Thieves Hot Toddy or Tea and Kiddos Medicinal Juice – It’ll cure what ails ya

The origin story

A long time ago, in a land far, far away… OK, so it was early 2002, and in Lubbock, TX, which is about 500+ miles from here. But it was before I was pregnant with my oldest, while I was bartending, and well before my 12 year insurance career, so it seems like an entirely different time & place. But I digress.

Back to the story… So I was bartending at this little hotel bar. We had a crew of cell tower climbers who became regulars while they were staying in the cheap motel next door. It was cold, wet, & windy and these crazy guys were climbing 500 ft towers to repair them. They kept coming down with what is commonly known as the crud (y’know… not quite a cold, and not the flu, just total misery), and couldn’t kick it. So one day I offered to make one of them a hot toddy, which is a mix of hot water, a shot of whiskey, & a tablespoon of honey with a squeeze of lemon. I’d heard loads of great things about them helping cure head colds, the flu, all that sort of crappiness (and this was long before I’d studied natural remedies). He was so miserable and yet still unconvinced that I finally told him that if it didn’t help, I’d pay for it.

So… less than 5 minutes later, he comes back and asks for another. “Oh, did it help?” 2 down and he was back to his old self. The next day, he still had a touch of it, but having been up on that tower in freezing rain, I wasn’t surprised. Two more toddies and he was completely back to normal the next day. When his brother and another crewmate caught it later in the trip, they asked for whatever it was that had helped the first guy. And so I was sold… as were my other regulars.

Even though I never liked whiskey, I’ve used this remedy ever since when I couldn’t kick a bug.

THEN once I started using Young Living Essential Oils, I was introduced to Thieves tea… Very similar to a hot toddy, only you use a drop or two of Thieves essential oil, a couple drops of lemon essential oil and a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar in place of the whiskey. OK, so maybe it just has the hot water, lemon, and honey in common. Ha! It did help when I didn’t have whiskey on hand, buuuuut you know me, I couldn’t just leave it alone.

So, I thought, why not combine the two? Holy blessed relief!! If I drink one cup of this stuff when I first feel it coming on, the nastiness won’t set in. If I don’t catch it soon enough, a couple days of drinking a couple cups a day will usually kick it out.

So we can't all look cute when we're sick... this is my 2nd cup! Feeling better already!

So we can’t all look cute when we’re sick… this is my 2nd cup! Feeling better already!

I should also note that I typically use herbal tea in place of the water now… depending on what’s ailing me… Could be a throat coat tea for sore throats (like I used today), ginger tea for stomach bugs, or Echinacea for overall immune support.

I often chase it with a shot of Young Living’s NingXia Red to help boost the immune system too.


Hot Water or Herbal Tea

Hot water or hot herbal tea helps loosen the mucus for easier expulsion. If you use herbal tea, of course you have the added benefits of that tea. I really like Traditional Medicinals Organic Teas – there’s a blend for just about everything! Plus, more hydration is always good for helping flush out the bad stuff!

Whiskey makes it a Toddy

Yep, check out wikipedia here. When you think of whiskey, you probably think of a drunken bar brawl, or a hard-drinking business man, maybe your mind immediately wanders to the Scotch and Irish who are known for their whiskey? For me, it conjures memories of those old cowboy or war movies where they use whiskey as an antiseptic to dump on wounds the wounded man taking a big gulp of courage before a procedure. My grandpa loved those John Wayne movies.

It’s not just Hollywood hype… Whiskey really was traditionally used to stimulate the immune system and alleviate pain & discomfort. According to a BBC News article, aged whiskey contains the same phenol chemicals that red wine has become so famous for, but although red wine contains more to begin with, the phenols in whiskey are more readily absorbed by the body. Interesting!

Honey, Honey, Honey, Honey! Honey!

Most people in the natural health realm know that raw honey is fantastic for coating a sore throat and reducing coughs, but did you also know it has a myriad of other health benefits? Yep.

