I have used herbs but I have found that the essential oils are more powerful and therefore you need to use much less . . . usually a few drops just costing pennies per drop. I have had better results using essential oils when I can substitute them for herbs. Most of the conditions below also can be treated with essential oils. Actually Boswellia tree is where Frankincense oil comes from. There are different qualities but if you use therapeutic grade essential oils they are 50 to 70% more powerful than herbs and most can be taken internally if that is the best way to use the oil. My recommendations will be italicized in the article.
Original Article written by Julia Szabo
Herbs offer cures for many common canine ailments. I've been using them for years, with the blessing of my homeopathic vet, and my dogs have all lived long and remarkably healthy lives.
Just because they're natural doesn't mean they're not powerful. Herbs are nothing to sneeze at. What may look like a mere weed or homely root can, in fact, be a very potent medicine.
Here's a list of the top ten herbs no dog lover's cupboard should be without. It's a pharmacopeia for dogs - call it a bark-acopeia!
But before you try them, ask your vet about dosages, and if any of these are contraindicated for your pet's existing medications.
What: Azadirachta indica, an extract of the Neem tree, is nature's non-toxic insecticide, plus it heals burns and soothes dry, irritated skin.
Why: Applied topically and absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, Neem makes your dog naturally repellent to mosquitoes and fleas. Parasite preventatives work by filling your dog's blood with poison; in order to be eliminated, the pest has to take a bite out of your best friend. With Neem, Spot won't even get bitten!
Suggested Use: During the warm months (high mosquito season), bathe once weekly in TheraNeem Pet Shampoo, to which you add several drops of Neem oil; both are available at Whole Foods stores. For extra protection from within, administer Neem Plus supplements orally once daily, hidden in food.
What: Achillea millefolium - a.k.a. stanchweed, soldier's woundwort, and sanguinary - helps stop bleeding.
Why: If your dog sustains a cut or laceration, you can administer first aid by flushing the wound with povidone iodine, then treating it with yarrow.
Suggested Use: Wound Balm for Animals contains yarrow (along with echinacea and goldenseal); it speeds healing and is a first-rate addition to Fido's first-aid kit.
Helichrysum oil is excellent to help control bleeding as well and great for bruising and cleansing wounds along with other essential oils. I had many chances to use Helichrysum oil and it worked exceptionally well. I follow a holistic veterinarian who feels that Helichrysum is very effective for use with our animals. I have used many herbs before using the essential oils and I have had better results with the essential oils. They are 50-70% more powerful, therefore more effective.
What: Arnica montana, a.k.a. Leopard's Bane, has long been prized for its astonishing bruise-healing property.
Why: Has Spot sustained a bruise or muscle injury? Arnica does double duty, easing the pain and promoting healing.
Suggested Use: Arnica pellets. Administer 3 pellets 3 times daily, in the inside pocket of your dog's lower lip. It's OK if he spits it out; healing begins when the pellets make contact with the gum.
What: This effective - if highly malodorous - herb (Valeriana officinalis L.) is nature's time-trusted sedative and sleep-inducer.
Why: For dogs who experience high anxiety during thunderstorms or on the 4th of July, Valerian will put them out for several hours of stress-free slumber. It's also great for long car trips, to help Spot snooze through the ride.
Suggested Use: Valerian comes in capsules, available at any health food store. To dose your dog, you'll need to hide the capsules in a piece of meat or cheese with peanut butter on top - anything to mask that awful smell! (Editor's Note: Again, talk to your vet about dosages.)
Therapeutic grade essential oils are very effective for calming your pets for mild and more severe conditions. One of the reasons I started using essential oils for pets is because I have a dog that has major issues with fireworks and thunderstorms. I have found many oils to be effective depending on the severity of the fear. Contact Us for your individual need and recommendations.
Olive Leaf Extract
What: The extract of crushed-up olive leaves (oleuropein) is nature's antibiotic.
