28 Nov Inhalation: Another route to administer essential oils to farm animals
The administration of therapeutic vapors and aerosols through inhalation has been used for thousands of years in many civilizations around the world. In modern medicine, the inhalation route is used to administer treatments for respiratory diseases, because it has the advantage of delivering high concentrations of active ingredients in the target organs (the respiratory system), and low concentrations that could lead to side effects in the rest of the body. In modern human aromatherapy, the inhalation route is one of the most used, especially when the essential oils are intended to be effective on the respiratory system or on mental health.
When essential oils are inhaled, a small percentage (7% on average, in humans) is absorbed by the olfactory epithelium that covers the nasal cavity. A high proportion (50%) of the active principles contained in the essential oils may cross the olfactory epithelium, enter the bloodstream, and reach the brain, where they can be metabolically active. In example, it has been proven that menthol, a constituent from peppermint oil, stimulates the hippocampus area of the brain, improving mental clarity and memory in humans. Another example is 1,8 cineol, present in eucalyptus oil, that reduces pain and lowers blood pressure by interacting with the autonomic nervous system.
The largest proportion of essential oils administered by inhalation (93% on average in human beings) passes down the trachea and arrives at the bronchi and then the lungs (together with the air sacs, in the case of the birds). Once in the lungs (and air sacs), essential oils exert their beneficial effects, in example antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. Part of the essential oils that arrive to the lungs (30-70%, in human beings) cross the respiratory barrier, enter the bloodstream and are distributed throughout the body
There is less research on the use of essential oils administered by inhalation to farm animals. We at PlusVet Animal health have extensive experience with products based on essential oils that target respiratory health, heat stress and stress by transport. On the other hand, there are some studies on the use of lavender essential oil to reduce stress and facilitate adaptation to change in weaned pigs.
On the farm, essential oils intended for inhalation are distributed throughout the environment by spraying or by fogging. It is advised to administer the essential oils 2-3 times/day, for 5 to 15 minutes each time. A longer exposure may not bring more benefits to the animals and stopping the ventilation systems of the farm for a longer period may be risky. If the essential oils are administered by spraying or misting, it is important to choose a device that generates small drops, so that the product remains in the air for longer, without falling to the ground, and reaches the respiratory system in greater quantities.
Products of choice
PlusBreathe© contains essential oils with natural antiseptic, antioxidant, expectorant and mucolytic activity. It has a refreshing taste.
It is indicated to improve the functioning of the respiratory system and to mitigate heat stress in birds, ruminants, pigs and rabbits of all ages. It can also be nebulized in the farm environment.
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