  • Raw honey is loaded with minerals, vitamins, flavonoids, and enzymes that helps support a healthy gut by aiding in detoxifying and hydrating the colon. Healthy gut = healthy immune system considering over 80% of immunity starts in your gut!
  • Honey soothes inflammation due to its antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and anti-fungal properties!
    • As a random side note… it’s a great salve to put on a minor cut or burn! I think it was the new Jungle Book movie we were watching the other day when Baloo tells Mowgli to put honey on bee stings because it’s nature’s salve… Even Disney gets it!
  • It’s amazing for helping your body absorb the extra fluids you should be drinking any time you’re sick.
  • The naturally-occurring sugar in honey is an excellent source of energy for the body, helping keep your energy levels up and speed recovery
  • Raw local honey is even better! (Local being within a 50 mile radius as the bird – er, bee – flies). The bees pick up the pollen from plants in your area that cause the allergic reaction. By eating local honey, you acclimate your body to the pollens in your area. We seriously increase our honey intake during our allergy seasons (spring & fall in our house). Right now I have honey that was produced near Dallas, which is just over 300 miles from here. And while it still works well for everything listed above, we don’t get the allergy benefits. Time to get back to the farmer’s market!!

Houston locals, Pea’s Farm in Conroe has the BEST raw local honey. Super smooth and sweet, it doesn’t have that bite that a lot of honeys do. My kiddos refused to eat honey before I started getting theirs; now they eat it all the time. I used to get it at the Tomball Farmer’s Market, but Saturdays are lazy days and I haven’t made it out there in a while. (Links are to their facebook pages for more info)

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, really?

You want me to drink Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (aka ACV)? Don’t you know how nasty that stuff tastes? Well, yes, yes I do… But if you mix it in with some honey and other goodies it’s really not so bad… Especially when you look at all the health benefits.

  • It helps support a healthy immune system
  • Helps soothe dry throats
  • Helps the body detoxify by moving along the sludge in your guts
  • It’s also rich in enzymes and potassium

Why use raw vinegar when it looks so nasty compared to the pretty, clear bottle right next to it? Because the “Mother” – that nasty cob-webby looking thing in the bottle – is what makes it so good for you. It contains all those enzymes. It’s that whole thing that raw foods are better than highly processed, overcooked foods that have all the goodness cooked out to make it look pretty. Yes, it is more expensive than the processed stuff (which never makes sense to me – they put more work into the processed crap, why is is so much cheaper?).

Lemony goodness

We all know lemon is a good source of Vitamin C, which supports the immune system, right? Well, the citric acid in lemons also helps to maximize enzyme function… you know, all those enzymes we’re adding in from the honey?  Those enzymes stimulate the liver and help with detoxification. Yes, that means you’ll be running to the toilet more often, but think of it as ridding your body of the nastiness that ails you. Plus so many of those vitamin C powders on the market are made with synthetic ingredients, not the real food stuff your body recognizes and can easily use.

Plus lemon makes for a wonderful attitude adjustment. Who can be cranky with that beautiful yellow color and bright scent? Not me, my friend.

I often use lemon essential oil for the immune system boost and wonderful flavor now because it’s so much easier to store than fresh lemons… I always have it on hand!

I’m not inviting Thieves into my house!

Oh, yeah. You certainly want to invite these thieves in and let them get comfy all over the house!

Thieves Essential Oil blend is amazing for boosting the immune system and cleaning around your house. You know, story has it that a specific blend of botanicals was used by spice traders to boost their immune systems during the plague. Those same merchants then began robbing the bodies of the dead and dying, but never contracted the plague themselves. When they were finally caught, the French courts gave them leniency for sharing the recipe of their blend because the recognized the importance of it.

Though there are several different versions of the story, the four key botanicals that were mentioned again and again were clove, cinnamon, rosemary, and lemon. When D. Gary Young, Founder of Young Living, formulated his blend, he added in eucalyptus radiata for good measure although it would have been difficult to find those days. You can learn more about it’s uses here on the Young Living blog.

But what about the poor sick kiddos?


