Can You Ingest Thieves Oil?

Can you ingest Thieves oil

Can you ingest Thieves oil? The answer is no. It’s a bad idea to consume any essential oil unless you’re working with a professional aromatherapist.

But Thieves oil and similar products contain ingredients that shouldn’t be taken internally.

There’s a mind-boggling amount of misinformation about essential oils. Much of it appears related to germ busting blends, designed to fight infections.

Typically, these formulas consist of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus oils. It’s true that four of these are common kitchen spices. However, this doesn’t mean they’re safe to eat or drink when they’re distilled.

Essential oils are much stronger than the herbs they’re made from. I’ve heard varying estimates on the strength of peppermint essential oil. I think it’s fair to say that one drop is equal to numerous (perhaps 40) cups of peppermint tea. Most people, even if they’re not familiar with herbal medicine, will realize this is a very strong dose.

Even though we use rosemary as a spice, ingesting it as an oil may be dangerous. Below, you can read a warning on consuming aromatic rosemary.

Every now and then, we see published reports of people being injured by essential oils. Oftentimes, this is due to ingesting them, without proper supervision.

Can You Ingest Essential Oils?

Essential oils are safe, as long as they’re used correctly. These concentrated plant extracts have a long track record of medicinal use.

What’s particularly concerning, though, is that so many people are selling aromatic oils and telling their customers to swallow them. This should only be done, if at all, with medical supervision, by someone well-versed in aromatherapy. The idea of salespeople encouraging others to ingest aromatic oils is very controversial.

Some oil distributors recommend putting a few drops of different oils in a capsule, for regular consumption. This advice is widely circulated on social media outlets. I’ve also seen people say to drink these strong aromatics with a beverage, or to put them under the tongue (undiluted).

Missing in these creatively designed infographics is the fact that these are powerful doses. They’re being being recommended by people unfamiliar with a particular reader’s case. Even if some (or even many) people can get away with ingesting an oil, this doesn’t mean it’s safe for everyone.

Thieves oil, in particular, may not be the best choice for children under 10. Some people warn against using this formula on little ones at all, under any circumstances. So, if that’s the case, it certainly shouldn’t be ingested.

Ingesting Rosemary Essential Oil

Thieves oil (and similar products) contains five highly concentrated oils. Some of them are considered “hot.” This means they can irritate the skin and mucus membranes. Clove and cinnamon oil fall into this category.

Also, rosemary oil is toxic if ingested internally, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Although I prefer to cite alternative health sources, this facility seems to have an open-minded approach to natural health.

Can You Ingest Thieves Oil?

The good news is that there’s no need to ingest a potent germ-fighting blend. Inhalation is a very efficient means of deriving the benefits of oils, without taking on undue risks.

Last winter, I didn’t get sick once. I’d like to attribute this to the fact that I ran a cold-air diffuser in my kitchen, as I prepared dinner. (However, I realize I can’t prove my oils kept me healthy.) Most nights, my diffuser was filled with a four thieves-type blend of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus.

Essential oil molecules are very small. So they travel into your lungs, and then into your bloodstream. Since aromatics are so strong, even very small amounts are potentially therapeutic.

Another good way of getting these healing compounds into your body is to use four thieves-type formulas for massage. Aromatic oils are very concentrated. So you only need a little. One or two drops of essential oil can be added to a carrier oil, and rubbed into your skin. Olive oil and fractionated coconut oil are good carrier oils.

Last fall and winter, if I felt a cold coming on, I rubbed diluted four thieves-type oil on the inside of my wrists. The symptoms quickly disappeared.

So, I hope I’ve cleared up confusion surrounding this germ-fighting formula. I absolutely love this recipe and always want to have it in my home.

It appears to have health benefits, when it’s used right. Reputedly, this germ-fighting blend (or something very similar) has been passed down through the ages. According to a widely circulated account, it’s inspired by a formula used by Medieval thieves, who robbed the sick and dying, as the Black Plague swept through Europe.

Research is beginning to show that aromatics contain antimicrobial agents. Thieves oil, in particular, was shown to kill bacteria in the lab.

Thieves oil has become the generic term for various infection-fighting formulas, sold by different companies. However, just to clear up the confusion, Thieves oil is the original, and it’s sold by the Young Living company. It’s a great product, and if you’d like some, it’s available here.

For personal use, I’ll admit that I use lesser-known Thieves oil competitors.

Plant Therapy Oils for Infection

Plant Therapy Germ Fighter also contains the now-famous mix of five oils, now associated with four ancient thieves. I own a number of Plant Therapy oils. I can assure you their quality is outstanding. All Plant Therapy oils it sells are tested twice for purity. One test is done outside the company.

Recently, Plant Therapy began working with Robert Tisserand, a world-famous aromatherapist.

I also like the clear information provided by Plant Therapy, about safe use of essential oils. Here’s what’s printed on its website. “We do not recommend the general use of essential oils.” The company noted that some of its customers do ingest oils. But it warned against doing this without professional guidance, with someone who “understands the chemical makeup of each oil.”

Plant Therapy Germ Fighter BlendPlant Therapy Germ Fighter Blend


Undoubtedly, if you spend any time on the Internet, reading about essential oils, you’ll come across the claim that it’s okay to ingest certain brands of oils, because they are “pure.” However, this statement does not appear to be grounded in fact.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not meant to diagnose‚ treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional. Certain aromatics must be used with caution around young children.

For Additional Reading

How to Use Four Thieves Oil


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