(FAQ) Herbs (B)

Common herbs and spices

B

Bee Balm

See: [Lemongrass]

Billberry and Blueberry

Bilberry or Blueberry Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Vaccinium myrtillus [WikiPedia]

Composition: Bilberry contains chemicals called tannins

Appearance: Bilberry is a plant. The dried, ripe fruit and leaves are used to make medicine. The bilberry bush is a relative of the blueberry and is native to many areas, including the Rocky Mountains and regions of Europe and Asia.

Parts Used: Fruit and leaves

Common Uses: Bilberry suggested uses include for chest pain (angina), hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), circulatory problems, degenerative retinal conditions, diarrhea, mouth/throat inflammation (topical), retinopathy, and varicose veins. Clinical studies show bilberry is effective for diarrhea and retinopathy. Bilberry is available under the following different brand and other names: airelle, black whortles, burren myrtle, dyeberry, huckleberry, hurtleberry, myrtilli fructus, trackleberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, whortleberry, and wineberry. Of interest to veterinarians is relatively new research into bilberry’s effects on circulation. The flavonoids in bilberry have long been known to improve circulation, presumably by reducing capillary fragility. Bilberry has been used in humans to improve retinal blood flow and to treat peripheral circulation disorders such as bruising and varicosities (e.g. varicose veins). More recently, it was found that the flavonoids strongly inhibit the formation of hemangioma (benign tumors), resulting in a reduction of tumor size by about 50 percent in one human study. These results suggest bilberry extract may hold promise in treating vascular (blood vessel) tumors in dogs, such as hemangiosarcoma. An anti-neoplastic (i.e. anti-tumor) effect against other cell types has also been demonstrated, due in part to bilberry’s content of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant that play a significant role in inhibiting tumor formation due to their ability to reduce free radicals which might otherwise damage DNA and promote tumor formation.

Bilberry is unlikely to be effective for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA or deterioration of the blood vessel and nerve-rich back of the eye) in dogs, since the problem does not arise from poor blood flow (instead, PRA creates poor blood flow). While it hasn't been proven yet, bilberry may be of far more benefit for dogs in the treatment of hemangiosarcoma (blood vessel cancer). Bilberry can be expected to benefit any condition that would benefit from antioxidant therapy, given bilberry’s content of potent flavonoids.

Topic Specific Research:

Used In:

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.

Black Pepper

Black Pepper Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Piper nigrum [WikiPedia]

Composition: Piperine, which is identical in composition to morphia, volatile oil, a resin called Chavicin. Its medicinal activities depends mainly on its pungent resin and volatile oil, which is colourless, turning yellow with age, with a strong odour, and not so acrid a taste as the peppercorn; it also contains starch, cellulose and colouring.

Appearance: Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, known as a peppercorn, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning.

Parts Used: Fruit

Common Uses: Ground dried and cooked peppercorns have been used since antiquity, both for flavour and as a traditional medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice, and is one of the most common spices added to cuisines around the world. Its spiciness is due to the chemical compound piperine, which is a different kind of spicy from the capsaicin characteristic of chili peppers. It is ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning, and is often paired with salt and available on dining tables in shakers or mills. Black pepper contains moderate amount sof vitamin K, iron, and manganses with trace amounts of other essential nutrients, protein and dietary fibre. Like many eastern spices, pepper was historically both a seasoning and a folk medicine. Long pepper, being stronger, was often the preferred medication, but both were used. Black pepper (or perhaps long pepper) was believed to cure several illnesses, such as constipation, insomnia, oral abscesses, sunburn, and toothaches, among others. Various sources from the fifth century onward recommended pepper to treat eye problems, often by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye. No current medical evidence indicates any of these treatments has any benefit.

Piperine is under study for its potential to increase absorption of selenium, vitamin B12, beta-carotene and curcumin, as well as other compounds. As a folk medicine, pepper appears in the Buddhist Samaññaphala Sutta, chapter five, as one of the few medicines a monk is allowed to carry. Pepper contains phytochemicals, including amides, piperidines, pyrrolidines and trace amounts of safrole, which may be carcinogenic in laboratory rodents.

