As the popularity of essential oils has grown in recent years, so has their use in veterinary medicine. While there is still much research to be done on the efficacy of essential oils in animals, some preliminary studies have shown promise in the use of these natural remedies for a variety of conditions. Here are some of the most commonly used essential oils in veterinary medicine and what conditions they are used to treat.
Lavender oil is perhaps the most versatile of all essential oils, with a wide range of uses in both humans and animals. In vet medicine, lavender oil is commonly used to treat anxiety and stress-related disorders such as separation anxiety, travel anxiety, and thunderstorm phobias. It can also be helpful in treating skin conditions such as hot spots and bug bites. Lavender oil should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil before being applied to your animals, as undiluted lavender oil can cause irritation.
Chamomile oil comes from the same plant as the dried herb chamomile tea and has long been used for its calming properties. Chamomile oil can be helpful in treating separation anxiety, car sickness, and noise phobias. When applied topically, chamomile oil can also help to heal minor wounds and soothe insect bites and hot spots. As with lavender oil, chamomile oil should be diluted before application.
Ginger oil is derived from the common kitchen spice ginger root. It is used extensively in Asia for a variety of medicinal purposes, including nausea relief. In veterinary medicine, ginger oil is commonly used to treat motion sickness in dogs and cats. It can also be helpful in relieving nausea caused by chemotherapy treatments. When diffused, ginger oil can help to treat nausea caused by car sickness or fear of flying.
Cardamom oil is a great digestive aid for pets and humans alike. It can help relieve heartburn while also stimulating a healthy appetite level. It also has organic antimicrobial properties and can be beneficial for coughs.
Oils to Avoid with Cats
Oils to avoid topically and internally with cats: Basil, Citrus Oils (Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Tangerine), Birch, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Fennel, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, Spearmint, and Wintergreen.
Oils to Avoid with Dogs
Oils to avoid topically and internally with dogs: Birch, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), and Wintergreen. Use caution with hot oils such as Oregano, Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary, and Thyme.
While more research needs to be done on the efficacy of essential oils for a veterinarian, there are a number of oils that show promise for a variety of conditions. If you are interested in using essential oils on your pets, talk to your veterinarian about which ones might be right for your pet’s individual needs. Remember to always dilute essential oils before applying them topically, as undiluted oils can cause irritation. diffusing them into the air or adding them to your pet’s bathwater are other great ways to use these natural remedies.
For more information on essential oil use with animals, visit the Janet Roark website Essential Oil Vet.