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Are Essential Oils Safe For Birds?
Essential Oils are beautiful, but they say beauty is harm when you own a bird.
The respiratory systems of birds are extremely fragile. To care for a bird is very much like taking care of a 6-month-old baby – you have to take care of everything in their surroundings, and that especially includes essential oils.
Now, we’re not saying that you can’t use essential oils. After all, essential oils are extracted from flora abundant in the natural environments of birds.
But the truth is that not every essential oil is safe for your bird. You might only have heard about tea tree oil as a warning (if you didn’t know – it’s harmful to most animals, even in its diluted form).
And so, if you want to have your house smelling fresh and your bird free from harm, ensure that you choose safe essential oils.
So, here are 10 of the best essential oils that are safe for birds.
The orange essential oil is ideal for those who want the smell of summer refreshing their house throughout the year. It’s perfect for those who love the tangy and sweet smell that arouses their nostrils when they peel an orange.
Orange peels are cold pressed to create the essential oil. Like the second essential oil on this list, orange is a powerful anti-oxidant, its calming scent also acting as an air purifier.
It is often used in aromatherapy to help increase cortisol in the body, a hormone that is responsible for your stress, which in turn affects your body and happiness.
Another secret – it is also used as an aphrodisiac to help in the secretion of the hormones required for a better sex drive.
The best part is that it doesn’t just smell great but has so many benefits which are listed below.
Pros & Benefits:
Acts as an anti-depressant
Is anti-inflammatory (perfect for those with health conditions like allergies and other infections)
Soothing for the mind
A natural antioxidant with extreme benefits for the body
Another derivative of the citrus family, and just like the first one, the lemon essential oil has a revitalizing scent that refreshes and energizes just about anyone.
Like orange, the oil is derived from cold pressing the rind of the fruit.
It has in fact been used in history as medicine to treat a number of ailments for many years. Available pretty much all over the world, its benefits are many, as is the versatility in use.
The lemon essential oil is also probably the most famous anti-bacterial, a common ingredient in many cleaning products, and as a natural detoxifier, its astringent properties are used to help clear up acne and other skin conditions. It is often ingested to help detoxify the body
It’s perfect for your diffuser, and a few drops will have you feeling extremely refreshed.
Pros & Benefits:
Is a natural anti-bacterial
Best for purifying owing to its antioxidant properties.
Acts as a mood-booster
Astringent properties help to combat acne and pimples.
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the plant just before flowering. Peppermint is one of those essential oils that has many uses – ranging from revitalizing your energy levels to health benefits like better digestion and relief for your headaches.
If you’re suffering from too many mosquitoes invading your house, with it even affecting your bird, we recommend this essential oil which acts as a natural insect repellant – a far better option to the artificial ones that can cause respiratory problems for you and your bird.
It is quite non-toxic (to the point that it’s even okay for you to drink it, although we do not recommend it) and is perfect for those who like that minty sweet smell.
Peppermint essential oil also blends well with other oils. Some of the oils in this list that you can use are lemon and lavender.
Pros & Benefits:
Energizing and Stimulating
Clears your mind and helps to relieve headaches
Is perfect as protection against mosquitoes.
Non-toxic and blends well with other essential oils
The grapefruit essential oil is derived from the peel of the fruit. It is known to help influence your nervous system in a way that benefits your mental health, by affecting various essentials of your body like your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, etc..
In fact, this was proven in research that studied rats exposed to the essential oil and the beneficial effects it had on their nervous system, and would thus be great for your bird as well. It is still however recommended to do a skin patch test, like with all essential oils.
Famous for its antioxidant properties, grapefruit essential oil helps to reduce stress and inflammation in the body and often used to detoxify the liver – which makes it perfect for hangovers.
Unlike the bitterness associated with the taste of the fruit, a few drops will have your house and yourself invigorated with a sweet smell in just a few minutes.
Pros and Benefits:
Helps to combat depression
Perfect for exhaustion and hangovers
Used to enhance mood, lift energy levels, and reduce stress.
Benefits the nervous system by reducing blood pressure and affecting breathing rate
Rich in antioxidant properties that help to battle inflammation in the body.
If you’re familiar with the ingredients for Chanel No. 5, you will be familiar with this scent. Ylang Ylang is extracted from the flowers of a plant native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Throughout history, the aroma has been extremely popular for its association with romance and as an aphrodisiac, even it is more popular as an ingredient in various beauty products. Its calming properties have also been used to reduce blood pressure and help to remove anxiety and relieve you of chronic stress.
It has sedative properties that have a soothing effect. Hence, it is used to treat those suffering from chronic stress and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
There have no associated side effects with this product, which makes it even more popular.