Medicinal actions and uses include aromatic, stimulant, carminative; is said to possess febrifuge properties. Its action as a stimulant is specially evident on the mucous membrane of the rectum, and so is good for constipation, also on the urinary organs; externally it is a rubefacient, useful in relaxed conditions of the rectum when prolapsed; sometimes used in place of cubebs for gonorrhoea; given in combination with aperients to facilitate their action, and to prevent griping. As a gargle it is valued for relaxed uvula, paralysis of the tongue. On account of its stimulant action it aids digestion and is specially useful in atonic dyspepsia and torbid condition of the stomach. It will correct flatulence and nausea. It has also been used in vertigo, paralytic and arthritic disorders. It is sometimes added to quinine when the stomach will not respond to quinine alone. It has also been advised in diarrhoea, cholera, scarlatina, and in solution for a wash for tinea capititis. Piperine should not be combined with astringents, as it renders them inert.

Source: USDA SR02030 | Spices, pepper, black

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 tsp (2.3gr)
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
12.46
1 tsp (2.3gr)
0.29
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
0.86
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
251
1 tsp (2.3gr)
6
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
17
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
10.39
1 tsp (2.3gr)
0.24
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
0.72
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
3.26
1 tsp (2.3gr)
0.07
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
0.22
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
63.95
1 tsp (2.3gr)
1.47
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
4.41
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
25.3
1 tsp (2.3gr)
0.6
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
1.7
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
0.64
1 tsp (2.3gr)
0.01
1 tbsp (6.9gr)
0.04

Source: USDA SR02030 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Topic Specific Research:

  • Spices for Prevention and Treatment of Cancers [PubMED];
  • Potential of piperine in modulation of voltage-gated K+ current and its influences on cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells [PubMED];
  • Improvement in insulin resistance and favourable changes in plasma inflammatory adipokines after weight loss associated with two months' consumption of a combination of bioactive food ingredients in overweight subjects [PubMED];
  • Chronic diseases, inflammation, and spices: how are they linked [PubMED];
  • Free radicals and extrinsic skin aging [PubMED];
  • Black pepper and health claims: a comprehensive treatise [PubMED];

Used In:

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.

Black Seed

Black Seed Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Nigella sativa [WikiPedia]

Composition: Cumin contains lots of plant compounds that are linked with potential health benefits, including terpenes, phenols, flavonoids and alkaloids. The strong aromatic smell and warm, bitterish taste of Cumin fruits are due to the presence of a volatile oil which is separated by distillation of the fruit with water. It is limpid and pale yellow in colour, and is mainly a mixture of cymol or cymene and cuminic aldehyde, or cyminol, which is its chief constituent. The tissue of the fruits contains a fatty oil with resin, mucilage and gum, malates and albuminous matter, and in the outerseed coat there is much tannin.

Appearance: Black cumin is an annual herbaceous plant with fine foliage and delicate pale bluish purple or white flowers. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean, but grows prolifically in many areas of the world.

Parts Used: The seeds are used in cooking and teas. The oil is used both cosmetically and medicinally.

Common Uses: Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Tex-Mex or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, bahaarat, and is used to flavor numerous commercial food products. In South Asian cooking, it is often combined with coriander seeds in a powdered mixture called dhana jeera. Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. It imparts an earthy, warming and aromatic character to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as spiced gravies such as curry and chili. It is also used as an ingredient in some pickles and pastries. The seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), and vati (tablet/pills), and processed with ghee (a semifluid clarified butter). In traditional medicine practices of several countries, dried cumin seeds are believed to have medicinal purposes, although there is no scientific evidence for any use as a drug or medicine. In southern Indian states, a popular drink called jira water is made by boiling cumin seeds.

In a 100-g reference amount, cumin seeds provide high amounts of the Daily Value for fat (especially monounsaturated fat), protein, and dietary fiber. B vitamins, vitamin E, and several dietary minerals, especially iron, magnesium, and manganese, are present in substantial Daily Value amounts. Cumin seeds contain petroselinic acid.

Modern studies have confirmed some of the health benefits cumin is traditionally known for, including promoting digestion and reducing food-borne infections. Research has also revealed some new benefits, such as promoting weight loss and improving blood sugar control and cholesterol.

