Horse Herbs

Horse Herbs – Horse Herbal Medicine

(Horse – Pony – Donkey – Mule)

FAQ Herbal medicine

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See also: Horse Cases

Refer to: Care & Administration of Herbal Medicines (.pdf file)

 

Among all our domestic species, it is possibly true that horses and ponies are the ideal species in which to use herbs. They are archetypal herbivores, relying in the wild upon herbage for all their nutritional, physiological and biochemical needs. They also appear to have the capability to self-medicate with naturally-available herbs (zoopharmacognosy).

Horses generally accept herbal medicines very readily and may even lick them from a suitable receptacle. Failing that, more appetising and tasty herbs can be added to the mixture. We do not advocate adding sugar as a tempter, although local honey may be appropriate in some cases. If a horse is being fed in addition to grazing or hay, it is common practice simply to add herbal medicines to the daily ration.

There is a vast and confusing array of unlicensed commercial and proprietary herbal products and mixtures of herbs available, on the market, each vying for your money. It is not a foregone conclusion that these will be suitable for your horse (or pony or donkey), beneficial, of good quality or even necessary. Caveat emptor – buyer beware. The reasons behind this remark are argued more fully on the Herbs page.

It is important to consult an experienced herb vet, in order to avoid potentially dangerous incompatibility with conventional medication, dangers in pregnancy and lactation and dosing or species anomalies.

Herbal vet application: a sample of the horse diseases and equine conditions that we are called upon to treat with herbal medicine are (in alphabetical order):

  • Allergy
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Azoturia
  • Behavioural Problems
  • Broken Wind
  • Colic
  • COPD
  • Cough
  • Crib Biting
  • Cushings Disease
  • Cushings Syndrome
  • Dermatophilus
  • Diarrhoea
  • DJD
  • Equine Dysautonomia
  • Gastric Ulcer
  • Grass Sickness
  • Greasy Heel
  • Headshaking (Headshaker)
  • Heaves
  • Hives
  • Hoof Quality
  • Hormonal Problems
  • Infertility
  • Itch
  • Joint
  • Joint Ill
  • Laminitis
  • Ligament
  • Liver Disease
  • Lymphangitis
  • Mareishness
  • Moonblindness
  • Mud Fever
  • Myoglobinuria
  • Myositis
  • Navicular
  • OCD
  • Pedal Ostitis
  • Periodic Ophthalmia
  • Periodic Uveitis
  • Photosensitisation
  • Rain Scald
  • Recurrent Ophthalmia
  • Recurrent Uveitis
  • Ringbone
  • Setfast
  • Sidebone
  • Sinusitis
  • Spavin
  • Stomach Ulcer
  • Sunburn
  • Suspensory
  • Sweet Itch
  • Tendon
  • Tying Up
  • Urticaria
  • Uveitis
  • White Line Separation
  • Wind Sucking
  • Wounds

The treatment may also include other therapies, in an integrated program (e.g. veterinary homeopathy and/or veterinary acupuncture along with natural feeding).

FAQ Herbal medicine

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Return to Horses

Return to Horse Diseases

See also: Supplements, Products

*Herbal vets don’t grow on trees but some important herbal medicines do! Take salicylic acid, for instance, harvested from willow bark to give us aspirin. At the AVMC, however, we would give horses and ponies willow bark or meadow sweet (another plant that is rich in salicylate), in the raw state, in preference to the manufactured chemical extract. N.B.: These herbs should not be given in conjunction with conventional NSAIDs and vice versa. The veterinary herbalist should know this but many conventional vets will not, hence the potential dangers.