(FAQ) Herbs (A)

Common herbs and spices

A

Alfalfa

Alfalfa Powder Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Medicago sativa [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Alfalfa can grow quite tall and has a deep root system, sometimes stretching more than 15 metres. This makes it very resilient, especially to droughts. Stems are round lower down, more or less angular towards the top, and usually smooth. The flowers resemble the clover in appearance.

Parts Used: leaves, sprouts, and seeds.

Common Uses: The plant alfalfa is rich in protein and minerals (such as calcium, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon and zinc). In addition, it contains vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, E, and K. Alfalfa is considered nutritive because of the protein and all the minerals and vitamins it contains. Alfalfa also has diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These therapeutic properties are often used by holistic vets to help dogs with inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, bladder irritation, and even cancer.

Source: USDA SR11001 Alfalfa seeds, sprouted, raw

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 Cup (33.0gr)
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
92.82
1 Cup (33.0gr)
30.63
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
2.78
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
23
1 Cup (33.0gr)
8
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
1
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
3.99
1 Cup (33.0gr)
1.32
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
0.12
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
0.69
1 Cup (33.0gr)
0.23
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
0.02
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
2.1
1 Cup (33.0gr)
0.69
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
0.06
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
1.9
1 Cup (33.0gr)
0.6
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
0.1
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
0.2
1 Cup (33.0gr)
0.07
1 tbsp (3.0gr)
0.01

Source: USDA SR11001 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Dandelion, garlic, licorice, red clover and yucca

Used In:

  • Most of our Doggobone Active Complete and Balanced Meals

Topic Specific References:

  • To be done.

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

Aloe

Aloe Bitters Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Aloe spp. [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contains aloins, anthraquinones, and flavonoids

Appearance: Aloes are cactus like member of the lily family (Liliaceae), having narrow, tapering, proportionately thick, succulent leaves with spiny margins. There are an estimated five hundred species of aloe, but the most common aloe of commerce is Aloe barbadensis, which we commonly known as aloe vera.

Parts Used: Primarily the gel-like juice of the inner leaf or the yellowish latex contained immediately beneath the skin of the leaves.

Common Uses: Aloe became famous from its use as a topical skin dressing. Internally, a small dose of aloe may be useful for healing minor injuries and irritations of the digestive track. Scientists have recently found that acemannan acts as a strong immunostimulant in animals, particularly in cats. It has been found to be effective in the treatment of fibrosarcoma and feline leukemia virus (FeLV). It is theorised that acemannan triggers an increase in the autoimmune attack upon the viruses believed to cause these usually fatal diseases.

Aloe assist with many potential issues, such as soothes and treats skin conditions, wound & insect bite healing, burn treatment & cooling, treat frostbite, kidney stones, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, topical pain relief, repairs cellular damage and reduces scarring, immunostimulant (Acemannan), digestion (nutrient absorption) & digestive system injury, heals ulcers, normalizes blood sugar, protects against radiation exposure, dietary supplement of antioxidants, polysaccharides, enzymes, protein and minerals.

Nutrients: Aloe vera contains protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A and E and is naturally rich in:

  • Vitamin C which helps maintain tone of blood vessels and promotes good circulation and is essential to the health of the adrenal gland which supports our body in times of stress.
  • Amino acids which are chains of atoms constructing protein in our body.
  • Enzymes, which are the life-principle in every live, organic atom and molecule of natural raw food, rejuvenate aged tissues and promote healthy skin.
  • Germanium which is a mineral that some health authorities claim therapeutic benefits for: immunodeficiency, pain, cardiac disorders, circulatory disturbances and eye problems.

Aloe has been studied quite extensively, including animal studies. Its effectiveness on a broad spectrum of maladies is well documented.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Chickweed, plantain and comfrey. Internally, ginger, cayenne, red clover, cleavers, dandelion, yarrow, garlic and burdock.

Used In:

Topic Specific References:

  • Aloe for Cats and Dogs [Ref]
  • Therapeutic effects of Aloe spp. in traditional and modern medicine: A review. (PubMED)

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

Arnica

Arnica Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Arnica montana [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Arnica is a graceful woodland plant in the same family as the sunflower, native to Central Europe and the western United States. Its yellow flowers are collected at summer's end and dried for traditional use. There are many viable species of arnica flowers found around the globe, some of which are found in North American mountain ranges and woodlands.