  • Cumin aids digestion by increasing the activity of digestive proteins. It may also reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Cumin is very dense in iron, providing almost 20% of your daily iron in one teaspoon.
  • Free radicals are lone electrons that cause inflammation and damage DNA. Cumin contains antioxidants that stabilize free radicals.
  • Cumin supplements may help improve blood sugar control, though it is not clear what causes this effect or how much is needed.
  • Cumin's traditional use as a seasoning may restrict the growth of infectious bacteria and fungi. This may reduce food-borne illnesses.
  • Cumin extracts reduce signs of narcotic addiction in mice. It is not yet known if they would have similar effects in humans.
  • Cumin contains multiple plant compounds that decrease inflammation in test-tube studies. It is not clear if it can be used to help treat inflammatory diseases in people.

Source: USDA SR02014 | Cumin Seed

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 tsp (2.1g)
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
8.06
1 tsp (2.1g)
0.17
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
0.48
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
375
1 tsp (2.1g)
8
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
22
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
17.81
1 tsp (2.1g)
.037
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
1.07
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
22.27
1 tsp (2.1g)
0.47
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
1.34
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
44.24
1 tsp (2.1g)
0.93
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
2.65
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
10.5
1 tsp (2.1g)
0.2
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
0.6
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
2.25
1 tsp (2.1g)
0.05
1 tbsp (6.0gr)
0.14

Source: USDA SR02014 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Topic Specific Research:

  • Cuminum cyminum and Carum carvi: An update [PubMED];
  • Cumin extract for symptom control in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: a case series [PubMED];
  • A Survey of Plant Iron Content—A Semi-Systematic Review [PubMED];
  • Physio-Biochemical Composition and Untargeted Metabolomics of Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) Make It Promising Functional Food and Help in Mitigating Salinity Stress [PubMED];
  • Spices in the management of diabetes mellitus [PubMED];
  • Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae) [PubMED];

Used In:

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.

Black Walnut

Black walnut Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Juglans nigra [WikiPedia]

Composition: The active principle of the whole Walnut tree, as well as of the nuts, is Nucin or Juglon. The kernels contain oil, mucilage, albumin, mineral matter, cellulose and water.

Appearance: The black walnut is a native tree of North America. Black walnuts are smaller, harder, and more pungent than the English walnuts sold in grocery stores. The hulls without the meaty kernels inside are used in traditional herbalism. Black walnut trees exude a sap that discourages growth of competing plants over their roots.

Parts Used: The powdered hull.

Common Uses: The fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in black walnuts provide various health benefits. In addition, black walnut hulls have unique antibacterial properties and are used in herbal medicine extracts and supplements. Black walnuts are nutritionally similar to English walnuts, which have been studied extensively for their health benefits. Due to its antibacterial properties, black walnut extract is used in wormwood complex supplements. Wormwood complex is a tincture made from black walnut hulls, a plant called wormwood, and cloves. It’s a natural remedy against parasitic infections. Although black walnuts have many health benefits, there are some safety aspects to consider when eating them or taking them as a supplement. Black walnuts contain various nutrients and compounds that benefit heart health, including:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids - may improve certain heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
  • Tannins - help lower blood pressure and decrease blood lipid levels, potentially improving heart health;
  • Ellagic acid - may help prevent a narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque buildup that can lead to heart disease;

Source: USDA SR12154 | Juglans nigra

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 cup (125.0g)
1 tbsp (7.8g)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
4.56
1 cup (125.0g)
5.7
1 tbsp (7.8g)
0.36
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
619
1 cup (125.0g)
774
1 tbsp (7.8g)
48
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
24.06
1 cup (125.0g)
30.07
1 tbsp (7.8g)
1.88
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
59.33
1 cup (125.0g)
74.16
1 tbsp (7.8g)
4.63
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
9.58
1 cup (125.0g)
11.97
1 tbsp (7.8g)
0.75
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
6.8
1 cup (125.0g)
8.5
1 tbsp (7.8g)
.5
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
1.1
1 cup (125.0g)
1.38
1 tbsp (7.8g)
0.09

Source: USDA SR12154 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Topic Specific Research:

  • Antibacterial Effect of Juglans Regia Bark against Oral Pathologic Bacteria [PubMED];
  • Tannins: current knowledge of food sources, intake, bioavailability and biological effects [PubMED];
  • Antibacterial activity of tannin constituents from Phaseolus vulgaris, Fagoypyrum esculentum, Corylus avellana and Juglans nigra [PubMED];
  • Juglone, from Juglans mandshruica Maxim, inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in human leukemia cell HL-60 through a reactive oxygen species-dependent mechanism [PubMED];
  • The natural toxin juglone causes degradation of p53 and induces rapid H2AX phosphorylation and cell death in human fibroblasts [PubMED];
  • Identification and Characterization of Phenolic Compounds in Black Walnut Kernels [PubMED];

Used In:

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.

