(FAQ) Herbs (C)

Common herbs and spices

C

Calendula

Calendula Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Calendula officinalis [WikiPedia]

Composition: The active constituents in calendula are saponins, carotenoids, bitter principles, essential oils, sterols, flavonoids, mucilage and tocopherols. The fresh plant also contains salicylic acid which acts as an analgesic.

Appearance: This herb is known as pot marigold. The bright yellow, orange, or red-orange flowers of calendula are a familiar sight in gardens and landscape designs found all over the world. The small plant seldom exceeds 18 inches in height.

Parts Used: Flowers

Common Uses: Calendula is very commonly used in herbal medicine as a topical anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Its soothing effect is due to its ability to scavenge free radicals (which are products of inflammation), preventing them from causing further inflammation, and to its ability to inhibit lymphocyte proliferation (a white blood cell associated with the immune system). Flavonoids and possibly terpenoids are believed to contribute to these effects. Calendula also is credited with an antiseptic effect, but this effect appears to be very weak and does not alone warrant its current use in humans as a mouthwash and dentifrice. Calendula is, however, a potent molluscicide, meaning that it is lethal to snails, slugs and flukes.

A less commonly known effect of calendula is its ability to heal and prevent gastric ulcers, due to its content of saponins. Calendula also delays gastric emptying and lowers blood sugar, effects that are of potential importance as veterinary and human medical practitioners become increasingly concerned about insulin resistance and its multiple adverse effects.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: For first-aid, combines well with Saint-Johns-wort. Increase effectiveness in antifungal applications, add bee balm, Oregon grape or licorice. Urinary and digestive tract inflammation, combine with corn silk, marshmallow or plantain.

Topic Specific References:

  • Steve Marsden, DVM ND MSOM LAc DiplCH AHG, Shawn Messonnier, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH [Ref]
  • Treat ear infections [Ref]
  • Soothing bath rinse [Ref]
  • Dental care for treating bleeding gums [Ref]
  • Herbal Remedies Info [Ref]
  • Anticandidal, antibacterial, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of Calendula arvensis flowers. (PubMED) [Ref]
  • Therapeutic Usages of Calendula for Dogs [YourOldDog]
  • A systematic review of Calendula officinalis extract for wound healing [PubMED]
  • Phenotypic and molecular cytogenetic variability in calendula (Calendula officinalis L.) cultivars and mutant lines obtained via chemical mutagenesis [PubMED]
  • Antifatigue Activity and Exercise Performance of Phenolic-Rich Extracts from Calendula officinalis, Ribes nigrum, and Vaccinium myrtillus 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.

Cats Claw

Cats Claw Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Cat’s claw is a woody vine that grows wild in the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of Central and South America. Its thorns resemble a cat’s claws.

Composition: Cats Claw has many phytochemical elements that consist of oxidole alkaloids, quinovic acid glycosides, antioxidants, plant sterols and carboxyl alkyl esters. All of these are thought to have, in varying degrees, an action that can be attributed to the many benefits of Cats Claw.

Parts Used: The bark and root of cat’s claw are used to make liquid extracts, capsules, tablets, and tea.

Common Uses: Using cat’s claw for health dates back to the Inca civilization. Its historical uses have included for contraception, inflammation, cancer, and viral infections, and to stimulate the immune system. Today, cat’s claw is most commonly used for improving symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is also used for various digestive system disorders including swelling and pain (inflammation) of the large intestine (diverticulitis), inflammation of the lower bowel (colitis), inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gastritis), stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, and leaky bowel syndrome. Some people use cat’s claw for viral infections including shingles (caused by herpeszoster), cold sores (caused by herpes simplex), and AIDS (caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)). Cat’s claw is also used for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), wound healing, parasites, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, hay fever, cancer (especially urinary tract cancer), a particular type of brain cancer called glioblastoma, gonorrhea, dysentery, birth control, bone pains, and "cleansing" the kidneys.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • Cat's Claw - Herbs for Dogs and Cats (OttawaValley)
  • Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis) are independent of their alkaloid content. (PubMED)
  • Morphoanatomical studies of Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis bark and leaves. (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.

