If you have never used essential oils before, here are a few tips.
When buying essential oils, for humans or horses, make sure they are pure. Become a wise label reader. Read the label carefully and watch for words like “perfume oil” or “fragrance oil.” You want to purchase pure essential oils without additives.
Here are a few guidelines for buying high quality essential oils:
- They should come in a dark bottle;
- Have the common and Latin name of the plant;
- Have the expiration date clearly displayed;
- Tell you which part of the plant was used;
- Display the name of the company selling the oil
Listed below are some of the benefits of using essential oils. In order to get these benefits the essential oil must not be adulterated. If the oils are adulterated this means they contain synthetic chemicals or compounds which could be harmful.
Using essential oils may help your horse with:
- Muscle pain
- Muscle spasms
- Digestive upsets
- Cleansing wounds
- Repelling insects
- Emotional issues
- Respiratory issues
- Bone and joint pain
- Tissue regeneration
The oils can be placed directly on the horse's body, can be inhaled from the bottle (be sure to hold the bottle tightly as some horses will try to eat the bottle) or diffused in the air. Some people let their horses lick the oil out of their hand. Although there is some controversy over the use of essential oils internally, people have given the oils internally and have had great success. Always seek out professional advice before giving essential oils orally.
Caution: Essential oils are very potent and some may irritate the skin. If this happens, you must immediately apply some type of nut or vegetable oil to the area. If you are competing with your horse avoid using essential oils 7 days prior to the event as some oils contain constituents that are prohibited during competition.
Work with a properly trained professional who understands essential oils. A professional will know how to get all the details regarding your horse's emotional and physical factors and help you understand the source of the problem. This professional will also know the best way to use the oils.
If you choose to use essential oils on your own make sure you educate yourself and follow the information listed for each specific oil. Some oils should not be applied full strength nor used on pregnant mares.
How do essential oils work?
When inhaled the molecules are absorbed via the olfactory system and then into the limbic system of the brain. The oils trigger neurotransmitters that can help to reduce pain, cause sedation or arousal, motivation or calmness. The limbic part of the brain controls our emotions, moods and behavior. When put on the skin they are absorbed in a matter of seconds and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues.
Choosing an essential oil
When choosing an essential oil make sure you do your research. There are several brands on the market that have been adulterated or artificially altered. The reason for this is to extend the volume of an essential oil. Essential oils are also used in pharmaceutical, perfume and the cosmetic industry.
I have found that essential oils work quickly and bring relief when allopathic medicine does not seem to have an answer. Keep in mind that essential oils are not an alternative to proper veterinary care. It is always best to consult with your veterinarian before using essential oils of any kind.