Chickens & Essential Oils

Rooster exploring

Recently while I was doing some volunteer work with the farm animals a person asked my opinion about an article they had seen using Oregano essential oil with chickens. I am choosing to not share the link to the article because I do not want people to think I promote the authors suggestions. Unfortunately the article didn’t state which type of Oregano they utilized I have to assume it was Oregano vulgare.

Oregano essential oil is generally high in carvacrol and thymol. These chemical constituents lend to the possible therapeutic uses with viral infections, bacterial infections and helping with congestion. The author references investigating essential oils in the prevention of Avian flu. I did an extensive search through PubMed, one search and couldn’t find any research on Avian flu and oregano oil. Due to the therapeutic benefits with viral and bacterial infections this oil may help with prevention, as long as it was used safely and highly diluted.

Mama chicken protecting her hatchlings
Protecting her babies

For human use the oil has a recommended maximum dermal use of 1.1% and several cautions against oral use (pg. 375 & 376 Tisserand & Young 2014). Knowing these precautions I would never suggest use of this oil with chickens, simply because they are small birds with completely different systems. The only way I would use it would be during cleaning of their coop after illness and when all the chickens are removed for a period of time.

To ensure the health of your flock rather than turning to essential oils consider using the actual plant. Adding a variety of herbs to a nesting box can help deter pests, add a healthy snack and create a fresher environment. The fresh herbs will also provide vitamins and minerals which are not available from an essential oil. If you do use fresh herbs these will have to be changed frequently to avoid mold developing, if you are in a humid area consider dried herbs.

Chicken with chicks
Exploring the new world

Companion Animals

Relaxing on the porch

I have grown up with animals, usually a dog. I honestly can’t imagine my life without a pet of some kind. As I have been growing my holistic practice I have been asked numerous times about using various products on our fur babies. As I began exploring the options, I have also been volunteering at a rescue farm and learning about the love that we can get from more than just common house pets, cats and dogs.

 

Animals of all types have been companions to humans for thousands of years. The origin of these companionship’s were probably formed to help with hunting food, but that also meant that man and beast had to put some trust in each other and form a bond. Over the centuries the relationship has changed and developed into one of simple enjoyment. Most pet owners today have an animal simply for the joy that it brings.

 

In the last 20 years there have been numerous studies about the benefits of having a pet. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, and can improve cardiovascular health. On PetPartners.org they review several studies showing the therapeutic benefits of animals. In one study patients that spent time with animals rather than in an outpatient area showed decreased pain symptoms and positive mood.

 

According to Animal Planet’s site opening your home to a pet might be just what the doctor ordered. Owning a pet can help reduce allergies and blood pressure. Some of the mental benefits include:

  • Lifts spirits
  • Decrease depression
  • Lowers feelings of isolation
  • Lessens boredom
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps with communication
  • Motivation to recover faster

 

Pets can truly enhance your life for the better. Even if you are in a situation where you can’t own a pet consider volunteering. There are always animals out there that can benefit from your love and can provide you love in return. Besides who can’t resist smiling while watching a baby goat jump and play or any animal for that matter.

Baby Goat

What is an Aromatherapist…

and why does it matter?

Aromatherapist, Certified Aromatherapist, Clinically Certified Aromatherapist or Aromatherapy Practitioner. The amount of titles available regarding training is almost as high as the number of essential oils you can purchase. In the United States, the use of essential oils is a loosely regulated industry. Mainly focusing on the use of essential oils as a fragrance generally in cosmetics.

An aromatherapist is a person that has invested in an extensive course of study. Generally, 200 or more hours is required before receiving a certificate of completion. These courses require detailed study covering topics such as chemistry, anatomy and safety. As well as the emotional and energetic properties of the plant material. Generally, they will also cover the FDA regulations and provide information about the limitations.

According to Learn.org “Aromatherapists are alternative healers who use essential oils to promote healing and wellness. They meet with patients to discuss their symptoms and health goals, and they develop treatment plans based on their needs.” An important note regarding this definition, unless the person also has medical training they will not view you as a patient. Many aromatherapists study essential oils and other holistic healing modalities due to challenges they experienced from the traditional “allopathic” medical field. Many times, aromatherapy will be an added modality to a practice such as massage therapy, cosmetology, or even nursing.

Although unregulated, a license is not required in the US, both the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists (NAHA) and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) have worked to establish some educational guidelines. These ensure people operate with safety and ethics in mind. So, if you are interested in exploring the incredibly diverse nature of essential oils do some research into who can guide you safely. AromaWeb has a great guide of questions to ask anyone suggesting you use essential oils.

 

Aromatherapy – My definition

Combining materials
Combining materials

Over the last several decades we have seen the emergence of marketers utilizing fragrance to sell products. Also, the emergence of several large multi-level marketing companies selling essential oils. This growth has made aromatherapy a recognizable term. The down side is most don’t know what it truly means.

The term aromatherapy came about in 1937 when Rene-Maurice Gattefosse used it in his book “Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy“. At that time, the term was used to describe the use of essential oils for their therapeutic actions. An essential oil is the aromatic essence of the plant that is generally extracted through steam distillation. They are highly concentrated so a little goes a long way.  A true essential oil will offer valuable psychological and physical benefits. To learn more visit AromaWeb.

“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same” Helen Keller

Throughout my study of aromatherapy for both people and animals my definition has expanded to include the use of fragrant plant materials in many forms. When using essential oils topically we are always combining them into a plant based carrier, such as coconut oil. Hydrosols or hydrolats have taken up much of my aroma tool kit due to their gentle nature. I am also constantly turning to herbal preparations and flower essences to help my clients.

As more practitioners are studying the safe and effective uses for essential oils we are learning that there are other options. Beyond the essential oils we also have absolutes, CO2s and hydrosols. The carriers that are used to dilute essential oils also carry therapeutic properties and many have a wonderful fragrance on their own. So for me aromatherapy is no longer just about essential oils, but about combining many aromatic plant materials.

 

Exciting New Chapter

Anna Pageau Certified Aromatherapist
Anna Pageau Certified Aromatherapist

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler”

Albert Einstein

I have taken a lot of time off from my blog. I dedicating 2015 to receiving certification training in aromatherapy. In December 2015 I became a Certified Aromatherapist. This journey also had me studying herbs and a variety of natural healing methods. We are blessed to live in a time when some many options are available. I plan to share the benefits of practices like yoga and meditation which have become daily rituals. I have been learning about the importance of balancing everything around us. This helps to ensure that we balance what is in us.

 

The first 6 months of 2016 has been dedicated to starting my aromatherapy practice. Finding a structure that fits within my family life while being an entrepreneur. I enjoy teaching workshops focused on the wide array of uses for essential oils. My teachings also contain information about the safety considerations and the environmental impact of harvesting plants for essential oils.

 

For the remainder of 2016 I plan to continue growing my workshop offerings, and working with people one on one. I enjoy helping people explore essential oils without having to invest large amounts of money in oils they may not love. If you are considering booking a workshop feel free to contact me or fill out this form. I am looking forward to continuing my education and research and sharing much of that knowledge on my blog.