Cayenne

Cayenne Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Capsicum annuum [WikiPedia]

Composition: Capsaicin, the active ingredient in cayenne peppers, is what gives them their medicinal properties.

Appearance: Cayenne peppers are closely related to jalapeño peppers and bell peppers and are a staple in Southwestern American and Mexican cuisine, as well as Cajun and Creole cooking.

Parts Used: Fruit

Common Uses: Rich in vitamins C and A, cayenne also supplies vitamins B3 (niacin), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine), the minerals iron, copper, and potassium, plus flavonoids and other micronutrients. Medicinally, chili peppers are added to herbal formulas in small amounts as a catalyst, a substance that causes or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected. In oral supplements or when added to food, cayenne speeds reactions in the digestive and circulatory systems. Applied topically, it is a rubefacient, which means that it increases circulation to the skin, nerves, and joints, opening subcutaneous capillaries and acting as an analgesic. Wherever applied, cayenne improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, fight infection, alleviate pain, and reduce inflammation.

Cayenne offers both medicinal as well as nutritional benefits to you and your pack.

Nutrients: Cayenne contains: Alkaloids, capsaicin, capsacutin, capsaicin, capsanthine, capsico PABA, fatty acids, flavonoids, sugars, carotene, volatile oil, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and C.

Source: USDA SR02031 | Spices, pepper, red or cayenne

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 tsp (1.8gr)
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
8.05
1 tsp (1.8gr)
0.14
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
0.43
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
318
1 tsp (1.8gr)
6
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
17
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
12.01
1 tsp (1.8gr)
0.22
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
0.64
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
17.27
1 tsp (1.8gr)
0.31
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
0.92
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
56.63
1 tsp (1.8gr)
1.02
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
3
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
27.2
1 tsp (1.8gr)
0.5
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
1.4
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
10.34
1 tsp (1.8gr)
0.19
1 tbsp (5.3gr)
0.55

Source: USDA SR02031 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Alternatives and Adjuncts:Circulatory, combine with hawthorn, ginko, ginger and yarrow. For bleeding, combine with yarrow.

Topic Specific References:

  • Dietary Capsaicin Protects Cardiometabolic Organs from Dysfunction. (PubMED)
  • Capsaicin may have important potential for promoting vascular and metabolic health (PubMED)

Used In:

  • Many of our Doggobone Active Pre-Made Meals

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.

Chamomile

Chamomile Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Matricaria recutita [WikiPedia]

Composition: The dried flowers of the chamomile plant contain terpenoids and flavonoids, which lend themselves to the plant’s medicinal properties.

Appearance: Chamomile is characterised by its ½ to 1-inch flowers, each with a yellow disk surrounded by ten to twenty white rays (petals).

Parts Used: Flowers

Common Uses: Chamomile has been used an herbal remedy since ancient times. The dried flower head of the chamomile plant contains beneficial medicinal properties, the major components being:

  • 36 types of flavonoids;
  • 28 types of trepenoids, and various:
  • Phenolic compounds.

Chamomile is commonly used in human herbal medicine as a mild sedative, and as an antispasmodic to relieve menstrual cramps. Both effects are contributed by one of its constituents, apigenin, which is one of the more well studied active ingredients in plant medicine. Apigenin acts similarly to aspirin by inhibiting production of the chemical mediators of inflammation. It also dilates smooth muscle to relieve cramping abdominal pain and is a mild sedative and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety). Another active ingredient of chamomile is chamazulene, which also acts like aspirin to inhibit production of the chemical mediators of inflammation.

