What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the subtle, aromatic and volatile liquids extracted from the flowers, seeds, leaves, stems, bark and roots of herbs, bushes, shrubs, and tress, through distillation. According to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, priests and physicians were using essential oils thousands of years before Christ to heal the sick. They are the oldest form of remedies and cosmetics known to man and were considered more valuable than gold. There are 188 references to oils in the Bible. Science is only now beginning to investigate the incredible healing properties of essential oils.
Supports a Healthy Immune System
Repel Bacteria and other microbes
High in Antioxidants
Aromatherapy for animals is the art and science of using plant essential oils to treat both the emotional body and the physical body of animals. It takes into consideration the whole animal, so you are not just treating one specific symptom. The oils work to support the animal's whole being in an effort to get rid of the disease. Essential oils have a positive effect on an animals, and leave no toxic residue in the way synthetic drugs do.
Essential Oils have a fast acting therapeutic action on the body and some, like lavender and lemon are adaptogenic, which means they are able to adapt to what the body needs at the time. Essential oils work to support every aspect of the animal.
What is Aromatherapy?
I want to start out by stating what Aromatherapy is NOT. It is not sented candles or incence or bubble bath, Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils. While the oils' most obvious property is that they are aromatic, it is not merely the fragrance that imparts their effects. Essential oils are extracted (most often through steam distillation) from the flowers, leaves, stems, roots, seeds and bark of many different plants around the world. These oils function as the plant's life source or immune system, fighting off bacteria, viruses, yeasts, molds, and insects.
The French chemist Renee Gattefosse wrote the first book on Aromatherapy and did all of his initial testing of the essential oils on dogs and horses. Since then, there has been much scientific testing done on the antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils, as well as their calming effects on the body. In European countries, Aromatherapy is a common part of everyday life and is used to treat all types of conditions. It is even covered by medical insurance in France. Ask a European about Aromatherapy and "bubble bath" will not be part of the answer.
Aromatherapy has been around and has been practiced in one form or another since the beginning of civilization. It is the art and science of using oils extracted from aromatic plants to enhance health.
Apart from the physical benefits, essential oils can have subtle effects on the mind and emotions. Essential oils taken from plants are described as being their "life force" they are essential to the plants' biological process, as well as being the substance that gives them their scent. These substances contain [natural] hormones, antibiotics, vitamins, and antiseptics. Essential oils are far more alive and potent than dried herbs." Synthetic oils, even if chemically similar will lack the natural elements and that vital life force that make essential oils so valuable therapeutically.
Use only pure unadulterated "Genuine & Authentic" or "Grade A" oils. Most people think the words PURE or 100% PURE on the label of an essential oil mean it's a good oil. That is far from true.
More information on essential oil quality CLICK HERE
Hundreds of essential oils are available for use. One that most of you are probably familiar with and one I will never be without is Lavender. It is steam distilled from the flowers of Lavandula officinalis. In addition to being extremely useful medicinally, Lavender has a delicate and beautiful fragrance. It is calming, anti-depressive, anti-inflammatory, and helpful for treating burns. It is extremely useful as a fungicide and germicide. It can be applied directly to the animal's skin, incorporated into sprays and shampoos, and is wonderful diluted in distilled water and/or alcohol for use as a room freshener. To calm down nervous or hyperactive dogs, place a few drops on the dog's bed, crate pad or sleeping area. Also, rub a little on the foot pads. (For car sickness treatment, see peppermint).
Another widely used essential oil is Eucalyptus. It is steam distilled from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree. There are several hundred varieties of Eucalyptus. I prefer to use Eucalyptus globulus for most purposes. Eucalyptus is bactericidal, antifungal, and an extremely useful inhalant for respiratory complaints. Used in a diffusor (a special machine that vaporizes essential oils), it helps to inhibit the spread of contagious disease and discourages insects. Eucalyptus works exceptionally well combined with Citronella Oil, Cedarwood Oil, & Peppermint Oil to keep insects away.
Peppermint is another oil that I always keep on hand. It is steam distilled from the leaves and flower tops of the Mentha piperita plant. It is extremely useful to prevent motion sickness and nausea, a very good pain reliever and also effective in discouraging pests (such as mice) and insects. It's smell is wonderfully cool and refreshing. To prevent car sickness, place a few drops of Peppermint and Lavender on your dogs crate pad or car seat. For your use, Peppermint and Lavender are extremely effective to relieve headaches. Place a small amount on your wrists, temples (dont get into eyes), and under your tongue. For those who have trouble sleeping, Peppermint should only be used during the day. It can keep you awake if used at night.
Citronella and Lemongrass mixture with your choice of base oil "carrier oil" or spring water makes a great insect repellent.
