Blog Posts by Katrina Scampini | Plant Therapy |

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Essential Oils Blog

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What are Terpenes and Why Should I Care?

Time to Talk Terpenes!

Within a single drop of essential oil lives a complex, intricate world of relationships, bonds, and reactions that are completely hidden to the naked eye. Sometimes it can be all too easy to use our oils without giving this fact a second thought. But the precise chemistry working inside your beloved bottle of essential oil is exactly what gives that oil all your favorite qualities! So it’s worth learning about.

Not a chemistry fan? Don’t run away just yet!

As a person not particular savvy to anything more than the basic ins and outs of chemistry, I get it. The idea of looking into the microscopic happenings of essential oils can be daunting, confusing, and full of words with a few too many syllables. But whenever I’m confronted with a topic that makes my brain want to run and hide, I just remember this: learning something new is empowering! And if you love using essential oils, this information is going to help you become a more thoughtful and informed person about what it is you are using for yourself and your family. So let’s dive in!

herbs in clear glass bottles

What are terpenes, anyways?

If you love learning all about your essential oils, then there’s a term you’ve likely come across: terpene. Any single plant can contain hundreds of different compounds, which includes terpenes. Terpenes are a very large class of compounds created naturally by plants and even some insects. Essentially, these are molecules found in leaves, flowers, stems, roots, or fruit of plants that give off a distinct smell.

Terpenes aren’t around for our benefit, though. Plants aren’t working hard day and night to make sure we like how they smell, believe it or not! Terpenes actually act as a natural defense for the plant. They can ward off dangerous parasites and bugs, while also helping the plant to survive in extreme weather changes.

Terpenes are all hydrocarbons, which means that they are composed of only carbon and hydrogen elements. The carbon atoms form the framework and the hydrogen atoms attach themselves in specific ways. Their ultimate configuration leads to a specific terpene.

Woman smelling from an EO bottle

…and terpenoids? What are those?

You may find the words “terpenes” and “terpenoids” used alongside one another if you’ve done some personal research. They are not the same thing, but they do have a strong connection to one another. Terpenoids, also referred to as isoprenoids, are derivatives of terpenes. In an incredibly basic sense, if you took the molecular structure of a certain terpene and added oxygen atoms or other functional groups, you would have a terpenoid. Because remember, terpenes are only made up of carbon and hydrogen. Terpenoids can include other components, like oxygen, transforming them into an entirely different constituent with separate properties from their “parent” terpene [2].

Maybe you’ve heard of these guys…

In the essential oil world, there are two dominant groups of terpenes: monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.

Like how both words end with “—terpenes”? Makes it pretty easy to remember!

Monoterpenes

Monoterpenes are the smallest occurring terpene molecules with only ten carbon atoms. And because they are small in size, they are also very light and evaporate quicker than other heavier terpenes. Have you heard of limonene? This constituent shows up all the time in aromatherapy! It’s in essential oils like Lemon, Pink Grapefruit, Bergamot, and Orange. Generally, limonene has a recognizable dull, citrus odor.

Pinene is another monoterpene found in many popular essential oils, such as Cypress, Juniper Berry, and Rosemary. It has that characteristic coniferous, piney smell that many of us love so much.

Dropper surrounded by orange peels

Monoterpenols

And here comes our constituents with those extra functional groups! Here we’ve got the incredible constituent Linalol (also spelled Linalool), found in Lavender, Basil, Ho Wood, and so many others! Menthol, the cooling constituent that gives Peppermint its signature smell and feel, is also a monoterpenol.

Sesquiterpenes

Sesquiterpenes are heavier than monoterpenes. They have 15 carbon atoms instead of 10, meaning they will evaporate slower. If you’re familiar with essential oil notes, you’ve probably realized that sesquiterpenes would make up many base notes, while monoterpenes make up many top notes.

Beta-caryophyllene, known for its incredibly anti-inflammatory properties, is a sesquiterpene found in oils like Copaiba Oleoresin, Black Pepper, and Ylang Ylang Complete. And Chamazulene, that unique constituent that is responsible for those incredible “blue” oils (like Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, and Blue Yarrow) is also a sesquiterpene.

child looking at flowers through a magnifying glass

Sesquiterpenols

These derivates of sesquiterpenes are also probably present in your essential oil collection!

This group contains some pretty famous constituents, too, like Cedrol (in Texas Cedarwood), Patchoulol (in—you guessed it—Patchouli), and Santalol in Sandalwood.  

So there’s a handful of well-known constituents in the large umbrella of terpenes and terpenoids. There are hundreds and hundreds of different constituents in this family, each with their own unique structure, aroma, and therapeutic properties.

So what do terpenes and terpenoids do for us?

Aside from just smelling pretty good, these compounds provide benefits to our bodies. It is within them that amazing physiological transformations can take place. According to neurologist and researcher Ethan Russo, terpenes “could produce synergy with respect to treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections” [1].

For instance, we know that citrus oils are bright, cheerful, and wonderfully uplifting. Well, that is completely due to the constituents in those oils, such as limonene. We also know limonene helps stimulate the immune system by interacting with white blood cells. On the other hand, linalol has calming properties that help give essential oils like Lavender their worldwide reputation for being a go-to when you need to relax the mind and body.

Or, if you love to blend oils to make incredibly aromas, having a basic sense of terpenes may help a lot! Not only do terpenes contribute to the overall smell of an oil, but they also help determine whether that essential oil is a top, middle, or base note. Because remember, the larger the molecule is, the heavier it is and the slower it will evaporate.

This is a lot to take in.

Each terpene and terpenoid makes unique contributions to the essential oil they make up. For a single person to know the function of every constituent is a huge undertaking. However, knowing what an oil is made up of helps us make the best decisions for particular needs. Luckily we have resources to refer to when we need help uncovering the properties of a constituent, so there is no need to memorize!

And in terms of how deep we dove into this topic, we really just put our toes into the water. This is a massive topic that many intelligent people spend their whole adult lives studying. For questions or more information, please contact our team of aromatherapists at [email protected]. And don’t forget to check out our Safe Essential Oils Recipe group on Facebook to keep the conversation going!

By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist

Sources:

[1] Russo E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

[2] Rhind, J. (2014). Listening to Scent: An olfactory journey with aromatic plants and their extracts. London: Singing Dragon. pgs. 129-130.

KidSafe Allergies: Which KidSafe Blend Should I Choose?

KidSafe Allergies: Which KidSafe Blend Should I Choose?

Springtime allergies can wreak havoc on our daily lives. And many of our poor kiddos have to suffer along with the rest of us. Thankfully, we have some amazing products to help with the sniffles, head tension, and congestion, while also helping to keep their immune system strong for a quicker recovery!

Let’s take a look at some of our best KidSafe blends to tackle allergy symptoms and get back to enjoying all the beauty spring has to bring us.

KidSafe Allergies: Which KidSafe Blend Should I Choose?

Immune Boom

One of our most popular KidSafe blends, Immune Boom is designed specifically to bolster the immune system while being safe to diffuse around children. Plus, it’s just as effective as our Immune Aid, which includes essential oils that are not KidSafe.

When allergies strike, diffuse for 30 minutes on and 60 minutes off throughout the day, or dilute to 2-4% with your favorite carrier oil or lotion to apply topically. It’s also available in a pre-diluted roll-on for easy application!

KidSafe Allergies: Which KidSafe Blend Should I Choose?

Defender

Help support your entire family against the threat of seasonal illnesses with the immune-boosting power of Defender. Its bright and fruity fragrance will freshen up your home and encourage a clean and welcoming environment. Plus, this dynamic combination of essential oils is a great way to support a healthy immune system and uplift your spirits with its pleasantly sweet aroma.

Try using this amazing blend in our Defender Hand Sanitizer DIY!

Sneezy Stop

Sneezy Stop is perfect for little hands and noses, and it’s really easy to make DIY Sneezy Stop tissues for dealing with cold season!

