A lot of people use essential oils in their homes, especially for aromatherapy. But do we know if these essential oils are safe for our pets? Smaller pets like birds may be prone to the overwhelming effects of these concentrated substances. Here are some of the best essential oils for birds that you can use at home safely around, and some you probably shouldn’t.
10 Best Essential Oils That Are Safe for Birds Review
Essential oils are great, but we want to make sure they are safe for our health and pets. Here are some of the best essential oils you can find that can safely be used at home around pet birds:
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Orange Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Ylang-ylang Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Cedarwood Essential Oil
- Oregano Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
The lavender essential oil can be obtained from the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia). It is also one of the most popular aromatherapy fragrances in the world. For many years, it has been used by cultures worldwide for its wide range of medicinal properties.
We all know about its soothing properties and how it’s excellent for treating anxiety, insomnia, allergies, and even depression. However, most people don’t know that lavender essential oil is safe for pet birds too. You don’t have to worry about harming your beautiful birds during an aromatherapy session with lavender oil.
You can use it as part of your aromatherapy routine and let its calming aura exude throughout your home. You’ll get to sleep wonderfully, and your pet birds will get to enjoy its relaxing ambiance too.
Orange essential oil is extracted from the rind, leaves, and flowers of the sweet orange, Citrus sinensis. It has been described as having a sharp and exciting fragrance like most citrus plants. The strong scent makes it great for adding vitality and vibrance to a stale or smoky-smelling room.
Besides its incredible fragrance, an orange essential oil also has several uses as part of various natural remedies. It has excellent antimicrobial activity, is excellent for dealing with anxiety and depression, a potent antioxidant, and a good pain reliever.
The fragrance is great for workouts as it sharpens focus and energizes the body. You can use it as a massage oil, with a mist diffuser or spray. Did we mention it was safe to be used around your pet birds?
Another member of the citrus family, albeit somewhat sharper. The oil is obtained from the plant through a process called “cold-pressing.” The lemon plant (Citrus limon) is famous for its applications as a powerful aromatherapy fragrance, culinary ingredient, and cleaning agent.
It is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to have soothing properties that may be even more powerful than lavender. Lemon oil can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied on the skin to treat breakouts and blemishes. It should be carefully diluted as it can make the skin sensitive to sunlight at high concentrations.
The lemon essential oil has antimicrobial properties and is good for getting out tough stains and disinfecting surfaces. Though its safety around pets has been queried, it is generally safe for birds.
The woody, spicy scent of frankincense is a well-known fragrance used for medicinal and religious purposes for thousands of years. It is obtained from a resin made by the Boswellia tree, which is native to the dry, mountainous regions of India, Africa, and the Middle East.
Frankincense has an anti-inflammatory ability. It has been used for pain management in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis for centuries. The fragrance has a calming effect and is great for anxiety.
It improves asthma and is good for gut function. The aromatic oil can be used in several ways. It can be inhaled during aromatherapy, absorbed through the skin as a massage oil, steeped into a tea, or taken as a supplement.
The ylang-ylang plant (pronounced ERLANG EELANG) is a tropical tree native to India, the Philippines, and Indonesia, but which may be found throughout other parts of Asia. The plant has been described as having a fruity, lemon-like fragrance.
When used for aromatherapy, the ylang-ylang essential oil has strong relaxing properties. It has been noted to reduce high blood pressure and reduce anxieties. It contains the active ingredient linalool, which has been shown to have some anxiolytic properties.
The product is also great for dealing with depression and some forms of social aversion. The plant has estrogen-like effects, and as such, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use such. Also, avoid it if you already have low blood pressure.
The peppermint plant (Mentha × Piperita) is a cross between two famous mints, spearmint and watermint. The oil is extracted from the leaves of the herb and is used in several medicinal therapies. The aroma of the plant has been described as sharp and energizing.
The essential oil contains several vital compounds of which menthol and menthone are chief components. It has been used to treat nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, itching, and pain due to various causes.
Its cooling and refreshing flavor and fragrance are also typical in sweets, mouthwashes, soaps, toothpaste, and other products. It’s safe for use with pet birds but not for certain humans, so consult a doctor before using the product.
7. Grapefruit Essential Oil
This wonderful essential oil is obtained from the rind of the fruit through a process called cold-pressing. The grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) was an accidental cross between sweet orange and pomelo, and since then, it has been commonly grown worldwide.
The essential oil has various uses. It is used as an appetite suppressant for those trying to lose weight and may even promote weight loss. It has antimicrobial action and is great for stabilizing mood swings.
