well-oiled pets 3 (how much?)
We’re back with another fact over fear post on using essential oils (EO) with the animals that share our lives! Today, we delve a bit more into how to use the oils – quantities.
The very design of many animals means they may be more sensitive to the effects of EO. For example, animals have more hair follicles than humans and may be able to absorb the oils more effectively as a result. The more hair follicles per square inch of body, the greater EO absorption.
This means that a cat can absorb more EO through its skin than a dog or cow since the dog and cow have coarser hair.
As noted in Animal Essential Oils Desk Reference, if a 160 pound person uses 3-5 drops of EO, then a 1,600 horse would require 10 times that amount and a dog weighing 16 pounds would need 1/10th the human amount.
If that made your head almost explode…first, there’s an oil for that (Rosemary or even Clarity would help) and, second, there are other ways to approach this.
Smaller and exotic animals require less oil and a less intense initial exposure. So, while applying oil directly to the hoof of a horse (like humans applying to the soles of feet), you will want to dilute EO for small dogs, cats, exotic pets. In these cases, diffusion may be a great way to start.
As noted in previous posts, several species are more sensitive to the compounds in some oils so be mindful using “hot oils”/oils high in phenols, sesquiterpenes, eugenols like Clove, Thyme, Oregano, Cinnamon, etc. Please dilute these oils with a carrier oil like V-6 in a ratio of 1 drop EO to 6, 8 or 10 drops carrier oil (depending on size of your companion animal and personal experience with your pet).
Also, citrus oils (Lemon, Lime, Citrus Fresh, etc.) should be used carefully around felines.
Since “how much” EO to use can be confusing, I’m going to refer to the guidelines in the Desk Reference for animals (complete credit to this source for the details below)…
Remember, if you’re unsure please start low and slow — small amounts of oils and consider diffusing.
NOTE: Young Living’s Animal Scents® line makes getting started so easy! From EO for pets to shampoo, your four-legged, feathered and furred friends can benefit from products designed especially for them.
A portion of all proceeds from Animal Scents® products goes to support Vital Ground, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the habitat of grizzly bears and other wide-roaming wildlife.
Finally, always, always, always use only the highest-quality, therapeutic grade, organically raised and thoroughly tested essential oils. Preferably those that are sustainably harvested and follow a strict process like Seed to Seal®.
You can order your oils at www.BlossomWithOils.net, or via link on our Services page here at NourishedPath.net. Please email with any questions: AlongNourishedPath@gmail.com.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions you have and excited to hear how you use EO and EO-infused products to help you and your family (including the non-human ones) live well along the nourished path...
thieves: the legend
The popularity of Thieves® essential oil (EO) blend by Young Living has been on the rise the past few years as the use of EO becomes more mainstream and folks are looking for natural (non-toxic) ways to support their immunity.
But, before I extol the benefits of Thieves®, lets explore history for a moment…
For nearly 1,000 years, the Bubonic Plague decimated families, communities and nations across Asia and Europe. As late as the 1700s, it was still claiming the lives of up to half of the population.
Out of this backdrop emerges a tale of four thieves in France who cheated death and, in an effort to save themselves, helped millions.
The four robbers where caught and charged for stealing from victims of Black Death. Their ability to interact with the bodies of victims and live intrigued authorities and prompted the local magistrate to offer them leniency if they revealed their secret.
What they shared was a concoction of aromatics, including rosemary, clove and garlic, that they used to protect themselves from the plague.
Adding to the mystique of the story, images from this period reveal doctors dressed in wide-rimmed hats; long, dark robes; and masks with long beaks (see image via Wikipedia)…the eerie attire was doused-in essential oils while the bird-like mask held dried herbs, spices and essential oils.
According Young Living’s research, in 1722 Marseilles, people were actively using a garlic-vinegar preparation known as Four Thieves to help protect from an outbreak of the plague.
