We often "made do" with various human blends of essential oils, and would "spike" them with a variety of other essential oil singles in order to accomplish what we needed. Now, I have created Open-Air to eliminate the essential oils contained within human products that were not quite appropriate for animals, and also was able to add all of the essential oils that were so critical for a really good respiratory effect. Open-Air is actually fairly mild when diffused within a Water-Based Diffuser, and many animals actually gravitate towards it! However, the oils contained within Open-Air are incredibly powerful.
Here is a run down of the oils within Open-Air and what they do:
Tangerine: Added to create an amazing smell, when combined with Cinnamon, Clove, and Spruce within this blend (because after all, if you are diffusing this in your home, you should ENJOY it too!), Tangerine actually has some amazing medical properties. It is indicated in cases of spasm, tumors, cancer, digestive problems, liver problems, parasites, fluid retention, edema, anxiety, obesity, circulation disorders, and depression. If you are only considering use for a respiratory issue - so many of these properties apply. Such as the easing of spasm with a cough. Even if you are diffusing Open-Air for a general nice smell in your home, you are reaping a wide variety of benefits. All within an oil with a huge safety margin, that has been used in thousands and thousands of animals, even very delicate ones.
Cinnamon: This oil is what we refer to as a "hot" oil - so it is important to blend it in perfect proportions to be proper for animals. Open-Air does just this - and with actual use and documentation of safety, effectiveness, and results in the veterinary hospital. From tiny little finches to large horses, Open-Air has been demonstrated to be a wonderful aid to all respiratory concerns without being too harsh. Cinnamon is included as it is not only a powerful anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral agent, but it has been noted to have properties including immune stimulation, reduction of mucus, aids in expectorant activity, and can also act as a mild analgesic for the respiratory tract, reducing pain and spasms associated with inflammation within the respiratory tract. Cinnamon can also act as an agent that can increase circulation - which is highly beneficial to allow the immune system to reach the very small blood vessels (microvasculature) of the affected lung tissue. Orally, Cinnamon can actually be an anti-coagulant for blood in higher doses, however when diffused with Water-Based Diffusion there is no concern, and only benefits seen.
Spruce (Black): Black Spruce is an amazing oil, that no respiratory concern should be without in my opinion. Indicated for suppressed immune systems, bronchial conditions, spasms and coughing fits - it is also can act as an antiseptic for the air! This is important to help reduce transmission of respiratory infections and contamination of the environment around the affected animal. However, one of the other properties that make Spruce a "super star" is that it has cortisone-like activities! That's right - Black Spruce can act as a "psuedo" and safe steroid! So for all of those conditions, such as Heaves or Asthma which often get a steroid drug prescribed for them - we can see amazing benefits from the use of Spruce instead of these potentially harmful drugs. And, if your animal is already taking Steroids or other medications - no worries - essential oils can be used right along with them. Often reducing the dosage needs, or eliminating the need for the drug at all. Make sure you work with your veterinarian to monitor your animal closely, to determine when and if it is appropriate for you to attempt reductions of medications.
Copaiba: Not only an amazingly strong anti-inflammatory agent, Copaiba is known to be helpful for broncho-pulmonary infections. Copaiba is an important addition into Open-Air as all conditions contain inflammation - whether caused by cancer, bacterial pneumonia, fungal infections, physical trauma (hit by car), asthma, allergies, etc... Copaiba also seems to act as a magnifier for all other oils used - so we can allow Open-Air to stay mild, yet very powerful. The reduction of inflammation is very important in all conditions, as inflammation is a stress to the body and the immune system. This stress will actually reduce the function of the immune system - creating a vicious cycle of continued disease, continued inflammation, and continued immune suppression. Stopping inflammation is key to all healing.
Eucalyptus radiata: This oil is a power-house for all things upper respiratory. It is anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-viral, anticatarrhal (gets rid of excess mucus), an expectorant, and an anti-inflammatory. It is used for all sorts of conditions including rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal cavities), pharyngitis (inflammation of the tissues associated with the throat, vocal tissues, and oral areas associated with the respiratory tract), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), conjunctivitis (inflammation of the delicate tissues around the eyes - which are often affected with upper respiratory conditions), and bronchitis! Whew! That's a lot of stuff! So even with a condition such as a cough after your animal was intubated for anesthesia, or if your cat has crusty, inflammed eyes from a respiratory infection, or even if your dog barked and barked and barked while at a boarding facility - Open-Air will benefit any type of respiratory concern!
