Aromatherapy/Essential Oils

Aromatherapy/Essential Oils
The term aromatherapy was named by the Frenchman Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, a chemist in a perfume factory, who sustained a serious burn to his hand in a laboratory accident. He immediately plunged the hand into the nearest available liquid, a container of pure lavender oil. Fortunate for him, he was amazed by the fast, non-infected and scar-free healing of the burn. He studies, developed and wrote about the therapeutic uses of plant essences (essential oils), and actually began the rebirth of the ancient healing practice of using herbs for therapeutic purposes. The value of aromatherapy for its antiseptic and bacterial properties, as well as its balancing effect on the body and mind has been proven through modern research with the unique combinations of chemical and aromatic elements of essential oils and the subtle effect in healing.


READ THOROUGHLY. Although essential oils have been proven to be invaluable in healing, a professional should always be consulted when treating conditions. For example, some essential oils may contain certain constituents regarded as prohibited substances by official governing bodies (under Jockey Club or Racing and Show Regulations) such as camphor, menthol and thymol. Used externally, these could be licked and ingested to test positive in a blood test. Always consult a professional when selecting and treating with essential oils.
Flower essences are high-frequency electrical solutions distilled from fresh flower blossoms that contain the distinct vibrational energies of the beauty from which they are made. Flower essences can help heal, balance, and strengthen the electrical system when it is out of balance or under stress; they can ease or eliminate emotional, spiritual, or mental turmoil. Animals, both human and non-human, are complex bio-chemical-electrical beings, and right now they are under a great deal of stress. Vibratory changes can be particularly difficult for animals, both because their electrical systems cannot adapt as easily as those of humans to rapidly rising vibratory levels and because their planetary service involves the absorption of our negativity into their own electrical system. This combination of circumstances often leaves the animals electrically overloaded. Most animals greatly need and appreciate the gentle, powerful, harmonizing effects of flower essences.

Unlike pharmaceutical or psychoactive drugs, flower essences have no direct impact on the body’s biochemistry, and therefore pose no risk of overdose or unwanted side-effects. Essences are issue-specific; they are neither toxic nor addictive, and can safely be administered in a common water bowl.


At this time, there’s no specific regulation of Aromatherapists or Aromatherapy. Many practitioners incorporate it into their practice, such as massage therapy, and the laws governing that practice are the ones that apply. An Aromatherapist with no other medical training or license generally works as a counselor or teacher and should follow whatever regulations apply to that profession in their area. The majority of programs are seminars and anyone can attend. A few programs are designed specifically for medical practitioners. These generally require the student to either be enrolled in an appropriate college or to already have a degree/license in their area. These professional Aromatherapy seminars range from courses designed for massage therapists to courses designed for medical doctors.


More on Aromatherapy
Information provided courtesy of Catherine Bird

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils extracted from plants. These essential oils may come from the flowers, leaves, bark or fruit of a plant. Essential oils have a strong scent that may vary from floral to herbal or earthy tones.

When the molecules from essential oils are taken into the body, they are ‘read’ by the limbic system of the brain, which instructs the endocrine system to release neurochemicals, creating a symphony of responses throughout the body. The constituents enter the blood stream and then access the body parts that need assistance, helping the animal to find homeostasis. A response begins in nanoseconds within the body. Once they have found their target, the residue of the oil constituents is safely excreted out of the body in the urine.

The simplest way to use essential oils is to offer the scent to the animal. Some essential oils will appeal more than others. As you learn to read the responses from an animal, you will gain a better understanding of his personality and challenges. Sometimes the animal is attracted to an essential oil that gives an indication as to what is physically ailing him; other times he may select an essential oil to help him step out of worry or anxiety. This therapy can also assist in diffusing painful memories.
Topical applications may address muscle soreness, respiratory tract infections, and other physical conditions. Only areas of the body in need, are given an application. An added benefit is that the animal can still inhale the essential oils as they evaporate.

Essential oils treatment can be combined with various bodywork techniques. Essential oils may also be applied to sore muscles, or to an injury, in vegetable oil or aloe vera gel carriers. A 2.5% dilution of essential oil in the carrier will address most issues and get into a warm, massaged muscle, accessing the bloodstream via the hair follicle.

Aromatherapy is a gentle, non-invasive treatment, which has profound effects. It can be safely employed on a simple level, or its energetic and chemical properties may be explored at the practitioner level. It empowers animal guardians to better understand their companions on a physical, emotional and spiritual level.

Aromatherapy is not intended to replace veterinary care. Due to the profound biochemical changes that can occur, when essential oils are used as complimentary therapy for an illness it is important that a professional do treatment. For further information, look up the IAATH 2002 Conference papers, or contact the author at

About Catherine Bird
Catherine is an Aromatherapist, Medical Herbalist and Massage Therapist specializing in horses. She is based in Sydney, Australia and consults in person and via the Internet worldwide at She is the author of Horse Scents and A Healthy Horse the Natural Way. She also offers the Equine Aromatherapy
Correspondence Course.