But, here, the story varies…
“Some say that the preparation originated with [the] four thieves who confessed that they used it with complete protection against the plague while they robbed the bodies of the dead. Others claim that a man named Richard Forhave developed and sold the preparation, and that the ‘medicine’ was originally referred to as Forthave’s…” and that with the passing of time, the surname was altered to Four Thieves.
Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between the two tales.
As Young Living Founder Gary Young learned about oils and the legendary tale, he developed a “new” version of the blend that offers a more appealing aroma and flavor in conjunction with powerful immune system support…Thieves®.
Today, Thieves® EO is featured in the Vitality line (for consumption), as a standard EO blend to be diffused or applied topically (with a carrier oil if needed), as well as in a variety of oil-infused products that range from lozenges and dental floss to household cleaners and laundry detergent.
A powerhouse combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata and Rosemary EO, Thieves® fills your space with a rich, spicy aroma. As always, I encourage you to hit the Google bar to explore the constituents of these oils and the magic of what each does!
One of the most popular EO products, it has cleaning power and an irresistible scent that can be used to:
Caution: Thieves contains Lemon EO which means it may cause photosensitivity. Additionally, you may need to use with a carrier oil when applying to skin. Finally, store in a cool, dark place.
As always, please use only the highest quality organic, therapeutic-grade essential oils. Preferably, those that are sustainably harvested and tested throughout the distillation process. Click here to learn more about Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise.
To learn more about essential oils, as well a purchase quality, organic oils and products, please email AlongNourishedPath@gmail.com, or visit www.BlossomWithOils.net or link through Services on www.NourishedPath.net.
Sources: Multiple, including Young Living’s website and blog.
As promised, we’re back with more facts over fear for using essential oils (EO) with the animals in your lives.
Again, the importance of using the highest quality, organic, therapeutic-grade essential oils cannot be overstated.
Within 20 minutes of topical application, inhalation or ingestion, the compounds within the EO can be found in every cell in your body, including the brain. High-quality oils enhance health, low-quality oils (non-organic and/or chemically-based) detract from it and give your body “one more toxin” to have to try and process.
As noted in the first well-oiled pets post (click here), the easiest way to introduce your animals to oils is by wearing them around your pets or through cool-air diffusion as these two methods allow your critters to get familiar with new scents and provide an exposure that is low and slow.
Even with this method, your animal may not be receptive to the scent of an oil. If this happens, you have options. First, you can try mixing the EO with something that they do like and see how they respond. You can also diffuse the oil for a day or two to provide time to adjust to the scent. Additionally, you can dilute it with a carrier oil.
Remember, most animals have a much stronger sense of smell than their human family members! Plus, their sizes can vary greatly so we just need to be mindful when using with our non-human loved ones.
While overuse of oils is not typically toxic or dangerous, it can start a detoxification process that may appear intense and can leave you feeling like something is wrong with your pet…When I studied herbology, we called this the ‘healing crisis.’ Things often look worse before getting better because the body is clearing out to reboot and restore.
Please note: true reactions can happen if an EO contains low-quality oils and/or something synthetic.
According to the Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference:
Essential oils have been known to digest toxic substances; so when they come in contact with chemical residue on the skin, the oils start to work against them. It’s important to eliminate any synthetic products, if possible, when using essential oils around animals.
Our canine companions, unfortunately, are often heavily exposed to toxins in shampoos, flea/tick treatments, routine immunizations, medications, etc., and require some detoxification so it is better to start with the lower exposures to EO mentioned above.
Another way to enhance your pet’s health and wellbeing, as well as reduce chances of deep detox for your pet, is to avoid products containing ammonium or hydrocarbon-based chemicals which contain quaternary compounds like quaternariums and polyquaternariums which can be fatal if ingested. Of special note is benzalkonium chloride which is used in many products, even those marketed for pets. This one can be fatal!
Additional compounds that pose a toxic threat to our animal friends include:
The last three noted above can react with some compounds inherent in EO and result in skin irritations (also true of humans that use personal care and beauty products that contain these chemicals and then use EO).
