting spray, and cleaning solution. It’s great, and it has a nice, cinnamonny fragrance.

    • app says

      Would like to caution that essential oils, but particularly those of the spice family like cinnamon and clove can be skin irritants. So, one would be well advised to be cautious in using them concentrated on the skin.

      Likewise, essential oils of the citrus family, upon application on skin, one should not expose the skin to the sun as it may damage and discolour the skin. Hope this contributes a bit to the helpful discussion.

  6. Erin Graham B.Sc. says

    I love Theives oil! It has helped so many of my clients & my family from colds and flus. Also its great traveling too!

    • ruthie says

      Hi there, was wondering if you could give me some advice on the thieves essential oil, I suffered and still suffer with severe physical and mental problems which where a direct result from toxic black mould in my home, I have recently moved but want to be 100% sure I never live in a mouldy atmosphere again, I suffer with a great deal of pain all over my body and so weak and tired all the time, so would this help purify my new home in a difuser and also can you take it orally, or is that dangerous, would it be best to mix it with a carrier and rub into the skin? Would really appreciate any thoughts and knowledge you have, thank you

      • Tiffany says

        Hi Ruthie,

        I’m so sorry to hear about this horrible situation with black mold. I’ve read a few other horror stories online and it truly does seem like a huge problem.

        You can most definitely diffuse thieves oil into the air in your home and eliminate mold. In this case, you would not mix in the carrier oil (jojoba, almond, etc) but just use the combined essential oils from the recipe. What you might want to do first as a precautionary measure in your new home would be to run the diffuser for 8 hours (on each floor of your home if you have a large diffuser or room by room) and then follow up with 15-30 minute diffusions every day or one big 8 hour diffusion every month after that on each floor. If you believe you have black mold in the house already, you’d want to do a 24 hour shock treatment first then the daily or monthly follow ups.

        Cold air diffusion is now said to be one of the most efficient ways to distribute the oils evenly in your home and also makes sure you don’t add any moisture to the room. You can find several examples of cold air diffusers on this website: I have no affiliation with them and don’t know if there prices are fair. I just found them via a google search and they had a lot of good information about diffusers so I thought I would send it along to you.

        Another cheaper alternative would be to put 4-8 drops of thieves oil onto a cotton ball and place it on the air vents in your home. You can also put them on your return air vent so it will filter into your air system as well. To clean your dryer, add 2 drops to a wet washcloth and run your dryer for several minutes. You can also put a few drops into your washing machine and just run a rinse cycle.

        Thieves oil will actually kill the mold over time but you have to continue using it. You won’t likely want to be in the room when you’re diffusing because of the cinnamon and clove oils. They have a very “hot” feeling to them and can irritate the skin and mucus membranes.

        For the same reason, if you put the oil on your skin or ingest it, you’ll want to do a small test area first. If you apply it to your body, you’ll probably want to dilute it with something like almond, jojoba or olive oil. Use 1 part of the essential oil mix to 4 parts carrier oil and only apply it in small amounts, especially at first. A little bit will go a long way. You can also apply it to your feet (just a couple drops) without mixing it with any other oils.

        You can also dilute it 1 part thieves oil to15 parts carrier oil for massages but the smell of it may be too hard to handle. It’s very intense.

        If you want to drink it, just add a couple drops to a full glass of water. You can do this several times throughout the day.

        Are you certain that nothing you’ve moved with you has mold spores on it? Furniture, clothing, paper and other porous materials harbor mold spores so just diffusing could take a very long time to eliminate the problem.

        I’ve written a novel and not actually touched on the individual oils in the list, but you can find lots of additional information about them online and often research reports about how they have helped people.

        Don’t hesitate to ask more questions and I look forward to hearing about how things work out.

        • Tracie says

          I have bookmarked this entry because I’m planning to make Thieves’ Oil. We just found mold in our basement and my husband has been removing the drywall and wood. I don’t know if it’s psychological or not, but I swear I haven’t been able to breathe since he started. And my 5 year old has asthma (mild) and I’m worried about him. I want to make some and use it all over the place! I will try the cotton balls in the ductwork.

          I have a Honeywell HEPA air filter. I’m wondering if I could put a little oil on the prefilter and run it to disperse it. Do you think that would do anything at all? Or do the cold air diffusers actually put the liquid oil into the air? I don’t quite understand how it needs to be diffused to actually work in the air.