Try using this blend in your diffuser for about 60 minutes to help provide the whole house with not only a pleasant scent but also help with seasonal allergy symptoms!

KidSafe Allergies: Which KidSafe Blend Should I Choose?

Sniffle Stopper

For many of us, allergies symptoms include those dreaded sniffles. Thankfully, Sniffle Stopper is ready to help keep your child’s head and respiratory tract clear! Diffuse a few drops of Sniffle Stopper to help your little one breathe easier. You can also dilute to 3-5% in your favorite carrier oil and apply to their chest and under their nose.

Want another quick and easy way to get the most out of Sniffle Stopper? It’s so simple! Just get a box of tissues and gently open the flaps on each side of the box. Then, add a couple of drops of Sniffle Stopper on each side, then glue the sides back down. Now you have lightly-scented tissues to help promote a greater sense of well-being every time a nose gets blown!

Want to learn even more? Check out these blogs!

If you’re looking for even more awesome DIY ideas with your oils or have questions about how to use essential oils for allergy and cold symptom relief, be sure to join our Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook group!

How to Create Your Own Natural Medicine Cabinet

Calling all aspiring alchemists, DIY do-ers, Pinterest posters, and natural-living peeps! Did you know you can make your very own natural medicine cabinet using amazing plant-based Plant Therapy products? From clearing coughs to making your little one’s boo-boo feel all better, here are some of the best products you should have on hand to deal with life’s little emergencies!

Essential Oils

Tea Tree essential oil from plant therapyIf you’ve ever wondered what some of the best and most reliable essential oils are for your medicine cabinet, take a look at these suggestions to see what works best for you and your family:

Eucalyptus

Tea Tree

Lavender

Blue Tansy

Frankincense

Lemon

Peppermint (or Spearmint for a KidSafe choice!)

And don’t forget about carrier oils! Keep your favorites in your medicine cabinet so you’ll always be able to safely dilute your essential oils.

Add all these products to your cart

Roll-Ons

Kidsafe essential oil roll-on plant therapy essential oils aromatherapyNever underestimate the quick convenience of our pre-diluted roll-ons! Great single EO roll-ons for health and wellness are Lavender, Tea Tree, and Peppermint. But for even a wider range of therapeutic benefits, give our roll-on blends a try!

These guys make a perfect addition to the medicine cabinet and are already safely diluted and ready for topical application. Try Immune Boom, Germ Destroyer, Defender, Sneezy Stop, Respir-Aid, and Better Than Kisses—just to name a few!  

Add all these products to your cart

The Balm Squad

Plant Therapy's balm squadWe can’t get over our Balm Squad—it really is that great! From scrapes to dry skin to bumps and irritation, the Original Organic Healing Balm is always an excellent first place to turn to! And we’d be amiss not to mention how much our EO blended balms can tackle some of life’s common concerns, like owies, sniffles, and dry skin.

Add Balm Squad to your cart

Aloe Jellies

alternative transportation: Ways to reduce your carbon footprint with Plant TherapyOne of the absolute best products for awful summertime sunburns, Aloe Jellies are a must-have in the cabinet. Soothing, cooling and incredibly hydrating, Aloe Jellies are a hidden gem. Try applying plain or Lavender Aloe Jelly to your skin right after a shower, especially right after shaving, to help soothe and hydrate irritated legs. Plus, these jellies make excellent carriers for your essential oils!

Add Lavender Aloe Jelly to your cart

A Few Extras to Consider…

Essential oil bottle with dropper and green leafMake sure you don’t get caught in a bind when it’s time to bust out the natural ingredients! You’ll want to keep your cabinet stocked with a few items you’ll need when blending, applying, and storing! Keeping a supply of roll-on bottles, spray bottles, glass droppers, and flip-top bottles will guarantee that you’re always prepared for whatever comes your way!

Add all these products to your cart

Want to show off your amazing, brag-worthy natural medicine cabinet? Head over to our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes!

April Oil of the Month: Delight

There’s nothing quite like the first sign of spring poking through after a dark and chilly winter. Fresh greens and new blossoms have a way of lightening our spirits and making us feel good about all the new opportunities life is going to throw our way! So to bottle that sense of delight, our Certified Aromatherapists beautifully blended together some of the most gorgeous, juicy, springtime scents and called it, of course, Delight. Because really, is it anything less than a delight to experience?

Delight Essential Oil Blend from Plant Therapy

Background

Let’s get to know what makes up this lovely blend a little better, shall we?

Bergamot: Widely known for its wonderfully vibrant, citrusy, and floral aroma, Bergamot helps to uplift the mind and ease your worries, especially during times of sadness and grief. Plant Therapy’s Bergamot is Bergaptine-Free, which means it is safe for use in the sun.

Orange Essence: With its intense, fresh citrus aroma, Orange Essence uplifts and energizes, while also easing worry and tension. As a co-product of the production of orange juice, Orange Essence differs from Orange Sweet due to its strong effervescent, fruity top note and additional aldehydes (approximately 0.5%). The chemical makeup is otherwise nearly identical to Orange Sweet and offers the same uplifting benefits.

Young girl holding out an orange flower

Kumquat: Known to brighten the senses, boost household cleaning products, and support a healthy immune system, Kumquat is high in Limonene, which gives the oil its fresh, citrusy aroma and uplifting abilities. This scent is very energizing and can help give you the boost you need to get going!

Steam Distilled Lime: Unlike Cold Pressed Lime Oil, Steam Distilled Lime is not phototoxic. It has a beautifully clean, bright citrus scent that can help clear and energize the mind. This oil can also help support a healthy immune system!

Rose Absolute: Highly prized for its rich floral scent, Rose Absolute is known for its calming properties, helping to soothe emotions and bring calm in the midst of fresh grief. It can also promote relaxation before sleep and add a gorgeous floral note to any blend.

Benefits

Delight’s cheerful and uplifting scent is a wonderful way to bring springtime inside your home! Diffuse this KidSafe blend during the day to encourage a joyful and peaceful atmosphere. You can also add it to your personal aromatherapy necklace or personal inhaler to keep the sweet, citrus scent with you all day long. To enjoy it in a lotion or carrier oil, just dilute to 2-4% and apply topically.

Delight was formulated with spring in mind! It is reminiscent of a freshly blooming springtime garden. With calming Bergamot, vibrant Orange, energizing Kumquat, fresh Lime, and soft Rose, this blend evokes positive feelings of acceptance and love.

Woman riding her bike happy with flowers

Blending

You’re always more than welcome to blend with our pre-made blends! Just remember that any additional element added will lead to a whole new aroma profile. But of course, experimenting with different scent creations can be super fun and incredibly rewarding! If you come up with something amazing, be sure to let us know in the comments below!

And if you’re not interested in blending, that’s okay, too! Delight makes a wonderful addition to all kinds of DIY projects. Being rich in all the wonderful immune-boosting and germ-fighting properties present in citrus oils, Delight makes a beautiful addition to a DIY all-purpose cleaner, like this one. Or add it to your body wash to help infuse your shower with a bright burst of cheerful aroma! It’s so simple: just add 6 drops of Delight with two teaspoons of your body wash, mix together, and wash as usual.

Some things you need to know about Delight:

Delight Essential Oil Blend product sheet from Plant Therapy

Is it KidSafe? Yes

Cautions: Do not use undiluted on skin. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. External use only. *There is no risk of a phototoxic reaction when using this blend topically at the suggested dilution*

Shelf Life: 1-2 years

Don’t miss out on our future exclusive Oils of the Month!

For more information and ways to use Delight or our other blends, check out PT’s Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook!

25 Ways Essential Oils Will Change Your Life

Essential oils will change your life. No, really. They will. Even our ancient ancestors knew this!

