Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hydrosols for Pet Birds

As a bird owner, I exercise caution when using essential oils & hydrosols (floral waters) around my 2 parakeets (budgies). Marge is the best at promoting safe & effective use of the oils & those warnings can prove invaluable when dealing with pets. Never ever use essential oils of any kind on your pet bird of any size. They are not equipped with a system which can handle the oils. I've heard horror stories about Tea Tree & other oils used on birds which caused untimely death & extreme distress. However, most parakeets love a birdy bath or a spritzer from time to time, & I accidentally found that my birds love to be spritzed with some of the gentler hydrosols like Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, & Calendula. One day I was spritzing myself & Foley happened to be out & he flew right over & got into the spray. Then he kept coming back for more. Now, if he & Squeaky see me getting the hydrosol bottle out, they become very excited, & when in the cage come right up to the top so I can reach them. Often after I spray their backs, they will turn around for me to get the front as well. I've found after their initial excitement, the hydrosols actually have a calming effect on them. Plus, it seems to make their coats shiny & feathers & skin healthy. As Marge always says, "less is more," in aromatherapy, so if you try hydrosols with your birds, please use a small amount first to gauge their reactions. Budgies enjoy the simple things in life: seed, lettuce, bells to ring, millet, music; so it is no wonder they marvel when experiencing a few spritzes from a gentle hydrosol.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Which essential oil diffuser is best?

For zapping germs? for combatting bacteria, virii, molds and spores, you can't beat a nebulizing diffuser. Microparticles of the oils are dispersed into the air and stay suspended for up to two hours. Disadvantage? The nebulizers tend to be noisier than other styles, and can require more maintenance than others. However for banishing germs, etc. they can't be beat.

For silence and convenience? My personal favorite is the AromaStone. This small British unit is safe, carefree and low maintenance.

It gently heats the essential oils to baby-bottle temperature. Disadvantage? It's not a powerful diffuser. It is perfect for bedside use, but not the best choice to fill a large room with aromatics.

For a child's room? the Ultrasonic nebulizer combines the function of a nebulizing diffuser with a humidifier. Perfect if you child is prone to stuffy noses, colds or ear infections. No heat is involved, so if a child does tip it over there is no danger of a burn. Disadvantage? Some people find the light distracting, and obviously if you live in a damp or humid environment adding more moisture to the air counter-productive.

For mood and ambience? The traditional aroma lamp (sometimes called a burner) is my favorite. A bowl of warm water, over a tea candle, with a few drops of your chosen oil added. Silent, attractive, and simple. Disadvantage? All the risks of a lit candle, of course, as well as the chance that you may use up all the water in the bowl before the candle burns out.

For further discussion of these and other recommended methods of diffusing please click here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Contacting Congress-critters

If you wish to take direct action to oppose the FDA's proposed Globalization Act bycontacting your elected representatives, this link gives the names, email addresses, phone numbers, mailing addresses and other information about your Senat0rs and Representatives.

It is my understanding that although I am much more comfortable sending email (and I love its speed!) that in this case actually sitting down and composing a written letter - on paper! (what a concept!) and mailing it to their offices might be more effective.

Also I just found out that the deadline for signing the petition mentioned in an earlier blog post is August 4th.