Was Four Thieves Stolen?

| 12/8/2017 9:07:00 AM

Tags: herbalism, trademarks, Judy DeLorenzo, Connecticut,

Danse Macabre 

History of Four-Thieves Vinegar

When researching the history of Four Thieves Vinegar I realized there are many more versions of this folklore than I expected. The reason there are so many versions is because the story itself dates back centuries. A popular recount is that during an outbreak of the plague in Marseilles around 1772, four robbers ransacked the sick and dying. These four thieves, even though exposed to the plague, didn’t fall sick because they used a medicated vinegar topically. They were eventually caught and in exchange for leniency by the court they shared their prophylactic recipe which became known as Marseilles Vinegar and also Four Thieves Vinegar. The use of protective medicinal vinegars dates back even further to the 14th century bubonic plague; I’m sure these four opportunistic criminals didn’t come up with the bright idea all on their own.

The original recipe was handed down for centuries and many variations were the result. The Scientific American Cyclopedia of Receipts, Notes and Queries published the following in 1900.

Four Thieves Recipe

In another book called Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy, Gattefosse claims that the following is the original Four Thieves recipe which hung in the Museum of Paris in 1937.

1/12/2018 10:48:35 PM

Young Living would not have had to trademark their essential oil blend, Thieves, if other essential oil companies would not try to "steal" their propriety blend and try to claim it as their own. As you mentioned in the article, the Thieves oil has little resemblance to the original herbal vinegar so they have NOT tried to TAKE it from the herbal community. Young Living is a firm believer that all people, everywhere, should have access to the health benefits of plants.

miki c
12/30/2017 7:57:18 AM

thanks so much for bringing the Thieves story to light. And thanks to Mary Blue, Nicole Telkes and Kathryn Langelier for continuing the fight for freedom of our herbal legacies.

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