And even though these incredible natural products have been around since the dawn of time, many of us are just now getting the hang of all the ways we can use them in our lives. And wow! What an amazing impact they bring us! From the inside out, essential oils support our whole being and I’ll show you what I mean with our list of 25 ways that EOs will change your life:

1. Your face could be healthier and less prone to breakouts and blemishes.

Woman looking at her reflection

This is huge! For anyone out there who has spent a regrettable amount of time and money on countless celebrity-endorsed subscription-only 3-step facial regiments, you know the struggle for clear skin is REAL. And not only that, the struggle is completely unique to your own personal situation, since there are so many lifestyle factors that contribute to what your skin is doing. But when you lay off the chemical washes and toners and start trying essential oils, carrier oils, and hydrosols, you may notice your skin start to thank you. Suddenly those troublesome zits are less inflamed, fine lines become less prominent, and your skin gives off a youthful, dewy glow.

Learn more about how essential oils can help your skin look and feel your best with these blogs:

2. Strong nails and cuticles.

Don’t hide your brittle nails any longer! With essential oils helping strengthen and support your entire nailbed, you just may be constantly inclined to show them off! Not only that, but our nails serve a greater purpose; they protect our very sensitive fingertips, signal health concerns, and work as excellent itch-scratchers.

Check out these blogs to keep your nails in top-notch condition:

3. Photo-ready hair, day or night!

Do you know what all the best, name-brand hair care products have in common? Plant-based ingredients! Carrier oils, like Argan and Avocado, dominate tons of popular over-the-counter hair care products, along with butters and essential oils. That’s because these billion-dollar companies want to capitalize on what us oily enthusiasts and professionals have always known: hair and scalp LOVE all the natural benefits these products bring. From preventing dandruff to adding length to smoothing out frizz, learn how essential oils can change your hair for the better:

4. Help moisturize even the dryest skin

If you suffer from extremely dry, cracked, or flaky skin, hopefully you’ve given EOs a try. There are plenty of ways to provide intense, immediate moisture to skin that needs it the most, without paying an arm and a leg. Head over to these blogs to see how essential oils can help out your dry skin:

5. More EOs means less commercial products!

Female hand holding moisturizer in clear container

 

Let’s face it—buying skincare products at the store can be daunting. Unless you have your absolute go-to store-bought product, you may find yourself standing dumbfounded in the aisle looking upon dozens and dozens of different products that all claim the same thing: they’re the best! But when you use essential oils, you’ll find yourself spending a lot less time in those aisles. That’s because when you find just the right essential oil for your needs, you’ll never look back!

6. You’ll begin to gain more awareness about the products you use on yourself, your family, and inside your home.

When you start using essential oils regularly, you’ll probably begin looking at all of your other products in a whole new light. Maybe you’ll give the ingredients labels a look, maybe you’ll contemplate if the products are the safest they can be for your kiddos, maybe you’ll think twice before purchasing a synthetic fragrance. No matter how big or little, a change in your mindset can have profound differences in the choices you make! Learn more with these blogs:

7. Your home will be freshened naturally, not synthetically.

Diffusing essential oils can give your home an incredibly fresh aroma designed specifically to suit your needs. You can diffuse for a health purpose, like boosting immune support, or just for fragrance! There are endless possibilities when it comes to blending essential oils, too, meaning your home’s aroma will be so much more than a store-bought bottle of air freshener—it’ll be a conversation starter!

8. You’ll be able to reduce household toxins with natural cleaners.

Sometimes using commercial cleaning products can be a bit aggressive, you know what I mean? They can irritate your eyes and nose and leave a lingering chemical smell for quite a while before finally dissipating. Before essential oils you may not have given this a second thought, because what else are you going to use? But now you know you have options. Lots of options!

9. You’ll get that beauty rest you deserve!

woman sleeping in her bed

There are so many wonderful essential oils known to promote a quality night of sleep. They can help you relax your mind and body before bed, lull you to sleep, and help you stay asleep. And that’s no small feat! Getting good sound sleep is critical to a healthy and happy YOU.

10. Your morning routine gets an energy boost!

I don’t care who you are—waking up early on a Monday morning is a bummer. Actually, for a lot of us, getting up and out of bed on any day of the week can be hard! But if you reach for one of the many pep-enhancing essential oils available, you’ll find they can give you just the boost you need to get up and at it! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and that Peppermint EO smells oh so energizing!

11. Your workout routine gets a boost, too.

Woman happy during a run

We all wish we could stay consistent with our exercise goals but that’s no easy task. With so many other daily priorities, that scheduled 45-minute workout is one of the easiest to keep pushing out of the way. And then by the end of the day, we are just too exhausted to give it our all! But using the right energizing essential oils can change all that. And what about your post-workout recover? Essential oils can help there, too!

12. EOs help you find your Zen Zone!

When you first sit down with your mat, it can be hard to get in the focused and peaceful mindset you want to get the most out of your meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices. Certain essential oils can help provide just the right type of atmosphere you need to sink into the perfect Shavasana, count your breathes with less mental distractions, or instill calmness while enjoying Lotus Pose.

13. You’ll be more proactive with your mental health.

Woman sitting at her desk stressed out

While there is no quick fix to any mental illness, using essential oils can offer some amazing support. They can help you see the sunnier side of life, calm nervous tension, and encourage an uplifted spirit.

14. Your self-love will blossom.

Everyone can benefit from positive self-esteem, confidence, and that inner voice cheering you on all day long. Essential oils can be used to promote that get-at-it attitude we need in life to feel good in our own bodies and spread that feeling of happiness to others!

15. We can’t forget about the romance department!

Who doesn’t want to spice it up in the bedroom? No matter what your relationship status is, certain scents can really jump-start intimate moments. Or you can use your EOs to address other concerns that may be impacting your sex-life, like stress, physical discomforts, and those darn headaches! Check out these blogs to learn more:

16. You’ll be better prepared for emergencies, no matter where life takes you!

Child having spray applied outdoors

From germs, to bug bites, to upset tummies, traveling can take a big toll on our comfort level! But with so many different essential oils to address all kinds of common traveling ailments, you’ll always be prepared!

17. Staying healthy means fewer trips to the doctor.

Essential oils provide some incredible properties that can benefit your whole body. Some are great immune supports, others can help clear a congested cough, and some help open up your sinuses. And this is great! Because when you are feeling healthy or you have the tools to support your body while it’s fighting off a bad case of the cruds, you can take some of your healthcare into your own hands.

18. You can deal with discomfort on your own terms.

When your body hurts, you want effective relief. Inflammation in the muscles and joints can really interfere with your whole day, but maybe you’re not so keen on taking another over-the-counter medicine. Certain essential oils have wonderful analgesic properties that can help you feel more comfortable and ready to tackle the day!

19. Allergy season is a bit less dreadful!

On any given springtime day our bodies are accosted by pollen, pollen, and more pollen. Itchy eyes, irritated throats, inflamed sinuses…it’s no fun at all. But you can prepare for this dread with your essential oils; bring them along with you wherever you go in a personal inhaler or roll-on.

20. Your fur babies can also enjoy some amazing benefits.

Woman happy with her dog

Humans aren’t the only ones who need some comfort! Using essential oils with your pets in a safe and responsible way can really enhance your dog or horse’s quality of life. PT’s Pup & Pony line is the perfect place to start!

21. You’ll always be able to turn to EOs for support when you’re learning something new.

One of the hardest parts about learning something new or taking on a new hobby is maintaining that initial boost of motivation you got when the plan first sprang up in your mind.  It can take a lot of consistency and grit to keep yourself going when learning something new or even just organizing all the clutter in your life! Learn how EOs can give you some extra support:

22. EOs make the perfect study-buddy when it’s time to cram.

Not all of us are good test takers. Some of us, well, we need a little extra help staying focused and remembering new information. And that’s okay! There are quite a few EOs that can help you with both of these concerns, plus give you an overall boost of motivation!

