winter walk    Winter is wonderful, until that illness circling the office finally catches up with you. There are things you can do with essential oils to control germs and keep sickness at bay when it does come calling, though. If you’re a fan of aromatherapy already, it’s likely that you’ve used a version of the Four Thieves blend at some point, or have at least heard of it. If you’re not versed in essential oils yet, this awesome blend has an interesting history.  Back in the middle ages when the bubonic plague was killing off people in droves, it’s believed that spice traders who were unable to support themselves during these tough times, began robbing the bodies that piled up in the street to keep themselves afloat. Because they knew about the medicinal properties of their spices and used them, they remained healthy.  When they were caught, they were brought before the King who gave them a choice to either hand over their secret or be punished by death for their crimes. Once the recipe was shared, it spread throughout the land and helped contribute to the end of the plague.

While the recipe has been altered over the years, the common oils in most commercially available blends seems to be mostly the same. For the purpose of this post, I’m listing the recipe I use because the oils used are both easy to come by and relatively inexpensive. You may already have a lot of these at home, and even if you don’t, they are good go-to oils to have on hand for a variety of other uses. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 15 ml Essential Oil Bottle with a Dropper Top
  • Clove Essential Oil (45 drops)
  • Cinnamon Essential Oil (25 drops)
  • Lemon Essential Oil (35 drops)
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil (15 drops)

empty aroma bottle

Remove your cap and dropper top on your empty bottle and add the above oils one at a time. Once you’re done, you’ll put the top and cap back on, shake well, and you’re good to go. You can also add Rosemary to this blend, if you like.  I usually don’t, only because I use rosemary for so many of my other blends that it’s usually the one I’m always close to running out of! Around 10 drops should do it, if you’re feeling so inclined.  Leave it out if you’re pregnant, however. Now for the disclaimers: Because essential oils are highly potent, this blend should never be applied directly to the body without the use of carrier oils or creams, especially on children or the elderly. Please consult the literature accompanying your oils for proper dilution ratios or check with an appropriate healthcare professional for further advice. Though certain companies claim essential oils are safe to consume, please leave this practice to certified aromatherapists who have experience with this process and can take all of your medications and possible side effects into consideration. Essential oils are lots of fun and safe to use as long as you follow these basic rules. 

First things first, stop a cold from catching up with you by washing your hands often and wiping down your desk and common areas, like bathroom countertops, doorknobs and telephones with a simple antibacterial spray you can whip up at home. In a 2 ounce spray-top bottle put together the following ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 oz Filtered Water
  • 1/2 oz Vodka or Witch Hazel
  • 15-30 drops of your Four Thieves Blend

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Then you’ll just spray this like a multi-purpose cleaning spray and wipe down with a soft cloth or a paper towel. That’s it. Easy peasy lemon (and other oils) squeezy!

tissues

If you’re already sick, this blend diffuses well in bedrooms and can also be inhaled on a tissue. If you’re going to use the tissue method though, less is more. One to two drops will do it. You can always add more as needed. Follow the directions that came with your diffuser as to what amounts of your blend to use.

kettle

If you’re feeling deeply congested and looking for relief, I also like Eucalyptus steam treatments for my lungs. Since you’ll already have some on hand for making your immunity blend, it’ll be easy to just boil some water on the stove (a kettle works great for this), carefully pour the water into a sink you can plug, then add one to two drops of Eucalyptus oil. Then you’ll create a steam tent by holding your face over the water. Leave  plenty of space so you don’t burn yourself, and cover your head with a towel to trap the vapor underneath. Breathe deeply for about 5 minutes, coming up for cool air as needed, then drain the sink and repeat daily as symptoms persist.

I hope this tutorial helps you and that you enjoy making this well-known blend for yourself, and for your friends and family. Let me know how this recipe treats you and if you have any other wonderful uses for the Four Thieves blend that you’re already using. I’d also love to hear from you if you’ve created another blend that’s doing the trick! Happy blending!

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer