Important Herbal Information
Today's horse can greatly benefit from alternative therapies, especially
Herbal Therapy. Because of our living styles and the world we live in
today, our horses can not benefit from roaming hundreds and hundreds of acres
of lush pastureland full of beneficial herbs and grasses. Horses can no longer
pick and choose tasty plants at their leisure. By feeding your horse herbs, we may
hopefully be replacing a little of what he is NOT getting in his
diet. Horses do love their herbal blends, and they seem to know what they need.
To a great extent our
use of herbs has decreased over the years because of the
ease of buying medicines of all
shapes, sizes and formulations, when we need them, as we
Herbs are not a wonder cure and they will not cure all the
ailments and problems that exist. Nor will medicines, drugs
or other manufactured products. What herbs can do is assist
in allowing the body to heal more efficiently.
Herbs are gentle and effective, but they are medicine and
should be treated as such. Herbs may work a bit more slowly
than traditional medicine, but that doesn't make them any
Patience is needed to allow nature to work. When feeding
herbal blends to your horse, please be sure that the blends
were recommended by not only a knowledgeable herbalist, but
also an equine specialist. Herbs that may be safe for humans
, can in turn, be quite toxic to horses. Its always better
to be safe then sorry.
Never pick and feed any plant, to either yourself or your
horse, that you cannot positively identify. There are a
of "look-a-like" weeds that have extremely toxic relatives.
Example ie: Yarrow and Hemlock.
Do not pick any plants from alongside heavily traveled
roads. Those poor plants are covered in auto exhaust fumes.
When planting medicinal herbs, always go by the LATIN or
Do buy a good field identification book. Do talk to a
certified equine herbalist and your veterinarian about any
changes you may see in your horse.
Not every part
of every plant is medicinal, infact, some parts may even be
toxic if ingested. The part above ground, which I refer to
as the "green leafy part" , we call "herb" . When we refer
to herb, we usually mean the entire upper part of the plant,
including the stem and leaves.
Another part of the plant that may be used is " root". This
is the actual root below ground. You may also see the term
"bark", and this refers to the bark of woody plants and
trees. Another part of the herb used may be its "flowers".
Almost all root and barks have to be ground up into powdered
form for a horse to eat it.
Powdered herbs/roots tend to be more concentrated and are
usually feed by the tablespoon. The green leafy herb blends,
which look a lot like course cut tea, are fed by the handful
or cupful. We at Meadowsweet Acres like to keep the course
cut herbs and the root /bark powders separate as to achieve
a better dosage ratio. You can feed both blends together in
their feed bucket.