Parts Used: Fresh or dried flowers. The root is also used in European herbal preparations.

Common Uses: Arnica is used primarily in wound care and for dilation of blood vessels. These properties aid in the care of muscles especially spasms. Arnica is used in holistic veterinary care for fractures, sprains, and bruising. Working and sporting dogs can really benefit from the external use of Arnica. Whole herb Arnica can be toxic if ingested so you need to be careful when using it. As an herb or oil, Arnica needs to be wrapped and your dog has to be kept from licking the preparation. However, Arnica has had amazing internal results when used homeopathically, meaning in minute amounts in a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathic remedies are very effective even though they only contain trace amounts of the medicines they administer. Using whole herb medicine, Arnica can prove harmful by causing internal bleeding (in large quantities) because it stimulates the dilation and circulation of blood vessels. For this reason, Arnica should not be used on open wounds.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Saint-Johns-Wort, ginger, cayenne and yarrow.

Used In:

Topic Specific References:

  • To be done.

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

Astragalus

Milkvetch Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Astragalus membranaceus [WikiPedia]

Astragalus is also called huang qi or milk vetch. It comes from a type of bean or legume. While there are multiple species of astragalus, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus.

Appearance: Milkvetch species include herbs and shrubs with pinnately compound leaves. There are annual and perennial species. The flowers are formed in clusters in a raceme, each flower typical of the legume family, with three types of petals: banner, wings, and keel.

Parts Used: The dried root in the form of tea, encapsulated or as an extract. Powder is mildly sweet and may be sprinkled on food or whipped into a shake or smoothie.

Common Uses: Astragalus has been used for at least 2,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, in which it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs and is an important tonic herb for maintaining vitality (qi) and strengthening resistance (immunity). From a Western perspective, astragalus is useful with a wide range of conditions, both preventively and as a treatment. While we often think of it as an immune system modulator, useful with many forms of cancer and especially to help support the body through chemotherapy, it has many other applications for human, and canine health as well. Even though astragalus is a powerful immune supporter, it is not stimulating in the same sense as echinacea.

  • Increases the body's resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue (according to human and animal studies)
  • Helps the body maintain optimal homeostasis by creating balance in the endocrine, hormones and immune system
  • Creates whole body health and has anti-ageing benefits
  • Can be taken in small doses over a long period of time to prevent infections
  • Enhance immune function
  • Normalizes blood pressure and cardio function
  • Increases the body’s strength and endurance
  • Destroys cancer cells

Alternatives and Adjuncts: For respiratory combines well with coltsfoot, grindelia or mullein leaf. For kidneys, couch grass, corn silk, pipsissewa and goldenrod. For liver, cancer, or depressed immunity, dandelion, burdock, red clover, licorice and alfalfa.

Used In:

Topic Specific References:

  • Effects of Astragalus Polysaccharides on Associated Immune Cells and Cytokines in Immunosuppressive Dogs [ScienceDirect]
  • Anti-ageing Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus (Huangqi): A Well-Known Chinese Tonic (PubMED)
  • Astragalus membranaceus: A Review of its Protection Against Inflammation and Gastrointestinal Cancers. (PubMED)

PLEASE NOTE that herbal and other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.

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Disclaimer

If you are feeding herbs for healing or calming purposes then it is most effective to feed the herbs on a daily basis throughout one full blood cycle, which is 3 months (12 weeks). The condition should be vastly improved over this time to the point where further supplementation should no longer be necessary.

Please ensure that you are familiar with our [medical disclaimer]. We provide these herbal solutions for your convenience only, and because we know they work for the conditions that these solutions have been formulated for.

Herbs as a rule should not be fed to pregnant animals, as many of them have uterine or hormonal stimulant properties. Before feeding a herb to a broodmare or foal, please consult with a [vet or holistic animal practitioner] to substantiate safety of a specific herb. The information provided by us on this site is intended solely for animals older than six months of age.