The concern with these toxins, however, goes much deeper than skin reactions. The chemicals are actually stored in the animals’ (and our) fatty tissues where they are able to leach into the body. Topical application of EO can pull them out of the system which can be uncomfortable. So, again, focus on low and slow exposure when starting with EO.
While this all sounds scary, because it is, it points to the benefits of “going clean” with your pets and how detox can help them long-term.
Beyond skin irritations, a more intense detox may leave your pet with an upset belly or generally feeling “blah.” (If you’ve ever done a juice cleanse or other detox, you’re probably familiar with the “slump” before the “wow” as the body clears things out and then gets the boost).
You can make this process easier by:
Of course, you can stop using the oils for a few days and make sure you’ve reduced/eliminated their exposure to chemicals and start again focusing on “low and slow” – less oils, less quantity and less exposure built up over time.
I know one of the first oils I introduced to my dog was Peppermint. He’s still not a fan of the scent which is intense for a being whose sense of smell could be a 1,000 times more powerful than mine…so we started with a drop rubbed into my palms (complete with me waving my hands in the air for a second to help diffuse it) and then me simply sitting beside him for a bit.
While we still play hide and seek under the kitchen table with some EO and blends (Thieves, for example), he’s great with me adding a drop of Lemon Vitality to his bowl of water every day and enjoying a healthy lifestyle as a well-oiled pet.
FYI: Young Living’s Animal Scents line is specifically designed with your critters in mind so if you’re ready to get started, head here first.
As we continue this journey, we’ll explore quantities/percentages for use, usage tips and so much more.
Of course, you can forward comments or questions to AlongNourishedPath@gmail.com.
Thank you and have a great day!
Image Source: Bored Panda
I’m not sure how many folks who follow me (or even friends and family) are aware of my personal experiences…so this is a very bold move for me here today.
In my late teens the women in our household seem to have gotten into the diet phase of being female in our culture. My mom started weighing and measuring food.
Not going to lie – my sister and I are almost 6 feet tall and probably weighed in at 135 lbs. But common sense doesn’t always rule the day and, honestly, I was a BIG eater. I also moved a lot.
We were rarely inside in the summer, did chores, too. And, in the winter, especially by high school and college, I would get up early to ride the exercise bike and take a soak before heading to school.
I’m not sure when it actually started, but I do recall making a sheet pan of break-apart chocolate chip cookies and telling my dad I read that IF I ate only these cookies until I didn’t want them anymore, I wouldn’t get cravings, etc.
So, I did. And, I did stop. Then.
But, by the time I moved to Florida – the first time being away from family and ever living alone – the beliefs were set.
I remember them cutting my hours at work (retail) as spring moved into summer so I started having a bit more time to walk the beach, convert recipes to low-fat and exercise more.
And, I did all those things not realizing I was slowly drifting away, disappearing on many levels. I got thin. I switched jobs. I worked at a PBS station and my coworkers wondered if I had cancer.
Still, I functioned.
At one point, the folks came to visit and I knew that somehow, I was dying. I couldn’t name it…I put a pair of white jeans on (size 6) and they fell off my body. I sat on the floor – the t-shirt was teal, darker blue and purple stripes.
I stared in the mirror and knew I was dying. The folks called me from downstairs to hurry up we were going to be late for dinner (at our aunt and uncle’s). I put something on and left.
While I remember the clothes and it happening. I don’t remember what I saw when I looked in the mirror. Perhaps that’s as telling as the rest of this story.
At some point after that, mom and dad were heading back to Ohio. I don’t recall much of my youth (life) so I’m not sure how or when it happened…but they day they were leaving I do know that I asked my mom to please stay.
She said the car was packed; dad was waiting they had to go.
I cried. Not some simple “I’m going to miss you” crying, but ugly, soul-wrenching, “I know I’m dying and I don’t know how or why” sobbing.
I was on my hands and knees on the white tile at the entry to the condo begging…begging her to stay…begging for my life.
And, she looked at me, opened the door, closed it and I heard them drive away.
