DIY Defense Oil (Similar to Thieves or On Guard)

Updated on October 20, 2017
Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives every day by sharing her joy and love of life.


What is Defense Oil?

Defense oil is known by a number of different brand names: On Guard and Four Thieves are two of the most well known.

Defense oil is great to have on hand during cold and flu season. It helps boost your immunity while also killing germs, removing toxins from the body, and helping your body heal more quickly after an illness.

Sound too good to be true? I thought so, too, until I tried it. Now, I am a firm believer in using essential oils for a number of different purposes.

When my kids' classmates are starting to get sick, I pull out the defense oil and slather it onto my children. I rub it into their chests, throats, backs, and the bottoms of their feet every morning before they leave for school. My kids haven't needed a sick day in years.

I also use defense oil for my massage clients, working it into their chests and the bottoms of their feet. During flu season, defense oil mists from the infuser in my massage studio and at my yoga studio.

I also add defense oil to my own bath, and I rub it into the bottoms of my feet before bed and again in the morning before leaving the house. It is a great, all-purpose oil that helps keep you healthy when everyone around you falls victim to the flu.

On Guard Blend

On Guard oil, sold by doTERRA, is a proprietary blend. The company does not share the specific measurements, however it contains a blend of the following oils:

Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Wild Orange

Thieves Oil Blend

Thieves Oil, sold by Young Living, is a trademark blend. It contains the following essential oils:

Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Tea Tree

What is in it?

Different brands use different blends, but they are essentially a combination of oils that have been shown to kill germs, stimulate the immune system, remove pathogens and toxins and speed the healing process.

  • Kill germs: Cinnamon, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Sage, Tea Tree, and Thyme
  • Boost immunity: Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Rosemary, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree
  • Remove toxins and speed healing: Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, and Rosemary

Using those three categories, you can create your own unique defense oil, based on scents you like, or you can follow the recipe and other suggestions here. Try one, and if you don't like it, you can always give it away and start over.


Legend of the Four Thieves

According to ancient lore, and purportedly found in the Royal English Archives, the legend of the four thieves goes back to the 15th century, when the black plague (or bubonic plague) hit Europe.

Four men, garbed in black robes and hoods became wealthy plundering and robbing plague victims. Somehow, they were miraculously able to rob the homes and bodies of the dead, without getting ill themselves.

Eventually, the thieves were captured and the king offered to let them live in exchange for their secret. The thieves, who were actually perfume and spice traders, agreed, and the king spared their lives.

It is said that after plundering plague victims, the thieves would return to their hideout, and add the magic oils to a pot of boiling water. The thieves then inhaled the steam from the simmering pot. They would also use the oil infused water to wash their hands, feet and faces. In this way, the thieves were able to enrich themselves without getting sick.

Ingredients for Defense Oil

  • 0.5 ounces Clove Bud Oil
  • 0.5 ounces Cinnamon Oil
  • 0.5 ounces Eucalyptus Oil
  • 0.5 ounces Lemon Oil
  • 0.5 ounces Rosemary Oil
  • 0.5 ounces Tea Tree Oil
  • 3 ounces Neutral Carrier Oil, Such as coconut, almond, olive, sesame, jojoba, or other unscented oil of your preference

Instructions for Defense Oil

  1. Blend all essential oils in a large glass container. Gently mix until they are well blended.
  2. Slowly stir in carrier oil and gently mix until blended.
  3. Pour defense oil into bottles.
  4. You can also add pieces of Clove, Cinnamon, Lemon Flowers, Rosemary leaves, and Eucalyptus leaves to a jar, and store the defense oil there. The flowers and leaves make an attractive addition, especially to give as gifts.

Would you try it?

Have you ever tried using essential oils to lessen the duration of a cold?

See results

Uses for defense oil

There are a variety of ways to use defense oil (or On Guard, or Thieves Oil)

  • Apply it to the chest, throat and back to ease congestion and coughing.
  • Rub onto the bottoms of the feet to boost immunity.
  • Add a few drops to a pan of simmering water, or to an infuser to kill germs in a room or houseful of people.
  • Use a few drops in the bath to improve breathing and clear the lungs.
  • Add a few drops to a kitchen sponge to kill odors and germs.

For more suggestions, you can read this article about 40 ways to use thieves oil.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

  • How many drops of oil is 0.5 ounces?

    Most bottles of essential oils that you purchase online or in stores are 0.5 ounces. I do not know exactly how many drops that is. Remove the stopper from the bottle, and dump the entire contents of the bottle into the mixtures. You will use all of the essential oils. Pour them into a measuring cup, then add an equal amount of neutral carrier oil. For example, if the total amount of all the essential oils is 1/4 cup, then you will add 1/4 cup carrier oil.


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    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Hello, Maqbooi Masi, if you were to try one single oil, then I would suggest eucalyptus. It helps a variety of ailments, can help with a stuffy nose, and is also calming. Good luck.


    • Deborah Demander profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Demander Reno 

      3 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      It's okay to start small. And Amazon has an amazing selection of oils, at affordable prices, which is an easy place to start. Don't get too overwhelmed. Instead of making it yourself, buy a bottle on Amazon, and see if it helps. Don't stress out. Start small and enjoy yourself.

      Namaste, my friend

    • profile image

      Maqbool Masi 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for useful article.

      Would you suggest uses of each essential oils, you mentioned. So, we can try single oil without combination.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      3 years ago

      I swear I want to get into all of this, but in the end it exhausts me. I need to get control of myself and go for it!!!


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