Clove: Clove is an incredibly strong and broad spectrum anti-bacterial agent, is anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-septic. It is indicated for sinus conditions, bronchitis, flu, and tuberculosis in humans. In use reports, Clove seems to have a wonderful benefit of reducing human responses to airborne allergens, and many people who experience severe symptoms when they enter a household with animals, do not notice the same reaction in households diffusing Clove regularly. This trait is sure to pass along to our animal counterparts. As a very strong anti-oxidant, Clove can benefit damage caused in the body by disease. It also has a benefit of being topically anesthetic - and if you have ever put some on your tongue, you know that it goes numb in no time. However, this trait is wonderful when you have a rough cough, or respiratory irritation. Having a soothing mist inhaled and coating inflammed tissues, is very soothing while also therapeutic. There is some evidence that Clove may have effects against some cancers, and on a completely different subject, Clove actually has benefits against skin parasites! How are skin parasites important in a respiratory blend discussion? Well, birds can often have various respiratory parasites as well as Scaly Face Mites which infest the nasal tissues and skin around the face, and even the feet. By tenting a bird with Open-Air - we can have a saturating effect of the essential oils around the affected areas. Please see the Diffusion page for more information on tenting and diffusion in general.
Helichrysum: If you have followed me for very long, likely you know my affection for Helichrysum. In my opinion, it should be added to just about every blend I create! In Open-Air it provides powerful healing properties, especially for traumatic damage to tissues, and is even more indicated if there is any bruising (pulmonary contusions) or bleeding. This can include even being stepped on, sat on, hit by a car, or even the trauma of a repeated cough or intubation tube being placed for anesthesia. In humans, Helichrysum is also known for respiratory benefits for conditions such as rhinitis, bronchitis, spasmodic coughs, and even whooping cough.
Frankincense: Included especially for anti-tumoral benefits, Frankincense is also known to be anti-catarrhal (clears mucus), an expectorant, immune-stimulating, and is indicated for conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, cancers, and immune deficiencies. Frankincense also appears to act as a magnifying essential oil, which allows a more powerful effect of all oils used, even when in lower amounts.
Lemon: Lemon has been used for "disinfection of the air" and other surfaces in French hospitals and for that reason alone, Lemon would be a great essential oil to diffuse during respiratory illness. However, for an oil considered so basic and simple, Lemon has many amazing properties. Anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, as well as having such as benefits to capillaries and micro-circulation, and the blood flow within them. Of course, we need to recognize how important it is for our blood to reach areas that need healing - our immune system just works that way. No blood flow, no circulation, no healing blood cells to act and attack! Lemon has been used in French Aromatherapy for respiratory infections, phlebitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), thrombosis, insomnia, and any period of contagious disease.
Marjoram: Properties of Marjoram that are important to the respiratory tract include anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiseptic, analgesic, expectorant, and diuretic (flushing excess fluids). Marjoram is indicated for pulmonary issues (dyspnea), hypertension, cardiovascular concerns, nerve conditions (sometimes nerve irritation can contribute to coughs), respiratory infections (in humans it is used for head colds, rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, otitis, and whooping cough). In "normal talk" any respiratory infection or inflammation is basically helped by Marjoram. Marjoram is also well known for being calming to muscles - and when we have had a hacking cough, we all can appreciate how irritated even the small muscles of airways must feel from the effects.
Rosemary: Rosemary of the Cineole variety carries properties of being anti-catarrhal, an expectorant, and a mucolytic. Basically, a master at breaking up mucus and junk in the respiratory tract and getting rid of it. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal, and is indicated for sinusitis, bronchitis, and contributes to a "cooling" of the pulmonary system - which can feel incredibly beneficial with any respiratory concern.
Dogs: For various conditions such as Kennel Cough (Bordetella), Canine Flu, Bacterial Pneumonia, Aspiration Pneumonia, Pulmonary Contusions (bruised lungs from trauma), Bronchitis, Lung Cancer, Collapsing Trachea, Fungal Infections (Valley Fever (Coccidiomycosis), Blastomycosis, Histoplasmosis, Cryptococcus, Aspergillosis...), viral infections, and more - Open-Air will be of benefit. Regular diffusion of Open-Air within shelters, veterinary clinics, boarding facilities, training facilities, and anywhere that dogs will co-mingle - can help to stop the spread of contagions - along with providing a very pleasant smell for the area.
In most acute situations, caging or tenting your dog with Water-Based Diffusion will be indicated. I will place 4-8 drops of Open-Air into water of the diffuser, and usually place my patient or dog into a kennel and place the diffuser directly in front of it. For most dogs, I will diffuse for at least 20 minutes - but can diffuse longer if they seem to have more comfort from longer diffusion. Either way, I monitor carefully as explained on the diffusion page. Often times, I will diffuse between 1-3 times a day. Then, while not diffusing into the kennel, I will still diffuse the Open-Air in the general room or home for continued benefits.