Bladderwrack

See: [Kelp]

Borage

Borage Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Borago officinalis [WikiPedia]

Composition: Borage contains potassium and calcium, combined with mineral acids, and the highest known plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (an Omega 6 fatty acid, also known as GLA). The fresh juice affords 30 per cent, the dried herb 3 per cent of nitrate of potash. The stems and leaves supply much saline mucilage, which when boiled and cooked likewise deposits nitre and common salt. It is to these saline qualities that the wholesome invigorating properties of Borage are supposed to be due.

Appearance: Borage is a native plant of Southern Europe, having become naturalized all over Europe and the United States. It is a prolific grower, having a tendency to sprout up in abandoned lawns and junkyards. At one time borage was an essential herb for beekeepers, grown to help bees produce more honey. Traditionally, it was also grown as an ornamental, or boiled as a pot herb.

Parts Used: Seed, or flower and herb.

Common Uses: It’s not only a favorite plant of the honey bees, but also bumble bees and small, native bees. It has served many purposes from the time of ancient Rome to the present. Pliny the Elder believed it to be an anti-depressant, and it has long been thought to give courage and comfort to the heart. One old wives’ tale states that if a woman slipped a bit of borage into a promising man’s drink, it would give him the courage to propose. At one time it was grown by beekeepers to boost honey production. It can be, and has been grown as an ornamental plant, but is also edible and medicinal. Borage has been traditionally used in medical applications for centuries. It stimulates milk production, works as an astringent and serves as an adrenal stimulant. Borage is also used to calm the nerves and can be used as a diuretic. The most common application for borage is the borage seed oil, as mentioned. This is extracted from the seeds. The leaves can also be dried for infusions or even in bulk form for powder which can be added to your dog’s food. Borage is generally quite safe for consumption, although there is a high amount of PAs included that may lead to liver damage. The PAs, a potentially toxic compound, are presented in a very low form and are generally believed to be harmless, but you should be aware of them nevertheless. Animals would need to ingest a large quantity in order to see any negative effects.

  • Borage has been used to improve adrenal function, especially for dogs who’ve undergone considerable steroid therapy. It isn’t as powerful a treatment as licorice, which is a stronger treatment of course, but it can help stimulate slightly depressed adrenal functions.
  • Borage has a reputation for increasing milk production in nursing mothers of multiple species, including humans and dogs, and has been used in a therapeutic sense for hundreds of years. The suggestion here is that using borage during pregnancy stimulates the adrenal glands and, as such, the milk comes as a result of increased hormone production.
  • Borage can also be applied topically as a poultice or compress for minor skin irritations. It isn’t as effective as comfrey, another popular topical treatment, but it does have a mild effect that can be quite helpful for some dogs. When making the poultice, scrape off the “prickly hairs” first. You can also steam the whole leaves and use them as a warm cover for sore muscles and minor skin irritations.

Borage seed oil is used for skin disorders including eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and neurodermatitis. It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), diabetes, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alcoholism, pain and swelling (inflammation), and for preventing heart disease and stroke. Other uses include a hormone problem called adrenal insufficiency, for "blood purification," to increase urine flow, to prevent inflammation of the lungs, as a sedative, and to promote sweating.

Topic Specific Research:

  • To be researched

Used In:

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.

