THE BASIC INGREDIENTS:
In the 15th century, Bubonic Plague spread like wild fire across Europe. It was called The Black Death. It arrived by sea in Europe towards the end of the year 1347 when 12 trading ships docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. The ships had come from the East through the Black Sea. Most of the sailors on-board the ships were dead, and those who were alive were gravely ill. All the sailors, living and dead, were covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. Soon, even the live sailors died. And from here came the name “Black Death” that killed over 20 million people in Europe over the next five years.
Soon, the European kings closed down all commerce, virtually killing the shipping industry. Trading ships remained docked, unable to sell any of their merchandise. This was the time when spice trade was an extremely profitable business.
Merchants and sailors were soon broke. And then someone hot upon a bright idea – since people are afraid to touch the Black Death bodies, rob graves and houses of the dead and set up pawn trade shops.
Rampant robbery erupted. Orders floated everywhere to catch the thieves, dead or alive.
What was strange was that none of the thieves seemed to contract the plague despite prolonged contact with the dead bodies.
Finally, at some point, some thieves were captured in Marseilles, France, and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims of the plague. But, the constables were afraid to touch them because they knew they had been touching infected bodies. This problem escalated so much that the king had to execute a few of the constables who refused!
At the trial, the king offered them an opportunity to confess the secret of their immunity. The offer was to either keep silent and be burned at the stake OR give the secret and be hung by the neck.
They chose hanging.
Their secret recipe was plastered across villages, town and cities.
It was a concoction of herbs in white vinegar.
In 1937, the Museum of Paris hung this recipe of the Thieves Vinegar which is said is the original copy of the recipe posted on the walls of Marseilles:
“Take three pints of strong white wine vinegar, add a handful of each of wormwood, meadow sweet, wild marjoram and sage, fifty cloves, two ounces of campanula roots, two ounces of angelic, rosemary and horehound and three large measures of champhor. Place the mixture in a container for fifteen days, strain and express then bottle. Use by rubbing it on the hands, ears and temples from time to time when approaching a plague victim.”
In 1997, the Weber State University in Utah tested a modern day recipe of Thieves Oil and found that it killed 99% of airborne bacteria in 12 minutes when diffused into a room.
I really do not know if this story is true.
BUT, what I DO know is that a concoction of essential oils mixed with a carried oil like almond, works wonders in fighting off flue.
Zoya had been ill for over 2 months fighting a blocked nose and bad cough. The polluted Delhi winter added to our woes. And then came the changing season – warm in the day and cold at night. Homeopathy, antibiotics, anti allergies brought the severity of the flu down, but it never went away.
So I decided to make Thieves Oil with my own concoction of herbs as I did not have many of the essential oils.
And one application of it stopped her runny nose dead on its track, over night.
THE BASIC INGREDIENTS:
In the modern day version, there are 5 different essential oils in the Thieves Oil blend:
- Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil has antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-infectious and antifungal properties. It is anti-inflammatory and is a strong oxygenator.
- Clove Essential Oil has antiseptic, antiviral, anti-infectious and antifungal properties. It is anti-inflammatory.
- Lemon Essential Oil has antiseptic and immune stimulating properties. It is purifying and uplifting.
- Rosemary Essential Oil has antiseptic and anti-infectious properties. It also reduces mental fatigue and eases anxiety.
Now, the proportions are the tricky part. But here is my estimate:
- 8 drops Clove Essential Oil
- 7 drops Lemon Essential Oil
- 4 drops Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
- 3 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 2 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil
Store this in a dark glass bottle, away from heat and sunlight.
This concoction is ‘hot’. So applying it on your skin directly MAY burn it. So mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or olive or sweet almond in a ratio of 1 drop of thieves oil to 3 drops of the carrier oil.
It is antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral, and has immune-stimulating properties. It works against cold, headache, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, chest congestion, burn, insect bite.
Massage this on the soles of your feet, lower back, upper back of thighs, back of the neck, chest, throat and behind the ears.
On babies, just massage the soles of their feet. BUT please TEST for SENSITIVITY first.
* Lower back is where bacteria and viruses tend to hibernate.
The best time to do it is at night before going to bed. Then put on your socks and sleep.
- Akanksha Sood