Why: If your dog experiences diarrhea from, say, scarfing something rancid on the sidewalk, the antifungal property of Olive Leaf will help set his digestion right.
Suggested Use: Available at health food stores, Olive Leaf capsules smell and taste exactly like olive oil (i.e. delicious), so there's no need to hide or mask them. Just sprinkle over your dog's food like a spice!
A protective blend and digestive blend are great to help support the immune system. They are also great for your human family members.
What: A flowering plant whose extract, Silymarin, is one of nature's most potent antioxidants for people and pets.
Why: Boosting and protecting the liver, milk thistle is a must if you want to extend the life of your dog. Everything passes through the liver, so it welcomes the support - and because eye and liver health are linked, milk thistle also prevents and reverses cloudy eyes (nuclear sclerosis) in dogs.
Suggested Use: Sold at health foods stores in capsule form, this herb tastes somewhat bitter; very finicky dogs will need to have it hidden in something tasty, but most dogs will eat it sprinkled over their food (cinnamon helps sweeten the deal).
Milk Thistle is great to detox the liver. I have used it for years. Milk thiste is great for humans as well as for our furry friends to build their immune system and detox the body.
What: Crataegus is a berry that's used to treat cardiac insufficiency.
Why: Strengthening the heart muscle and improving circulation, hawthorn helps stave off congestive heart failure in senior dogs (and people), and tones the tickers of younger dogs who've survived heartworm disease. Young, healthy dogs don't need it yet - wait until they're older.
Suggested Use: One capsule in your dog's food (available at health food stores); most dogs don't mind the taste.
What: The resin of the Boswellia tree has many medicinal uses.
Why: Another senior-dog staple, Boswellia reduces inflammation and improves mobility in arthritic K9s.
Suggested Use: Available in tablet form, it's called "Boswelya Plus."
Frankincense oil comes from the Boswellia tree and it is excellent to help support the immune system of your pets especially older dogs who tend to have a weakened immune system. This can cause inflammation which is the main cause of most disease. It is all excellent for skin issues and for many more uses.
What: As its name implies, the flowering plant Euphrasia officinalis has long been used to treat eye infections.
Why: If your dog comes back from the dog park or doggie daycare with goopy eyes, try eyebright first before consulting the vet; you may be able to clear up the problem yourself.
Suggested Use: Euphrasia pellets. Administer 3 pellets 3 times daily, in the inside pocket of your dog's lower lip. As with Arnica (above), it's OK if he spits it out; healing begins when the pellets make contact with the gum.
I have used Eyebright personally for dry eye and other eye issues and have had much more relief from a blend of essential oils I use. I no longer need to use any eye drops or medication. I didn’t get that relief from using Eyebright.
What: A thistle in the genus Arctium, its root has long been prized for its blood-purifying, hair-regrowing, and cancer-fighting powers.
Why: Use it regularly as a preventative, especially if you have a breed of dog that's prone to cancer (such as a Boxer).
Suggested Use: Add cooked burdock root (found in the produce section of health food stores and Asian markets) to your dog's food, or give him a piece of raw burdock to chew on, like a carrot. Or you can steep one teaspoon of burdock in a cup of hot water; let cool and pour over your dog's food.
There are essential oils that can be used for all of the herbs listed for different health conditions. The essential oils have much longer shelf life if stored in their dark glass bottles. They are much easier to administrator. Many can be applied to the animal externally by dilluting the oil or diffused. You should only used therapeutic grade essential oils. Quality essential oils test every batch of essential oils to guarantee purity of the oils oils for our safety. It is very important to only use therapeutic grade essential oils with your pets. If they aren’t pure they can have additives and other environmental impurities. Contact PWC if you would like more information on which oils to use with your pets. Because essential oils are so concentrated they are also much less expensive. With animals and humans using essential oils “less is more effective”. One drop diluted with a few drops of carrier oil is usually all that the animal needs.
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