Concerns About Cedarwood Essential Oil

Concerns often come up about the safety of Cedarwood in relation to guinea pigs, and the fact that Cedarwood Essential Oil is used in 3 of our shampoos.

Firstly, I would like to state that I take what I do very seriously and that safety is top of the list of priorities. This is one of the reasons that I first started making Gorgeous Guineas products...after seeing recipes for "DIY oil mixes" on the internet that were very unsafe. No qualified Aromatherapist would dream of using a 10% dilution of Essential Oils for a full body massage on a human, let alone something as small as a guinea pig. There were no warnings that a patch test should be done first (as it was a leave-on product), and no warnings about using it on pregnant sows or babies. So, I set about creating a range of products using good quality ingredients that contained safe and appropriate levels of Essential Oils for guinea pigs. The products were designed specifically for the types of skin problems that guinea pigs get as well as for a bit of pampurring. Every product also comes with an information sheet containing instructions for use and safety data.

Having qualifications in both Human and Animal Aromatics, and after working with Essential Oils and Guinea Pig Rescues for 25 years, there is a lot of continuing education, research, many resources, and a huge amount of personal experience for me to draw on. Yes, there are potentially a lot of dangers when using Essential Oils, but when you understand their chemical constituents, follow the safety-data from your suppliers, know what the contra-indications to use are, and mix them in appropriate dilutions as we do in the Gorgeous Guineas products, they are safe for guineas. Also bear in mind that Essential Oils produced from raw materials (for example: Cedarwood Atlas from the tree bark, not the wood) often have totally different chemical compositions to the original material once they have been through the distillation process, so comparing Cedarwood bedding with Cedarwood Essential Oil is NOT comparing like-with-like.

Much has been written about the dangers of using Cedarwood bedding for small furries -  including this article. Given that their noses and bodies are so close to the ground, they are in constant contact with their bedding 24 hours a day, as well as inhaling phenols given off by the shavings. These days there are plenty of safe / more appropriate types of bedding available.

There are several different types of Cedarwood Essential Oils, the two most common ones being:

When it comes to Essential Oils, these two have very different chemical constituents. Cedarwood Atlas is the preferred choice of Aromatherapists for use in skin care formulations, and the one that we use in our shampoo in very small quantities.

Please bear in mind that there is a huge difference between using a wash-off shampoo every couple of months to keeping your guineas on Cedarwood shavings 24 x 7 x 365.

If you use 20ml of Cedarwood & Lemongrass, Just For Boars or Lice 'n' Easy shampoo, you would be applying LESS than one drop of Cedarwood Essential Oil to your guinea pig (for the recommended 2 shampoos), which has already been properly diluted. As it is a wash-off product, it is only in contact with the hair / skin for a few minutes before being removed. Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil is non-toxic and non-irritant when used in appropriate dilutions.

The Right To Reply

Where products or services are being discussed or criticised on the Internet (particularly on Forums), this can have a detrimental effect on the reputation of the business that is being discussed. PLEASE think about this before commenting on any product or service as there is a lot of mis-information out in cyberspace. I am always happy to address any questions or concerns that you have about Gorgeous Guineas products, so please feel free to contact me for answers "from the horse's mouth!"

Thank you. Chrissie