In Essence

In Essence... A Series on Various Essential Oils for Animals

By Nayana Morag

This is one of 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.

Great Mugwort (Artemesia arborescens)

Physical and energetic description: This evergreen perennial with spidery silver foliage comes from the Mediterranean region. It grows 3 to 5 feet tall with a 3-foot spread. The oil we use is from plants cultivated in the USA, which is high in chamazulene (30-40%) and low in the potentially toxic thujone. There is no traditional history of the use of artemesia arborescens but artemesia vulgaris (not to be used as an essential oil as it is toxic) was dedicated to Artemis and Diana, protectress of all things wild, teacher of spells and healing. It was considered a powerful tool for aiding in divination and other psychic endeavours. It has some affinity with the womb and is protective fending off ‘evil’ and bad dreams. ‘Carrying mugwort is said to protect a person from poison, wild beasts, and sunstroke’. It is energetically compact and powerful, moving through blockages of body and mind while at the same time soothing and calming.


Physical uses: Allergic conditions whether they manifest in the lungs, skin or sinuses, inflamed skin conditions including sunburn; insect bites; inflamed sinuses, headshaking, laminitis.

Emotional uses: This is not an oil I use for behavioural issues, although often horses with allergic conditions are withdrawn and cranky.

Principal Actions: Anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, anti-spasmodic, stimulant, choleretic, mucolytic.

Safety: Untested oil but apparently non-hazardous and non-irritant. Avoid use in pregnancy and for young children. There is also an oil called Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) which should never be used in aromatherapy so be sure you get the correct oil.

Think ‘Great Mugwort’ in these conditions: Any allergy. (This is a good oil for summertime high pollen counts and biting insects.)


Nayana Morag is a qualified Essential Oil for Animals Therapist and a committee member of GEOTA. She has always been passionate about horses and has had the great good fortune to work with them all over the world. She has a special empathy for ‘problem’ animals (and people!) for whom Essential Oil Therapy is very helpful. 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 audio tapes. Nowadays she lives in the UK and concentrates on educating animal owners in the use of essential oils and our role in our animals' well-being, running workshops and a Certificate course. For more information go to