why Thieves is your best choice for sanatising your hands safely

You’ve probably seen pictures of these guys
before. I wasn’t sure what this “costume” was,
even though I’ve seen pics of people dressed like
this whenever I see something related to the
Bubonic Plague. Turns out, this is the outfit
commonly worn by doctors during that era.
Here’s why-
• The mask protected them from infection- in the same way that our
doctors and nurses often wear paper masks today.
• The long beak was filled with spices, herbs, and essential oils- each
of which filtered the doctor’s breathing.
• The flowing robes covered the body (no danger of skin-to-skin
contact with an infected patient) while providing more fabric to
lace with the same spices, herbs, and oils which filled the face
• Some carried incense which diffused… get this… essential oils.

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Notice, even though these characters look like something from a horror film, they
were trying to help. They were friends- not foes. And they created a legit force field
around them wherever they went.
Now, I know what you’re thinking- the outfit looks super-strange. They’re
outlandish, funny. Like the inhabitants of a random Star Wars planet that we
haven’t yet seen.
And the spices and oils with the beaks and flowing robes…
This leads us to the follow-up question: Which essential oils and spices did they
place in the stuff in those beaks? And which oils did they use to drench their robes?
Thankfully, the written past gives us solid clues. Journals, historical documents,
and medicinal records from the era refer to a concoction known as “Marseilles
Vinegar” and “Four Thieves Vinegar,” suggesting it both filled the incense burner

and covered the doctors’ robes. Scientific American (ca 1910) reports that a mixture
of rosemary, sage, rue, camphor, and garlic cloves filled the beaks.
That provides you with the reason I almost included “a Doctor” in the title of this
chapter. Let me explain the “Priest” to you.

Pharmacologia (1825) tells the story of priest who used to walk freely among the
dead and dying without fear of contracting any illness. The man made a makeshift
essential oil diffuser by gutting an orange—
It was the constant caution of Cardinal Wolsey to carry in his hand an orange,
deprived of its contents, and filled with a sponge which had been soaked in
vinegar impregnated with various spices, in order to preserve himself from
infection, when passing through crowds which his splendorous office attracted.5
Rumor has it that Cardinal Wolsey could travel anywhere he wanted to, freely
walking among people who were dying, administering last rites to them as he did.
Laugh at the hollow orange dangling from his neck all you want. Apparently, he
never got sick. Ever.
You can attribute his health to Providence or the fruit, whichever. However, one
factor suggests it might be the latter was much as the former. In Nature’s
Medicines, Richard Lucas reports that other priests followed suit. Turns out, those
who did were OK. They were able to administer last rites and walk freely among

the dead or dying, too. Those who refused, weren’t. They ended up needing the
last rites administered on them.

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So that answers the question about the doctors and the priests. We’ve still got to
deal with the most famous group of all, though, the ones for whom the essential
oil blend is named. We’ve got to discuss the thieves.
Jean Valnet, a noted French Aromatherapist (1920-1995), writes about the
Bubonic Plague in his ground-breaking book The Practice of Aromatherapy. He
quotes extensively from the archives of Toulouse, referring to a band of robbers
who were able to move regularly among dead- or even sick- people. They stole

from the defenseless and marginalized patients freely, apparently without ever
fearing for their personal health. Caught between 1628 and 1631, the local
magistrates marveled at their health.7
How was this group of bandits able to go where others couldn’t go- except for the
doctors and priests- without getting sick?
Valnet says the men were asked that question when placed on trial.
They were promised, “Tell us, and we’ll act with leniency.”
History says

History says the men revealed their secret sauce, explained that they placed drops
of the mix on their feet, their wrists, and the back of their necks. In the end, they
were beheaded anyway.
Remember this was medieval France. Beheadings were common. The French
beheaded deposed monarchs, suspected witches, and guys who robbed valuables
from dead- or dying- people.
Anyway, the recipe the thieves revealed to the court remarkably resembles the
same mixture which the doctors stuffed in their beaks and swiped across their
robes, and that blend highly resembles the sponge-packed oranges carried by the
clergy. In other words, we’re not sure where the the secret sauce started.
It could have been the doctor.
It could have been the priest.
It could have been the thieves.
7 By the way, in France an Aromatherapist is a certified practitioner. In the U.S., anyone who feels inclined can hang a
sign and label themselves as such. Across the pond, though, you’ve got to earn those credentials.

Gary Young went with the thieves. That was probably a wise move. Think about it. If
he named his concoction “Doctor” the FDA would have jumped on us decades ago.
And the name “Priest” just doesn’t have the same kick.
Thieves it is.
Gary unveiled the Thieves blend in 1992, through his new start-up
company called Young Living. He talks about its origin in his 1996 book,
Aromatherapy: the Essential Beginning. Throughout those pages, he writes of his
studies at University of Warwick in London.8 And he tells of the extensive time in
the London Library.
Here’s his take on the age-old tale-

I must tell you that I have read 17 different versions of the Thieves story. Some
claim there were four thieves and others claim there were 40! Many of these
legends took place in the 15th century, but still others put the date in the 18th
Notice, we don’t really know where or how the legend started. The only thing
we’re certain about is the ingredients and the historical result. Gary

The formulas also varied from one story to the next, but through my research I
was led to four key botanicals that were mentioned again and again. Those
ingredients were Clove, Cinnamon, Rosemary, and Lemon- four of the same
ingredients that make up Young Living’s Thieves essential oil blend today.

To round out my modern Thieves formula and add another element of protection,
I included Eucalyptus Radiata, which would have been rare to find in those days.9
There we have it. There are five main ingredients in the Thieves blend;
four oils from Gary’s research plus a helpful addition.

Cleanse your skin with Thieves Foaming Hand Soap. Blending
Thieves, Lemon and Orange essential oils with other natural
ingredients, it is a gentle and effective alternative to other soaps.
HOW TO USE | Refill your 236ml Foaming Hand soap as need be.


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