23. You’re the go-to for your friends and family with concerns.

Family happy at the beach

A lot of people are interested in alternative medicine choices but may not know how to start practicing it in their own lives. But when you get familiar with essential oils and experience for yourself the positive whole-body effects they have, you’ll be able to support others in their journey to learn more! Help the ones you love by showing them easy DIY recipes, like the ones below:

24. You’ll love this fun new hobby to fill your time!

Falling down the essential oil rabbit hole can be pretty fun! there is so much information to learn, recipes to try, and opportunities to let your creative side go wild! You may like creating DIY masterpieces, learning about the constituents within your favorite oils, or keeping a journal of your aromatherapy inventory. But no matter how you enjoy spending your time with oils, it’s a pretty great hobby!

25. Your part of an inclusive, loving community of oily enthusiasts!

You love oils, we love oils—it’s a match made in heaven! Join us over at our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes to meet thousands of wonderful EO enthusiasts. And don’t forget to watch our Plant Therapy Live shows on Mondays (9:30 am MST), Wednesday (5:00 pm MST), and Friday (9:30 am MST)  on PT’s Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube channels! These are wonderful platforms to meet new people, learn new things, and have a lot of fun being part of such a loving community!

So how have essential oils changed your life? Let us know in the comments!

Hemp Seed Oil vs. THC vs. CBD

Cannabis.

It’s a word with a lot of weight. No other plant on the planet can seem to incite such a mixed bag of emotions and assumptions. It makes some people angry. Others are passionate. Some are indifferent. But I’m going to say with confidence that most of us are just confused. Confused about the laws, confused about the claims, and confused about the plants themselves. But for all kinds of people, from war veterans to doctors to families just searching for support, the issue of cannabis deserves to be discussed.

So today, to mark the famous national holiday on 4/20 (I’m talking about National Lima Bean Respect Day! Whaddya think I was talking about??), let’s take a quick trip down cannabis lane. No, we aren’t going to get into the nitty-gritty about the laws, fragmented research claims, and social and political issues; we’re going to start with the very basics. And maybe later, if the interest is out there, we’ll spend more time with this topic. Because when we have a better understanding of the conversation taking place, we are able to make the best health and wellness decisions for ourselves and our families—and that’s what it’s all about, right?

But for now, let’s clear up one of the most fundamental aspects of cannabis as it relates to aromatherapy. And that is: what in the world is the difference between Hemp Seed Oil, CBD, and THC? Time to break it down…

The Plant

Gloved hands harvesting cannabis

Cannabis belongs to the genus Cannabaceae, which is a big family of flowering plants. Another familiar member of this family is Humulus lupulus, or hops, which has famously been used worldwide as a beer ingredient for hundreds of years.

Cannabis is a dioecious plant, which means that there are both male and female plants that rely on each other for pollination. There are monoecious cannabis plants as well, which means they contain the characteristics of both male and female plants and pollinate between themselves. But this is a rare find that happens under pretty particular situations.

So what difference does the gender of the plant make? All the difference, actually!

Male plants, with their fibrous tissues and tall limbs, is where preferred hemp comes from. Throughout history, hemp has been used to make clothes, paper, rope, shoes—all kinds of things. Fun fact: both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were drafted onto hemp paper!

Female plants, on the other hand, are shorter and stockier. This doesn’t make them good for fibrous purposes, like hemp, but they do have their own unique characteristics. It’s from the female plants where we get nutritious hemp seeds from. And it’s from her small resin glands, called trichomes, where THC synthesizes from. So when we hear the word “marijuana,” you should know this typically refers to the female cannabis plant. Fun fact: the term “marijuana” originated in the 1930s to incite a fear of cannabis by relating it to the immigration of Mexican refugees after the Civil War. Actually, that wasn’t really a “fun” fact…

There are three main strains of cannabis, called Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. From these strains, there are hundreds of subspecies strains, all of which can be bred to produce different effects. We won’t spend a lot of time on this, just know that there are hundreds and hundreds of different subspecies strains of cannabis.

So now let’s get into a bit of what this plant can offer us and help clear up some confusion!

Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seeds next to a clear bottle with hemp seed oil

You’ve probably heard about Hemp Seed Oil before. This gem is part of our carrier oil collection! Ours is made from the seeds of the female Cannabis sativa plant, but rest assured that the seeds contain absolutely no THC component, despite being surrounded and protected by blossoms carrying trichomes. The seeds are cold-pressed at low temperatures to produce a lovely dark green oil that has a slightly nutty scent.

You can use the carrier oil alone or alongside other carriers and essential oils. It is a natural, non-GMO whole food product that is very nourishing to the skin and hair due to its high content of omega fatty acids, proteins, and vitamin E. Again, there is no THC, CBD, or any other cannabinoids present in Hemp Seed Oil.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is what gets you “high.” There’s really no reason to sugarcoat that. It is one of two of the most well-known chemicals found in cannabis (the other being CBD) and is really the culprit that gives cannabis its mixed reputation and uncertain future. But what exactly is THC?

Like stated above, females have trichomes. These are microscopic protrusions comprised of a stalk and a head that kind of resemble tiny, clear mushrooms. They are actually really neat looking:

Trichomes on a cannabis plant

These little guys appear on the surface of buds, leaves, and (though in a much less amount) the stalk. THC synthesizes in the heads of these trichomes. When inhaled or consumed, THC molecules bind directly to CB1 receptors in the body. CB1, or cannabinoid receptor 1, is abundant in the brain. It is part of our endocannabinoid system, or eCS, which runs throughout our bodies (brain, glands, and immune cells to name a few places). The eCS runs a massive amount of our life, and has an influence on our sensations of pain, our mood, our memory, and our appetite. It helps keep us in balance by sending neurotransmitters all over our bodily parts to make sure that everything is running smoothly. If something is off, our eCS helps rebalance it by instructing certain receptors to adjust your feelings and thought processes.

Anyways (sorry if I lost anyone there!), THC goes right to the CB1 receptors, stimulating parts of the brain that respond to pleasure and releases our happy-brain chemical called dopamine. All said and done, you end up experiencing the infamous “high.”

CBD (cannabidiol)

Bottle and dropper in the foreground of cannabis leaves

Unlike THC, most CBD comes from the male cannabis plants, the hemp-makers. So you’ll notice right there that the potent psychoactive elements from THC are not going to happen if you consume CBD. They’re often not even coming from the same gender of plant and may even be from different strains. What does this mean? CBD will not get you high. Not even a little.

CBD does not bind to cannabinoid receptors the same way as THC. It acts more on CB2 receptors, which are much more dispersed throughout the body than CB1 receptors, which are located primarily in the brain. And instead of attaching directly onto the receptor, CBD impacts them indirectly. It does this by activating other receptors and signals throughout the body, like TRPV1 receptors, which are involved with inflammation and pain regulation.

And we can’t forget about CBDs involvement with the so-called Bliss Molecule, or anandamide, a neurotransmitter that plays a part in helping us feel happy and have a sense of well-being. Funnily enough, anandamide is also found in chocolate! Maybe that’s why we love it so much…

Oh, and CBD contains a lot of beta-caryophyllene, an endocannabinoid system stimulating terpene that is known as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.

Woman relaxing at home

And while CBD is working hard in your body by influencing your endocannabinoid system, what do you get to do? Sit back and relax! CBD works to make an impact on your eCS system to help relax muscles, reduce inflammation, ease feelings of stress and anxiety, and so much more! It is developing quite a reputation for effectively relieving both short term and chronic pain, and reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. It does all this with absolutely no psychoactive side-effects.

You made it!

If you’re still reading—congratulations! You made it to the end. This is a lot of information to learn, though in reality it barely even scratches the surface on the subject of cannabis. Hopefully, this broad overview on Hemp Seed Oil, THC, and CBD cleared up some misconceptions you may have had or taught you something new.  