          • Tiffany says

            Hi Tracie,
            Using the oil mixture should work fairly well in your HEPA filter. Some of them even have a special tray for use with essential oils. But I’m not really certain of how they release the oil into the air, whether it’s just blowing the aroma around or what.

            The cold air diffusers/nebulizers actually convert the oils into a really fine mist that is then distributed into the air, and this is said to be the most effective way of dispersement, especially for something like this situation. They usually work very efficiently and don’t waste any oil, or destroy the effectiveness via heating.

            What I would probably do, since you know the black mold is there and see it, would be to spray it with tea tree oil and kill all the mold. Use 1 tsp of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water and just let it dry on the wall. But make sure you do this when you don’t plan on working in the area for a few hours because it will be a very strong smell. This way the mold spores will die and shouldn’t be able to spread any further into your home. Carrying anything through your house with black mold on it gives the spores a chance to infiltrate other areas of the house.

            Once the mold is dead, start working on purifying the rest of your home with the thieves oil treatment. Start in the basement and work your way up, floor by floor. I’d probably think about investing in one of the nebulizers if you can. There are some on the market for around $30 that will treat up to 500 sq ft at once…and I’d rather be safe than sorry. I would try to do these treatments when your son won’t be home for a few hours though, since he already has asthma, as it may affect his breathing more. Clove and cinnamon oils are really heavy.

  7. Jenn says

    Wonderful – thank you! Is it safe to diffuse this concoction of essential oils in your home if there is a 2-year-old present?
    Thanks! Please email me the response too – just in case :)

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Jenn–that’s a great question! Eucalyptus and lemon are ok for children that young but you should be extremely cautious with clove and cinnamon essential oils when you’re using them around children under 3 years old. Using then in sprays and room diffusers is the best method and you should NEVER apply any essential oils directly to children’s skin. Some sources say clove and cinnamon should never be used around children under 3 while others say that they’re both ok for kids over 18 months old. Rosemary should be avoided until they’re at least 5 years old, though.

      For a more family friendly room spray, try this recipe instead: Homemade natural spray disinfectant

      • Sandra says

        I do in home childcare and diffuse thieves oil during the day for short periods. Is that safe with the young children in care? I never use it directly on the children but do use it in my oil diffuser….

        • Tiffany says

          How young are the children? Under two is rather risky as these are quite strong oils. It would be better to diffuse it in a room where they are not at the moment or before they come into the room…say in the mornings before they arrive or while they are outside playing. And then after they have gone.

  8. Catrina says

    Hi – I just stumbled across your website, was wondering if you have delved further into your aromatherapy quest of knowledge? There are online classes that can be taken, to help you actually become certified and even licensed, if you are interested enough. One thing I learned when taking the classes, was that although Wormwood is even used as one of the texts, there are many precautions that are not usually common knowledge. I even wrote my paper on this subject, and would be thrilled to share any knowledge, cautions, uses, etc. with you, if you are interested.
    I have been certified for two years now… :-)

    • Michelle says

      Hi Catrina,
      Where are you taking your online courses? I’m very interested in making my own oils and would love to learn as much as I can. I can’t stand taking pills when I know there are herbal remedies out there.

  9. says

    No doubt Thieves is a fabulous blend! I get rid of parasites on my rose bushes by diluting the cleaner and spraying them, it works great. For those looking for an alternative I would recommend snowlotus oils, they are affordable and organic, I love them

  10. mary lou says

    I nam using thieves oil, to get rid of some moles on my skin, some redness and some itching,witch hazel calms this down. I tried argan oil on the red areas,this calmed things down a bit. I have mixed the thieves oil with organic olive oil, any info or suggestions would be appreciated!

    • Tammy Suzanne says

      I just read your post and was wondering about you using thieves oil on your moles. I just recently found thieves oil, and I love it, but was wondering about using it on moles, you mean this really works? I am interested in anything you have to share about it. Thanks, Tammy

      • Tiffany says

        Hi Tammy. I haven’t tried this for a prolonged amount of time, but I read that if one does if daily for at least 2 weeks, the effects will start to show. One can also use oregano essential oil…but apparently the absolute best for mole removal is castor oil. Results should be noticed in 3-4 days (ie lightening of the moles). I’m going to get myself some castor oil soon and try this out. In the meantime, I’m using oregano since that’s what I have on hand right now.

  11. mary lou says

    used the oil as described above,it worked! tried miracle 11 neutralizer instead of the witch hazel worked and the redness went away, I have found that the virus that causes the moles is the reason for the irrritation. I am now using the thieves oil/olive oil mixture used with a glass eye dropper and a small amount applied directly on the mole starts working in about 36 hours- starts to work and itch. I had Miracle 11 Neutralizer and was amazed when it calmed things down a lot. This seems to actually burn the skin, I then applied Natues Gold a natural ointment that I have used for various things over the last 7 years and this helps the skin get back to normal, not a short process but I can see ot working and that is what has helped me feel more confident about this whole issue. If anyone has any other info or suuggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

  12. Greg says

    I want to order the essential oils to make my own blend of Thieves oil. Many are steam pressed. Is this process beneficial to use? I thought cold pressed was the best. Help??

  13. Julia says

    Hi. I have been interested in the alternative, natural healing remedies and have dabbled in aromatherapy in its many forms over the years…mostly on myself (as a test subject) before aiding others in their quest for healing home remedies.
    Recently, I lived in a home that was infused with mould (you could smell it when you walked into a room) and after about a year of living there, I became “allergic” to the house. Every morning, when I woke up, I would have to leave the house for about an hour (just to clear up my sinuses) and when it became to much during the course of the day. That’s when I researched about aromatherapy recipes to try to take care of the mould problem…I stumbled upon a Thieves oil recipe, purchased the essential oils from a reputable distributor in town, and mixed up the smallest denomination of the formula to try it out.
    One thing I would like to point out to you and your readers is that when blending oils together, don’t expect them to be ready immediately. It takes about 2 weeks for the oils to infuse with each other; you may have noticed that the longer a blend of oils is stored, the aroma of the blend seems to meld together and, in essence, take on a life of its own; giving more body to the whole.
    Anyway, once the blend had merged, and while I was busy packing up my little world (and running out of the house whenever the congestion got too bad), I opened up the jar in one room. Within a day, I found it easier to breath, my nasal congestion and consistently running nose would often be staved off for a time until I went into another room.
    Recently, I unpacked several boxes filled with books and started to develop the same symptoms I had at my old place. I immediately went to the remaining batch of Thieves oil and infused it into the air. Once again, I found I was able to breath without symptoms. I think I will have to infuse my new home with this blend, especially when opening up more boxes, and will try the other suggested uses: such as for a household cleaner and laundry additive, just to keep my current home mould free.
    Thank you for providing useful information for the masses. Without people such as yourself, it would be much harder to find information on alternative therapies like aromatherapy.

  14. deb says

    I’m so excited to have found this blog and replies… would love to hear more about where I might find a good program for becoming an aromatherapist… thanks for all the information I found here, will definitely check back!

  15. teresa says

    Please help! My son has horrible, horrible hayfever. We’ve tried everything. Nothing helps. It’s getting worse. I think he’s close to getting asthma. MD’s, Chiropractors, Accupuncturists, diet changes, hepa filters – and everything else – NOTHING has helped.

    Any essential oil (besides lavendar – which also did not help)out there that might help?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Tiffany says

      Hi Teresa,
      You might want to pick up a book called Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child — it’s a wealth of information for all sorts of kid friendly treatments. In there, Valeria Ann Worwood recommends using a blend of oils and putting them on a tissue to inhale from time to time, or in bath water. One blend has lavender, but the other is 4 drops geranium, 2 drops rosemary & 2 drops eucalyptus radiata. Put one drop on a tissue. Or 1 drops for kids under 2; 2 drops for 2-7yo; 3 drops for 8-11 and 4 drops for 12+.

  16. mary lou says

    I used the Thieves oil-olive oil directly on a very large mole. I then used Miracle 11 Neutralizer Gel on the area surounding this, my skin is really sensitive. The mole is gone, completely. I had to find my own way on the effects, there was no info on it. I used the Thieves oil for about 6 weeks, it worked!! I am thrilled because it was really unsightly and growing, everytime I rubbed the darn thing it seemed to

    stimulate the growth. It has not returned. Good luck.

