Essential Oil Therapy


Yarrow (photograph by George McBurney)

Plants for Nutrition and Medicine

Plants primary metabolites otherwise known as nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals) are essential for life.  Good nutrition is needed for movement, growth and repair; to maintain health and survival.  For natural nutrition see vet Ian Billinghurst’s website or Nick Thompson’s website Holistic Vet (for dogs, cats and other animals), Honeys Real Dog Food (dogs) or speak with a holistic local vet. 

In addition to primary metabolites or nutrients, plants produce secondary compounds thought to be for protection or defence against disease and predators.  Plants secondary compounds are used for medicinal purposes by animals; as can be observed in wild species.  After nutrition is taken care of animals have an innate ability to select plant medicines to maintain harmony within the body. 

In addition to plants, non-living matter such as soils and clays can be medicinal.  Like wild species, domesticated animals have an innate ability for selecting nutrients and medicine to maintain their health; for example you may have observed the eating of grass, soil or drinking old rainwater.  Domesticated species perhaps do not have the wealth of plant species they would have access to if wild.  Essential Oil Therapy aims to provide environmental enrichment to bridge this gap to support optimal health and aid recovery from disease or surgery. 

What conditions can Essential Oil Therapy help with?

Working with a veterinary diagnosis, EOT offers complementary relief for physical and emotional problems in animals such as allergies, arthritis, microbial and parasite infections, wounds, organ-system disorders and  emotional issues e.g. stress, aggression, hormonal imbalance, depression, separation anxiety.

How does Essential Oil Therapy work?

Secondary compounds are powerful drugs that alter biological processes.  There are three modes of action within the body:

  • Pharmacological (drug reactions at receptor sites in body)

  • Physiological (body functions: sedates, stimulate)

  • Psychological (emotions/behaviour responses). 

Drugs can be beneficial if needed and poisonous if they are not.  For safety reasons always consult a properly qualified Essential Oil Therapist as secondary compounds must be fully understood before offering to an animal as there is the possibility of contra-indications and adverse reactions. There are four methods of delivery: inhalation, oral, sub-lingual (under the tongue) and topical.  

If your animal is involved in competitions, therefore subjected to drugs tests it is best practice to avoid Essential Oil Therapy prior to any event.  If you or your animal are pregnant Essential Oil Therapy should be avoided as some oils are known to be abortive. 

What can I expect in an Essential Oil Therapy Session?

Firstly, the issue with your pet be it physical or behavioural must be checked out with your vet.  The veterinary act is there to protect your animal.  Once you have a diagnosis and your vet is happy for you to try Essential Oil Therapy as a complementary therapy, we ask you to fill out our consultation form and read safety notes.  You will be asked to provide a photo and small hair sample of your pet.  Any imbalances will be assessed and suitable oils to offer selected prior to a home visit.  You will be taught how to safely offer the oils to your pet and given a record chart to fill out for 7-14 days (occasionally 21 days).  Further oils may be required within that time period.

Please note is not possible to carry out a consultation without seeing your pet or animal, and we do not sell ‘remedies’.  If you wish to learn more we do offer workshops for pet owners. If you wish to become a practitioner in the UK, we signpost you to courses run by NHS4Animals or Ingraham Academy.