Because of these muscle-relaxing, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, chamomile may provide relief in a variety of common small animal disorders. It may be applied topically as a concentrated tea to relieve skin inflammation, in keeping with the results of a small double-blind study in 1987 where chamomile reduced inflammation and accelerated healing of skin abrasions.

Chamomile can also be used as a sedative, especially where anxiety leads to gastrointestinal disorders such as gas, pain, and bloating. Chamomile has a reputed ability to soothe inflamed intestinal surfaces just as it does the skin, leading to its use to heal gastric ulcers. Indeed, one of the most common uses of chamomile in small animal medicine is to soothe and heal irritated intestines in inflammatory bowel disease.

Chamomile is often administered orally to dogs and may be used topically in both dogs and cats. It is given orally to relieve anxiety and to relieve inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (which can have many causes). It may be used alone or in combination with other western herbs such as mint, wild yam, liquorice, and ginger. The relaxation and immune-boosting properties may also aid with the following conditions, although different people may experience different effects:

  • Anxiety linked with depression
  • Ulcers
  • Dermatitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Eczema
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Esophageal reflux
  • PMS
  • Hay fever
  • Diabetes
  • Fever

Alternatives and Adjuncts: For irritable bowel, diarrhoea and other gastric disorders, combine with plantain, slippery elm and marshmallow. For inflammatory urinary tract application, combine with corn silk, plantain, white oak bark, couch grass and marshmallow.

Topic Specific References:

  • Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): An overview [PubMED]
  • Steve Marsden, DVM ND MSOM LAc DiplCH AHG, Shawn Messonnier, DVM and Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH [Ref]
  • Chamomile for Dogs and Cats [Ref]
  • Herbal Remedies Info [Ref]
  • A systematic review study of therapeutic effects of Matricaria recuitta chamomile (chamomile). (PubMED) [Ref]
  • Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future [PubMED]
  • Antioxidant and anticancer activities of chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) [PubMED]

Used In:

  • Our range of Rooibos Aromatics oils and treats
  • Our range of Avalon Pure Herbal Sprays

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.

Chastetree

Chaste Tree Berries Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Vitex agnus-castus [WikiPedia]

Composition: The berries contain essential oils (e.g., limonene, sabinene, 1,8-cineole [eucalyptol]), iridoid glycosides (e.g., agnoside, aucubin), diterpines (e.g., vitexilactone, rotundifuran), and flavonoids (e.g., apigenin, castican, orientin, isovitexin).

Appearance: Monk’s pepper belongs to the Vitex genus and thus to the Verbena family. Its five- to seven-fingered leaves resemble those of the hemp plant. Vitex agnus-castus grows as a one to five metre high shrub in the entire Mediterranean region and through to the Crimea. This medicinal plant prefers moist soil and a warm to moderate climate. It is often found on embankments or near water. The large, thick inflorescences consist of numerous small blue-violet, white or pink blossoms. Seeds, which look similar to black peppercorns, develop from the blossoms.

Parts Used: Fruit

Common Uses: Chaste tree has traditionally been used for many conditions involving the female reproductive and hormonal systems. It has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome, irregular bleeding, menopausal symptoms, swelling in the breasts, hormonal balance, heavy bleeding and frequent periods. There is growing evidence as to the use of chaste tree for healing. During the ancient times, people believed that it helped promote chastity, hence its name. The Greek physician Dioscorides prescribed a beverage made from this herb's fruits to lower men's libido, while at least one modern-day natural health doctor recommends it to heighten a woman's sexual satisfaction. Hippocrates recommended women to take it after childbirth. Athenian maidens, according to Pliny the Elder, would sleep with the plant's leaves under their bed during the festival of Thesmophoria. This was believed to help preserve their chastity. In the Middle Ages, monks used chasteberry to suppress their sexual desire, which is why it's also called monk's pepper. "Pepper" refers not just to the spicy flavour of the fruits but their appearance as well, which is similar to peppercorns.

