Essential oils are volatile constituents of aromatic plants made by plants as part of their immune/defence systems and to attract pollinators, and they are artificially concentrated for use. They are by nature xenobiotic to human and animal metabolism made up of complex mixtures of terpenoid and or non-terpenoid compounds. So are they safe to use in animals? What do we know about essential oils in animals?
Essential oils have incredible potential, but of all the complementary therapies available in veterinary medicine, they represent the remedies with the great risk to benefit ratio due to inherent toxicity of many constituents. This lecture looks at the evidence base for the use of essential oils in animals.