Essential Oils and carrier oils- great for people and pets!

By: Cynthia Lankenau, DVM, CVA, CVCHM, RH (AHG) and comments by Diane Weinmann

While essential oils have long been popular for healing in people and animals, more than merely treating animal’s ailments, essential oils are excellent for treating the home environment – people, living space and animals.


There are three ways to use essential oils:

  1. Topical application for bodywork and cranial-sacral work.


  1. Topical application on acupuncture points for point stimulation, or on discrete areas of the body. Topical application depends on the humors you want to affect –lymphatics, blood or nerves – and the regions you want to influence. Massaging the ears with oils can have an effect on the nervous system. Massaging the paws will have an effect on the circulation of blood.


  1. Medical grade essential oils can be given orally in a one- or two-drop dose. (Remember that cats are sensitive to the eugenols of the phenol group.)

Many oils that we want to use topically are what are considered “hot” oils that could cause burns to the skin; therefore, you need a “carrier” oil.  Examples of hot oils are camphor, wintergreen, and oregano, thyme, cinnamon bark, and lemongrass.

Examples of carrier oils that can be used are:

Hazelnut oil can penetrate the epidermis and find its way into the dermis; it’s astringent and good for oily skin in any animal, including humans.

Macadamia oil is an appropriate carrier for dry or aged skin.

Almond oil is energetically absorbed through the skin very quickly; it’s high in antioxidants, vitamins E and B, and is very protective and nourishing for the skin.

Olive oil is green and very heavy; it has a descending effect on the body, so it’s very good for hyperacidity in any animal. It’s also good for heart conditions and promotes drainage of stagnation in the blood. It nourishes the blood and can be used in cases of anemia.

Sunflower oil opens the Heart and the Zhong Qi, is very good for respiratory conditions and cardiovascular conditions, resonates with CV 17 and stimulates Wei energy, and is very high in antioxidants, especially vitamin E.

Safflower oil is similar to sunflower but resonates more with the chest for cardiovascular issues; it promotes blood circulation and is good for blood stagnation.

Coconut and palm oils are very high in amino acids. They resonate with our Jing (essence).They help with constitution and neurologic issues, and whenever there is a problem with the curious vessels, bowels, brain, spine, genitals, bones and marrow (they would be good for arthritic conditions).