For equine supplementation, the berries are dried and then ground into a fine powder, which most horses find palatable if mixed with feed. The most well-known use of chaste tree berry is for horses with symptoms of Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID), formerly known as Cushing’s disease. The pituitary gland uses hormones to control bodily functions, and PPID causes this gland to work overtime, which can lead to a variety of problems, such as abnormal fat deposits or unexplained laminitis. However, dysfunction of the pituitary gland is connected not only with PPID, but also insulin resistance and hypothyroidism.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • Monk’s pepper (Vitex agnus-castus) [Ref]
  • 7 Steps To Heaven—How To Increase Your Libido Naturally [Ref]
  • Chasteberry [Ref]
  • Herbal Remedies Info [Ref)
  • Chasteberry [PubMED)
  • Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)--pharmacology and clinical indications [PubMED)
  • Safety and efficacy of chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) during pregnancy and lactation [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.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Cinnamomum verum [WikiPedia]

Ceylon cinnamon is considered safe for your pets due to its low levels of courmarin. Courmarin is a natural organic chemical compound that can be found in many plants, including both the Ceylon Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Ceylon Cinnamon) and the Chinese Cinnamon Tree (its bark is used to make Cassia Cinnamon). Ceylon cinnamon does not contain measurable amounts of courmarin, making it safe for dogs to eat. However, Cassia cinnamon is not considered safe because it has higher levels of courmarin, which may pose a potential health risk.

Appearance: Cinnamomum verum is a small evergreen tree native to tropical southern India and Sri Lanka, growing from sea level to almost 3,000 feet. It has been introduced to Madagascar and the Seychelles and is cultivated there extensively. It belongs to the Laurel or Lauraceae family, a family containing diverse genera ranging from the Mediterranean bay tree, to sassafras, paw-paw, and the tropical avocado.

Parts Used: Dried inner bark as a spice, tea, potpourri, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated. Fresh or Dried bark, twigs and leaves distilled as an essential oil.

Source: USDA SR02010 | Spices, cinnamon, ground

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 tsp (2.6gr)
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
10.58
1 tsp (2.6gr)
0.28
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
0.83
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
247
1 tsp (2.6gr)
6
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
19
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
3.99
1 tsp (2.6gr)
0.10
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
0.31
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
1.24
1 tsp (2.6gr)
0.03
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
0.10
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
80.59
1 tsp (2.6gr)
2.10
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
6.29
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
53.10
1 tsp (2.6gr)
1.4
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
4.1
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
2.17
1 tsp (2.6gr)
0.06
1 tbsp (7.8gr)
0.17

Source: USDA SR02010 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Common Uses: While there is some controversy regarding the safety of cinnamon for dogs, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has ruled it non-toxic. This spice not only smells heavenly, but it provides a number of health benefits as well. Cinnamon has been shown to boost energy and vitality while also improving brain function. Additionally, cinnamon is has natural antifungal properties which helps to protect against the type of fungus which causes yeast infections (these are particularly common in dogs with allergies). When adding cinnamon to your dog’s diet, experts recommend sticking with Ceylon cinnamon, rather than using the Cassia variety that is more common. That’s because Ceylon cinnamon contains much less coumarin, which is a compound that is associated with blood thinning. Cinnamon bark has been used for thousands of years in traditional Eastern and Western medicines. It appears in recorded history dating back to at least 1,700 years B.C.E where it was a component of embalming fluid in ancient Egypt. The Arabs were avid spice traders who provided this spice to the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews. These cultures treasured cinnamon as a spice. It is believed that it was added to a spiced wine referred to as 'Hippocras'. Cinnamon is considered to be a warming herb that is stimulating to the circulatory system and soothing to the digestive system. The essential oil is used extensively as a flavouring for soft drinks, baked goods, sauces, confectioneries and liqueurs. It is distilled from a mixture of leaves, twigs and bark, and must be used with caution as a fragrance as it does have skin sensitizing properties.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • To be completed

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.