By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist

  • Note: I would like to reiterate that this blog covers only the most basic information. It does not discuss the growth of male/female plants, raising crops, or imply that the male plant flowers. It also does not discuss the molecule structure of THC or CBD molecules or distillation or solvent extractions of said molecules. Please limit blog comments to the information provided and refrain from redirecting to other companies for cannabis products. Information used in this blog is primarily sourced from Elizabeth Ashley’s book Cannabis: CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Hemp Essential Oil, & Hemp Seed Oil: The Cannabis Medicines of Aromatherapy’s Own Medical Marijuana. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more! Thank you for helping me keep our comments clean, kind, and relevant to this blog!

Information collected from the following sources:

Ashley, E. (2017). Cannabis: CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Hemp Essential Oil, & Hemp Seed Oil: The Cannabis Medicines of Aromatherapy’s Own Medical Marijuana. The Secret Healer Oils Profiles, Vol. 8.

Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics : the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1

Cannabidiol (CBD) Pre-Review Report. (2017). Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf

Tisserand, R. (2016). Retrieved from https://tisserandinstitute.org/learn-more/cannabis-oil/

“The Brain Loves CBD: What are the Effects of This Major Cannabinoid?” (2018). CBD Health and Wellness. Retrieved from https://cbdhealthandwellness.net/2018/09/04/the-brain-loves-cbd-what-are-the-effects-of-this-major-cannabinoid/

Get to Know our KidSafe Starter Set

KidSafe Starter Set banner

If you’re a parent who loves essential oils, then we know it’s paramount for you to feel 100% sure that the oils you are using are safe for your children. Our KidSafe Starter Set includes some of our most popular essential oil blends. They cover concerns ranging from helping your kiddos get a great night of sleep to supporting their immune system to help keep them strong and healthy!

Each blend lives up to our strict KidSafe standards, meaning you have absolutely nothing to fear when diffusing them, adding them to your favorite DIY projects, and applying them topically to your children (following our recommended dilution guidelines, of course!).

Now let’s take a look at what this set is all about.

A+ Attention

Kids paying attention in a classroom

Help your child stay on task by focusing on what’s in front of them. Whether they struggle with focusing at school, A+ Attention can help. Add 5-10 drops to a personal aromatherapy inhaler or mix a 2-4% dilution with your favorite carrier oil and apply topically to your child’s chest, back of the neck and/or wrist.

Calming the Child

Children hugging

Calming The Child is absolutely delicious and a delight for little ones and mothers to be. It was created to help promote a calming effect during the day or before bedtime. To help bring a calming atmosphere to your home, diffuse a few drops of Calming The Child. We recommend diffusing for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off if diffusing all day. Or dilute Calming The Child at a 1-3% using your favorite carrier oil and apply topically on your child’s chest or back of their neck.

Germ Destroyer

Mom comforting child feeling sick

No matter the time of year, germs are lurking. Germ Destroyer lives up to its name and helps keep your home healthy by supporting the immune system as well as respiratory health.  Plus, Germ Destroyer encourages a quick recovery and helps to keep the whole house healthy. Diffuse in your home or dilute to 1-3% using your favorite carrier oil and apply topically to your child’s chest and/or feet.

Immune Boom

children playing soccer

Another great KidSafe product, Immune Boom is specially designed to boost the immune system of young children while filling the room with its tangy and fresh aroma. It’s similar to Germ Destroyer, as they are both wonderful for the immune system, but Immune Boom is a great preventative care tool. Use it even when you’re feeling good just to help stay on track by encouraging a healthy immune system.

We recommend diffusing for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off if diffusing all day. Or dilute immune boom in a carrier oil at a 2-4% dilution and apply to your child’s spine or feet. You can also try this super easy DIY hand sanitizer using Immune Boom for a natural way to help keep hands clean!

Nighty Night

Young girl laying down to sleep

Quality sleep is vital for feeling good and ready to take on the day. Nighty Night helps create a relaxed and calming atmosphere that helps everyone settle down for the evening and ready for bedtime. It’s especially great for children who may be feeling a little too busy-bodied and restless to wind down.

Diffuse in your child’s room about 15 minutes before they go to bed or dilute and add to a lotion or carrier oil for a calming nighttime massage. Nighty Night is also a great choice to use with one of our cuddly Aroma Plushies, so they can snuggle up with this soothing scent.

Sniffle Stopper

adult helping a child blow his nose

A telltale sign of coming down with a cold start with those dreaded sniffles. Thankfully, Sniffle Stopper is ready to help keep your child’s head and respiratory tract clear.

Diffuse a few drops of Sniffle Stopper to help your little one breathe easier. You can also dilute to 3-5% in your favorite carrier oil and apply to their chest and under their nose.

Want another quick and easy way to get the most out of Sniffle Stopper? It’s so simple! Just get a box of tissues and gently open the flaps on each side of the box. Then, add a couple of drops of Sniffle Stopper on each side, then glue the sides back down. Now you have lightly-scented tissues to help promote a greater sense of well-being every time a nose gets blown!

If you’re interested in learning more about how essential oils can support the needs of your family, check out these blogs:

And don’t forget about our amazing Safe Essential Oils Recipe group on Facebook! Be part of the conversation with thousands of other essential oil enthusiasts, sharing stories, recipes, advice, and so much more!

Essential Oils and Cats

If you’ve got essential oils and you’ve got cats, we’re going to bet that you love them both! But perhaps your cat doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that your cats absolutely detest your EO affection and may be secretly plotting a way to mercilessly overthrow these tiny bottles reign in your home! It’s Game of Thrones—with cats.

So what’s the deal with EOs and cats?

Cat peaking up from a table

Jokes aside, this is an incredibly important topic to discuss if you have feline friends in your home. Cats and essential oils are a potentially toxic mix. Doing something as seemingly innocent as diffusing some Peppermint to freshen up the air can have you rushing your kitty straight to the veterinarian’s office.

This blog is not intended to be a scare tactic to pressure cat owners to toss their oils. However, it is meant to educate and advise responsible and mindful use of your aromatherapy products in a home occupied by your precious kitty tenants.

How do essential oils impact your cat’s health?

Woman petting her cat at home

Cats have unique bodies that can’t easily be compared to other mammals. Particularly, they lack a liver enzyme called glucuronyl transferase. Because of this, cats are not able to eliminate compounds through hepatic glucuronidation like most other mammals. So what does all that mean? In a very basic sense, it means that the lack of this important detoxification mechanism results in a slower elimination of certain compounds—if elimination is possible at all. Without the necessary enzymes to break down certain substances and effectively excrete them, it ultimately leads to the buildup of toxins in their bodies.

Cats are most sensitive to specific groups of essential oil constituents. This includes phenols and other compounds containing benzene rings, which we find in the essential oils of Wintergreen, Fennel, Peppermint, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, and Marjoram (to name a few!). They are also extremely sensitive to ketones, such as Rosemary, Spearmint, Dill, and Sage. And unlike many other mammals, cats are sensitive to monoterpene hydrocarbons (terpenes), such as pinene and limonene. This means that both citrus and coniferous essential oils should absolutely not be used around cats.

Not only do we risk poisoning cats with essential oils as the toxins build up in their body, but simply inhaling the strong aroma of essential oils can cause some cats to suffer from a watery nose or eyes, burning throat, nausea, and difficulty breathing.

Different methods of aromatherapy present different concerns for your cat.

Reed diffuser next to a window

As a cat owner, you must be cautious using essential oils in your home. Active and passive diffusion can lead to respiratory irritation and toxin buildup. Although the teeny tiny droplets coming from our diffuser may seem small and harmless, they pose a great health risk for cats. The delicate and thin skin of a cat rapidly absorbs EO molecules, which their liver will then attempt to metabolize. The molecules may also collect on the cat’s fur, leading to ingestion when your cat begins grooming him- or herself. Applying essential oils topically on a cat, whether diluted or neat, can lead to immediate health emergencies that your friend may not be able to fully recover from.

