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Various Essential Oils and Their Uses

Aromatherapy Horse

Basil can be used for any sort of spasm. It is useful in old and new muscle spasm. Very useful in horses where their shoulders tighten up and in front of the shoulder blade.

Bergamot can be used to help relieve any skin irritations. It is useful in mild skin eruptions usually caused by an allergic reaction or insect bites. It is also used for dealing with "butterflies' in the stomach nerves. It eases away anxieties and clears the air to pre event jitters do not incapacitate them.

Chamomile is an expensive essential oil, but worth the extra money. It helps the muscle utilize magnesium so there are no muscles cramps or spasms from intense work. It is the 'tantrum' remedy in small children and will calm your horse in minutes if he is being the difficult.

Eucalyptus is a handy essential oil to have around to ward off winter ills. If you have the scent of eucalyptus floating around your stable it prevents germs form jumping through the air, acting as a negative ion generator. Eucalyptus is useful in a post-event muscle rub. It is also an essential oil that freshens up an environment and useful to have around for horses that are confined in stables for long periods of time as it lifts the spirits and creates an outdoor feel in the stables.

Frankincense is an old-wound healer. It is used in a wash for wounds that are taking forever to heal. It also helps with respiratory disorders in a chest rub. This is the 'fear' essential oil and useful if a horse is reluctant to go on a float or you can feel a heart beat rise between your legs when you most need your horse to compete.

Geranium is another oil useful in addressing stuck aching muscles. It helps relieve spasms while having a mild analgesic affect so you can massage the muscle more deeply when needed. This essential oil balances hormones and it moods. It is very useful on young, moody, and sometimes-temperamental young stock.

Helichrysum helps with bruises and itchy skin. It has antiseptic properties and can also be used to help with bruised emotions.

Juniperberry is good for muscular, insect repellant, and wounds issues.

Lavender soothes heat. Useful when addressing inflammation and can be applied gently to bruising and swelling to facilitate recovery. This essential oil will also take the heat out of emotionally steamy situations. When stress is causing disruptions to preparations during a competition, have lavender on a tissue or as a perfume, it will help minimize heated altercations. Very useful for “calming down and taking away fear”.

Lemongrass has an affinity with myofascial tissue and useful in the recovery of tendon problems as well as shin soreness. This oil is a favorite to sniff while walking the course the day before a cross-country event. It helps retain learning.

Tea Tree
Tea tree has traditionally been used by aboriginal horseman, brushing the branch of the tea tree bush across the back of a horse with Queensland itch. It is useful in a blend of essential oils for rainscald, ringworm, as well as in a wash for wounds to prevent infection.

Yarrow is an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic and helps release past trauma (caution do not use in pregnancy or with epilepsy)


  • As your horse's skin is much more sensitive than your own, NEVER apply essential oils to his skin undiluted.
  • Always remember the strength of essential oils, you will get a response to a 3% dilution if you have chosen the correct oils, there is no 'fools' measure. So adding extra drops 'just to make sure' does not work, it only exposes your horse to the chance of a negative reaction.
  • If your horse does have a reaction to essential oils or you accidentally get some in his eye, never use water to wash them off. Water will increase the irritability of essential oils to the skin, use your vegetable base oil or milk. The albumen content of milk will help dilute the essential oils and sooth the skin.
  • Never give essential oils to your horse to ingest, they are strictly for topical applications only.
  • Never use essential oils on a situation you have not had addressed by your Veterinarian first, he is the one to diagnose any problems and today many Vets are willing to discuss the use of complimentary therapies.

“To empower ourselves with natural solutions, instead of succumbing to life-altering chemicals. There's a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but it shouldn't be the first answer, nor the only form treatment.”

Disclaimer: Alternative therapies are not meant to replace the care your veterinarian can provide. Alternative therapies is a tool to help in the healing process. All have a choice and a path on this earth and not all will choose to heal. It is absolutely THEIR choice and wishes. There is no guarantee of success in any of the healing arenas.