In that moment, whether I realized it or not, everything I knew to be true about my family and life had just turned into a lie.
“Family first” – a lie. “I love you; I will do anything for you” – a lie. Lies.
I don’t know what happened next other than a part of me, my heart and soul, crumbled.
I don’t know how I got off the floor or when. I don’t remember what day it was when I finally picked-up a phone book and started to call around for help.
The same day? A week later? Did I miss shifts at work? No idea.
I was in a haze. My brain was already disabled to some extent by too little food and too much movement.
By the shattering of all I believed to be true and knew about my family. About life.
Perhaps my folks called. I don’t know.
I do know that at some point along that path, this path, I picked-up a phone book and started calling around for help.
While it took me years to realize I had an eating disorder, I do recall calling one place in Naples and they told me it was $15,000 for treatment. I was working retail making about $5/hour and no insurance.
Finally, I called and found counseling services on a sliding pay-scale…this I could do. This, I hoped, would help me.
My counselor was extraordinary not only because she helped me, but because she was both firm and gentle. Clearly, she saw I was wasting away. Yet, she never blurted out I had disordered eating.
Clearly, she knew this was more than my parents driving away when I needed them most.
And, she never even hinted at early childhood sexual abuse.
Nope! I had to do the work on my own. And, I did.
I tried overeaters anonymous where a few folks welcomed me with open arms while others literally heckled me for being thin…they couldn’t see it was the flip side of the same coin, perhaps with more immediately deadly consequences.
I stuck with counseling and eventually a few random memories of the abuse floated through my mind when I was calm enough, safe enough, for things to come forward.
It was then, only then, that we did the work on sexual abuse. No, I never recalled who the perpetrator was. And, if you think being the wing-nut in the family with an overt eating disorder brings ridicule and abandonment, then you can imagine what happened when I brought this topic up with my mom.
Interestingly, I continued to somehow think they would eventually come around.
I was also the first in the family to call out some drinking issues…the enmeshment and such. Obvious now – but I’m the black sheep of the family.
At some point in all this, I shifted from over exercising and under-eating to binge-eating. A process of self-care that is just as damaging and damning to the psyche.
I dappled a bit with laxatives, but I knew that was a road to hell and somehow moved beyond that. I guess through faith…but not that churchy, God is coming to save me grace.
A grace that required me to sit in the pit and pull myself up while the angels whispered in my ears “you are not alone, we are here, you can do this” or even “fuck your family of origin…we are your family, you are building a new family, let us help you.” Or, “holy shit – not again? Okay, we are here, let go…let us help”.
I dove into spirituality. Nature. Started attending Unity and found folks who did healing energy work. I felt more at home in those communities than I did with doctors who told me it was all in my head. Well, DUH on the one hand, but, as I would later learn out, DUH on them because I also have a slew of food allergies and sensitivities that contributed to these cravings and binges.
Last night I realized how far I’ve come as even as I was experiencing an over-eating of the foods that cause me major issues…none of these foods are bad, per say. And, if in small amounts, I may have been okay.
But larger amounts than normal + stress + fear (money concerns) + dappling with too many of them in one day = major issues.
I feel asleep okay, but woke to a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time…but was still way to familiar.
And, I didn’t panic. I didn’t even cry – maybe a bit. I rolled myself into a ball and asked the angels to wrap their wings around me…to stand over me and protect me.
I called upon my ancestors, my mom and dad…to love me and be with me now like they couldn’t in the past.
Most importantly, I relied on me… I’ve been here before. Look how far I’ve come that this hasn’t happened in years. I used to live every day like this…the horrible stomach cramps and feeling like I’m going to be sick.
The aches and pains in my joints. The brain fog and weighted, exhaustion in the muscles.
And, I realized several things. How very lucky I am to be alive – to have survived all those years and traumas and still love my family. Have a life.
That it wasn’t just about the trauma and loss of control, the sexual abuse. There is also a factor of food allergies and sensitivities that contributed to MY experience. I’m not sure if that’s true with everyone who has disordered eating…but it was painfully obvious to me last night.