Looking for symptoms of toxicity…

Vet looking over a cat

The buildup of toxins in a cat’s body can show up immediately or years down the road. If you notice any physical or behavioral changes in your cat and suspect an EO may be the culprit, please visit your veterinarian. Since, unfortunately, cats can’t speak our language, we have to maintain a watchful eye over our feline friends.

Symptoms of toxicity include, but are not limited to:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting (not from hairballs)
  • Tremors
  • Ataxia (wobbliness)
  • Respiratory distress (labored breathing, fast breathing, wheezing, etc.)
  • Low body temperature
  • Liver failure

Consult your vet right away if you have any concerns. But keep in mind that even with supervised care and plenty of fluids cats are still unable to completely excrete toxins from their body. This can result in permanently elevated enzyme levels and varying degrees of liver function.

Safe tips for using your essential oils with cats at home.

Woman petting her cat

So does having a cat completely rule out your aromatherapy dreams? Absolutely not! As long as your dream doesn’t include using EOs on your cats, that is. Follow these simple tips to enjoy your oils while simultaneously keeping kitty safe!

  • Diffuse in a well-ventilated room blocked off from your cat.
  • Never diffuse in an enclosed room with your cat trapped inside.
  • Store your EOs somewhere your cat cannot reach them to prevent accidental contact and/or ingestion.
  • If applying diluted oils to yourself topically, avoid your cat for at least an hour. Do not pet them or let them lick
  • Wash your hands after working with oils.
  • When using EOs in cleaning products, do not allow your cat to walk on those surfaces until the EOs have evaporated. Absorption through paws or ingestion during grooming will increase your cat’s chance of poisoning.
  • Inhalers, inhalers, inhalers! This might just be the perfect way to enjoy your oils without putting any cats in harm’s way!

Following these suggestions will help to responsibility minimize your cat’s exposure to essential oils and therefore decrease the likelihood of any toxins building up in his or her body.

Want to learn more about Pup & Pony? Well, you’re in luck! In this Plant Therapy Live video, recorded on April 12, 2019, Emilee Hughes (Certified Aromatherapist and the brains & beauty behind this new line!) and Retha Nesmith (Certified Aromatherapist and VP of Customer Experience) talk all about the blends, Paw Balm, and Paw Pal Diffuser, plus all kinds of customer questions! Watch below:

For questions regarding essential oils for dogs, please contact our Customer Service Team at [email protected]. Your inquiry will be directed to our Certified Aromatherapists who have undergone specialized animal aromatherapy training.

Learning lots from our animal series? We sure hope so! Make sure to head over to our Safe Essential Oils Recipe group on Facebook to share your experiences!

Information collected from the following sources:

Bell, K.L. (2002). Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals. Findhorn Press.

Morag, N. (2011).  Essential Oils for Animals: Your Complete Guide to Using Aromatherapy for Animal Health and Management. Off The Leash Press.

Animal Aromatherapy Foundation Course with Kelly Azzaro

Practical Aromatherapy for Dogs Certification

Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy with Dr. Nancy Brandt

Essential Oils and Horses

The majestic beauty and surefire intuition that horses possess is remarkable. As children, many of us stand in awe of them gracefully grazing in a pasture. And as adults, not much has changed. For anyone who is fortunate enough to care for these creatures, their overall health is of utmost importance. And if you’re looking for natural, holistic therapies for your horse, essential oils may be a perfect match! Aromatherapy can support the emotional and physical needs of horses, including issues such as nervousness, spooking, skin problems, wound care, and grooming needs.

Professionals who practice equine aromatherapy take careful consideration of how certain essential oils can work to benefit the health needs of horses. Collectively, it has been determined that many of the oils, blends, and techniques used for canines are the same that can be used for horses! The primary difference is that a horse, being much larger than a dog, can tolerate a higher dilution rate.

First, let’s learn some general info about a horse’s sense of smell!

Woman grooming her horse in a stable

It’s important to realize that horses, like many other animals, have a large nasal cavity and a keen sense of smell. It is thought that the horse’s sense of smell is thousands of times more powerful and sensitive compared to that of a person! Scent recognition plays a huge role in the life of a horse. According to David Whitaker, PhD, from Middle Tennessee State University, the importance of a horse’s sense of smell has even been compared to the importance of language to human beings.

Horse’s have their olfactory receptors located in the upper portion of their nasal cavity. This allows the receptor cells to have more time for analysis as the scent molecules to travel through the nasal cavity. Horses can also flare their nostrils to take in more scents, which is known as the flehmen response. Also called the “horse laugh,” the flehmen response traps scent molecules within the nasal cavity. This allows the horse to analyze the scent more closely by closing the nostrils to trap the scent and closing off the airway.

So where do we start?

Woman using Pup & Pony for her horse

Because of a horse’s sophisticated sense of smell, introducing essential oils to them gradually is the key to success. You’ll want to focus on creating a positive association with the oil or blend you want to try. This positive association will not be made if you force oils on your horse without giving them the autonomy to choose for themselves.

To begin, choose the Pup & Pony blend you would like to use on your horse. Dilute to our recommended dilution for horses, which is 1-2%. Then rub the diluted blend on your palms and present your palms to your horse. Simply presenting your palms gives your horse the opportunity to smell the blend and provide you with either a positive, negative, or indifferent response. If you notice a positive response, continue this technique for a few days. That way, your horse will begin to associate the chosen blend’s lovely aroma with their most favorite person—you! Once your horse has demonstrated their appreciation of the blend, you can move forward to diffusion and topical inhalation.

Some signs of acceptance include your horse showing an interest in the oil, a willingness to continue inhalation of the oil, and visible relaxation. Some signs of an aversion to an oil include walking away from the aroma, an aggressive emotional response, pacing, turning head away, or showing respiratory distress.

All horses are different and these lists are not all-inclusive. Basically, you are looking for out-of-the-ordinary behaviors from your horse to help determine if he or she is accepting or rejecting the essential oil or blend. Horses are incredibly intuitive and seem to have an uncanny sense of what is best for them.

DOs & DON’Ts

  • DO start slowly and watch for a reaction.
  • DON’T present undiluted essential oils to your horse.
  • DO apply the oil to yourself for the first few days before applying to your horse.
  • DON’T force essential oils on your horse if they show aversion. This may lead to a negative emotional reaction.
  • DO be familiar with your horse’s current health issues and speak with a veterinarian to help decide if using EOs is the right choice.
  • DON’T add essential oils to your horse’s food or water.
  • DO start with the lowest recommended dilution.

Pup & Pony to the rescue!

Pup & Pony Collection from Plant Therapy

Take a look at our horse (and dog!) friendly blends:

Confident K9: Confident K9 was formulated for dogs who struggle with being alone. It helps promote relaxation, support doggy confidence, and soothe worry. Whether it’s excessive barking or shaking to chewing on belongings or clawing at your front door, Confident K9 can help! While Confident K9 was created specifically with dogs in mind, it is also safe and effective for horses who may struggle with similar issues.

Happy Trails: Happy Trails was created to make traveling easier for your dogs and horses. Our four-legged friends can experience motion sickness during travel just like humans. This blend’s scent is soothing to your animal’s upset stomach, and also works to comfort your animals so they stay calm and worry-free.

Horse Whisperer: Just like humans, dogs and horses can develop fear and anxiety disorders after a traumatic experience. Trauma is especially common in rescue animals but also occurs during events we may not normally consider, such as forced weaning, continuous use of ill-fitting tack, etc. This blend helps to calm and comfort animals while supporting their emotional healing process. While Horse Whisperer was created specifically with horses in mind, it is also safe and effective for dogs who may struggle with similar issues.

Show Ready: Show Ready was created to keep your dogs and horses healthy. Dogs and horses become more susceptible to illness and disease during times of travel, stress, when being boarded for long periods of time, or when exposed to other ill or unfamiliar animals. This blend utilizes essential oils that will help to support the immune system and offer protection from illness.

