Keeping With Tradition: The Legend of Four Thieves and Their Use of Essential Oils during the Black Plague

Keeping With Tradition: The Legend of Four Thieves and Their Use of Essential Oils during the Black Plague

The Legend of Four Thieves:

The Black Plague struck the continents of Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. It was a period of devastation, death, turmoil, and hopelessness. Thousands of people died due to this global epidemic of Bubonic Plague, and those alive were gravely ill. The Black Plague dealt the old, young, rich, and poor alike and enveloped the entire world into a wave of fear and dread. At that time, people would keep themselves locked inside their houses and only venture out when it was inevitable. People searched for a cure or treatment that could save them or protect them from this deadly disease. Their misery was even intense because they did not know how this disease transmits and how to stop its spread.

The legend of four thieves in France during the epidemic of Black Plague has been a topic of mainstream discussions and extensive researches on essential oils since the medieval period. The legend has it, four young men whose parents were herbalists kept themselves protected from diseases during the Black Plague with the use of essential oils. The four thieves were brothers and came from low-income families. During the Black Plague, when people stayed locked up in their houses, these four thieves would venture out and rob the homes and graves of the dead. Despite exposing themselves to the Plague, these thieves never got sick. 

These thieves were finally caught by the legal authorities who were astonished by how these men managed to stay healthy while doing these activities.  They were inquired about their "secret" remedy that had kept them protected from catching the disease. The officials promised reduction and leniency in their sentence if they would reveal their secret recipe. The thieves told they had used vinegar, which their herbalist parents had made. This vinegar was an assortment of various herbs and spices, including rosemary, sage, camphor, lavender, rue, and distilled wine. This recipe has been passed on from generation to generation and has been an inspiration behind creating various essential oil blends. However, this fable of four thieves occurred hundreds of years, and it is quite a distant time to check the facts and ascertain the truth. Still, herbs and essential oils have stood the test of time because of their multiple therapeutic benefits for the skin, body, and mind.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are liquid compounds extracted from various parts of flowers and plants. They carry the flavor( properties), and essence(aroma) of the plant or flower from which they are derived. Many of them have therapeutic, purifying, detoxifying, exfoliating, and soothing properties that are healthy for the skin. Because of their purifying properties, essential oils are often actively used as ingredients in skincare and personal products. Today, people's rising interest in health-promoting benefits of herbs and spices has made essential oils famous again. These aromatic oils are widely used in aromatherapy practices to enhance physical health and mental wellness.

Inspired by the benefits of aromatic herbs, Nexon Botanics has created Robber's Health Essential Oil Blend. Robber's Health Essential Oil Blend is inspired by the legend of four thieves in France during the Black Plague. This powerful blend contains a proprietary combination of cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary oils.

Here we have discussed the therapeutic benefits of these oils for physical and mental health: 

  • Cinnamon Essential Oil

Cinnamon essential oil is obtained from the leaves of the cinnamon tree. The main constituents in its composition are eugenol acetate, cinnamaldehyde, and cinnamyl acetate. It exudes a comforting scent that creates a warm and peaceful ambiance in your surroundings. It contains eugenol, which exhibits purifying, soothing, and relaxing properties to calm muscular aches, joints stiffness, and inflamed skin. Moreover, it deodorizes the air, freshens up the atmosphere, relaxing and soothing the mind and body.

  • Clove Essential Oil

Clove essential oil is among one of the most valued and oldest essential oils. It is extracted from the leaves of clove trees. Clove essential oil has therapeutic, soothing, and purifying properties. Its attributes come from eugenol, methyl salicylate, and eugenitin compounds. It gives a woody, spicy and warm aroma that soothes headaches, calms negative emotions, and enhances feelings of relaxation. Moreover, its therapeutic properties comfort aching body, relax tensed muscles and joints, and promotes the body's vitality and agility.

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Extracted from Eucalyptus globulus plant, eucalyptus essential oil is an incredibly soothing oil. It has cleansing, clarifying, relaxing, and calming properties that have earned massive popularity in natural skincare recipes and aromatherapy practices. Its main constituents are terpinneol, cineole,pinene, and camphene. Because of these health-promoting natural compounds, eucalyptus oil is known to have many benefits for skin, body, and mind. It calms dryness, soothes itchiness and irritations, and cleanses off impurities from the skin. In aromatherapy practices, eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to ease physical discomfort associated with tired, fatigue, and sore muscles.  Moreover, its purifying properties help eliminate bad odors from the atmosphere, leaving it clean and healthy.

  • Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil is extracted from the rinds of lemon trees. It is famous for its refreshing and invigorating scent. It can be seen as an active ingredient in many skincare, haircare, and personal care products for perfuming purposes. It contains pinene, camphene, sabinene, and linalool compounds that exhibit antioxidant, analgesic, soothing, and relaxing properties. In massage therapy, lemon essential oil is known to leave a revitalizing impact on the body. Moreover, it gives off a pleasant and fresh scent that helps improve the mood, promotes concentration, and easier breathing. In skincare recipes, lemon essential oil is mixed with carrier oils to promote a clearer, firmer, and healthier-looking, and feeling skin..

  • Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential is derived from the leaves of the rosemary plant. It is an exceptional essential oil with many benefits and uses. It emanates a refreshing and floral scent that soothes feelings of agitation and calms a stressed and tensed mind. Its aroma creates an atmosphere of peace, tranquility and relaxation, soothing headaches, and supporting clearer breathing. The main compounds in rosemary essential oil are camphor, pinene, cineol, limonene, linalool, and camphene. These naturally occurring compounds have clarifying, detoxifying, hydrating, and analgesic properties. Rosemary essential oil detoxifies the skin, helps lighten the appearance of dark spots, and hydrates dry skin. In aromatherapy practices, rosemary essential oil is known for its potential to soothe inflamed joints, bodily aches, and tensed muscles, encouraging rest.   

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