Boswellia

Bowsellia Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Boswellia serrata [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Boswellia trees

Parts Used: The resin of the Boswellia serrata tree

Common Uses: Boswellia has been used for thousands of years and has over 400 independent clinical studies supporting its use. It has long been recognised for its fast acting support to the natural systems that control inflammation. Boswellia trees are native to North Africa and India, the particular species Boswellia serrata only grows in mountainous forests of western and central India. The resin that is secreted naturally to protect the Boswellia tree is tapped and purified for use in powder form. This gum tree resin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the active constituents within Boswellia. According to early Ayurvedic texts, Boswellia was used in a number of areas such as: joint , respiratory and digestive support. More recent clinical studies have shown the efficacy of Boswellia for many more traditional uses. The resin that is secreted naturally to protect the Boswellia tree is tapped and purified for use in powder form. This gum tree resin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the active constituents within Boswellia.

Topic Specific Research:

  • The Bountiful Benefits Of Boswellia [Article]
  • Dietary support with Boswellia resin in canine inflammatory joint and spinal disease. [PubMED]
  • Nutritional Modulators of Pain in the Aging Population, Chapter 16 [ScienceDirect]
  • Canine Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy (Second Edition), The Role of Chondroprotectants, Nutraceuticals, and Nutrition in Rehabilitation, Chapter 15 [ScienceDirect]
  • Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis and Related Inflammatory Diseases, Inflammation and Nutraceutical Modulation, Chapter 24 [ScienceDirect]

Used In:

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.

Brewers Yeast

Brewers Yeast Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Not a herb [WikiPedia]

Also known as Faex medicinalis, medicinal yeast, Saccharomyces carlsbergensis, Saccharomyces uvarum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Appearance: Brewer's yeast is made from different yeast (Saccharomyces) species. It’s collected during the process of brewing beer. It can also be grown in a nutrient broth. This can also change its mineral content.

Parts Used: Powder

Common Uses: It’s a good source of protein. Protein makes up 52% of its weight. It’s also a good source of B-complex vitamins. The mineral content of brewer's yeast can be controlled by adding minerals to the solution in which the yeast is grown. Adding chromium increases the chromium content of the yeast. Adding selenium increases its selenium content. Yeasts have been used for centuries. They’ve been used to raise bread, brew beer, and make wine and alcoholic drinks. Brewer's yeast has been used as a supplement of B vitamins. More recently, it’s been used as a supplement for minerals. These include chromium and selenium.

Brewer’s yeast is a nutritional supplement and may enhance energy levels and strengthen the immune system. It’s a rich source of:

  • chromium
  • protein
  • selenium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • zinc
  • magnesium

It is also a great source of B vitamins that provide:

  • thiamine (B-1)
  • riboflavin (B-2)
  • niacin (B-3)
  • pantothenic acid (B-5)
  • pyridoxine (B-6)
  • folic acid (B-9)
  • biotin (B-7)

Because it is rich in a variety of nutrients, brewer’s yeast has several health benefits for fur kids. One of the most notable benefits is related to the chromium content found in brewer’s yeast. Chromium is a trace element that helps to maintain blood sugar levels in the body. Brewer’s yeast is also rich in antioxidants which can make your pet’s skin healthier and his coat shinier. If your dog tends to suffer from itchy, dry skin, brewer’s yeast may be helpful. This supplement can also help to reduce stress and to calm nerves due to its high concentration of B-complex vitamins. Another benefit of brewer’s yeast is that, if your pet receives daily supplements of brewer’s yeast, it may help to repel biting insects like ticks and fleas. However, even though Brewer’s yeast is a source of B vitamins but it does not contain B-12. Inadequate amounts of B-12 can cause anemia, so it’s important to make sure you have sources of B-12 in the diet.

Topic Specific Research:

Used In:

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.

Buchu

Buchu Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Agathosma betulina [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contain diosmin and hesperidin. Buchu also contains pulegone, which is hepatotoxic.

Appearance: Buchu is a small, green, woody plant found in western South Africa. In several reports of the late nineteenth century, buchu was described as "about the size of a hedgehog." The leaves have an incredibly pungent aroma that is similar to peppermint that increases as the leaves are dried.

Parts Used: Dried leaf and small flowers.

