The ''formula'' known as ''Four Thieves Vinegar'' was a concoction with was devised in the 14th Century AD, during The ''Black Death'' (Plague). According to Contemporaries, by wiping One's hands, face, etc. with it, One would not ''catch'' Plague. Plague Doctors were said to use the formula as well. According to ingredients, vinegar from wines or cider was the base. A combination of many herbs and spices were infused into the formulation. Modern Medicine found that there was some truth in The ''Four Thieves Vinegar'', in that the Flea (which carried The Plague), was repelled by the various combination of herbs and camphor (which was also a component). As for it's colorful name there are two versions. The first involves four thieves caught stealing from dead and dying plague victims. It was noted that the criminals were not sick from the disease. Facing death, they gave their home made formula up in exchange for their lives. The second is similar, only that the thieves were sentenced to bury plague dead (seen as a death sentence in it's own right). The enterprising men ''invented'' the formula as a means of surviving.