About Essential Oil Therapy for Pets

Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from various parts of plants , including seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruit. Essential oils therapy (aka Aroma therapy) is utilized by massage therapists and by health care professions who must treat a wide range of diseases. The purity of these oils is essential if therapeutic results is to be obtained. Adulterated, inferior grade oils will not be therapeutic and could be toxic. In Europe, a set of standards has been established that outlines the chemical profile and principal constituents that a quality essential oil should have. These standard are guidelines that help buyers differentiate between a therapeutic-grade essential oils and lower grade oil with a similar chemical makeup and fragrance.

The essential oil of the plant is equivalent to human blood in that it both fights infection, contains hormone-like compounds, and initiates regeneration. Working as the chemical defense of the plant, essential oils possess potent antibacterial; antifungal, and antiviral properties. They also protect the plant by warding off attacks of insects and animals. These protective properties will also confer protection to animals which are treated with essential oils. Both essential oils and human blood contain hormone- like chemicals. The ability of some essential oils to work as hormones help them bring balance to many physiological systems of the human or animal body

Essential oils have a chemical structure that is similar to that found in animal cells and tissues. This makes essential oils compatible with animal protein and enables them to be readily accepted by the body. Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse through out the blood and tissues. The molecules of essential oils are relatively small giving them the ability to easily penetrate the cells. When applied to the skin of the body the essential oils can travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes.

Some essential oils decrease the thickness of the blood and, therefore, can enhance circulation and immune function. Essential oils can stimulate the secretion of antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, hormones and enzymes. They increase the uptake of oxygen and ATP (the fuel for individual cells). European scientists have studied the ability of essential oils to work as natural chelators which bind with heavy metals and petrochemicals and carry them out of the body. in studies conducted at Vienna and Berlin Universities, researchers found that a Sandalwood and Frankincense can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28%.

Because essential oils are composites of hundreds of different chemicals they can exert many different effects on the body. Because of their complexity, essential oils do not disturb the body’s natural balance or homeostasis; if one constituent exerts too strong an effect, another may block or counteract it. This, of course, is in contrast to synthetic chemicals.

Through their fragrance and unique molecular structure, essential oils can directly stimulate both the limbic lobe and hypothalamus and,consequently,effect both the body and the mind. Not only can inhalation of essential oils be used to combat stress and emotional trauma but they can also stimulate the production of hormones from the hypothalamus.

Essential oils are used in a number of ways. They can be applied directly to the skin afier being mixed and diluted in a carrier oil. A second way to utilize essential oils is to create an aerosol by using either a spray bottle or a diffliser. Essential oils can also be used with acupuncture needles to dramatically in crease their effectiveness.

*The above information comes from the book PDR for Essential Oils