For hundreds of years, humans have been using essential oils for medicinal purposes. It has only been in recent years that a handful of holistic veterinarians have been incorporating essential oils into the treatment of animals. Though there have been many studies on the effects of essential oils in treating the mind and body of people, the studies regarding the effects on animals are few and far between.
Holistic Care in Bird Treatment
Most of the material that discusses the use of essential oils on or around birds are written by veterinarians who have taken a holistic approach to animal care. Some vets specialize in working with birds and have additional education in the safety or use of essential oils around them. There are cases of vets who have had phenomenal success in treating birds with essential oils, such as the case of Emmett the Parrot.
The Story of Emmett the Parrot
Emmett was very ill with wart-like tumors throughout his body and was near death when his vet began treating him with essential oils. Dr. Melissa Shelton had recently began using essential oils to treat warts on her spouse and thought that they could work to improve Emmett’s situation.
Dr. Shelton realized that birds in the wild eat leaves, fruits, and flowers that are the source of pure essential oils. For example, if a bird eats the rind of an orange, they’re bound to capture and ingest the essential oil that comes from the rind.
After treating Emmett for a brief period of time, the tumors began to shrink. Not only did this parrot look better, but he also began to act like a new bird; playing, preening, and even leaving his cage.
The essential oils that she used on Emmett, as well as a few other birds in her care, were:
It is not suggested that you apply essential oils to your bird, or let them ingest essential oils, unless under the guidance and care of a specialist.
Recent Concerns of Essential Oil Use on Pets
With so much concern about essential oil use on and around pets in recent years, people have been hesitant to even diffuse in a home that has a pet. But the research supporting these dangers has been limited. Veterinarians like Dr. Shelton and others have been using essential oils in pet therapy for several years and have the evidence to show the positive effects.
When diffusing around her cats, she did the appropriate blood work to ensure that her kitties were not experiencing adverse effects. She even treated a cat named Cowboy with essential oils that were ingested and was amazed to see how his blood panels came back excellent each time he was screened. The essential oil treatment improved his illness with no adverse effects.
Dr. Shelton expresses that the quality of the essential oil is paramount to success. Low-grade or synthetic oils do not have the same positive effect.
Essential Oil Use in The Home
Essential oils are used by many people on a daily basis for a general sense of wellbeing. They can improve mood, relax the soul, and work to ease many physical ailments.
- Many people use essential oils to de-stress. Lavender essential oil is a natural relaxer that can also improve sleep.
- Several essential oils also have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties. Both citrus and pine essential oil are ideal as natural household cleaners.
- Essential oils can ease symptoms of illness. Peppermint essential oil can reduce nausea and headaches, while eucalyptus essential oil can ease respiratory ailments.
For these reasons, and more, many people use essential oils through their homes on a regular basis.
Using Essential Oils in Your Home Around Your Bird
If you are using essential oils around your bird, be sure you purchase them from a trusted source. The respiratory system of a bird is highly sensitive to synthetic and artificially scented products, so it is imperative that you choose essential oils that are of pure grade. If diffusing, it is recommended that oils are diffused without the use of heat, so choose an essential oil diffuser that does not use heat. To understand what essential oils are the safest, and which should be avoided, use the following as a guideline:
Avoid using these essential oils around your bird:
- Tea tree
- Tree oils such as – Eucalyptus, Arborvitae, Pine
- Hot oils such as – Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano
These essential oils are generally safe to use around your bird:
- Floral oils such as – Geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, rose, jasmine
- Citrus oils such as – Orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot
If you have any questions or concerns about using essential oils around your birds, speak with your veterinarian.