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 need them.

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.

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.

Never pick and feed any plant, to either yourself or your horse that you cannot positively identify. There are a lot of "look-a-like" weeds that have extremely toxic relatives.

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 BOTANICAL name.
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. Most of our formulas have been converted over to all powder but there are still formulas that may do better with a cut/shift texture. Cut/Shift textures do make excellent teas and if you have a very picky horse, making a tea and pouring that over their grain can be beneficial.