Remember that essential oils are unsafe for cats (can be lethal). Floral waters are best suited to them.
There are many literature on unsafe essential oils but only a little on those unsafe for animals. One rule applies to all though is that if it is unsafe for humans, it is unsafe for animals as well.
It is important to know which essential oils you can use on your dog or horse and to remember that what might suit one, might not be suited for another one.
I have compiled a list and you might find different oils mentioned in various books. This list refers to the main essential oils and is from “Advanced Aromatherapy” by Kurt Schnaubelt and other various sources
Toxicity of essential oils
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Comments|
|Rue||Ruta graveolens||Poisonous, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Santolina||Santolina chamaecyparisius||Not advisable to use, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Mugwort||Artemisia herba alba||Poisonous, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Thuja||Thuja occidentalis||In small doses only and exclusively externally, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Wormwood||Artemisia absinthum||Do not use, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Hyssop||Hyssopus officinalis||Use externally only with extreme caution, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Pennyroyal||Mentha pulegium||Poisonous in large dose and definitely not for animals, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Crested Lavender||Lavendula stoechas||Do not confuse with other types of Lavender. not suitable for children and animals, abortive and neurotoxic|
|Sage||Salva officinalis||Dangerous for children and animals|
|Spike Lavender||Lavendula latifolia||Has high levels of camphor and is best suited when mixed with benign oils|
|Camphor||Cinnamon camphora||High levels of camphor. Neurotoxic and induces abortion. White Camphor is relatively safe but should be used in minute amounts|
|Yarrow||Achillea millefolium||Caution with children and animals. Blue Yarrow is safe|
|Rosemary||Rosemarinus officicinalis||Non toxic in small doses. Use Rosemary Verbenone instead and preferably externally or in very small doses internally|
|Peppermint||Mentha piperita||Non toxic in small doses. Caution with children|
|Eucalyptus polybractea||Eucalyptus polybractea||Must be mixed with other oils|
|Eucalyptus dives||Eucalyptus dives||Must be mixed with other oils|
|Atlas Cedarwood||Cedrus atlantica||External use only. Non toxic|
|Savory||Satureja spec.||Not for external use|
|Oregano||Oreganum vulgaris, O. compactum||Hihgly irritant. Best when not used externally.|
|Thyme||Thymus vulgaris||Hihgly irritant. Best when not used externally.|
|Clove leaf oil||Syzygium aromaticum||Hihgly irritant. Best when not used externally.|
|Juniper||Juniperus communis||Kidney tissue damages. Juniperberriy oil is safe in moderation though.|
|Cinnamon||Cinnamomum verum||Highly irritant. The oil from the leaves is less aggressive|
|Cassia||Cinnamomum cassia||Highly irritant|
|Basil||Ocimum basilicum||Moderately toxic. Possible carcinogen. French Basil is known to be less toxic|
The following oils must never be used with animals (and humans!):
Bitter almond, Boldo, Calamus, Camphor (yellow and brown), Goosefoot, Horseradish, Mugwort, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sassafras, Tansy (the Blue one is fine), Thuja, Wintergreen, Wormwood
Other exotic oils which have not been scientifically proven safe must not be used either.
Photosensitizing oils that must be used with caution if the animal is exposed to the sun after application:
Angelica, Celery, Parsley, Tarragon, Tagetes, Lavender, Lemon, Orange, Mandarin, Bergamot.
The following table lists contraindications according to Dr. Jean Claude Lepraz as per Kurt Schnaubelt in his “Advanced Aromatherapy” book and from various other resources.
|Condition||Do not use|
|Asthma||yarrow, marjoram, oregano, rosemary|
|Cancer||cypress, angelica, sage, fennel, anise, caraway, thyme, basil, chamomile, clary sage, coriander, geranium, pine|
|Epilepsy||hyssop, sage, fennel, parsley, nutmeg, anise, rosemary, eucalyptus, basil|
|Glaucoma||thyme, hyssop, cypress, tarragon|
|Hemorrhaging||lavender in combination with an anticoagulant|
|High blood pressure||lemon, hyssop, balsam de peru, basil, white birch, caraway, cardamon, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lemongrass, palmarosa, black pepper, peppermint, pine, rose, rosemary, sage, thyme|
|Low blood pressure||clary sage, cypress, lavender, marjoram, ylang ylang|
|Pregnancy||Pretty much all essential oils, especially within the first 3 months. It is best to not use any during the entire gestation|
|Urinary track infection||juniper, eucalyptus|