Also, that I somehow stayed grounded while I was in the bed pondering all this and knowing on the deepest of levels that I need more from my life. Yes, more cash…but more SOUL, HEART, LAUGHTER.
My people…I need my people. And, I need some of them to feed my body, mind and spirit as much as I feed theirs.
That I have always survived. I even created a safety net within me that allows me some semblance of faith, security and hope when my body and brain are screaming otherwise.
Kudos to me for loving my parents despite all the shit. Accolades to me for keeping my humor and moving forward even when life is hard.
Today, I stayed in bed later. I stopped trying to create work. I didn’t tell myself I need to do my reiki class or even a session on myself (though I think I did a mini session last night).
I was easy on myself.
I saw Duncan limping and said “nope, I’ll protect you when you can’t protect yourself” and put him back in the house (much to his dismay).
I walked. I spoke to a few friends. Ran into neighbors from my childhood. Nice to be remembered. Met a sparkling gentleman who is married to one’s sister. Petted a playful puppy and watched baby ducks in the pond.
I ate a protein shake and started writing while sipping tea.
I don’t know who this will help, or how. I simply know I’m being called to share this – not to garner sympathy or be a martyr. I’m neither a victim or hero.
I’m just a woman who is experiencing a time of deep dives to heal – along with most of the planet.
I know we can choose to ignore and run away from the shadows, but they eventually catch us.
So, instead, I have, yet again, sat with them and loved them – as I was recently reminded in a post by Dr. Northrup. I sat with my tiny self and SELF – the darkness (fears and insecurities, issues and pain) and the Light.
They were both there and I love them both.
I worked so hard to get to this place in my life and it does piss me off that I could lose every thing. But, I’ve been in hard places before and made it through… so I will this time.
Only, now, I have more experience, more tools in my box of goodies and I’ve seen more miracles and received more grace just from living this long.
I don’t have all the answers. But I do have more knowledge today than yesterday. I can offer you what I do know and I can say with assurance that the Precision Nutrition program helped me look at food in new ways.
My work with energy workers, taking reiki classes, yoga and such have all helped me better understand myself and some work with a nutritionist helped me realize more about how MY sister works and is very different than yours.
All this together provides me with some guidelines, even as all that we know and understand flips and turns inside out.
I’m subdued today. I’m a bit in toxic overload physically so going to not add the crap on the news and fear mongers to it.
I’m going to be creative somehow- maybe color or write something not like this and allow myself the space to be…me. Where I am. Who I am.? How I am.
And, I invite you to do the same. Even if it’s 1 minute alone in the car, bathroom or over the wash machine…I invite you to be you.
To pause, breathe and speak aloud (even if softly) your fears, your hopes, your angers and resentments, your loves…
I’m also going to ask you to speak LOVE to yourself. To stop bashing yourself for what you ate/drink or didn’t eat/drink. To stop yelling at yourself for not doing better, being better, doing more, having more.
To stop screaming internally for not fitting someone else’s image or even your own.
To give yourself some LOVE.
Oh, to find something that makes you laugh or cry – then move the feelings through the body to get them released (walk, clean, dance, shake yourself, jump up and down).
And, if today or yesterday you did something less than ideal that harmed you or another – simply own it as a fact and move forward. If it requires an apology, do it, to both the other and yourself.
One thing is clear as the world we know unravels…resistance, anger, rage, hate, fear only makes everything worse.
Compassion, accountability, allowing for peace and grace, along with more LOVE, improves everything.
These are hard times…we are all grieving something or someone. We are all learning as we go – allow yourself to learn and grow through this all. It’s hard.
But what choice do we really have? One leads to peace, the other to more fear.
well-oiled pets (part 1)
There seems to be a lot of information and mis-information on the interwebs about using essential oils (EO) on or around animals, especially cats. So, I thought I’d start a process of education to help reduce the fear with facts.