Horses & Larger Animals: Although it can be a bit more difficult, diffusion of Open-Air can still be accomplished for these animals. When respiratory concerns are present, such as Heaves in horses, you can be sure that an AromaBoost is a sure-fire recommendation. However, there are often occasions when we will also include diffusion. Even placing a horse or goat into a "small" stall, with covered bars or a tarp over the door can trap vapors within the animal's environment and breathing space. I have known people who have diffused inside their horse trailer as well. It can take a bit of ingenuity, but it can be done. We have even placed a tarp over the entrance to an outdoor lean-to and ran an extension cord to a diffuser within it! Of course, this usually means you need a pretty well trained horse, desensitized to the weird activities of the humans around them. I always stay with an animal in these situations, and always make sure that all humans are kept safe and out of harms way. With large barns and larger animals, air-based diffusion can be used. For this style of diffusion - a diffuser such as the one you can see by CLICKING HERE - can be used. This places neat essential oils directly into the air, without water and without dilution. This is a much stronger placement of oils into the air, and you will have to be more careful so that the vapor does not contact eyes or delicate mucus membranes. In more enclosed areas, the air-based diffuser requires more strict observation and monitoring of the animal.
When possible, diffusing for 20 minutes or more, multiple times a day is a wonderful goal. But, in reality with the more "farm-type" animals, I find that we will accept whatever amount of diffusion we can get. This can depend on the willingness of the animal, the animal caretaker's time and ability to add additional chores to the schedule. But, every little bit can be helpful, especially in a more critical situation.
While Open-Air "can be" used in many ways - it really shines for diffusion. Whether diffusing for prevention of illness, a great smelling home, or for a respiratory illness - Open-Air is a great choice! My goal is to have specific blends for oral use or topical use which are ideal for each application method. So, if you think Open-Air might be an excellent essential oil to consume - yes, it probably would be. However, there are many oils contained within Open-Air that I would personally omit if I were looking for an "oral antibacterial" action. This also goes for the topical use on a condition such as a hoof abscess on a horse. Although the Open-Air contains some great oils for an abscess, it also contains some oils that are basically "wasted" on a hoof! animalEO will be creating blends that are specific for those needs, and in a "pinch" - you can certainly use Open-Air for other purposes - but stay tuned for items that are specific to your needs!
Birds & Exotics: Water Diffusion in all of its various forms is recommended with Open-Air. Not only is prevention of illness a huge benefit, but Open-Air is safe to diffuse around these animals so that you can enjoy having a wonderful "Cinnamony" air-freshener sort of smell back into your house and life, that is not only safe to your delicate critters, but beneficial too! For Respiratory Illness - diffusion with 4-8 drops in a water-based diffuser, for at least 20 minutes, three times a day is a recommended starting point. Please select the style of diffusion that is appropriate for your situation by reading the diffusion page, always start with a light approach, and increase the strength and intensity only if needed.
Cats: Although one of the more controversial species, I can assure you that Open-Air has been diffused for many, many cats in my direct care, and we have monitored blood data, clinical response, and long term use with only great results! I have diffused Open-Air in a water-based diffuser for even newborn kittens, in a Tenting Situation - and those kittens thrived, improved, and grew into healthy youngsters with normal blood work. Little kittens with crusty eyes and severe upper respiratory infections, really benefit from diffusion of Open-Air. For crusty eyes - we use a very warm, wet to moist washcloth to soak and clean off crusts on the eyelids. Then, make sure the kittens are normal body temperature and that they stay warm - as the mist from a water-based diffuser can be chilling to a small baby. Then - usually we will place 4-8 drops into the water-based diffuser, and diffuse for at least 20 minutes, multiple times a day. Usually, we will determine how often and how long we will diffuse, based on the response of the cat or kitten. Some may need once a day, some may need every 3 days, and some may need 3 times a day. The goal is to monitor your individual feline, and adjust accordingly. For almost every cat - a KittyBoost should also be used when dealing with a health condition. Please click on the name to read more about KittyBoost.
In animal shelters, cat rescues, and various catteries - the regular diffusion of Open-Air in a water-based diffuser in the "cat ward" will bring benefits that no one can imagine until they see it for themselves. We also find that this diffusion "habit" boosts immune systems in general, and reduces Ringworm spores and transmission that can plague cat facilities!
In our veterinary hospital, we saw a variety of respiratory conditions in all sorts of animals. From Aspergillosis in raptors and parrots, Upper Respiratory Infections in kittens, to Kennel Cough in dogs. Respiratory complaints were common place.