It is even said to lower blood pressure through its calming effect and has been said to have a distinct fragrance from other citrus fruits. The scent has been described as woody and bitter, but still quite attractive to men and pet birds alike.
Surprisingly, most cedarwood oil is not derived from actual cedars but rather juniper trees. Both species of trees are referred to as evergreen conifers. The oil has been extracted from the leaves, pines, and bark of the tree for centuries and is a commonly used ingredient in various natural remedies.
It is a popular product in the cosmetic industry and has been used in skincare and hair products. It is also believed to be useful in dealing with some forms of hair loss. It has soothing properties, making it a great sleeping aid and stress reliever.
The scent has been described as woody with just a hint of underlying resin and a freshness that cannot be denied. Cedarwood is commonly used to make pencils, so the fragrance will most likely take you down memory lane back to elementary school.
Oregano is not just a popular cooking spice but also a popular essential oil. The botanical name is Origanum vulgare, and it comes from the same family as mint. Though the spice can be safely consumed, that does not mean the essential oil is meant for consumption.
It can be used in aromatherapy or applied topically instead. It has potent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties and can be quite soothing, especially for those who regularly use the spice.
Some people use it as a natural antibiotic and also a way to lower their cholesterol. It’s great for your gut health and will leave you feeling healthier. It’s a great fragrance, and best of all, it is safe to use around your pet birds.
Helichrysum oil comes from a Mediterranean plant called Helichrysum italicum. The oil can be extracted from the plant’s leaves and bark and is reported to have anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
It’s great for allergies and hypersensitivity reactions because of its ability to quieten the sensitive immune system with its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used for colds, coughs, rashes, and wound healing.
Some studies show that the essential oil may also be good for your digestive system and gallbladder, but not enough research has been done. The essential oil has numerous other benefits and is relatively safe to use your home with your pet bird.
FAQs Best Essential Oils That Are Safe For Birds
1. Are essential oils safe to use for birds?
The use of essential oils around pets, in general, has been a subject of huge debate. Their use around birds is especially troublesome because of smaller birds’ sensitivity to fragrances and air pollution.
Some essential oils like cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang-ylang are known to be dangerous to pets.
However, some essential oils such as lavender, orange, lemon, frankincense, ylang-ylang, peppermint, grapefruit, cedarwood, oregano, helichrysum are known to be quite safe for birds.
2. What scent do birds hate?
Birds have sensitive respiratory systems and can detect scents and pollutants in the air at low concentrations. Unfortunately, this makes them very sensitive to certain products we commonly use in our home discharge as air fresheners, cooking ingredients, and essential oils.
Here are some essential oils which birds seem to hate and which are even toxic to them in large enough quantities: citronella, chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, cayenne peppers, tea tree (melaleuca), cinnamon, eucalyptus, pine, wormwood, clove, oregano, arborvitae, thyme, and basil.
Before you buy any aerosol product, it’s essential to know if they contain any of these ingredients. They may not be fatal at low concentrations, but it is bound to be distressing to your pet and may even make them sick.
3. Can essential oils kill birds?
Birds are sensitive to the strong concentrations of essential oils for several reasons. Firstly, they have small respiratory systems that make them susceptible to poisoning.
Also, the concentrations of essential oils used now do not occur naturally, making them exceptionally strong.
Lastly, birds would normally never come in contact with many of these substances in the wild. This makes their effect on the health of birds an unknown variable. With that being said, it is possible that the consumption or inhalation of large quantities of highly concentrated essential oil of any kind would probably be fatal to a bird.
4. Is Essential oil diffuser safe for pet birds?
Using an essential oil diffuser near pests is a much argued topic. As we said, birds have small respiratory systems and are not naturally built to handle the high concentrations of essential oils we use in our homes.
Several essential oils such as lavender, orange, lemon, frankincense, ylang-ylang, etc. are relatively safe and non-irritating to birds. Still, even at high concentrations, they can be potentially dangerous.
The best option is to use essential oils known to be non-toxic to birds and use them in small quantities. Never put more than four drops of essential oil in the diffuser, ensure the diffuser is placed as far away from the bird as possible, and use it only in a well-ventilated environment.
5. Is Eucalyptus Essential Oil Safe for Birds?
Unfortunately, eucalyptus essential oil is not very safe for pet birds. The concentrated fragrance is quite strong and maybe too overwhelming for their small bodies.
Try safer alternatives like those listed above. Remember only to use them in acceptable concentrations and a well-ventilated environment.
Essential oils are great products to be used at home, but we have to make sure they are also safe for our pets. Nobody wants to make their pet sick because of a careless mistake. Follow these easy rules, and you and your pet bird can safely enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.