Cleavers

Cleavers Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Galium aparine [WikiPedia]

Composition: Constituents isolated from the aerial parts of cleavers (Galium aparine) include anthraquinon, iridoid glucosides, saponins, citric acid, coumarin, rubichloric acid, gallotannic acid, galiosin, and tannins.

Appearance: The Galium genus is large and widespread, with no fewer than thirteen species. The annual varieties are sprawlers and climbers, often forming ground-covering mats with much weaker taproots and more delicate stems and leaves than perennial species. The plants have square stems and slender leaves that grow in whorled clusters like bicycle spokes or two to eight leaves. Flowers are small and white to greenish in colour.

Parts Used: Entire plant

Common Uses: Herbalists have long regarded cleavers as a valuable lymphatic tonic. The dried or fresh herb is said to have anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory, astringent, diaphoretic, stimulant, laxative and diuretic properties. It stimulates the lymphatic system and has shown to be beneficial in skin related problems. Cleavers has cooling properties as well. Cleavers makes an excellent facial wash as it tightens the loose and sagging skin caused by wrinkling. This plant works very well in treating eczema, psoriasis, seborrhoea, acne, boils and abscesses, arthritis and gout. Cleavers is also useful in treating swollen lymph glands, or congested glands and congestion in the breasts. The cooling properties of Cleavers makes is useful in reducing fevers and resolving infections associated with skin eruptions such as measles and chickenpox. It also works in soothing tonsillitis, hepatitis, cystitis and arthritis. This herb stimulates liver function and improves digestion and absorption. Externally the fresh leaves can be applied to cuts and wounds, or to help stop bleeding and enhance healing. The leaves also soothe burns, sunburn, acne and other skin inflammations. Bathing in the juice of the plant works to soothe and heal varicose ulcers. In 1947, French researchers discovered and extract of Cleavers to be effective in lowering blood pressure, by thinning the blood.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Lymphatic application, combine with calendula, echinacea or astragalus. Skin and liver, combine with dandelion, burdock, Oregon grape, milk thistle and yellow dock. Tumours, combine with red clover, licorice, violet or aloe.

Topic Specific References:

  • Herbal Remedies Info [Ref]
  • Cleavers Tea Herb Health Benefits for Dogs (YourOldDog)
  • Mechanical adaptations of cleavers (Galium aparine) [PubMED]
  • Galium Aparine as a Remedy for Chronic Ulcers [PubMED]
  • Physiological and biochemical characterization of quinclorac resistance in a false cleavers (Galium spurium L.) biotype [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.

Cloves

Cloves Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Syzygium aromaticum [WikiPedia]

Composition: Cloves contain - among other compounds - gallotannins, triterpenes, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Oil derived from Cloves contains additional compounds including b-caryophyllene, eugenol, and eugenol acetate.

Appearance: Clove is a small evergreen tree with smooth gray bark and large, bright green, aromatic and lanceolate shaped leaves. The flowers grow in yellow to bright red clusters at the end of branches. It is in the Myrtaceae family, with relatives ranging from guava to allspice to eucalyptus. The clove of commerce is the pink or reddish flower bud that turns dark brown when dried. The entire tree is highly aromatic and its Latin specific name aromaticum, refers to this intense aroma.

Parts Used: Dried flower buds whole or powdered as a culinary spice, as part of a tea blend, or as an essential oil. Occasionally dried leaf is used as well.

