Its name is right out of legend but if you’ve never heard of Thieves Oil then read on as it may become your ally against colds and flu this season…
The story goes that during the height of the Bubonic Plague in Europe, a group of thieves become infamous for robbing the houses of plague victims without ever succumbing to the disease themselves (bear in mind that it was so infectious it was spreading like wildfire and to catch it meant certain death).
When the group were finally caught the authorities were curious as to how they had managed their crimes and offered them a quicker death if they revealed their secret!
The thieves took up the deal (it was either the noose or a slow burning death and they preferred the former!). They admitted their knowledge of herbs and spices had led them to create a special blend of oils which they put on their hands and applied to a rag to wrap around their mouths enabling them to avoid infection.
The oil has stood the test of time and there are a number of variations of the mixture but the crucial blend is of five essential oils:
Clove, eucalyptus and rosemary are all said to be antibacterial, cinnamon to be anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and lemon is commonly used as a natural disinfectant.
Together they make a powerhouse that can be an ally to your own immunity.
Thieves oil can be used in several ways:
When applying thieves oil to the skin you must dilute it into a carrier oil, such as coconut oil and always perform a patch test first.
To dilute mix 6 drops to 30ml carrier oil
Apply to wrists and the soles of your feet (the latter is said to ease night coughing)
To cleanse the air (handy if you’re working or living close to someone who’s suffering) add a few drops into a diffuser (ensure the well water does not burn dry and that you're not sitting near a fire detector or colleagues won't thank you!).
To ease nasal congestion, fill a bowl with steaming hot water (NOT boiling, no scalding the skin please!) add a couple of drops of the oil. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the vapour for 5-10 minutes.
As a surface cleaner, use a 60ml spray bottle, add 40ml water, 1 teaspoon of distilled witch hazel and 10-15 drops of thieves oil to clean surfaces.
Where to find it
OK, Thieves oil is not cheap but it will last you a good few years if stored somewhere cool and dark.
Other ways to help fight colds and flu this season (that are somewhat cheaper!):
Maintain hygiene (simple really)
If you’re ill - sneeze into a tissue and if you cough, cough into your elbow and not your hand to prevent the spread
If you’re avoiding getting ill - wash your hands before touching your mouth, nose or eyes to prevent the spread of infection
Both garlic and onion have antibacterial and antiviral properties so ensure you’re eating plenty of these. I also take garlic tablets throughout cold and flu season to boost my immune system (apologies to those who have to get close to me!)
Manuka honey– wonderful for sore throats – take a spoonful in place of cough mixture or make a hot drink with boiling water, a squeeze of lemon and a spoonful of this honey to ease sore throats (get a UMF score of 10+ or above)