Most animals are natural herbalists, often seeking out particular herbs when needed, if they have access to a wide variety of species. Dogs and cats will occasionally be seen chewing on lemon grass, comfrey, couch grass and other plants. Horses, cows, sheep and goats have been seen to eat some herbs only at particular times of the year, or if they have a specific need for them.
Most pets today, do not have access to the range of herbs, grasses and trees they would have in the wild. So by growing a few common herbs around your garden or along the fence line of paddocks you can provide a variety for them to nibble on if they choice. Many herbs have medicinal value and can be used to help your dog, horse, cat or other pet to overcome a range of common ailments both safely and effectively.
ALFALFA – This herb is high in nutrients as well as being beneficial for over-acid conditions, for stomach and digestive ailments, as a blood purifier and as an appetite stimulant.
BURDOCK – Beneficial for conditions such as arthritis, skin conditions, this herb is a powerful blood cleanser and helps to promote perspiration. It is a diuretic herb and supports the digestive system also.
CALENDULA – Mostly used for skin complaints it can also benefit gastric problems and is a blood tonic and anti-fungal. can be used internally or externally.
CELERY SEEDS – Digestive tonic, especially beneficial when run down or chilled. diuretic and anti-inflammatory action.
CHAMOMILE – This is a soothing and calming herb, it is beneficial for digestive weaknesses, headaches, colic and irritable bowel conditions.
CHASTE TREE BERRY – This is one of the best hormone balancers for mares. Moody mares and to help with symptoms associated with PMT.
CLIVERS – A very soothing anti-inflammatory herb for the urinary system and as a lymphatic stimulant. Not recommended for diabetics.
COUCHGRASS – A good source of nutrients and an excellent urinary antiseptic herb.
DANDELION – One of the best known liver tonic herbs available, it is also beneficial as a kidney tonic due to its gentle diuretic action and for poor digestive disturbances and poor appetite.
DEVILS CLAW – This herb is an excellent anti-inflammatory with analgesic properties beneficial for the muscular & skeletal system. It is beneficial for arthritis and rheumatism. Also known as an effective alternative to ‘bute’ where tests have found it to be an effective pain reliever.
ECHINACEA – Widely used for viral and bacterial infections or weakened immune system. It can be used to help prevent infection and as a beneficial aid in the treatment also.
EYEBRIGHT – An excellent tonic for the eyes, this herb may be used as an eye bath for eye irritations and internally helps to relieve mucous conditions.
FENUGREEK – Helps to stimulate appetite and for gastric disorders. It can also help to increase milk production during lactation. It is also a valuable source of nutrients. The seeds are high in soluble fibre which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Combines well with garlic. Best avoided by mares with hormonal imbalances.
GARLIC – Natures antibiotic, one of the finest herbs for medicinal use such as excess mucous conditions, blood cleansing, for infections and much more. Garlic is also a good source of sulphur and other essential minerals. Garlic is totally safe to use in moderation.
GINGER – Has many, many therapeutic uses and is widely used in both western and eastern herbal medicine. It helps to restore digestive function and assist with nausea and vomiting.
HAWTHORN BERRY – A major heart and circulatory tonic.
HORSETAIL – A rich natural source of silica, it also contains magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. Beneficial for aiding bone and joint repair. The name says it all – If your horses are eating each others tails, they need silica!
MARSHMALLOW – This herb is soothing for the entire digestive tract and is beneficial for gastric complaints such as ulcers, colitis, bloat and inflammation. Its healing properties are also helpful for the urinary tract.
MEADOWSWEET – This is one of the best digestive remedies available. It is soothing to the mucous membranes of the digestive tract. It is also an anti-inflammatory and contains pain-relieving compounds and can help to ease nausea. Combines well with Marshmallow for digestive disturbances. It should not be used for felines.
NETTLE – This is a nutrient herb as well as being beneficial for the whole body, including the skin. Combines well with other herbs to help chronic skin conditions.
PARSLEY – A powerful diuretic and tonic herb. It is rich in vitamin C, iron and copper being ideal for anemia. Should not be used in large quantities. Avoid during pregnancy due to its uterine stimulating properties.
PASSIONFLOWER – Combines well with other nervine herbs to calm nervous horses.
PEPPERMINT -This herb is an excellent digestive tonic that can help to relieve flatulence, stimulate poor appetite, ease nausea and vomiting or colic. It can also be combined with other herbs for fevers, colds and flu.
PSYLLIUM HUSKS – Great for horses prone to sand colic, constipation or to gently cleanse the colon.
RASPBERRY LEAF – This herb has traditionally been used as a reproductive tonic to strengthen and tone the uterus. It can be taken pr ior to conception to help increase the likelihood of conception, and used routinely throughout the pregnancy to help prevent complications. It has also been used in the treatment of diarrhoea due to its astringent properties.
RED CLOVER – This herb is a powerful blood purifier and is especially beneficial for skin conditions. It also has expectorant properties making it beneficial for coughs and bronchitis. This wonderful herb has proven useful in removing tumours and cysts, but is best used under supervision of a qualified practitioner. It also has oestrogenic effects, which may affect those with hormonal imbalances.
ROSEHIPS – This is one of the best natural sources of vitamin C along with other minerals such as copper and cobalt. It is a great general tonic, immune system booster and circulatory herb for all. Can be used as a regular addition to the diet. Helps to prevent colds & flu.
SLIPPERY ELM – An excellent nutrient herb that is beneficial for inflammation anywhere in the digestive system. Can benefit diarrhea (scouring), especially for the young and elderly. Can also be used externally as a healing poultice.
UVA URSI – A urinary antiseptic herb that helps with urinary tract infections. Seek professional guidance for use. Should not be used long-term.
VALERIAN – This is one of the best nervines available. It is a gentle yet effective sedative or calming herb. Helps those suffering from insomnia or for nervous animals.
WHITE WILLOWBARK – Horses will often eat this when needed. It has anti-inflammatory Properties to assist with pain relief. combines well with meadowsweet for pain. (not suitable for cats).
YARROW – Externally this herb is used to help heal wounds. It can also be used in the treatment of fevers and can help to lower blood pressure.