Source: USDA SR02011 | Spices, cloves, ground

Nutrient
Unit
Value (100gr)
1 tsp (2.1gr)
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
Nutrient
Water
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
9.87
1 tsp (2.1gr)
0.21
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
0.64
Nutrient
Energy
Unit
kcal
Value (100gr)
274
1 tsp (2.1gr)
6
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
18
Nutrient
Protein
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
5.97
1 tsp (2.1gr)
0.13
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
0.39
Nutrient
Total lipid (fat)
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
13.00
1 tsp (2.1gr)
0.27
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
0.84
Nutrient
Carbohydrate
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
65.53
1 tsp (2.1gr)
1.38
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
4.26
Nutrient
Fiber
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
33.9
1 tsp (2.1gr)
0.7
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
2.2
Nutrient
Sugars
Unit
g
Value (100gr)
2.38
1 tsp (2.1gr)
0.05
1 tbsp (6.5gr)
0.15

Source: USDA SR02011 (Rel April 2018) | Units: μg = micrograms | mg = milligrams | IU = International units

Common Uses: An extensively utilized culinary spice since ancient times, clove rivals other well-known spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg for popularity. Clove is used in liqueurs and mulled wine, perfumes and even love potions. More recently, clove oil has been employed for its analgesic effects in dentistry. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, clove is considered a warming herb that breaks up stagnant energy by encouraging chi (energy) flow, and is used to support the kidney, spleen, and stomach meridians. The main component in the volatile oil is eugenol (cinnamon also contains high levels of this constituent) thought to be responsible for clove's analgesic effects. In addition to their sweet, aromatic flavor, cloves are known for their potent medicinal properties. Cloves contain fiber, vitamins and minerals, so using whole or ground cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients. As well as containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves are rich in antioxidants. Studies show that cloves may promote oral health, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, which may help kill harmful bacteria. Some studies also show that cloves and the compounds they contain may help reduce oxidative stress and protect the liver.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific References:

  • Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts [PubMED]
  • Clove Extract Inhibits Tumor Growth and Promotes Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis [PubMED]
  • Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts [PubMED]
  • Clove extract inhibits tumor growth and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis [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.

Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Tussilago farfara [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contains flavonoids and polysaccharides

Appearance: Coltsfoot grows wild over much of Europe. The name is derived from the horseshoe shaped leaves. It was so popular in Europe at one time that French pharmacists painted its flowers on their doorposts. It was brought to the American colonies from Europe. Before the plant flowers, it resembles butterbur enough that old herbals caution against confusing the two.

Parts Used: Leaves, and sometimes the buds and flowers.

Common Uses: Coltsfoot has a number of applications in herbal medicine, with the leaves used in Austria as part of a tea. There are some toxicity concerns, however, with the presence of tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids providing a few reasons to exercise caution. There are documented cases of coltsfoot leaf benefits producing severe liver problems in infants. There are some risks associated with using coltsfoot for dogs. The documented cases of liver damage can be rather startling, but they should be taken into account before you make any decisions. Coltsfoot was banned in Germany after known cases of harm to infants, although a clone version of the herb free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids was eventually developed. Coltsfoot’s main application is in its treatment of wet cough. It should not be used for kennel cough, which is a dry cough. Coltsfoot does help break down mucus in the bronchi and can be beneficial for some respiratory conditions, but the associated side effects may be enough to deter usage for some. Use coltsfoot with caution.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Coughs combine with mullein, horehound, licorice or elecampane. Bacterial or fungal, combine with echinacea, Oregon grape, bee balm or thyme.

Topic Specific References:

  • Health Benefits of Coltsfoot Leaf (YourOldDog)
  • Neuroprotective and antioxidant effects of the ethyl acetate fraction prepared from Tussilago farfara L. [PubMED]
  • Modification of the Myelotoxic and Antitumor Effects of Polychemotherapy by Polysaccharides from Tussilago farfara L. [PubMED]
  • Biologically active compounds from two members of the Asteraceae family: Tragopogon dubius Scop. and Tussilago farfara L. [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.

Comfrey

Comfrey Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Symphytum officinale [WikiPedia]

Composition: Active constituents include rosmarinic acid, mucopolysaccharides, allantoin, and mucilage.

Appearance: Comfrey is a robust plant with coarsely textured, broadly lance-shaped leaves that may exceed a foot in length at the base of the plant and become progressively smaller towards the top of the plant. The downy tubular flowers are presented among the small upper leaves in drooping clusters and are usually a shade of pink or purple but are sometimes white or pale yellow.

