How to support your horse's breathing with essential oils

We all feel better when we can take deep energizing breaths of air, our horses included. From seasonal stresses to acute or chronic issues, essential oils can help support the respiratory system. In this article learn how to use a respiratory blend of essential oils to help your horse breathe easier and better. 

The Science

Species: Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis), eucalyptus leaf (Eucalptus globulus), peppermint (Mentha piperita), melaleuca leaf (Melaleuca alternifolia), lemon peel (Citrus limon), cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum), ravintsara leaf (Cinnamomum camphora), ravensara leaf (Ravensara aromatica) 

Aromatic description: Airy, fresh, spicy

The chemical constituents: One of the main components is menthol (found in peppermint), known for its cleansing and cooling properties. Menthone is another major player that makes up the chemical constituents of peppermint and is part of the Ketone family, which can help support healthy respiratory function. Laurel leaf has a main constituent of eucalyptol. Eucalyptus has the main constituents of eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, which help with feelings of clear breathing and open airways.  Lemon  has large amounts of beta-pinene, an alkene, providing immune and respiratory support and can help reduce anxious feelings. Cardamom’s main chemical constituents is terpinyl acetate 1,8-cineole which has profound effects on the respiratory system, promoting clear breathing and respiratory health. Ravintsara has high amounts of eucalyptol, sabinene and a-terpineol, which can enliven even the stuffiest of rooms with its enlivening aroma. The primary constituents of ravensara, limonene, sabinene and isoledene, are all contribute to its positive effects on the respiratory system.

Where in the World: Laurel leaf is found originally in the Mediterranean; eucalyptus leaf is sourced from Australia; peppermint comes from the Pacific Northwest of America, as well as Europe and Asia. Tea tree (Melaleuca) is sourced from Australia and parts of Kenya. Lemon comes from Sicily and Brazil; cardamom originates from Guatemala. Ravintsara comes from the island of Madagascar. Click here to view short video about how ravintsara is produced sustainably. Ravensara is also sourced from Madagascar. 

How it is Made: Laurel Leaf is steam distilled, as is eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree (Melaleuca), cardamom, ravintsara, and ravensara. Lemon is cold pressed from the rind. 


Physical:  This blend is for respiratory support. Any kind of congestion is assisted by using this blend of essential oils. The respiratory blend can be a great support in your training routine, as it helps to achieve or maintain a sense of clear airways. Getting proper amounts of oxygen is always beneficial when you're planning to work up a sweat. 

Emotional: The respiratory blend is known for its ability to help you and your horse breathe through life’s ups and downs. Laurel leaves stem back to Greek mythology, where it symbolizes victory. It has been said that laurel leaf promotes courage, confidence, concentration, focus and clarity. 
Another emotional benefit of this blend is its ability to open up the heart. When your horse has experienced some kind of emotional trauma and feels closed off to love, topical application of respiratory blend can help to 'exhale sadness' and let go of grief or pain. 

How to use respiratory blend 

Aromatically: You can use respiratory blend aromatically by putting a drop of the oil in your hand and letting the horse inhale the aroma of the essential oils. It can also be effective used in a diffuser outside the stall. 

Topically: Combine a few drops of respiratory blend with a few drops of carrier oil and rub over the chest area to promote clear and open airways. It can also be used as a spray to mist the chest area. 

Amanda trains horse in Europe

Suggestions for Use 

Before training: Use it before a training session to open up the airways and increase the overall energy. 

Congested airways: Use respiratory blend when your horse is a little congested to help alleviate symptoms associated with seasonal threats. 

Overcoming grief: If your horse is displaying signs of grieving, distrust or feeling closed off to the world around him, try applying 1-2 drops of respiratory blend diluted in a few drops of carrier oil right over his heart and chest area. Repeat every few days for 2-3 weeks to help your horse gain trust and become open to your love and support. 

Respiratory blend is great for riders as well. Are you bothered by a little extra dust in the barn? Something else causing stuffiness? You can rub respiratory blend diluted over your chest or inhale 1-2 drops from cupped hands. It works great in a diffuser in your car or in your home.

'Pollen Everywhere' Support
When spring comes and the plant life around you and your horse starts to bloom and blossom, try this blend to provide relief:
1-2 drops each of respiratory blend, lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils. 
Rub together in your palms and allow your horse to inhale the aroma from both nostrils. For yourself, cup palms over your nose and inhale deeply for 1-2 minutes, as needed. This blend can also be diluted with carrier oil and applied over the chest area. Be aware that lemon is a photosensitive oil so apply it under your shirt or avoid direct sun exposure for 12 hours (more of a concern for people as we don't have a protective coat of hair or fur). 

Want to learn more? We have great articles on lavenderpeppermint and lemon essential oils and how they can be used to support your horse. 

Did you like this article? You will love our free eBook "Uncap the Dream", featuring over 100 pages of expert horse knowledge and essential oil applications for you and your horse. Download it now! 

With love,

Amanda and Daniela
The Essential Life, 5th Edition
Emotions and Essential Oils, 7th Edition
Advanced Oil Magic, 2018 Oil Magic Publishing
doTERRA Oil Specialist Course

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