Common Uses: Buchu oil is widely used in the perfume industry, as well as a component in artificial fruit flavors, alcoholic beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, condiments and relishes. The original usage of buchu by the natives of South Africa is somewhat unclear, as the word buchu is a general term in South Africa for aromatic plant. Some have theorized that it may have been applied topically as an insect repellant. True to its description of being a multi-purpose specie, Buchu has long been used as an antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory, for urinary problems including maladies such as haematuria, calculi, kidney disease and infections of the bladder, prostate and urethra. Buchu’s pharmacological profile allows it to be used for its diuretic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic purposes. Its uses today have spread beyond its medicinal applications, as this compound has made its way into the fragrance and flavour industries where it is used to enhance fruit flavours and boost fragrances. The herbs are particularly useful for black currant flavors. The taste of the leaves is believed to be green herbal, sweet berry, minty camphoraceous, tropical guava, apricot, and peach-like.

  • Diuretic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory

The Buchu plant should be used at low dosages for most purposes as it contains diosphenol, a compound known to be toxic at higher doses.

Topic Specific Research:

  • Buchu Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects [Article]
  • Improved LC methods for the determination of diosmin and/or hesperidin in plant extracts and pharmaceutical formulations [PubMED]
  • Buchu (Agathosma betulina and A. crenulata, Rutaceae) essential oils: their pharmacological action on guinea-pig ileum and antimicrobial activity on microorganisms [PubMED]
  • 'Buchu' -Agathosma betulina and Agathosma crenulata (Rutaceae): a review [PubMED]

Used In:

  • Many of our Rick Litchfield products

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.

Bugleweed

Bugleweed Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Lycopus americanus [WikiPedia]

Composition: Lycopus contains rosmarinic acid, a phenolic compound derived from caffeic acid and found in several other Lamiaceae plants, all indicated historically for the symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Rosmarinic acid, and the related lithospermic and chlorogenic acids, may exert an antithyroid effect in cases of hyperthyroidism.

Appearance: Not to be confused with Carpet bugle or common bugle (Ajuga virginicus), bugleweed is a marshland native to Europe and naturalized to the United States in the 17th century by colonists who grew it for its beneficial qualities. The herb is also known as gypsywort or waterhorehound. It bears clusters of white, bugle-like flowers where stems connect to leaves. It is of the lamiaceae family, but is often referred to as the "odorless mint". The botanical name Lycopus refers to the resemblance of the cut leaf to a wolf's paw, which also explains the plethora of common names in many languages referring to wolves.

Parts Used: Dried leaves and flowers.

Common Uses: Bugleweed’s reputation for treating an over-active thyroid aka hyperthyroidism is exciting, even if hyperthyroidism is more common in cats than dogs. Hyperthyroidism shouldn’t be confused with hypothyroidism. While hyperthyroidism describes an overactive thyroid, hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland underperforms. Nevertheless, dogs that do struggle with this condition can see some serious results with bugleweed. Bugleweed might reduce the body's production of thyroid hormone. Bugleweed also seems to reduce the release of the hormone prolactin, which might help relieve breast pain. Bugleweed is used to lower high levels of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). It is also used to treat premenstrual syndrome; breast pain; nervousness; trouble sleeping (insomnia); and bleeding, especially nosebleeds and heavy bleeding during menstruation.

Dogs with hypothyroidism, a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland, should NEVER take bugleweed.

  • Because bugleweed slows thyroid function, it makes an excellent treatment option for dogs with hyperthyroidism. This condition is caused by an overactive thyroid gland and produces symptoms like excessive thirst, excessive urination, increased appetite, irritability and hyperactivity, weight loss, and panting. Bugleweed, which is available in nutritional supplement formats, can aid in reducing thyroid function.
  • Bugleweed derives most of its medicinal goodness from the presence of lithospermic acid, which has been known to help treat tachycardia. This herb can help normalize the heart rate and provide quality relief, plus it is suitable for long-term usage in dogs that are not nursing or pregnant and dogs without hypothyroidism.
  • Bugleweed has been used to relieve respiratory distress in humans and may have the same effects for dogs. Due to anti-inflammatory compounds in the herb, it is believed that bugleweed makes an appropriate treatment for conditions like excessive coughing, sore throats and shortness of breath. Bugleweed aids in soothing respiratory passages and subsequently aids in alleviating irritation.
  • Bugleweed has qualities as a soothing agent as well. It’s believed it can help calm anxious dogs and can be used as a safe sleep aid. Bugleweed helps in regulating sleep patterns and can assist in calming uneasy nerves. Many believe that this benefit occurs as a result of bugleweed’s capacity for normalizing the heart rate.