Parts Used: All aboveground parts

Common Uses: Heals wounds; anti-inflammatory; astringent; lubricates, soothes, and protects internal mucous membranes; expectorant

Comfrey is well known as “bone knit.” It’s earned this name because of its great affinity for fast tissue healing, including skin, muscle, tendons and even bones.

Comfrey can be applied topically on the affected area as a salve, poultice or tea to speed the healing process for sore joints, burns and swelling. Dried comfrey can also be used as a styptic to stop bleeding – just apply the dried herb directly to the skin. Comfrey leaves are rich in calcium, potassium, protein, vitamins A, C and B12. Because of their properties farmers used to feed Comfrey leaves to their animals as a part of their diet. The herb protected the cattle from seasonal diseases and boosted their immunity. To this day Comfrey is added to salads, vegetable dishes and other foods as a delicacy. People living in the Far East make tea out of Comfrey leaves and drink it as a refreshing beverage.

Comfrey consists of chemicals and constituents with medicinal properties. Allantoin is an ingredient, which helps in cell growth and bone strengthening. Due to its analgesic and anti- inflammatory properties, Comfrey is used in medicines for sprains, joint stiffness, pain in the joints or muscles and edema. Other ingredients include rosmarinic acid, steroidal saponins, triterpenoids, sugar, carotene, alkaloids, gum, beta- sitosterol, zinc, inulin, mucilage, protein and vitamin B12. These elements are useful in the overall health of both humans and animals.

  • Like calendula, comfrey is used to speed wound healing and diminish the amount of pain at the healing site. This is because of substances like allantoin, rosmarinic acid, and tannins, which help produce new skin. Because comfrey can help stimulate cell growth, it can work wonders on wounds, scrapes, tissue and ligament tears when applied as an ointment, massage oil or poultice over the skin.
  • Stops bleeding. Apply a little dried comfrey to a bleeding cut or nail to stop the bleeding.
  • Some references can be found for comfrey as a treatment for skin irritations, bites and other maladies. A tea infusion of comfrey using one to two cups of water along with half a cup of dried comfrey leaves can be applied to a rash or bite (once the tea has cooled, of course). Because of the aforementioned goodies in comfrey, the irritation should clear right up.
  • There is some anecdotal evidence pertaining to comfrey’s ability to knit together broken bones, which likely accounts for its “knitbone” nickname. Setting a poultice of comfrey over the site of broken bones can help in the healing process, say some, as the herb’s ability to stitch together cells and aid in the speeding of natural processes can certainly come in handy.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: External applications, combine with calendula, chamomile, aloe, Saint-Johns-wort or bee balm. Gastric disorder application, combine with cleavers, calendula, catnip and chamomile.

Topic Specific References:

  • Herbal First Aid for Dogs (Dogs Naturally Magazine) [Ref]
  • Comfrey [Ref]
  • Herbal Remedies Info [Ref]
  • Comfrey root: from tradition to modern clinical trials. [PubMED]
  • Physicochemical properties and activities of comfrey polysaccharides extracted by different techniques [PubMED]

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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.

Corn Silk

Corn Silk Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Stigma Maydis [WikiPedia]

Composition: Contains flavonoids, alkaloids, phenols, steroids, glycosides, carbohydrates, terpenoids and tannins

Appearance: Silken tassels on corn.

Parts Used: Tassels.

Common Uses: Corn silk is an important herb used traditionally by the Chinese, and Native Americans to treat many diseases. It is also used as traditional medicine in many parts of the world such as Turkey, United States and France. Its potential antioxidant and healthcare applications as diuretic agent, in hyperglycemia reduction, as anti-depressant and anti-fatigue use have been claimed in several reports. Other uses of corn silk include teas and supplements to treat urinary related problems. The potential use is very much related to its properties and mechanism of action of its plant’s bioactive constituents such as flavonoids and terpenoids.

