Be Wary of Aromatherapy Claims Made for
By Sue Martin - continued
Following is only a very small sampling of the
many unsafe applications and untrue claims for cats:
1. “Essential Oils are distilled from plants
& through their processing & mixing with vegetable oils, they
oxygenate your pets’ blood system & soothe their emotions &
This statement is untrue, essential oils do not
oxygenate an animal’s or a human's blood, yet a certain multi-level
marketing company espouses this myth as proven scientific data, whereas it is
actually pure sales hype.
2. “This Essential Oils product has been
developed for application in the ears of cats and kittens with ear mite
infestation. Recommend daily application to both ears in infected pets to kill
mites and control infection in ear canal”.
Frankincense and Helichrysum in diluted vegetable
oil base, apply several drops to each ear daily for 2 to 4 weeks.
PRECAUTIONS: Discontinue use if redness,
swelling, heat or pain result from application of this product. “
They offer precautions, as reactions will most
likely occur. They do not tell you that placing the essential oils and
vegetable oil in the ear will actually do more damage than good to the
internal ear organs. That the oil blend can build up causing deafness and the
cat’s system is absorbing enough essential oil compounds to cause permanent
liver damage or death.
There is no valid research that shows Frankincense
and Helichrysum essential oils kill ear mites in cats, but there is proof
essential oils are toxic to cats.
3. A book on animal aromatherapy recommends
using peppermint essential oil on a cat or kitten for respiratory problems and
The owner of a kitten wrote to me about how her
kitten even after applying 2 drops of peppermint on its chest, as the book
instructed, would not get better. First, I felt a stab of sympathy for the
kitten because her owner had read and applied an unsafe application, and
secondly, frustration that authors write such unsafe information. I told
her she should have taken the kitten to a veterinarian as some respiratory
problems can be life threatening or contagious to other cats. I then suggested
she place two drops of peppermint on her cheek, as that is a tender spot but
not as tender as the skin of 6-week-old kitten, to feel for herself to a
lesser degree what her kitten is feeling.
She wrote me back, “Sue, I thought you were
wrong, I placed the two drops and felt nothing, but after about 30 seconds it
started to burn and redden my skin, even after trying to wash it off, the
burning is terrible. I feel so bad that I did this to my kitten, no wonder he
is so upset and meowing so much. I will never put essential oils on my cat
again and I am throwing away the book.”
N.B. There are reports of respiratory failure in
children when menthol (a major component of peppermint oil) has been applied
to the nostrils.