Animals respond well to aromatherapy as it is a natural remedy. Aromatherapy is not a cure for all but certainly helps with certain ailments.
The information bellow explains where essential oils have been found successful. Although based on human uses, it is easy to extrapolate these to our dogs and horses.
Areas of Use
Studies of Essential Oils (EO) have shown that they have antibacterial and antiviral effects. These research started last century and have been confirmed more recently. There are many materials in regards to the results of these studies and I will try to summarise the basics.
In his book “The Practice of Aromatherapy”, Dr. jean Valnet describes many research that were conducted in France during the last mid century. Dr Kurt Schnaubelt mentions more recent studies in “Advanced Aromatherapy”
For example, the essence of Niaouli will soothe burns, ulcers and wounds in a 5 to 10% oily solution. In a 2% solution in water, it is used as a disinfectant. I am particularly familiar with this oil as it is manufactured in my country of origin, New-Caledonia. We use it in water as a disinfectant and pretty much for any hiccups we might get. It is used as a chest rub for bronchitis and chest infections, as an antiseptics on wounds, as a hair toner in hair rinses etc.
The essence of Thyme is also known as being an excellent antiseptic with high bactericidal actions. Under various dilution rates, this oil when sprayed in a room was found effective against various organisms such as E. coli, Candida albicans, some forms of Staphylococcus and Micrococcus flavus. Valnet states that Thyme oil can kill the colon bacillus in 2 to 8 minutes, the diphtheric bacillus in 4 minutes, staphylococcus in 4 to 8 minutes, and the tuberculosis bacillus in 30 to 60 minutes.
According to Valnet, the work of Morel and Rochaix have shown that the vapours of lemon oil neutralise the meningococcus in 15 minutes and the typhus bacillus in less than 1 hour.
He also states that cinnamon oil in a dilution of 1:300 will kill the typhus bacillus.
Valnet mentions a study that was conducted by Professor Griffon in 1963 regarding the effects of Pine, Thyme, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, Clove and Cinnamon oil in the bacteriological purification of the air. The results showed that when these oils combined together and sprayed in a room infected with 210 colonies of microscopic flora (12 were moulds and 8 staphylococci), only 4 microbial colonies survived after 1 hour. It is worth noticing that all moulds and staphylococci were destroyed within 30 minutes.
We have reproduced this interesting combination of essential oils in our room spray called “Al Purpose”.
According to Schnaubelt and based on the studies of Belaiche, the oils of oregano, savory, cinnamon, clove, thyme and tea-tree, are considered the most antibacterial ones.
EOs have varying degrees of effectiveness against viruses and viral illnesses and the most well know ones are: lavender, rosemary, thyme, tea-tree, laurel, eucalyptus, niaouli, cinnamon, melissa, litsea cubeba, lemongrass, ravensara and geranium.
Many studies, and some recent ones in particular, have shown the fungicidal properties of EOs Oregano, cinnamon, hyssop, basil, thyme, and tea-tree just to name a few.
You will also find links to many scientific articles in our Resources.
One last note: for EOs to be effective, they MUST be unadulterated. That is 100% pure with no synthetic components.