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.
Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)
Physical and energetic description: A medium size shrub with small spiky leaves and pink flowers that grows wild throughout New Zealand. The Maoris used various parts of the plant for a wide range of complaints from head colds to fractures, to burns and dysentery. Captain Cook gave Manuka the name of “tea tree” and wrote of it... “the leaves were used by many of us as a tea which has a very agreeable bitter taste and flavour when they are recent but loses some of both when they are dried.” Nowadays it is best known in Manuka honey, which is recommended for its immune stimulant and bactericidal properties and for topical use on wounds and burns. Energetically it is cleansing and nourishing and settles anxiety. It is very similar to Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia) oil but not as harsh.
Physical uses: ringworm and other fungal infections; skin eruptions; ulcers and wounds, cuts and abrasions especially if they are slow healing; muscular aches and pain; coughs, cold and flu; bacterial infections and wound healing; respiratory infections.
Emotional uses: anxiety; stress, especially if it manifests as on-going physical problems such as itchy skin, slow healing or breathing problems; worry and fear.
Principal actions: antibacterial (especially Gram-positive bacteria), antifungal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiallergenic, analgesic, decongestant, insecticidal.
Safety: Generally held to be non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing
Think ‘Manuka’ in these conditions: Animals who are run-down, especially if they have eruptive skin conditions or fungal infections or seem slightly stiff and ‘out of sorts’, or worried and anxious. Staphylococcus or other Gram-positive infections.