Topic Specific Research:

  • Extract of Lycopus europaeus L. reduces cardiac signs of hyperthyroidism in rats [PubMED];
  • Antihormonal effects of plant extracts: iodothyronine deiodinase of rat liver is inhibited by extracts and secondary metabolites of plants [PubMED];
  • Lycopus europaeus (Gypsywort): effects on the thyroidal parameters and symptoms associated with thyroid function [PubMED];
  • Improvement of symptoms in mild hyperthyroidism with an extract of Lycopus europaeus [PubMED];

Used In:

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.

Burdock

Burdock Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Arctium lappa [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contains flavonoid glycosides, bitter glycosides, alkaloids, high amounts of inulin, vitamin B2, thiamin, iron and silicon.

Appearance: Burdock has been an important botanical in Western folk herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, primarily valued for its cleansing and skin smoothing properties. The entire plant is edible and is a popular vegetable in Asia, particularly in Japan. More recently, burdock has been an ingredient in hair tonics and in cosmetics for mature skin.

Parts Used: Dried root or seed as a cold infusion, decoction, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated. Fresh or cooked root and leaf as an edible vegetable Fresh root or seed as a tincture Fresh leaf as a poultice.

Common Uses: Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has effected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla. The root is principally employed, but the leaves and seeds are equally valuable. The anti-scorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for boils, scurvy and rheumatic affections, and by many it is considered superior to Sarsaparilla, on account of its mucilaginous, demulcent nature; it has in addition been recommended for external use as a wash for ulcers and scaly skin disorders. An infusion of the leaves is useful to impart strength and tone to the stomach, for some forms of long-standing indigestion. When applied externally as a poultice, the leaves are highly resolvent for tumors and gouty swellings, and relieve bruises and inflamed surfaces generally. The bruised leaves have been applied by the peasantry in many countries as cataplasms to the feet and as a remedy for hysterical disorders. From the seeds, both a medicinal tincture and a fluid extract are prepared, of benefit in chronic skin diseases. Americans use the seeds only, considering them more efficacious and prompt in their action than the other parts of the plant. They are relaxant and demulcent, with a limited amount of tonic property. Their influence upon the skin is due largely to their being of such an oily nature: they affect both the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and probably owing to their oily nature restore that smoothness to the skin which is a sign of normal healthy action.

Burdock promotes kidney function and cleans the liver. Recent studies indicate that burdock has antibacterial and antifungal activity, possibly as a function of its antioxidant biochemicals. One of its major constituents, inulin, is anti-inflammatory and helps correct imbalances of the immune system. Some evidence indicate anti-tumour activity, and action which may be enhanced by combining with red clover.

Source: USDA SR11104 | Burdock root, raw

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 cup (118.0g)
1 root (156.0g)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
80.09
1 cup (118.0g)
94.51
1 root (156.0g)
124.94
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
72
1 cup (118.0g)
85
1 root (156.0g)
112
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
1.53
1 cup (118.0g)
1.81
1 root (156.0g)
2.39
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
0.15
1 cup (118.0g)
0.18
1 root (156.0g)
0.23
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
17.34
1 cup (118.0g)
20.46
1 root (156.0g)
27.05
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
3.3
1 cup (118.0g)
3.9
1 root (156.0g)
5.1
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
2.9
1 cup (118.0g)
3.42
1 root (156.0g)
4.52

Source: USDA SR11104 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Topic Specific Research:

  • Extraction and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from roots of Arctium lappa L [PubMED];
  • Arctium lappa Extract Suppresses Inflammation and Inhibits Melanoma Progression [PubMED];
  • Arctium Species Secondary Metabolites Chemodiversity and Bioactivities [PubMED];
  • Arctium lappa contributes to the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus by regulating glucose homeostasis and improving oxidative stress: A critical review of in vitro and in vivo animal-based studies [PubMED];
  • In vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory effects of water-soluble polysaccharide from Arctium lappa [PubMED];
  • Positive influence of aqua exercise and burdock extract intake on fitness factors and vascular regulation substances in elderly [PubMED];

Used In:

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.