Hey guys, as many time before, this post started with a discussion and a question to my wife: “Is Thieves essential oil worth it?”, “It’s the best” she answered. But before giving you my answer, I will start with a little story. You see towards the end of any given month is an exciting time in the Man Versus Oils household. This is the time that the new oils delivery arrives. My wife hassles me to check my email constantly to see if delivery is imminent. Once delivered, everything else is dropped so we can go collect them. We then excitedly sniff them all to see what they smell like, well she does. I, in true man fashion, offer the customary “Yeah, that’s ok” to them all. All the while mulling over in my head what I am going to do with them, or planning the mansperiment I wanted to do now that I have the oil.
Last month however, something changed. She ordered different stuff. Sure, we got some cool oils. Who would ever have thought that they would see the day when I (with a capital I) would describe essential oils as cool?! Anyway, what we got was Thieves stuff… Namely an ultra concentrated household cleaner and toothpaste. Toothpaste? Well that just can’t be right can it? I was then informed that there are all sorts of Thieves products available. So I asked:
“Is Thieves essential oil worth it?”
“It’s the best” she answered. “Have you seen all the things it can do?”
“Nope. I hate cloves, hate the smell. I don’t even sniff it from the bottle”
“Well, I am ordering more Thieves stuff next month…”
Well then, time to review the bajoingas out of it then I guess…
What it Thieves essential oil?
As usual, let’s start with the basics. What are we actually looking at? Well, Thieves Essential Oil Blend is a Young Living mixture of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils. It is commonly portrayed as an oil that can do anything and everything. It forms the base for a wide range of Young Living products, from cleaning solutions and detergents to toothpaste and almost everything in between (see below).
There is an interesting point with this particular oil, which is another thing that got me hooked into it for this post. It is one of the very few essential oil that I have researched with such polarizing opinions on whether it actually works or not. I am thinking that this is probably due to the incredibly high amount of claims for its benefits which, always scare me I will admit. So much so that I feel the need to add this little disclaimer here:
Medical Disclaimer. My personal choice on this site is to never promote the use of essential oils for medical benefit unless there is absolute proof via scientific research (which there rarely is). I understand the need for alternative medicine and that research into this is in its infancy. However, I always recommend consulting with a licensed medical practitioner at all times when required.
So now, that is out of the way, let’s see what this oil is all about
What does Thieves essential oil do?
Well, according to my research, what doesn’t it do? In short, it is an anti bacterial compound that kills germs, fights infection, cleans wounds, stops colds and so many other medical cures that, as usual, I am not comfortable even writing here (yes, some of them are doozies). So, in true Man Versus Oils fashion, let’s break it down and see what we can find out about each ingredient.
Clove essential oil
It’s anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and an anti-pleasant aroma. It is listed as a good pain reliever and antiseptic, and is commonly described as being good for gum care. There is some research into its use as an external antimicrobial agent (anti fungal and germ killer) which is positive. Human studies into its use for gum care are apparently still in the planning stage. Does smell just like cloves which is just horrendous to me. It brings back childhood memories of eating a WHOLE CLOVE… but you might like it.
Lemon essential oil
It smells like lemon and, like lemons, it’s good for cleaning. It has been extensively studied and found to be a potent anti-bacterial agent as well as numerous other medical benefits, albeit mainly in rats and mice to date.
Cinnamon Bark essential oil
Again, it smells like cinnamon which is great if you like that sort of thing. Cinnamon is an ancient medicinal spice used for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (amongst other medical benefits) properties. The oils have also been found to be an extremely effective anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, but again, mainly in rats.
Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil
I have discussed this one at length in my posts on the man-cold, muscle soreness and keeping you awake. Studies have found “its broad-spectrum antimicrobial action make it an attractive alternative to pharmaceuticals” when inhaled during times of suffering of head colds and nasal congestion.
Rosemary essential oil
And finally, Rosemary. It smells like… well, like a rosemary bush that has gone off. It has been well studied as an effective antibiotic agent as well. Studies also show good results in many other things to do with memory, cognitive brain patterns and hair growth.
So, there is some fairly serious study into the essential oil compounds that make up Thieves. It certainly should be effective as a cleaner, maybe as a cold reliever and tentatively as a chemical free remedy for minor (and I mean MINOR) cuts and scrapes.
Interestingly however, I could not find any real research into Thieves Essential Oil blend itself, even though a couple of sites I looked at did say that there were.
