Natural Horse Therapies

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Natural Horse Therapies


Providing Cellular Nutrition for your Horse

Posted on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 1:31 am

Holistic Herbal Medicine for Horses …images

Herbal Medicine uses remedies derived from plants to treat common illnesses. These herbs are dietary supplements that you can give to your horse in its raw form or dried, through teas (infusions), extracts, tinctures and oils or as part of a combined remedy. Herbal Medicine aims to not only treat the symptoms but to introduce improvements to your horse’s lifestyle and wellbeing.

Herbs have been used on people and animals for thousands of years across a range of cultures. Shamans, Medicine men and women, pharaohs, kings and field workers all knew the benefits of herbs on their people and animals. Some of the more common cultures to have used herbs on their horses were the native american indian tribes, the ancient greeks and the romany gypsies of Europe. Horses also have instinctively foraged on medicinal plants native to their grasslands gaining the necessary nutrition to heal and prevent illness.

Modern medicine is in fact foundered from the use and experimentation of thousands of years of herbal medicine knowledge. Veterinarian science and the development of pharmaceuticals has evolved directly from the accumulated wisdom of herbal history that has greatly benefited western medicine as we know it today.

So how do herbs work and how can we use them safely on our horses in the context of our modern world?COMFREY

Firstly, lets make the distinction between herbal use and the development of pharmaceutical medicine. Many herbs contain constituents (medicinal properties) that when isolated and or duplicated synthetically in the case of pharmaceutical drugs, can be harmful to people or horses. This is how many herbs have been labelled as dangerous and their use restricted to the public.

When using the whole of a plant, the synergy of all the constituents within the herb act on the body together to create the greatest benefits to the body. Nature has endowed plants with a balance, which makes herbal medicine when used correctly a fantastic all-round remedy with little to no side effects. If a plant has therapeutic properties that can heal an infection, that plant will often also contain elements that will counterbalance any possible side effects. This is how herbal medicine differs from modern medicine. For example, birthwort can be taken when someone has a reaction to penicillin as it contains the same properties as penicillin without producing any of the adverse reactions. Traditional (allopathic) medicine is often a manmade re-creation of a herbal remedy but lacks the natural balance that prevents any harmful recourse.

Herbs having been used traditionally for many thousands of years are well documented in old veterinary and herbal texts. Herbs are not quick fixes in the way that drugs can be but the philosophy of herbalism is to treat the whole horse by gently balancing and supporting health from the inside. The best ways to use herbs to help your horse are firstly in a preventative program if your horse has a predisposition to a specific complaint. Herbs can also be used to restore and tone a horse after illness and to nutritionally support your horse.

The power of herbs cannot be underestimated and it is preferable that a professional herbalist prescribes them to avoid unnecessary complications. Herbal remedies when used correctly are unlikely to produce extreme negative side effects however they can interfere with orthodox medicine so always consult your vet and herbal practitioner before use.

Each herb has a different strength and to follow directions is important. Generally the maximum dose added to a feed whether it is one herb or several (dried and chopped), is 1 cup. Powdered herbs of bark and roots are given as a teaspoon or tablespoon. One of the easiest ways to give your horse herbs is through an infusion. Simply poor boiling water over the herbs, cover with a secure lid and steep for 5-20 minutes. Cool and add 1-2 cupfuls to your horse’s feed.

herbsCommon sense has to be used when treating your horse with medicinal herbs, as some are toxic for horses and can have serious adverse reactions. Always stay within the recommended dosage, and before you begin any herbal treatment, ensure your horse’s condition is correctly diagnosed by a professional. When used in this way herbs can greatly enhance the quality of your horses life.

It is very important to note that human herbalism is not directly transferable to equine herbalism. Many herbs that are safe to use on humans can cause harm when used on horses. It is important to consult a qualified equine herbalist to instruct you on what herbs are suitable for your horse at any given time. Herbs can be powerful and it is best to use herbs that are classified as having a gentle action on the body.

If you see any reaction that is not comfortable for your horse, cease using the herb immediately.  Also it is important to note that herbs can interact with pharmaceutical medicine, so it is important to consult with your vet or herbalist to ensure the combination of herbs you are giving is providing the best possible outcome.

Herbs are wonderful. You don’t need to be afraid of them. Simply be informed, and use them with the respect they deserve.