Add all these products to your cart

How to diffuse for your horse.

Pup & Pony collection from Plant Therapy

When actively diffusing, we recommend using an ultrasonic type of diffuser (like the NovaFuse, UltraFuse, & AromaFuse). Use 1-2 drops per 100 mL of water and begin diffusing for 5 to 10 minutes every few hours. This allows you to determine how your horse will react to the aroma permeating the air. Remember, your horse is so much more sensitive to scents than you are and a little bit goes a long way!

We recommend that you diffuse in a well-ventilated area that your horse is able to leave if he or she wants to. Avoid continuous diffusion and immediately discontinue use if you notice any kind of negative reaction. Also, ensure the diffuser is out of the horse’s reach to prevent them from knocking it over and spilling undiluted EOs on themselves.

If you’d like to try passive diffusion techniques, your horse may enjoy the Paw Pal Diffuser being clipped inside their stable. Please note that when using passive diffusion we recommend diluting the EO as if you were applying topically. Do not use undiluted essential oils near your horse.

How to use EOs topically on your horse.

Woman grooming her horse in a stable

To help support issues ranging from emotional distress to skin care needs, topical application to the suggested areas of application may be very helpful! Apply the accepted essential oil or blend ideally while doing an activity your horse enjoys. Each horse is unique, but a few suggestions include applying it during massage applications, while grooming, or even when giving them their favorite treat. Positive reinforcement is critical to the success of using EOs with horses. Never apply directly to the mouth, muzzle, nose, nostrils, ears, eyes, or sensitive genital areas.

Plant Therapy’s Dilution Guidelines for horses:

  • 1-2%

Pup & Pony dilution chart from Plant Therapy

Areas of application:

  • Back of neck
  • Chest
  • Upper inner foreleg (horse armpit!)
  • Abdomen

Remember, this dilution is recommended for topical application over a large area using Plant Therapy’s Pup & Pony essential oils only. We always recommend starting with the lowest dilution and adding more as needed for specific applications.

Horse-Safe Essential Oils:

We recommend our Pup & Pony Blends, which include only safe essential oils. These were carefully formulated with your horse in mind and cover a wide variety of both physical and emotional issues.

Safe single oils include Bergamot, Cedarwood (all varieties), Chamomile (all varieties), Frankincense (all varieties), Lavender, Mandarin, Palmarosa, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood (all varieties), and Vetiver.

Essential oils to avoid include Anise, Birch, Blue Tansy, Camphor, Clove Bud, Garlic, Oregano, Tea Tree, Wintergreen, and Yarrow.

Plant Therapy’s Pup & Pony line was created to provide a safe, natural, and effective method for supporting our beloved four-legged friends on their journey to emotional and physical well-being. We understand and have fully experienced the therapeutic properties of essential oils with humans and now, after undergoing extensive research, we are excited to extend the same benefits to our animal companions in a safe and efficacious manner.

Final thoughts to keep in mind…

Since horses are such large and powerful animals, one might think that they can handle large doses of essential oils. However, their powerful sense of smell, along with their inability to fully communicate to us how they feel, leads PT to encourage only safe and highly diluted EOs for them. Please talk with an equine veterinarian immediately if you suspect any health concerns after using essential oils.

Want to learn more about Pup & Pony? Well, you’re in luck! In this Plant Therapy Live video, recorded on April 12, 2019, Emilee Hughes (Certified Aromatherapist and the brains & beauty behind this new line!) and Retha Nesmith (Certified Aromatherapist and VP of Customer Experience) talk all about the blends, Paw Balm, and Paw Pal Diffuser, plus all kinds of customer questions! Watch below:

Interested in learning more about aromatherapy use with horses? Check out these books by one of the world’s foremost equine aromatherapists, Catherine Bird: Horse Scents: Making Sense with Your Horse Using Aromatherapy and A Healthy Horse the Natural Way.

For questions regarding essential oils for horses, please contact our Customer Service Team at [email protected]. Your inquiry will be directed to our Certified Aromatherapists who have undergone specialized animal aromatherapy training.

Learning lots from our animal series? We sure hope so! Make sure to head over to our Safe Essential Oils Recipe group on Facebook to share your experiences!

Information collected from the following sources:

Bell, K.L. (2002). Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals. Findhorn Press.

Morag, N. (2011).  Essential Oils for Animals: Your Complete Guide to Using Aromatherapy for Animal Health and Management. Off The Leash Press.

Horses Rely on Their Five Senses. (2014). Retrieved from https://hubpages.com/animals/Horses-and-Their-Sense-of-Smell

Briggs, K. (2013). Equine Sense of Smell: Horses rely far more on chemical messages in the air than on their relatively indistinct eyesight. Retrieved from https://thehorse.com/13971/equine-sense-of-smell/

Blocksdorf, K. (2018). Understanding Your Horse’s Sense of Smell. Retrieved from https://www.thesprucepets.com/understanding-horses-sense-of-smell-1885781

Horse’s Sense of Smell. (n.d). Retrieved from http://www.horse-of-dream.vsau.ru/inter/smell-e.html

Animal Aromatherapy Foundation Course with Kelly Azzaro

Practical Aromatherapy for Dogs Certification

Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy with Dr. Nancy Brandt

Essential Oils and Dogs

When you love your fur baby like family, you’ll always want the best for him or her. Dogs become our best friends, devoted protectors, playmates, motivators, and so much more. And like us, dogs can suffer from emotional and physical ailments that can seriously interfere with their quality of life. Because of this, many people are wondering about the effective and safe use of essential oils and dogs. They help us humans out so much; could they help dogs, too? They sure can!

How can EOs help our beloved doggy pals?

Woman holding up her pet dog

First, it is critical to understand what an essential oil and how powerful these highly concentrated and volatile compounds are. Please head over to this wonderful video series if you need to learn about these plant substances and how they can affect just about every system of the human body.

Since humans and dogs obviously have very different bodies, we do not react to essential oils in the same way. This is super important to consider before you use your EOs for, or even near, your dog. Just because you can handle a certain EO and really enjoy it, doesn’t mean your dog will. Actually, some oils can be very dangerous to dogs, especially when not diluted properly. But we’ll get into that shortly.

What is good to know is that when used correctly, essential oils can help address a variety of health concerns for your dog, including skin issues and emotional struggles, like anxiety.

Now let’s learn about doggy anatomy!

It’s common knowledge that dogs have a much better sense of smell than humans. But sometimes, that’s really difficult to translate into how that affects their day-to-day behaviors, desires, and needs. Please take about four minutes to check out this amazing video by TEDEd, which gives a perfect breakdown on the power of a dog’s sense of smell. This information alone may get you thinking about how you use your essential oils and how it may be affecting your dog—even if that isn’t your intention.

So where do we begin?

Woman using Pup & Pony blend with her dog

If you’re interested in supporting your dog with aromatherapy, you might be wondering how to start. Oftentimes, when introducing essential oils to a human friend, you’ll just pass them the bottle and have them take a whiff. But that is definitely not the correct approach to introducing an oil to a dog. Inhaling straight from the bottle will be too overwhelming due to their sophisticated olfactory system and can cause both physical and emotional distress. Instead, we want to focus on first creating a positive association with the scent of the essential oil or EO blend you have in mind.

To do this, let’s run through a hypothetical situation.

Say your pooch is suffering from some general nervousness and you would like a natural way to help calm them down. You may simply choose the tried and true EO for calming, Lavender, which is also a safe choice for dogs. First, you’ll dilute the Lavender to the recommended amount based on your dog’s weight (we will go over this a little further down). Then rub that on your palms and present your palms to your dog. Do not force your palms on him or her, just simply present them to your dog and see if he or she is interested and see what the reaction is. If your dog responds well to the scent, continue doing this for a few days. That way, they will begin to associate that lovely Lavender aroma with their most favorite person—you!

