Posts Tagged ‘ Arthritis ’

White Millet Seed

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White Millet Seed (Unhulled) has the following benefits:

Daily dosages: Horse – 1 cup       Pony – ½ cup

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For tendon and ligament healing, it’s best to use in combination with Bone & Tendon Repair and Linseed.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

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Our raw, unfiltered, whole Apple Cider vinegar is proudly made in South Africa, and has the following benefits:

Our raw Apple Cider Vinegar is made from whole apples, is minimum 5% acidity, and is unpasteurised and unfiltered. It still contains the “mother” which is a natural probiotic, and as it is unpasteurised you will see the mother continuing to grow, which will increase the cloudiness and you may see stringy pieces appearing as it develops. It’s a natural process and is perfectly healthy and beneficial.

Apple Cider Vinegar is great to feed to all grain or concentrate fed horses on a daily basis, as it helps to maintain the correct body pH.  Excessive amounts of carbohydrates and proteins create an acidic pH level in the body in which diseases can thrive.

ACV has numerous overall health benefits – too many to mention here unfortunately – but is particularly well known for its ability to prevent arthritis.

It provides a wide variety of trace elements and is a good digestive aid.  It’s an appetite stimulant and is generally very well accepted when mixed into concentrate feed. In this way, it can help to tempt shy feeders. ACV also helps to balance the metabolism, so it helps to slim down overweight horses and helps thin horses to gain a more ideal weight by encouraging their appetite and supporting healthy gut flora and digestion.

Horse – 50ml daily

Pony – 30ml daily

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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

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Rosehips (Rosa canina)

Rosehips are a rich natural source of Vitamin C, copper and many other nutrients, all of which help to encourage strong and healthy hoof and coat growth.

They’re very anti-oxidant, highly beneficial for preventing injury and healing joint issues, and strengthen tissue bonds.

Rosehips are also anti-scouring, if fed at recommended dosages.

They’re highly safe to feed to all horses on a permanent basis, including broodmares.

Dose: 15-20g dried rosehip shell daily.

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Kelp (Ecklonia maxima)

Kelp is anti-rheumatic, stimulates the thyroid gland, cleanses the blood, a mild diuretic and contains an abundant variety of minerals, vitamins and amino-acids, all of which help to encourage good health, including strong and healthy hoof and coat growth.

Dose: 15g dried kelp daily.

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Gotu Kola

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Gotu kola(Centellaasiatica)

Gotu Kola is a specific for arthritis, and also helps to support the circulatory system. It is anti-inflammatory as well as a mild diuretic. It has been used to promote healing and reconstruction of connective tissue in the joints.

Devil’s Claw

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Devil’s claw (Harpogophytum procumbens)

Devil’s claw is a low-growing plant that is native to Southern Africa. The root is used medicinally as a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic, and its effectiveness has been found to be comparable with that of cortisone and phenylbutazone, but without the unpleasant side effects!  It is also an appetite stimulant. Very effective for easing muscle stiffness after heavy exercise. Combines well with MSM and Glucosamine for relieving arthritis.

Dose: 15g of dried root daily.

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Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Comfrey is widely known for its remarkable healing properties for ulcers, broken bones and soft tissue damage. It has cell proliferant properties which promote speedy wound healing, for which it can be used both internally and externally.

It’s also very soothing for the mucous membranes, as well as being an expectorant, so it is excellent to include in any respiratory herbal blend.  It also improves circulation, and is helpful for treating arthritis.

Feeding Instructions:

The following dosages should not be exceeded. Mix into daily food.

Horses:   1-2 handfuls in feed daily (approximately 10-15g)

Ponies:   ½ -1 handful in feed daily (approximately 6-10g)

Dogs and Cats:  ½ to 1 teaspoon per 500g of food

Pigeons and Poultry: Up to 2% of daily grain feed. Mix well into feed together with a little vegetable oil.


Do not feed to pregnant animals, or pets with liver disease.

Comfrey contains small quantities of alkaloids that can cause liver damage if taken in large quantities:

“The Comfrey Debate:

Regrettably, the internal use of Comfrey has been a much misunderstood and frequently controversial subject since the late 1960’s. The presence of a group of compounds contained in Comfrey called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s) instigated concern during a Japanese study on lab rats in 1968, which involved injecting high concentrations of isolate symphytine alkaloid in sufficient dosages that it would represent a staggering 33% of a rat’s daily food intake!

