The legend of four thieves was cited in a number of aromatherapy books. The basic premise of the story is that for centuries, the bubonic plague outbreaks decimated Asian and European cultures. From this period came popular legends of thieves who were captured and charged with stealing from the dead. When the thieves were finally tried, they were offered leniency if they would reveal how they avoided contracting the infection as they performed these horrible acts. They revealed a concoction of herbs and vinegar that they rubbed on themselves before committing their crimes. As time went on, researchers have taken the essential oils from some of these herbs sited in the legend and applied them to popular essential oil blends. It is important to note this is a legend and should not be used to support theories that this product can prevent the bubonic plague or any other disease or infection.