Increase this positive association by including the aroma into activities your dog enjoys doing, like going for a walk, playing fetch, cuddling on the couch, or anything else! Once your buddy has given his or her A-OK to the essential oil, you can move on to applying it topically or using it aromatically.

Some signs of acceptance include your dog showing an interest in the oil, a willingness to continue inhalation of the oil, visible relaxation, and licking the oil. While we would never recommend allowing your dog to intentionally ingest essential oils, the very diluted amount on your palms will not cause harm if licked a bit.

Some signs of an aversion to an oil include walking away from the aroma, an aggressive emotional response, pacing, panting, turning head away, whining or whimpering, or showing respiratory distress.

Woman with her dog

All dogs are different and these lists are not all-inclusive. Basically, you are looking for out-of-the-ordinary behaviors from your dog to help determine if he or she is accepting or rejecting the essential oil.

DOs & DON’Ts

  • DO start slowly and watch for a reaction.
  • DON’T present undiluted essential oils to your dog.
  • DO apply the oil to yourself for the first few days before applying to your dog.
  • DON’T force essential oils on your dog if they show aversion. This may lead to a negative emotional reaction.
  • DO be familiar with your pet’s current health issues and speak with a veterinarian to help decide if using EOs is the right choice.
  • DON’T add essential oils to your dog’s food or water.
  • DO start with the lowest recommended dilution.
  • DON’T use on puppies under 10 weeks old.

Once a positive scent connection has been established, you can start diffusing and using topically!

How to diffuse for your furry friend.

When actively diffusing, we recommend using an ultrasonic type of diffuser (like the NovaFuse, UltraFuse, & AromaFuse). Use 1-2 drops per 100 mL of water and begin diffusing for 5 to 10 minutes every few hours. This allows you to determine how your dog will react to the aroma permeating the air. Remember, your dog is so much more sensitive to scents than you are and a little bit goes a long way!

We recommend that you diffuse in a well-ventilated area that your dog is able to leave if he or she wants to. Avoid continuous diffusion and do not place diffusers directly on a dog’s crate if they are locked inside. If you notice any kind of negative reaction, immediately discontinue use and lead your dog to some nice, fresh air.

If you’d like to try passive diffusion techniques, your dog may enjoy the Paw Pal Diffuser. Adding a drop of an accepted essential oil or blend on a cotton ball and tucking that under the cover of your dog’s bed may also be well tolerated. Please note that when using passive diffusion we recommend diluting the EO as if you were applying topically. Do not use undiluted essential oils near your dog.

How to use EOs topically on your dog.

To help support issues such as skin conditions and tummy troubles, topical application may be very helpful! Apply the accepted essential oil or blend to the areas suggested below related to the area of concern. Ideally, apply the diluted blend while doing an activity your dog enjoys. Each dog is different, but a few suggestions include applying it during massage applications, while cuddling, or even when giving them their favorite treat. Positive reinforcement is critical to the success of using EOs with dogs. Never apply directly to the mouth, whiskers, nose, nostrils, ears, eyes, or sensitive genital areas.

Plant Therapy’s Dilution Guidelines for dogs:
  • 25 lbs or less: 0.25-0.5%
  • 25 lbs to 50 lbs: 0.5-0.75%
  • 50 lbs and more: 0.75-1%

Pup & Pony dilution chart from Plant Therapy

Areas of application:
  • Back of neck
  • Chest
  • Upper inner foreleg (doggy armpit!)
  • Abdomen

Doggy-Safe Essential Oils:

We recommend our Pup & Pony Blends, which include only safe essential oils. These were carefully formulated with your pup in mind and cover a wide variety of both physical and emotional issues.

Safe single oils include Cedarwood (all varieties), Chamomile (all varieties), Eucalyptus Globulus & Radiata, Frankincense (all varieties), Lavender, Mandarin, Palmarosa, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood (all varieties), and Vetiver.

Essential oils to avoid include Anise, Blue Tansy, Camphor, Clove, Garlic, Oregano, Tea Tree, Wintergreen, and Yarrow.

Introducing: Pup & Pony

Pup & Pony collection from Plant Therapy

Plant Therapy’s Pup & Pony line was created to provide a safe, natural, and effective method for supporting our beloved four-legged friends on their journey to emotional and physical well-being. We understand and have fully experienced the therapeutic properties of essential oils with humans and now, after undergoing extensive research, we are excited to extend the same benefits to our animal companions in a safe and efficacious manner.

Take a look at our dog (and horse!) friendly blends:

Confident K9: Confident K9 was formulated for dogs who struggle with being alone. It helps promote relaxation, support doggy confidence, and soothe worry. Whether it’s excessive barking or shaking to chewing on belongings or clawing at your front door, Confident K9 can help! While Confident K9 was created specifically with dogs in mind, it is also safe and effective for horses who may struggle with similar issues.

Happy Trails: Happy Trails was created to make traveling easier for your dogs and horses. Our four-legged friends can experience motion sickness during travel just like humans. This blend’s scent is soothing to your animal’s upset stomach, and also works to comfort your animals so they stay calm and worry-free.

Horse Whisperer: Just like humans, dogs and horses can develop fear and anxiety disorders after a traumatic experience. Trauma is especially common in rescue animals but also occurs during events we may not normally consider, such as forced weaning, continuous use of ill-fitting tack, etc. This blend helps to calm and comfort animals while supporting their emotional healing process. While Horse Whisperer was created specifically with horses in mind, it is also safe and effective for dogs who may struggle with similar issues.

Show Ready: Show Ready was created to keep your dogs and horses healthy. Dogs and horses become more susceptible to illness and disease during times of travel, stress, when being boarded for long periods of time, or when exposed to other ill or unfamiliar animals. This blend utilizes essential oils that will help to support the immune system and offer protection from illness.

Add all these products to your cart

Final thoughts to keep in mind…

Paw Balm from Plant Therapy

Confusing the word “natural” with “safe” can be a dangerous assumption. Yes, essential oils are wonderful, natural products that can support humans and dogs in all kinds of ways, but they must be used responsibly. They can pose serious health risks for dogs if used without care. Since the chemicals that make up essential oils are metabolized through the liver, we recommend that your dog be more than 10 weeks old and of generally good health before introducing essential oils. Please talk with a veterinarian immediately if you suspect any health concerns after using essential oils.

Want to learn more about Pup & Pony? Well, you’re in luck! In this Plant Therapy Live video, recorded on April 12, 2019, Emilee Hughes (Certified Aromatherapist and the brains & beauty behind this new line!) and Retha Nesmith (Certified Aromatherapist and VP of Customer Experience) talk all about the blends, Paw Balm, and Paw Pal Diffuser, plus all kinds of customer questions! Watch below:

For questions regarding essential oils for horses, please contact our Customer Service Team at [email protected]. Your inquiry will be directed to our Certified Aromatherapists who have undergone specialized animal aromatherapy training.

Learning lots from our animal series? We sure hope so! Make sure to head over to our Safe Essential Oils Recipe group on Facebook to share your experiences!

Information collected from the following sources:

Burke, A. (2018). Are essential oils safe for dogs? There are quite a few risks involved. The American Kennel Club. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/are-essential-oils-safe-for-dogs/

Bell, K.L. (2002). Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals. Findhorn Press.

Morag, N. (2011).  Essential Oils for Animals: Your Complete Guide to Using Aromatherapy for Animal Health and Management. Off The Leash Press.

Morag, N. (2015). The Aromatic Dog: Essential Oils, Hydrosols, & Herbal Oils for Everyday Dog Care: a Practical Guide. Off The Leash Press.

Animal Aromatherapy Foundation Course with Kelly Azzaro

Practical Aromatherapy for Dogs Certification

Veterinary Medical Aromatherapy with Dr. Nancy Brandt

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