Lemongrasscan be used on ringworm and other fugus. Research was published in The Journal of Phytotherapy Research on topically applied lemongrass for its powerful antifungal properties.
Rose (Rosa damascena), Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata), Clary Sage (Salvia sclare) should help taming tension for your over active dog about to take a trip to the vet or groomer or yourself during a stressful event! (also see Peace & Calming blend below)
Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) will help itchy skin, dry or sluggish skin and coat and helps fight against skin parasites as well.
Lavender and Marjoram can help tight, cramping, sore muscles, etc. Add a few drops on your palm and rub gently. Excellent for working dogs and people too!
A combination of Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), and Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) with light base oil will help eczema, bruises, and cracked or chapped skin. You can use it on minor cuts as well. Niaouli Essential Oil (Melaleuca viridiflora) can be included to treat viral infections as well. Please be cautions using certain essential oils on pregnant or seizure prone dogs, check with a certified aromatherapist or your Holistic veterinarian. Using herbs, essential oils, hydrosols and all other natural therapies need to be respected and used with care as you would all medication. If in doubt always use your best judgment and always ask your trusted Aromatherapist or holistic vet.
There are many more essential oils and certainly even more combinations one can use, but as you try a few yourselves you can learn to experiment and come up with wonderful concoctions of your own.
I normally recommend you use only one or two drops on your pet (or dilute in a little bit of carrier oil). An application that is adequate for an adult human is sometimes overwhelming for a dog's olfactory system. Dogs have 200 million scent receptors in their nasal folds, we have 50 million. For application to your dog of "hoter" oils, do not dilute, use base oils such as olive, safflower, jojoba, almond or other vegetable oil. A good dilution is:
5 drop of your choice of essential oil
10 ml of carrier oil (olive, jojoba, almond etc.)
Mix well and apply. Keep away from the eyes as much as possible, If you get an oil in your pets eye, do NOT rinse with water, use vegetable oil.
When applying to dogs, apply on their paws and/or ear tips where the absorption is very fast, You can also sprinkle a few drops on the spine and then massage into skin, just like with humans or just allow the dog to sniff the open bottle of oil will give some benefits.
You may want to experiment with some of the following oils and oil blends/combinations:
Ear mites in dogs - Purification and Peppermint.
Ticks, fleas and flies - Lemongrass, is extremely effective at repelling all kinds of insects. Grapefruit repels insects especially fleas and Ticks. Lemon is a great flea repellant and it smells clean and refreshing. Peppermint is wonderful at repelling flies, fleas, mosquitos, and ants. Cedar, PennyRoyal, Tansy and Tansy floral water also work well.
Tumors - Frankincense and Lavender mixed together, Frankincense and Clove mixed together, Helichrysum.
Worms / parasites (all animals) - Para Free, and Di-Guise.
Open wound - Melrose, Helichrysum and Gentle Care Rose Ointinent.
Anexity - Peace & Calming, Melissa, Lavender, Trauma Life.
*NOTE - The blend called Peace & Calming is being used with wonderful results on many dogs at shows, hunting/trial events, Vet visits, fear of thunder, etc. Here are just a few testimonies on it's use
Trauma - Trauma Life, Valor, Peace & Calming, Melissa, Rosewood, Lavender, Valerian, and Chamomile.
Healing of wounds and abrasions - Gentle Care Rose Ointment."
Essential oils, is an excellent way to calm dogs who are fearful, agitated and hyperactive. The very nature of these substances is such that they work quickly and do not leave the animal in a drugged or listless state, as common tranquilizers such as Valium do. Unlike herbal calming tablets, which take time to digest, aromatherapy essential oils can be inhaled and quickly begin their work. Or applied to the skin will be absorbed into the blood stream and flow where they need to go. Essential oils work on both the physical and emotional level they release these blocks and allow healing.
I have recieved countless testimonies about the use of Oils in treating dogs with various problems. click here to read a few.
Cats can be sensitive to the powerful nature of aromatherapy. Some aromatherapists say "Essential oils must not be used on cats. I have found that if the oils are certified pure, unadulterated, theraputic oils such as Young Living that cats can and do tolerate certian oils being difused as well as applied in small amounts to thier fur (not skin). Please, be very careful with oils and cats! I recommend ONLY Young Living brand essential oils.
"Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is,
surrender to the Now. Let it teach you Being.Let it teach you integrity--which
means to be one, to be yourself, to be real. Let it teach you how to live and
how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem."
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We only use and recommend Young Living Essential Oils as Young Living's oils are GRADE A oils & meet AFNOR standards. They are one of the few companies in the world that grows plants from seed, distills & bottles their essential oils.
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