Although this plant is known to most as a valuable food source, the silken tassels in the Zuni tribe legend "Corn Maidens" danced upon, are one of the most popular form of medicine for the herbalist. It was said that was the magic of the Corn Maidens turned the hearts of the Zuni from war to farming. Their dance atop the corn stalks, visible as the wind stirs the corn tassels, is a vivid reminder of prosperity the Corn Maidens brought. When these goddesses were pursued for selfish reasons, they fled, leaving the corn of the Zuni people to wither and die.

Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains chemicals which might work like water pills (diuretics), and it might alter blood sugar levels, and help reduce inflammation. Corn silk is used for bladder infections, inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the prostate, kidney stones, and bedwetting. It is also used to treat congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, and high cholesterol levels.

Fresh green corn silk is collected from the cob and dried for tea or processed into tincture. The concentration of potassium in corn silk makes it a wonderful supplement for a variety of kidney problems. Potassium is a key mineral in healing the kidneys. Corn silk offers more per gram than bananas. Potassium is essential for controlling blood pressure.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Kidney tonic, combine with marshmallow, hawthorn, ginkgo or goldenrod.

Topic Specific References:

  • Corn Silk (Stigma Maydis) in Healthcare: A Phytochemical and Pharmacological Review [PubMED]
  • Beneficial Effects of Corn Silk on Metabolic Syndrome [PubMED]
  • Effects of Maydis stigma polysaccharide on the intestinal microflora in type-2 diabetes [PubMED]
  • Safety Evaluation, in Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidant Activity of the Flavonoid-Rich Extract from Maydis stigma [PubMED]
  • Corn silk (Stigma maydis) in healthcare: a phytochemical and pharmacological review [PubMED]
  • Effects of Maydis stigma polysaccharide on the intestinal microflora in type-2 diabetes [PubMED]

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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.

Couch Grass

Couch Grass Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Elymus repens [WikiPedia]

Composition: Active constituents found in couch grass include flavonoids such as tricin, agropyrene (volatile oil constituent, 95%), mucilage, thymol, menthol, iron, and other minerals.

Appearance: Couch grass is a perennial species of grass native to Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. It has been found in other climates as well but is mostly considered a weed in milder northern locales. Couch grass is noted for its creeping rootstalks, which make it a rather invasive species because it will grow quickly across grasslands. This grass is also noted for its usage as forage, with all sorts of grazing animals using it for food. Grassland birds, like finches, eat couch grass seeds and caterpillars also use it for food.

Parts Used: Rhizome, roots, stems, dried and cut.

Common Uses: Famous herbalist Nicholas Culpeper wrote that "although a gardener may be of another opinion, a physician holds that a 1/2 acre of dog grass to be worth 5 acres of carrots twice told over." Dog grass is an invasive grass that grows well in regions with warm summers and cool or cold, damp winters. Its name is derived from the simple fact that dogs will eat the grass when they are sick to induce vomiting and cool the blood.

Couch grass it valued by herbalists for its mucilage rich rhizome. A tea made from the roots is useful for treating urinary infections because of the herb's broad antibiotic, and diuretic properties. One of the chemical constituents, agropyrone, has been shown to have strong antibiotic properties. Couch grass tea will also soothe and coat an inflamed sore throat, and helps clear phlegm. The herb contains mucilage that helps to clear congestion while it coats the throat.

Alternatives and Adjuncts: Stones or any other cause of urinary track inflammation, combine with marshmallow, corn silk and plantain.

Topic Specific References:

  • Couch Grass Uses and Benefits for Dogs (YourOldDog)
  • Molecular cytogenetic characterisation of Elytrigia ×mucronata, a natural hybrid of E. intermedia and E. repens (Triticeae, Poaceae) [PubMED]
  • Herbal remedies for urinary stones used in India and China: A review [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.