Of course, each species of animals, as well as each individual critter, has unique considerations when it comes to the use of EO. And, yes, there are species specific sensitivities to compounds within EO. However, they remain a powerful component of a healthy lifestyle for our companion and work animals.
When thinking about EO use with animals and pets, we need to consider some key factors:
Perhaps the greatest confusion stems from the sheer volume/types of oils currently on the market. You can find Rose EO for $25/bottle or for $250/bottle. As we’ve discussed numerous times on this blog, when it comes to essential oils QUALITY is CRUCIAL.
According to the FDA, an EO can be labeled as “100% essential oil” if it contains at least 5% essential oil.
Let that sink in for a moment.
This means that the other 95% can be anything, literally – toxins, carrier oils (which you or your pet could be sensitive or allergic to), petroleum…anything.
As with humans, this is why it’s vitally important to make sure you are using the highest-quality, therapeutic grade, organic, independently tested essential oils.
This requires a process of researching how oils are sourced and produced, including how and where they are grown; the quality of the soil and water; when and how they are harvested, distilled, packaged, shipped; whether they are tested throughout the entire process to ensure maximum therapeutic constituency; and, for someone like me, how the company treats our natural resources, as well as their employees and the communities where they farm.
In all honesty, this research is what led me to Young Living Essential Oils. After recommendations by several trusted folks who “know their stuff,” and a deep delve into the process of creating an essential oil, I landed at Young Living.
The decision of what “brand” of oils to use is completely up to you. But, a great place to get a basic understanding of the depth of what I mean when I say highest-quality, therapeutic grade, organic, medicinally tested, sustainably harvested EOs starts with the Seed to Seal process.
At this point, it would be nice to be able to provide you a list of what oils are safe with each of your companion animals, but think of all the oils and various species of critters we share our lives with…it’d be intense.
So, we’ll take a different approach.
According to Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference, some species of animals are, in fact, more sensitive to different naturally occurring chemical compounds found in EO. These scientists caution to be particularly careful when choosing oils that are high in:
Oils containing these chemical compounds are what we commonly refer to as “hot oils” as they draw circulation to the area where applied which can feel warm/hot. Examples include: Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Mountain Savory and Cinnamon Bark.
Small animals, especially cats, can be highly sensitive to stronger oils. It is also true that some cats do not carry the liver enzymes needed to process essential oils high in specific compounds (especially phenols and terpenes as noted above). Again, think Clove, Tea Tree Oil and Citrus oils (Lemon, etc.).
However, they can process many of the other compounds in EO that allow them to enjoy, and benefit from, an oil-infused life.
Knowing these facts, you shouldn’t be afraid to use oils around your pets. It’s simply a process of understanding what natural constituents to avoid based on your companion’s species.
So, how do you know what chemical compounds/constituents an EO contains? Look at the labels.
High-quality EO will list the Latin name of the oil, i.e. Lavandula angustifolia† (Lavender) oil. A quick trip to the Google bar (search for name of the oil + constituents) will let you know if there are eugenols, phenols or terpenes in the specific oil you’re interested in using around your animals.
Please note that you are looking for chemical compounds that end in enol, terpene, enols, terpenes, as well as the full terms listed in the bullets above.
At this point, I’ll also say that the best ways to introduce oils to your animals are by wearing them around your pets or through cool-air diffusion. These methods allow your companions to get familiar with new scents and provide low and slow exposure.
As we continue this journey, we’ll explore other options for use, quantities/percentages for use, possible detox effects and more!
Be sure to forward this to your oil-loving friends with kitties so that they know the facts and can drop the fear and join the revOILution!
As always, forward comments or questions to AlongNourishedPath@gmail.com, visit www.BlossomWithOils.net to pick-up your supplies and follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram @BlossomWithOils.
Thank you and have a great day!
Original source: Blossom With Oils blog.
I'm Mary Ann. I am a storyteller using skills, interests, education and experience to help others. Together, we'll explore your story and write a new ending for your journey along the nourished path.