Yep, that’s my 6 year old, who loves making medicinal teas with me. (Yes, we did forget the herbal tea in this pic, though it’s so cute I had to share anyway) She’s gonna be a rock star when she grows up, but she’s going to teach people how to make teas. Ha!

Let them drink thieves tea!

You did notice that’s a kiddo in the pictures, right? That’s my freshly turned 6 year old (like 3 days ago).

Though I highly recommend diluting it at least by half (if not more) because the flavors are really strong. And although traditionally, people did give children whiskey to help fight disease, although it might be sliiiightly tempting to see how much bigger goofballs they will be under the influence, I skip that part for theirs.

I make one large cup, then pour some of it over to a smaller cup for the kiddos (or if I’m treating all 3, I just divide it between the 3 of them). I add a shot of NingXia Red to each kiddie serving and extra honey and a couple extra drops of lemon for my daughter since she loves it, then fill with water.

NingXia Red is a superfood juice by Young Living that’s enhanced with essential oils for a wonderful immune & energy boost! Ingredients include antioxidant powerhouses wolfberry (more commonly known as the recently highly acclaimed goji berry), plum, aronia, cherry, blueberry, and pomegranate juices & extracts. Vanilla extract, and essential oils of lemon, orange, yuzu, and tangerine come to the party to bring flavor and additional immune boosting benefits!

They call it their “medicinal juice.” My kiddos were 11, 6, & 5 when we started using this remedy and they love it. But I’ve read of plenty of moms in my oiler groups who have given it to children much younger, like as low as 3!

IMPORTANT: Remember honey is considered dangerous for children under 1 year old!! DO NOT serve this to an infant!


All right, enough babbling… Where’s the recipe already?

I guess you’re about ready for the recipe at this point, huh? Ok, fine. Here I am typing this up, telling you my story while my tea is brewing because some horrid bug attacked my throat and sinuses in the middle of the night, but you just want me to get on with it.

Here ya go:

Thieves Hot Toddy

1-2 Tablespoons Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s brand)

2 Tablespoons Raw Local Honey (can’t really link you on this one; you’ll have to read labels)

1-2 Drops Thieves Essential Oil Blend (start with just 1 because this stuff is STRONG and spicy!)

1-2 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

6 oz Hot water or herbal tea (like Traditional Medicinals Organic Teas)

1 oz whiskey of choice, optional of course (right now I really like Fireball cinnamon whiskey)


To Make it:
Mix the apple cider vinegar, honey, and essential oils in a mug or glass.

Dump in the hot water and whiskey (if using). Stir it up, enjoy, and feel so much better!


Kiddos Medicinal Juice

1-2 Tablespoons Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (I prefer Bragg’s brand)

2 Tablespoons Raw Local Honey (can’t really link you on this one; you’ll have to read labels)

1 Drop Thieves Essential Oil (be careful – it is a hot oil, meaning it’s spicy and can sting)

1-2 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

2 oz Hot water or herbal tea, just enough to help dissolve the honey

Mix the apple cider vinegar, honey, and essential oils in a mug or glass.

Dump in the hot water and NingXia Red, then fill with water and stir.

Serve it to your kiddos and watch how they immediately come to life in front of your eyes… Like those little magic pill things that turn into some sort of animal sponge when you put it in water.


Medicinal Juice and Thieves Hot Toddy… You can barely see the oils floating on top, but if you skip the step of mixing the honey, oils, and vinegar first, you’ll have a full layer of oil on top!

So now you may be wondering how you get these wonderful Young Living Products… Well, you could always just go to my website here to sign up and jump right in. Ah, but you know I wouldn’t just throw you to the wind like that. So, click here to send me a message and we can have a little chat about them first!

I’m hoping to get a page set up on the site here soon to talk more about why I love these oils & products so much, how I chose this brand, and to walk you through the sign-up process… but one step at a time. 😉

Right now I’m going to go finish my tea (which is already helping me feel loads better, btw!) and rest. I’ve got a birthday celebration to plan for tomorrow!

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