Thieves oil is a combination of several essential oils. Some users and manufacturers claim thieves oil can help with a variety of health issues and conditions. However, few of the claims have research to support them.

Keep reading to find out more about the potential benefits of thieves oil, how to make it, and how to use it.

Essential oil being added to a bottleShare on Pinterest
Thieves oil may help with pain relief and improving mood.

Thieves oil is a combination of several essential oils. The oils that constitute thieves oils include:

Thieves oil has several health benefits that users have reported. However, science does not fully support these.

Still, some evidence exists that indicates thieves oil may help with fighting infections. It may also help boost the immune system.

People use thieves oil for a variety of different ailments.

In many cases, they use thieves oil as a natural alternative to help with a health condition. Other individuals may turn to thieves oil when they have been unsuccessful with conventional treatments.

Some potential uses of thieves oil that some people have tried include:

  • pain relief
  • healing cuts and small wounds
  • improving mood
  • respiratory conditions
  • improving the immune system

Thieves oil has only a few benefits that research supports. However, the supporting studies look at the component oils of thieves oil, not thieves oil directly.

Several studies also use animals in their design. Scientists still need to do more research to prove or disprove the benefits of thieves oil.

The potential benefits highlighted in some studies include:

  • improving mood
  • antimicrobial properties
  • wound care
  • pain relief
  • fighting cancer

Improving mood

There is some limited evidence to suggest that rosemary oil, one of the oils in thieves oil, might help improve a person’s overall mood.

In an older, small study on 10 males and 10 females, researchers concluded that rosemary oil produces positive stimulatory effects when people inhale it.

Antimicrobial properties

Several of the oils found in thieves oil have antimicrobial properties. This means they may help kill bacteria, fungi, or viruses when people use them topically on the skin or small cuts and wounds.

For example, in another older study, researchers found that eucalyptus oil could help with Escherichia coil and a skin infection that the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus causes.

Another, more recent study showed that clove and cinnamon oils have some effect against Lyme disease.

In one study, researchers found that vapors from cinnamon oil stopped the growth of Haemophilus influenzae and Streptococcus pneumoniae cells.

Finally, some research exists that supports the antimicrobial properties of lemon oil.

In a 2019 study examining several oils, researchers noted that lemon oil has antibacterial and antioxidant effects.

In another study, researchers concluded that lemon oil can help prevent foodborne illness.

Wound care

There is some recent research investigating the effects of certain oils on rats and mice that indicate they may help with wound healing.

In one study, researchers found that certain preparations of eucalyptus oil enhanced wound healing in rats. Another study showed that cinnamon oil helped mice heal from their wounds.

Pain relief

There is some evidence from research in mice that suggests a component of thieves oil may help with minor aches and pains.

According to a recent study, researchers found that injecting eucalyptus oil, which is one of the oils in thieves oil, into mice or having them inhale it helped to alleviate some pain.

Fighting cancer

In a 2018 study, researchers found that thieves oil was toxic to some breast cancer cells in a petri dish. They also found that each of the component oils had some anticancer effects.

The researchers checked thieves oil on its effect on two types of breast cancer cells only.

There are several brands of thieves oil that people can buy online or in a store. Each brand may use slightly different amounts of the component oils, but all should have similar ingredients.

To make thieves oil at home, people can mix clove oil, lemon or orange oil, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil, and rosemary oil with a carrier oil. The amounts of each oil may vary, but the most popular combination of oils in anecdotal recipes is, as follows:

  • 40 drops of clove oil
  • 35 drops of lemon or orange oil
  • 20 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 15 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary oil

Typically, a person uses a topical solution or ointment of thieves oil. In other cases, they may use a diffuser to inhale the vapors.

Before applying thieves oil to the skin, a person must mix it with a carrier oil. A carrier oil helps dilute the essential oil and prevent irritation to the skin. Olive oil is a common carrier oil.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do not regulate thieves oil. The FDA only become involved with thieves oil production when companies make false claims about their products by way of medical advice.

In 2014, the FDA posted a warning letter to Living Young, a manufacturer of thieves oil, indicating that they needed to take corrective action in their marketing and brand.

The FDA said the company was promoting their product “for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.”

Thieves oil does not necessarily go through any testing that legislation requires for medicines. As a result, strengths, dosage, and quality may not be consistent.

The most common risk to a person is a skin reaction. If applied directly to the skin, thieves oil can cause irritation, redness, or itchiness.

Children should not use thieves oil, and caregivers should store it out of reach of children and pets.

Also, people should never swallow thieves oil, as some essential oils can be toxic.

Anyone using aromatherapy must also consider pets, children, and pregnant or ill people in the area, as some essential oils can be dangerous.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should talk to their doctor before using thieves oil. Their healthcare professional can advise them on how to best treat their symptoms safely for both them and their baby.

Thieves oil may help with the relief of minor pain, prevent a small cut from becoming infected, and may help aid the healing of minor wounds.

People should use caution with essential oils as they can lead to issues with their skin. Children and pregnant women should avoid using essential oils, unless under direction from a doctor.

Finally, thieves oil may be helpful in some cases, but it is sensible to look at user reviews and understand that thieves oil is not a cure-all.