There is a mixture of essential oils that are popular during cold and flu season. In fact, there are four essential oils that are so effective that many brands call it, “Four Thieves.” The first time I heard that name I was curious how this name came to be. No one is quite sure how accurate this story is but it is quite an interesting one.
It dates back to the Bubonic Plague in the mid-1300’s when Asia and Europe were being devastated by the plague. In less than five years over 25 million people were dead. So many people died so quickly that there weren’t enough people to help remove the bodies from the homes and off the streets so imagine how awful the smell would be to those still living.
It was during this time that doctors designed an outfit that covered them from head to toe, including a beak-like a mask. This beak was important because it contained straw and various herbs and spices to help purify the air the doctor was breathing in as well as keep out the smell of death surrounding him.
The plague even affected the economy because there weren’t enough people to buy and sell goods. So there were people in such a tough situation that they would feel the urge to take advantage of the situation given the chance.
There were four salesmen who sold herbs and spices for a living. Due to being unable to sell much, they decided to rob from the homes of the deceased. Eventually, the police would catch them and they were sent in before the judge. The judge was so curious as to how they survived that he offered them leniency if they would tell him. They would tell him that they covered themselves with herbs and spices before entering the deadly jurisdictions.
No one is sure of the exact ingredients they covered themselves in but many believe it was Clove, Orange, Rosemary and Eucalyptus that were the most beneficial. I remember them by calling them the CORE ingredients. Here is a breakdown of these ingredients.
When it comes to antioxidants, they are scored as an ORAC score. Clove essential oil is the highest with a score of 1,078,700 per 100 g. Blueberries only have 9300 per 100 g which is still very high. Clove has shown to possess antifungal and anti-microbial properties, boosting the immune system, protects the liver and aids in digestive health. It’s also known for preserving bone quality and as an anti-mutagenic.
Oil from Orange peel contains d-limonene which supports healthy inflammation responses, metabolic function, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant as well as cleansing and freshening the air.
Rosemary essential oil. supports healthy brain function, hormone balance and improves skin, hair, and nails naturally. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, pain reliever, protector of the immune system, detoxifies the body, stimulates circulation.
Eucalyptus essential oil supports the digestive system and the respiratory health while decreasing mucus production. It’s an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic and antibacterial.
It’s amazing how beneficial these ingredients are during the cold and flu season and why many brands put them together specifically for such and now you know how it came to be that they often name it “Four Thieves.”
There are three ways I prefer to use this mixture. You can mix these ingredients with alcohol and spray your home often or add to the water in your diffuser and keep it in the air all day long. I also mix with a carrier oil and add to a rollerball bottle and rub on the bottom of my feet at night or before I put my socks on in the morning when I feel threatened by a cold coming on.