In Essence… A Series on Various Essential Oils for Animals
By Nayana Morag

This is the second in a series of articles that will teach you about individual essential oils and how they can be used for your animals. These oils are all ones I use regularly in my practice with animals - starting at 'A' and working through my collection.

Benzoin resinoid.- styrax benzoin

Benzoin is a very useful oil that I find myself turning to often. Strictly speaking it is not an essential oil but is the resin produced to heal its wounds when the bark of a tree is cut (this is a clue to its uses!). The resin is then melted for use in aromatherapy by dissolving it in either ethyl alcohol or wood alcohol, the latter being preferable if you want a truly natural product. It is also possible to buy pure resin and melt it yourself each time. The oil is a rich copper colour with a thick sweet smell reminiscent of vanilla. It is very warming both physically and emotionally.

The most well-known traditional use of benzoin was in Friar's Balsam which is used as an inhalant for sore throats and respiratory conditions. Ballet dancers also used it to heal and prevent cracked toes. In ancient times it was said to drive out evil spirits; this expression is usually an indication that the oil will dispel emotions such as anger and fear, and this is true of benzoin.

Physical applications:
cracked skin and 'angry' lesions
respiratory congestion
old/tired muscles
old/repetitive injuries

Emotional application:
dispels anger
releases past trauma especially around the site of old injury
soothes and warms the heart
gives the strength to face every situation calmly

possible skin sensitization with prolonged use

A word on quality.... it is very important that you buy essential oils that are authentic and unadulterated; companies that supply to professionals are a good bet. Order oils using their Latin names to avoid confusion. Through my website I supply essential oils in 5% dilution that are safe to use with animals.
Familiarity breeds intuition..... There are so many essential oils, many of which have similar actions, that I suggest you start with only a few and get to know them intimately, expanding your collection slowly as need or curiosity dictates.
Be safe: essential oils are potent chemicals, albeit natural, and should never be used undiluted; be sure you read the caution for each oil.

Nayana Morag is a qualified Essential Oil for Animals Therapist and a member of GEOTA. She has worked with horses "all her life" specialising in the ones no one else wanted! She has also developed her own method of teaching riding based on the martial arts and body-awareness techniques and is the author of the 'Riding Raps' series of audiotapes. Nowadays she lives in the UK and concentrates on educating animal owners in the use of essential oils and our role in our animal's well-being. She also teaches on the GEOTA certification course. She is presently looking for people who would like to host her workshops in the USA. More info at