Pros and Benefits:
Has a soothing and relaxing effect which is perfect for those suffering from stress and insomnia
Helpful as a treatment for anxiety and suffering
Lowers blood pressure and bring about a sense of calmness
Extremely fragrant and brings out a flowery smell in your environment
Acts as an aphrodisiac to help increase sexual libido
If you’re the kind of person who loves to dump oregano to flavor your pasta, this is probably the essential oil for you. Oregano Essential Oil varies in color from a dark yellow to a light brown, and its warm, herby scent makes it very popular.
It is famous in its use as a natural remedy owing to its anti-bacterial properties that help to fight health conditions like colds, flu, migraines, and even arthritis. It is also used to treat common skin fungal infections like athletes foot and acne.
It is primarily used to improve respiratory problems since oregano helps to soothe infections like a cough and cold. It is also used a bug repellant, and great if you’ve been having problems with them recently.
The oil is extracted via steam distillation after air drying the leaves of the herb.
Pros and Benefits:
Works as an insect repellant
A natural anti-bacterial that helps to fight bacteria, and even helps to relieve pain.
A strong antioxidant that is perfect for homes with exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollutants.
A powerful anti-fungal that is used to treat various fungal infections.
Soothing from the throat when suffering from respiratory infections.
Extracted from a plan in the sunflower family, Helichrysum essential oil is famous for its uses in aromatherapy and for its healing properties. In history, dried helichrysum flowers were often used as offerings to Greek gods, and has been popular for thousands of years, especially in the Mediterranean region.
It has a fresh, earthy smell similar to Eucalyptus, and blends well with other essential oils on this list like lavender and orange. It is also a great option for misting.
It has antioxidant properties that help to heal problems related to respiration, helping to clear the lungs and increase clarity of breath. Its sedative properties, combined with its antioxidant properties help to calm the mind and reduce anxiety along with depression.
In Aromatherapy, helichrysum essential oil has been used to treat a variety of issues ranging from anxiety to the coughs and colds. Its healing properties have been used to aid digestive issues, reduce inflammation, and soothe anxiety.
Pros and Benefits:
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, that helps to banish free radicals from your home environment
Helps to support the nervous system
Used to treat acne, allergies along with digestive issues.
While it is the last on the list, Cedarwood is believed to be the first essential oil ever to be distilled. This probably comes from the fact that the cedarwood has had a variety of uses for its wood, scent, and even as medicine.
Cedarwood essential oil has a variety of benefits that are both healing and therapeutic in nature. The balsamic smell makes it a very popular choice.
It also has natural calming properties that are used to relieve anxiety and reduce stress. This is also the reason why cedarwood essential oil is often used to cure insomnia.
Diluted Cedarwood essential oil can even be applied topically to birds.
Pros and Benefits:
Anti-inflammatory in a way that is extremely beneficial for arthritis patients
Has natural sedative properties to induce melatonin for a restful sleep
Is a natural insect repellant.
Natural calming properties that help to reduce stress.
Used to treat allergies like coughs and colds
It is extremely important that you remain cautious, no matter what essential oil you use. After all, a bird’s respiratory system is very different from ours.
Be sure to expose your bird to the scent for a few minutes, sort of like a patch test to observe their reaction, before increasing the reaction time. 10 minutes is said to be ideal.
Still, there isn’t too much to be worried about since essential oils are sourced from herbs, flowers, and plants – as detailed in this list. All of them are found in abundant quantities in the natural environment of birds.
Ensure that the oil in itself is unadulterated and of the highest quality, unlike many that available on the market. Do not decide to go with an essential oil simply because it looks to be the cheaper option – often, these are the ones with poor quality essential oils.
Avoid mixing up the oils in that quest to create your own blend, for it results in a potent aroma that has proved to be harmful not just for birds, but for the person using it.
Warning: Essential Oils that are toxic to birds include:
Safe dosage tests have not been done for these oils when it comes to birds.
How to use Essential Oil?
The best way to use an essential oil is through a water-based Diffuser.
Essential oils by themselves can be quite potent, but 1-4 drops (depending on the type of oil and diffuser) is enough to be safe. It has proved to be good as a humidifier that soothes your bird’s skin.
Another tip is misting, a technique you might find that birds love to enjoy. However, mixing in essential oils with the right amount of water needs to be done with caution.
You should still be cautious when it comes to actually spraying any amount of the essential oil on your bird.
Remember to check in with your vet and when you find the right essential oil for you, you’ll be able to have your house smelling fresh with your bird enjoying the aromatic company.