Essential Oils

I’m in the process of exploring the use of essential oils for birds, but as we all know, the aromatic oils are dangerous to bird’s respiratory systems. Candles, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, etc have all been implicated in bird deaths.

A couple of days ago I came down with a really bad cold. These things really linger with me, lasting a good three weeks. At the same time, I ran out of soda and had nothing to drink but tea or water…neither of which appealed to me.

A friend of mine told me that a couple drops of peppermint essential oil in a bottle of water would be very refreshing, so I tried it. WOW! Those tiny couple of drops were way too strong and the essential peppermint oil burned where it touched my lips. I diluted that bottle of water with another bottle of water, mixed the two and had two bottles of way too strongly flavored peppermint water. By the time I was done with my dilutions, I had six bottles of peppermint water in my fridge that were mild enough to drink.

Since I had nothing else I wanted to drink and I was very thirsty, I started drinking peppermint water. Within two days, my cold was gone. Today you can hear a bit of stuffiness in my voice, but all the coughing, sneezing, runny nose, sinus headaches, and feeling awful all over is gone.

Yesterday I received a couple of aromatherapy books that I had ordered from ecampus bookstores. I had thought that peppermint was for digestive disorders, but the books say that peppermint is also good as an expectorant and an antispasmodic (coughing) and for respiratory ailments.

I’m not going to put two and two together and come up with five. I don’t want to say that the peppermint water shortened the duration of my cold. It very well could have been a very short-run virus. However, the thought is in the back of my mind that another cold will encourage the use of peppermint water…to see what happens.

Has anyone on the list used peppermint water successfully for respiratory system problems?

For our birds, I would urge caution. As I surely found it necessary to dilute and dilute for myself, the proper dilution for a bird would probably be more extreme…or would it? If the taste is palatable to me would it be safe for a bird at that dilution, taking into consideration that each of us will consume the amount appropriate to our sizes?

For humans, peppermint oil is also used for inhalation treatments in steam. Do NOT use it this way for a bird. Any treatment that requires that a bird inhale vapors should be done under strict and knowledgeable supervision only. I know that some antibiotics are administered via nebulizers. This is quite different from aromatic oils.

The difference is that antibiotics affect the bacteria in the lungs without affecting lung tissue. Aromatic oils affect the lung tissue as well.

When I think of using essential oils with birds, the applications I think will work are: diluting appropriate oils to be taken internally and diluting appropriate oils to be massaged into the feet…absorbed through the skin. At this point I don’t know how dilute the oils must be nor which ones are toxic to birds.

If anyone has information about which oils are safe and useful to birds and at what dilutions, please share with the list. or with me.

Thanks, gloria

I have used peppermint oil in a vaporizer, for a birds with respiratory problems, with great success. It’s been a long time since I have used it, so I don’t remember exactly what I did. I remember I put the bird in the bathroom, and put a few drops of peppermint oil in the vaporizer.

Linda Young Living essential oils is highly respected by the energy worker community, and they often are used before treatment and for maintenance, etc. These oils are extremely pure. They can even be used for people with allergies, as you can put one drop on a piece of cotton and put the cotton in a sealed plastic bag for those very sensitive, and it still works. I would think that this would be the way to go for our birds, but someone at Young’s might have another idea.

Most energy healers that I know prefer Young’s over Bach. There are a couple of other really good essential oil companies out there, but they require energy testing to select the oils, and many bird owners might find that too vague or daunting.


Hi Gloria, An oil that I use a lot is the lemon oil. It supposed to kill about 90% of all the germs in the air. When ever I go to schools or birdclubs or expos I use it in the car and on my sleaves. When somebody with birds comes to my home I put it in the difuser. I use eukalyptus against fleas and neroli for calming effect also in the difuser lamp. It only takes some drops. I think that it is save for the birds, because I am doing this since 8 years without any trouble. If you can find books written by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, I know they translated some into english, they are the best. has a book called “Quick reference guide for essential oil” which I think is very informativ for the beginning. Have fun G I am not extremely knowledgeable about oils, and am NOT a Young’s distributor; and for many years have used oils mainly as an addition to energy work, as I find that it is complimentary to energy healing. The book I mentioned is a Reference Guide for Essential Oils, compiled by Pat Leatham and Connie Higley, can be bought through Young’s or through Abundant Health in Kansas: 913-438-2957.

According to multiple books on essential oils, they help promote emotional, physical and spiritual healing; have a bio-electrical frequency that is several times greater than the frequency of herbs, foods, etc. and quickly raise the frequency of the body, restoring it to its normal healthy level. Have been shown to destroy tested bacteria and viruses; may detoxify the cells and blood in the body, etc. etc. They are capable of penetrating cell walls, and can affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes, and are then metabolized. (the above information was abstracted from the reference guide above to save me time).

Some of the books in the bibliography: Fischer-Rizzi, Suzanne, Complete Aromatherapy Handbook. Lawless, Julia, The Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils. Selby, Anna, Aromatherapy. Tisserand, Robert, Aromatherapy: to Heal and Tend the Body. Valnet, Jean, The Practice of Aromatherapy: a Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and their Healing Properties. Young, D. Gary, Aromatherapy: The Essential Beginning.

I have two birds, an Eclectus and a cockatiel, both pretty healthy little critters. I personally use several oils a day on myself, and neither of my birds have ever had a reaction to being handled by me after my personal application of the oils. For this reason, I would not hesitate to put a few drops of a suitable oil on a piece of cotton in their cage if it seemed called for. This discussion of the oils will prompt me to communicate with the Young association and ask about any testing they have done with pets. I do put a drop of Bach remedy rescue in my birds’ water before trips to the vet or if any other upsetting event is going on, so I am probably erring on the cautious side about using other oils. Alice