Herbalists argue that this is a totally unrealistic representation – as to begin with, in order to replicate the experiment in horses, they would have to ingest 150kg of isolate symphytine daily, and because symphytine only represents a tiny portion (5%) of total PA’s, this would mean a horse would have to consume a staggering 8,33 tonnes per day of dried comfrey! To add further perspective, PA’s are not uncommon in many foodstuffs – for example, both red wine and dark chocolate contain concentrations of PA’s.

Herbalists argue that:

Use only as directed, and for short periods of time (1-2 weeks)

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Celery Seed

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Celery Seed ( Apiumgraveolens)

A strong diuretic herb and highly antirheumatic, it helps to prevent fluid build-up around joints and improves mobility. It also helps to expel internal gas. It should be used with caution in pregnant animals, or animals with kidney disease

Does long term Devil’s Claw usage in horses cause ulcers??

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No, not necessarily. Devil’s Claw is a bitter herb, and its medicinal property as a “bitters” herb really can be a good thing, provided it’s used with understanding.

Natural grazing is full of herbs with these bitter properties, and wild horses and herds living in a natural lifestyle are known for actively seeking out herbs with these “bitters’ properties. “Bitters” herbs stimulate the secretion of gastric acids, and that is exactly what healthy digestion is based on and is exactly what the stomach is designed to handle. In fact, too little secretion of stomach acids can lead to hindgut ulcers, as inadequately digested foods (particularly grains) which pass through into the hindgut change it’s pH and results in a rapid die off of gut friendly bacteria, hindgut ulcers, and metabolic and auto-immune disorders.

So, why the belief that devil’s claw causes gastric (gastric  – pertains to the stomach only) ulcers? It all depends on management. Devil’s Claw WILL increase stomach acid secretion, so if you add it to your horse’s feed in the morning, and then take him out for an 20min or longer training session shortly afterwards, you will be perfectly setting the horse up for gastric ulcers. This is because he will not be taking in any forage during work time, and he needs foragein his stomach in order to buffer gastric acids. Horses who have empty stomachs for as little as 20 minutes are proven to be at increased risk of gastric ulcers. 

What about using devil’s claw longterm for chronic arthritis?? ….No problem. A retired horse with arthritis can stay on devil’s claw throughout the winter months in order to help give him comfort through the colder months, provided he has access to good quality forage 24/7.

An injured horse needs stable relief and an herbal “bute” anti-inflammatory blend (such as Honeyvale Herbs Arthro-Ease) to manage inflammation for the first 10 days or so post injury?? ….No problem, just make sure the horse has access to good quality forage 24/7, and for added protection give the horse a thin slice of lucerne after they’ve had a dose of devil’s claw.

Need to give the horse a herbal anti-inflammatory for stiff muscles and joints after a big event or long distance travel??….No problem, just make sure that the horse has sufficient good quality forage (preferably one with a higher calcium content, like lucerne or teff) after a dose, and don’t work them too soon after a dose.

Ideally, horses should always have access 24/7 to good quality forage. It’s us imposing an unnatural lifestyle on them which can lead to these bitters herbs “causing” ulcers. Our modern horses are proportionately eating far more sweet feeds than is ideal, and these lead to multiple other health issues.


These bitters herbs have traditionally always taken after an over indulgent meal, and still commonly are – you’ll find a few options available in liquor stores. They help the liver and whole digestive system cope with a too rich meal, and this principle can help our horses too, when they’re used appropriately.

Using a blend of herbs is safer and more effective, as the proportionate dosage of each herb is then individually lower, but the overall effect of the blend greater, because well-chosen herbs complement and work synergistically with each other. It’s best to use Honeyvale Herbs Arthro-Ease as a herbal bute blend, rather than a single herb like devil’s claw.

In summary, Devil’s Claw is not recommended if a horse has known or suspected gastric ulcers. However, it’s highly recommended for horses with hindgut ulcers. And Devil’s Claw can be used longterm if necessary, provided it’s used mindfully. And for increased safety and efficacy use aherbal bute blend such as Honeyvale Herbs Arthro-Ease, rather than the single devil’s claw herb.

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