  17. says

    Seriously that’s awesome and is the best healthcare remedy and therapy for healing the viruses and killing the airborne bacteria.
    Buying the healthcare products and supplements from a trusted organisation matters alot.

  18. Scaffelpike says

    Question – I have been looking up these ingredients and was wondering – am I supposed to be using cinnamon bark oil or cinnamon leaf oil??

  19. Lori Ann says

    “This combination is also not recommended for small children or infants.” Is this referring to using the oil topically, or does it include use in a candle diffuser?

    • says

      That means at all, not topically nor diffused into the air when the kids are around because the oils are so strong and can cause the mucus membranes to react. But what you can do is diffuse it when the kids are not in the room for 30 minutes or so, then let the room sit for ca. 30 minutes and then let the kids in. The same applies with small pets and others who may be more sensitive to the oils.

      • Gail says

        Thank you so much for responding! Your answer makes sense!

        Thank you, also, for the recipe for thieves oil–we really don’t have the extra funds to pay for such a tiny bottle of oil. You are a godsend!
        Peace and a joyful 2013!

  20. sarah says

    I use Young Living oils yes they are a little expensive then some oils companies but i am paying for the quality of the oils but the benefits of the oils are amazing I have tried so many oils and also made my own but Young Living is the best company I have found so far. the oils smell amazing and you can use some of the oils in cooking. I am going to try a recipe i found that used Thieves as a spice for a cake. The great thing about oils from young living it absorbs in the skin almost straight away cause of the molecules are so small that they skin can absorb them. I found other oils from shops or on the net are to oily and they just seat on the skin and not do much. I use Thieves and mix thieves for everything even on children but I always mix it with a carrier cause its way to strong for the little ones or for sensitive skin. I never had issues with thieves diffusing when children and animals are around especially if they are sick or getting sick.

  21. Jj Storms says

    This sounds like something i might want to try. My wife has been into essential oils for a few months now and we are trying to learn more and more. Where is the best place to get ingredients for oil recipes like this one?

  22. nina says

    Is it safe to put a drop of thieves oil in a humidifier?  My son has a had a bad cough for over 5 days and I have been using the humidifier to help.  I have been using thieves oil around the house and was wondering if it was safe to use in the humidifier….  My son is 3 years old.

  23. Sara says

    I’m new to using thieves oil. Can I put it directly on the skin from
    The bottle or do I need a carrier oil? If so, can you use coconut oil? Also, is it safe to
    Use on children young as two on their feet? Thank you!

  24. Tave says

    Can coconut oil be used in place of the jojoba?  As in, will it stay in the liquified state with all of the other added essential oils?

    • says

      If your coconut oil is in a liquefied state already, then yes. But since many times it’s more like a cream, you probably will have some trouble. In general, the amount of oils you are adding is not greater than the carrier oil, so it’s going to give you some trouble.

      But, you can create the base mix of the thieves oil and mix it into coconut oil separately as needed. Then it shouldn’t solidify on you.

  25. Ginny says

    Hi, I’ve been reading about Thieves Oil alot online. So I’m thrilled that there’s a homemade version. Instead of jojoba, can I use olive oil? And instead of an oil, can I mix the oil mixture in water for spray to rid my bathroom of black mold around the shower and walls? Should I spray and wipe off or just leave it to dry? Sorry for all the questions but thanx for your response.

  26. Ginny says


    I want to make this oil so bad because I really love 1.) green cleaning AND 2.) mixing and using essential oil blends. It REALLY excites me to be able to make anything “homemade.” This recipe is right up my alley, but I read that cinnamon bark should be used. I have cinnamon leaf. Will it make a difference?

    • says

      Cinnamon leaf will be fine. They can usually be used interchangeably. The oil is easier to extra from the leaf, and therefore cheaper — but usually unless it’s a therapeutic use, leaf essential oil works great.

  27. Mash O says

    There is no way the legend can be true on thieves oil: From Wikipedia: “Eucalyptus was introduced from Australia to the rest of the world following the Cook expedition in 1770.” 15th century European plagues? No


  1. […] you can make your own blend. Here is a recipe of Thieves Oil: I found another reciped at this No Ordinary HomeStead site. I also found […]

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