9 responses to “Providing Cellular Nutrition for your Horse”

  1. Karol says:

    I live near a naturopathic school in Portland, Ore. and they have a compound pharmacy and I want to get tissue cell salts for my horse. How would I ask for this to be compounded. They said they need to know which tissue cell salt before they will prescribe it for my horse who has ringworm. Thank you.

  2. Zoe says:

    Hi Karol

    Thankyou for your question. I would recommend to give your horse 2 Tablets of Kali Sulph twice daily to support your horse’s immune system and resist further spreading of the condition.

    Simply ask your pharmacist to prepare for you the tissue salt Kali Sulph or alternatively you may find an already prepared version at your local shops.

    There are several other suggestions I would recommend to support your horse’s healing from ringworm. See my article on Remedies for Ringworm on this website for further help.

    Wishing your horse a speedy recovery!

    Zoe

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  4. Dale says:

    Hello, Give the horse, the same size tissue salt as humans take? Can you tell me how many tablets to give? Humans take approx. 4 twice a day. Same size? 6x tissue salt? Dale

  5. Zoe says:

    Hi Dale,

    Thank you for your question. Horses respond to small dosages of tissue salts and are sufficient to trigger a healing response.

    The most common prescription is 3 tablets, twice daily for up to 3 weeks. 10 days however will often show results. In general, some improvement should be noticed within the first few weeks of treatment, providing the correct remedies have been selected. Where required the treatment is then continued for a further 1-3 months, reducing it to 2 tablets once daily.

    Interestingly, nothing much is gained by increasing the size of the dose, but frequency of dose may be varied as occasion requires. In acute cases, give half-hourly doses until you observe a change. In less urgent cases give doses every two hours during the day and in chronic cases three times a day.

    I hope this helps.

    All the best,

    Zoe

  6. sue says:

    I have a 16 yr old gelding that developed a bone spur on his left front fetlock. I read that calc fluor could dissolve it but I don’t know the dosage and length of treatment. I heard it can be lethal so I would like to dose correctly.
    Thanks, sue

  7. Zoe says:

    Hi Sue

    Calc Fluor is good for all weaknesses of muscle, ligaments, bone, teeth and for prolapsed organs. Horses respond to small dosages and are sufficient to trigger a healing response.

    The most common prescription is 3 tablets, twice daily for up to 3 weeks. 10 days however will often show results. In general, some improvement should be noticed within the first few weeks of treatment, providing the correct remedies have been selected. The treatment is then continued for a further 1-3 months, reducing it to 2 tablets once daily.

    In my experience, there is nothing dangerous about the use of Calc Fluor.

    If you would like more information on tissue salts I sell an ebook for only $12 on http://www.naturalhorsetherapies.com/?page_id=666

    Wishing you well with your horse’s bone spur!

    Zoe

  8. Joanne says:

    What about with older horses … once a horse has passed the age of 30-something is there any single or combinations of cell salts that can be given on a daily bases (or whatever frequency is best) to make his older years more healthy (and possibly even live longer)?

    Thanks … Joanne

  9. Zoe says:

    Hi Joanne

    In answer to your question about tissue salts in older horses, my first preference would be to find out more about any ‘specific’ ailments your horse might be experiencing before recommending an individual or combination of tissue salts. Saying that however, if it is just for “general aging” so to speak, I have always found both Calc Fluor (an elasticity salt) and Calc Phos (Bone Health & Nutrition Tonic) are helpful.
    Calc Fluor is indicated where there is a general relaxation of tissues. It is useful where there is a loss of integrity and strength of connective tissue. It may also be indicated where there are diseases affecting the surface of the bones, cracks and cuts in the skin and where the enamel of the teeth is in poor condition. Calc Fluor is good for all weaknesses of muscle, ligaments, bone, teeth and for prolapsed organs.
    Calc Phos is the most abundant tissue salt in the body. It is found in productive soils. It is found in the bones and teeth, and also in soft tissue. It is the main constituent of all cells of the body fluids. It assists with the digestion and absorption of food and is vitally important for the building of good bones and body structure. One needs this tissue salt to make a robust constitution. It will speed up convalescence and replenish the body’s reserves.

    The most common prescription is 3 tablets, twice daily for up to 3 weeks. 10 days however will often show results. In general, some improvement should be noticed within the first few weeks of treatment, providing the correct remedies have been selected. The treatment is then continued for a further 1-3 months, reducing it to 2 tablets once daily. You can continue on this dosage or treat according to how your horse best responds.

    I hope this answers your question.
    Best wishes,
    Zoe.

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