What do the naysayers say?
The naysayers and skeptics out there in regards to essential oils tend to use Thieves as their whipping boy when they outline all of the reasons that Essential Oils are a scam, a fraud, snake oil and a ripoff. And after reading some of the pro-Thieves posts out there, I have to say I find it hard to disagree with some of their comments. The FDA even highlighted some of the promotional language used by essential oils salespersons in their warning letter to Essential Oils manufacturer Young Living a few years back.
As I have stated above, I am actually quite uncomfortable with some of the things that Thieves is stated as being able to cure. I do not want to even list them here. I also agree that hard-core research on the abilities of this oil to kill germs or provide relief to the common cold (relief, not cure) is also light on. However, that ancient cures are used in many medicinal creations so they can’t all be invalid I guess. I think, as with many oils, there has to be a decent amount of belief factor there.
What are the risks of Thieves oil?
Thieves is considered a ‘hot’ oil meaning that it should always be used with a good amount of carrier oil when used on the skin. Some pages outline uses directly on the skin so I highly recommend trialing on a small area with a real little bit first as a tester.
This product should only be used in children with great care and never without a carrier. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Avoid direct sunlight or UV rays for up to 12 hours after applying product.
What are its uses? And is Thieves essential oil worth it for me?
So, based on the fact that I am obviously not going to use it to cure every medical ailment known to man, and that I really really do not like the aroma of it, I have reviewed the products and things that it is used for in the Man Versus Oils household.
Chemical Free Cleaner
We use Thieves Ultra Concentrated Essential Oil Infused Household Cleaner (try saying that three times really fast) mixed with water in a glass spray bottle. Its aroma is a bit more ‘lemony’ than the oil and I do not notice the clove scent when it is used around the house. We use it on the floors and in the kitchen, bathroom and on the windows. I admit that I do not put a microscope on the bench after use to see if any germs are still kicking around, but it seems to keep everything clean. I guess we are relying on the anti-bacterial and cleaning properties of the oils included in the mix.
It is AU$40 per 426ml bottle but that lasts at least 6 months… YOU CAN BUY IT HERE!!
Worth it? As a chemical free cleaner that seems to do everything we need it to, and our house is always clean, then I would have to say that this one is worth it!
The toothpaste has Peppermint and Wintergreen oils added to give it a minty aroma. The main cleaning agent is baking soda, but no fluoride (that I can find evidence of anyway). I can taste the clove in it when I use it and I really don’t feel that I get that ‘clean teeth’ feeling once I have used it.
Worth it? At AU$11 bucks? For me, No. My wife however loves it… ‘tastes fresh’ was her answer. And I guess again, if you are looking for chemical free then maybe this could work for you.
Same as any other hand sanitizer, supposedly kills all germs on the skin to prevent disease and infection. Feels like sanitizer (if it walks like a duck…). Also has peppermint essential oil added.
Worth it? Costs around the same as store bought sanitizer to I guess it probably is. It is a bit hard to quantify this one way or the other. It is only hand sanitizer after all but Nic loves it and never leaves the house without it.
Thieves Essential Oil Blend
Obviously you can use as a cleaner by just mixing with water in a glass spray bottle on its own. I have used it on insect bites and cuts with favorable results as well. Apart from that, I do not use it. However, my wife swears by it for:
- Adding to the diffuser as an odor eater when there are other smells in the house (such as a smelly rubbish bin).
- Adding to a blend with Lavender and Grapeseed oil and applied to our wrists and temples when we are feeling a little tired and run down.
Worth it? You know what? If you are trying to maintain a chemical free household, then you could do a lot worse than have this one in the house. It is definitely not worth it if you want it to help you avoid a trip to the doctor (that we can prove anyway), but for other more practical uses, then I definitely give this one a yes…
So there you have it. I am going with ‘worth it’ for this one. But I will keep trying other things with it when I can and keep you all posted. As usual, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any uses for Thieves that I might be able to add to the worth it column, or obviously if there is something you have tried that didn’t work, then also let me know.
Until next time…
Other Thieves products
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My name is Paul and I live on the east coast of Australia with my wife and six year old son. I also have 19 and 23 year old daughters. I am an ex government and bank worker who took a bit of a sea change and opened my own business by the beach with my amazing wife. If you can do it, try it. You will never look back. You want to know more about me, read my About Me page