Aromatherapy is a holistic natural healing treatment that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments in humans. It is gaining popularity as an alternative therapy for animals, especially horses.
Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils which are pure, natural, herbal remedies and is an alternative therapy to western medicine and medications. The oils are extracted from plants and have therapeutic properties to help heal and restore the body back to homeostasis. The natural plant extracts promote physical and emotional well-being, healing and combats ailments.
A horse can instinctively recognize the medicinal properties of the essential oils that they are being offered and they can select the ones that meet their needs (both emotionally and physically). This process is called self selection.
Horses have a natural ability to self-medicate. In the wild, they can seek out the appropriate plants, soils, herbs, barks, resins and clays to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of pathogens, toxins and keep their bodies in balance. In a domesticated atmosphere they do not have this luxury so offering them essential oils is a great way to help them when needed.
Horses can greatly benefit from the use of essential oils. Here are some of the benefits:
Improving Digestion - Horses are prone to digestive issues, especially horses that are stalled or do not have the ability to graze and roam as they would in the wild. Essential oils can play a helpful role in the event of colic and digestive problems.
Reducing Toxin Load - We expose our horses every day to toxins that they would not normally come across in the wild. We expose them to fly spray, shampoos and conditions, body shine, medications, feed supplements, grain, cleaners, first aid ointments and more. We can go more natural baby using essential oils to replace many of these toxins.
Pain Management - If you own a horse, you know they are prone to injuries. It is probably you will have a horse with an injury or inflammation at some point. Especially if you compete with your horse, they will be prone to muscle pain. Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus and ginger have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.
Respiratory Health - Horses are susceptible to respiratory problems like asthma and allergies. Aromatherapy can help improve their respiratory health by clearing their airways and reducing inflammation. Essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint and tea tree have expectorant properties that can help horses breathe easier.
Boosting Immunity - Aromatherapy can also help boost their immune system. Essential oils like oregano, lemon and thyme have anti-microbial properties that can help fight off infections and disease.
Enhances Mood - Horses can be in a bad mood at times just like humans. Using essential oils like citrus, peppermint and rosemary can improve the mood of horses because of their uplifting properties.
First Aid - Essential oils can help you eliminate store bought ointments by creating DIY recipes to fight bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Helichrysum, oregano, tea tree, lavender, geranium, marjoram and myrrh all have first aid, infection fighting properties.
In conclusion, aromatherapy is a safe and effective alternative therapy for horses that can provide numerous benefits for their physical and emotional well-being.
Want to Learn More?
Consider enrolling in our Equine Aromatherapy Certification Course!
Dr. Angelique Barbara is the founder of Angel's Animals LLC, a company that has developed online animal bodywork courses for both owners and professionals. Dr. Barbara's unique teaching style along with the dynamic layout of the courses allows people of different educational backgrounds from all over the world to benefit from her knowledge.