What Essential Oils are Safe to Apply NEAT?
As I shared in the post To Feed or Not to Feed, this is a question that does not have a cut and dry answer. Most essential oils will recommend some sort of dilution on the label for topical use. That said I rarely use carrier oils that is both with essential oils for my personal use and that for horses. How then do I determine which to use NEAT and which to dilute? I get to know my essential oils!
In our Complete Guide to Essential Oils Online Course I share a fun and a non-legalistic (not boring) way to get to know your oils. Of course, I have read many books and taken courses that have taught me chemistry, benefits, and the science of it all but nothing really beats just knowing because you know! This is how you build confidence and intuition to the selection, use, and application.
What Does a Carrier Oil Do to an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate rapidly and contain the natural smell and characteristics of the plant. That is why some refer to them as the blood of the plant. They are potent and only a small amount is needed. Because the carrier oils have larger molecules they are not volatile and do not evaporate. In a way they slow the effects down and reduce the concentration.
From my experience working with horses, I think it is the heaviness and consistency that first led me to not use them. The dust and dirt seem to attract to the hair when I used carrier oils. Combine that with how often I just put a few essential oils in my pocket and head out to ride or to work with the horses. Even in my therapy sessions, I try to travel light. I will have a variety of essential oil options and a carrier available (in my truck or close by) but not on me.
Young Living V6 Blend seems to work well and I have also used fractionated coconut oil. As long as you’re using a natural option and not something that is synthetic, petroleum-derived (no baby oil or Vaseline), or vegetable oil you are good to go. Other options I have heard work well are grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil.
Being Prepared and Adjust to Fit the Situation
When using an essential oil that is considered to be hot, I dilute it. Examples would be essential oils like Thyme, Oregano, Thieves Young Living Blend, and Cinnamon are the ones that come to mind, that I use the most. On the rare occasion, a horse starts fidgeting, skin twitching (like when a fly lands on them), or seems irritated after I apply the essential oil I will dilute it.
Our Mission of Naturally Promoting Horse Health
I have been using essential oils effectively for over five years now. Although I have been in the equine alternative therapy industry for over a decade, essential oils were not part of that journey until my mare became very ill and euthanasia was her only traditional recommendation. The shift essential oils made in my mare’s life and health inspired years of research, education, and determination to empower others and share what I have experienced and learned.
If your horse isn’t greeting you at the gate, is resistant or dull to your cues, or is experiencing negative health conditions… It isn’t your fault. And contrary to what some vets and equine professionals might lead you to believe, it certainly isn’t normal!
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