A powerful expectorant and immune supportive root. It is also demulcent, this helps to make it one of the primary respiratory supportive herbs. It is anti-inflammatory, one of the very best herbs to include in a herbal cortisone blend. It’s an adrenal and liver supportive. It helps to support the endocrine system and is an essential herb to include in a supportive blend for Cushing’s Disease.
An incredible wound healer. I usually use it on wounds for a few days after I have used the Propolis, as it speeds healing and promotes hair regrowth. It should be blended with a carrier oil, 1 drop lavender essential oil for every 10 drops of carrier oil. Lavender essential oil can also be used as a rinse on strained tendons, bruises or tired overworked legs. Add 15 – 20 drops Lavender essential oil to 2 liters of warm water and sponge down affected areas.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
I had to include this herb in the Materia Medica chiefly because of its powerful ability to staunch bleeding. Soldiers as far back as Roman times used it on the battlefield, which is why the herb earned the common names “Soldiers Woundwort” and “Knight’s Milfoil”. Make a strong tea (3 tablespoons dried herb steeped in 1 cup of warm water), and use on the affected area when it has cooled sufficiently. It’s a good idea to keep a bottle of Yarrow tincture on hand for emergencies, using the tincture directly on a wound for it’s styptic properties, although be warned, it will burn! Most horses have a much higher pain threshold than humans and won’t kick out when applied, but some might. If you’re concerned the horse might react, rather add the tincture to equal proportions of hot (but not boiling water), leave for 1 minute for the alcohol to evaporate, and then add an equal amount of cool water and then it’s ready to apply.
Yarrow is also excellent for stimulating the appetite, especially if the horse is recovering from an illness. Yarrow is also extremely good for horses that suffer from epistaxis.
Dose: 25g dried herb daily.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
A rich source of curcumin and other powerful antioxidants, this golden root is highly anti-inflammatory and full of tissue protective anti-oxidants. Only the root of this plant is used, and different sub species of Turmeric contain varying curcumin percentages. We select the highest percentage curcumin content from our importer’s as possible, and preferably certified organic.
This is a versatile and helpful herb for many health issues. It’s one of the best herbs to supplement for any chronic pain issue, not least of all arthritis. It’s an essential herb in our Flex-Ease joint support blend, combined with synergistic herbs.
This herb also has a strong affinity with the circulatory system and strengthens liver function, which makes it a useful herb to include for digestive support. Turmeric root is also traditionally regarded as an anti-tumour agent.
Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effectiveness is enhanced by the addition of 2-3% finely ground black pepper (Piper nigrum), and made into a paste with oil. This paste is called Golden paste, and was developed by Dr. Doug English, a vet. For the original Golden paste recipe as well as a lot more info on Turmeric’s uses, visit his website here.
This herb has the ability to chelate excess iron out of the body, and is an extremely safe supplement to include in the diet. If your horse’s coat has been dulled because of excess iron in the diet, using a combination of Turmeric with Fenu’shine and pure Rosehips is recommended to encourage a rich dark glossy coat. For use as a chelating agent, it isn’t necesary to make Golden paste.
Horses: 2 scoops (35g/50ml) daily
Ponies: 1 scoop (17,5g/25ml) daily
Small: 2.5g /2.5ml daily
Medium: 2.5g /2.5ml daily
Large: 7.5g/7.5ml daily
Giant: 10g/10ml daily
Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva, U. rubra)
Slippery Elm inner bark is a must for treating gastric ulcers, as it is mucilaginous and thus will form a protective and healing poultice like layer over damaged gastric lining tissues. It’s an essential ingredient in our specially formulated blend for healing gastric ulcers, Ulcer-Ease. More info can be found about this complete treatment approach for gastric ulcers in our blog post here.
It is also anti-inflammatory and mildly astringent, so is useful as an external poultice on wounds, and as a drawing agent. Combine with honey, marshmallow root powder and a little water and apply a layer on the inside of a leg wrap and bandage over the affected area.
It’s excellent for treating scouring, and is very safe and effective even for foals.
It helps to prevent gastric ulceration, so it is helpful to include in the feed twice daily when a horse needs to be on a long course of conventional anti-inflammatories.
Slippery elm bark is extremely costly, as it can only be harvested from a tree which is at least seven years old, only the soft inner bark can be used, and harvesting the bark can cause the tree to die. Understandably, this invaluable tree is in very short supply and is now threatened in it’s natural habitat; so only make use of this precious herb when it is truly justifiable, otherwise Plantain or Marshmallow root are good alternatives for treating gastric ulcers.
Horses: 15-20g dried and powdered inner bark daily.
Ponies: 10g dried and powdered inner bark daily.
Small – 2.5g daily
Medium: 5g daily
Large: 7.5g daily
Giant: 10g daily
Nettle (Urtica dioica, U. urens)
Nettle is a known as the blood tonic herb, and is rich in natural Vitamin C, so is very useful for treating anaemia along with Rosehips.
It is also a powerful blood cleanser and diuretic, so was an essential herb to include in our highly effective Liver & Blood Tonic.
Nettles have a dramatic effect in improving hoof and coat condition, often causing an abundance of dapples rippling under gleaming coats! nFor this reason it was included in the ver popular Fenu’shine blend.
Horse: 20-30g/75-125ml daily
Pony: 10-15g/37.5-50ml daily
Buy pure Nettle herb cut here.
Mint (Mentha piperita)
Mint is a carminative and anti-spasmodic which reduces excess flatulence and can help prevent gassy colics. As a colic preventative, mint can be introduced to the diet before making feed changes.
Mint is a very good anti-depressant – a great pick-me-up for rescue horses, horses that seem depressed after losing a companion or moving yards, or feeling a bit work weary towards the end of a tough competitive season. It perks them up and gives them a more positive outlook on life in general, without sending them over the top.
Not suitable for pregnant animals.
Horse: 15-20g/75-100ml daily
Pony: 7.5-10g/37.5-50ml daily
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet is also anti-inflammatory, being a natural source of aspirin, but in contrast to the drug extract it has the fantastic advantage of not irritating the gastric lining. In fact, it is so healing on the gastric system that it is a specific for gastric ulcers. Meadowsweet it THE “herbal aspirin”, only so much better, as it is also a natural antacid and promotes healing of the intestinal tract.
Dose: 20-30 g dried herb daily
Both the leaves and root are used medicinally. It’s very emollient and demulcent, and mildly anti-inflammatory, which makes it an ideal herb for treating gastric ulcers. It’s also expectorant and coupled with its soothing properties it helps to relieve coughs. It also has a strong affinity with the urinary tract, helping to dissolve crystals, lubricating the internal tissues and acting as an immunostimulant. The dried powdered root is an excellent drawing agent for abscesses and puncture wounds when combined in equal proportions with slippery elm inner bark powder.