In Essence… A Series on Various Essential Oils for Animals
This is one of a series of articles that will teach you about individual essential oils and how they can be used for your animals. These oils are all ones I use regularly in my practice with animals.
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia/ officinalis)
Lavender is one of the best known essential oils, and not for nothing. This oil has such a wide range of uses that if I had to choose just one essential oil Lavender would be it. One word of warning, due to its popularity there is a lot of poor quality and adulterated essential oil on the market. It is best to buy from those supplying the therapists, although no guarantee - mass marketed Lavender will always be inferior quality.
Physical and energetic description: An evergreen (or grey!) perennial herb with pale spiky leaves and violet blue flowers that rise above the main bush on slender stalks. Native to the Mediterranean but now cultivated all over the world, with the best oil coming from Provence in France. Lavender has a wide range of uses and has been with us as a folk remedy for a long, long, time. It is a cure-all and intimately linked with the development of Aromatherapy as we know it today. One of Lavenders properties is its highly synergistic nature; it has been reported to strengthen the effectiveness of other oils when used in a blend. Energetically it is cool and dry, soothing our brows in times of feverish emotions. It stills the heart and helps oversensitive individuals to express themselves freely. It is particularly useful for those whose emotions overwhelm reason, paralysing action or inducing hysteria. There is a distinct difference in Lavenders grown at different altitudes with that grown at the highest altitudes being most energetically refined and Lavender angustifolia var. Chaix being best for burns.
Physical uses: burns; wounds; scars; elevated heart beat; shock; swellings, bumps and bruises; insect bites; anything that needs soothing
Emotional uses: hyperactive or obsessive behaviour; nervous hysteria; over-attachment to others; restlessness
Principal uses: Stress-related skin conditions; shock; burns; wounds; swellings; sinusitis; soothes lungs; flea repellent; to support other oils.
Think ‘Lavender’ in these conditions: Almost all skin conditions benefit from lavender, especially if the animal has a strong need for connection or is ‘jumping out of its skin’. If you have found the main oil for a condition but just need a little bit more then try lavender.
Safety: Generally held to be non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. One of the few oils that may be applied to the skin without dilution.