Book Review Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals

Published on 19 September 2023 at 09:40

Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals 

Kristen Leigh Bell

Findhorn Press, 2002

I am always interested in learning more about natural healing for animals; specifically, for cats since I am a cat owner.  And chickens, too since I own a small flock.  Through the years, I've learned that feeding my chickens a dose of something pickled, containing vinegar, helps stop any diarrhea in its tracks, and helps ward off any respiratory issues by boosting their immune system.  I occasionally give them small clippings of common herbs from my herb bed clean-ups.  They love greens.   I'm more cautious with cats since they are so sensitive.  My cat Fuzzy's herb of choice is catnip and I'm happy to oblige by growing a spot of catnip for her.  I've been afraid to give her anything else and with good reason--cats are very sensitive. 


I was fascinated to come across this book and see how cautious one should be, yet animal remedies can be effective if you know what you are doing.  The author gives all the cautions and separates the different species of animals and their abilities to handle concentrations effectively.  While dogs and horses (as well as the larger animals) are more able to handle essential oils themselves, cats and smaller animals have different metabolic systems and safety must be used because essential oils are highly concentrated and can be toxic to them.  In their case, the hydrosols seem to be the safer way to go and the author states there has been no contraindications to using the hydrosols as long as quality hydrosols are used.  She gives us a detailed list of questions to ask suppliers, and how to test your product for bacterial growth and safety using pH testing strips.


I love the list of animal ailments that can be treated with aromatherapy and the detailed instructions for how essential oils and hydrosols work with animals.  There is also a detailed list of the fifty-two aromatics used most commonly as well as ten hydrosols highlighted. There are remedy recipes given, and for the small animals such as rabbits or mice we are directed to use the cat remedies at 50% strength.  I really got into the discussion of hydrosols and how they are the perfect partner for other natural healing modalities such as Flower essences, Gemstone essences, massage and acupressure/acupuncture as well.  There was a discussion on the right nutrition and how nutrition plays a big role in our pet's health.  I'm a big proponent of that.


This is an excellent guide to get you started on the right path of natural healing for animals and contains tons of information.  And it is another guide on hydrosols, something I've recently gotten very interested in.  I've been interested in natural healing for animals for some time and I'm glad to give this book a thumbs up.

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