(FAQ) Herbs (F)

Common herbs and spices

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Fennel

Fennel Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Foeniculum vulgare [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Fennel can be an annual, biennial, or perennial plant that can grow up to 6 feet tall, has bright yellow umbrella shaped flowers typical of those in the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) family, and green feathery leaves that are similar to those of its cousin dill (Anetheum graveolens).

Parts Used: dried seed (fruit) as a spice (whole or powdered), tea, tincture, or powdered and encapsulated fresh above ground parts as a cooked vegetable or in salads fresh seed (fruit) distilled as an essential oil or can be made into a tincture

Common Uses: Rich in phytoestrogens, Fennel is often used for colic, wind, irritable bowel, kidneys, spleen, liver, lungs, suppressing appetite, breast enlargement, promoting menstruation, improving digestive system, milk flow and increasing urine flow. Fennel is also commonly used to treat amenhorrea, angina, asthma, anxiety, depression, heartburn, water retention, lower blood pressure, boost libido, respiratory congestion, coughs and has been indicated for high blood pressure and to boost sexual desire. Fennel is also commonly used to treat amenhorrea, angina, asthma, heartburn, high blood pressure and to boost sexual desire. Fennel is a mild appetite suppressant and is used to improve the kidneys, spleen, liver and lungs. Fennel is an effective treatment for respiratory congestion and is a common ingredient in cough remedies. In recent times, fennel is utilized mostly in the same way that it has been for thousands of years. It is an incredibly helpful digestive aid, an effective expectorant, a delicious food and spice, and may stimulate normal milk production in nursing mothers.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

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.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Trigonella foenum-graecum [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Fenugreek is an erect annual plant of the Fabaceae or the bean family. It has hairy, green and round stems with few leaf stalks and can grow to be about two feet tall (60 cm). It has trifoliate leaves and blooms white flowers tinged with violet in the early summer. The flowers develop into long brown pods which contain the fenugreek seeds. The seeds give strong special aroma not unlike maple syrup with a hint of celery.

Parts Used: The leaves and seeds. The leaves are picked in the summer and used fresh. The seeds are collected when they are ripe, dried and used in decoctions, pastes and powders.

Common Uses: Fenugreek is one of the oldest medicinal plants known to man and has been used for hundreds of years both in Eastern and Western herbal medicine. It has been touted as a panacea, something that could cure all ailments, by many cultures around the world. In modern times, the interest in the herb in the Western world has primarily been because of the alkaloid trigonelline found in the plant, which has been shown to have some potential in the treatment of liver and cervical cancer.

Recent scientific research has found that fenugreek seeds can help to reduce cholesterol in the blood. It is the herb’s unique fibre composition and the high content of saponins that are thought to be responsible for both the glucose-lowering and cholesterol-lowering effects.

It is used to treat diabetes in adults. Both clinical and laboratory research have shown that the herb contains many substance that help to lower blood sugar levels in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Fenugreek seeds contain diosgenin, a substance similar to the female sex hormone estrogen, and other plant phytoestrogens which are thought to promote breast growth in women. Diosgenin is used extensively in the pharmaceutical industry, including in the production of cortisone preparations and oral contraceptives. However there is no scientific proof that can confirm that fenugreek seeds can enlarge breast tissue and more studies are needed. Fenugreek seeds contain hormone precursors that can increase milk production in nursing mothers and it is widely used for insufficient lactation.

The leaves of fenugreek contain the substance choline and the seeds are an excellent source of the antioxidant beta carotene. Both substances may be helpful for memory loss, Alzheimer’s and to slow down the ageing process. Additionally, choline can be used to treat arteriosclerosis because of the ability to remove accumulated fat (cholesterol) from the artery’s walls. Tea made from the seeds has been used for a long time to treat lung disease such as bronchitis and asthma. It is also considered a good herbal remedy for sore throat and coughs. A mucus like substance found in the seeds has soothing properties by forming a barrier that protects the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract against mechanical and chemical irritation.

Some other traditional applications of the herb has been as healing agent, to remove tumours, treat infected wounds and due to its anti-inflammatory properties it has also been used to treat hemorrhoids, gout, rheumatism, muscle pain, treat halitosis and aching joints.

The seeds might be effective against roundworms and they contain some chemicals that have insect repellent properties and can be used as an insecticide.

  • Keeps blood sugars, HbA1C, triglycerides, and total cholesterol in check
  • Raises HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Has abundant phytochemical compounds including choline, trigonelline diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin and neotigogens

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

Topic Specific Research:

  • Fenugreek Seeds – Side Effects and Benefits [Ref]
  • Fenugreek Herb [Ref]
  • What Is Fenugreek Good For? [Ref]
  • A review on therapeutic potentials of Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) and its chemical constituents in neurological disorders: Complementary roles to its hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, and antioxidant potential. (PubMED) [Ref]
  • A small plant with big benefits: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) for disease prevention and health promotion. (PubMED) [Ref]

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.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed Herbs for Pets

Scientific: Linum usitatissimum [WikiPedia]

Appearance: Flax is a herbaceous annual. Plants cultivated for seed are shorter than plants cultivated for fibre, and many-branched. The leaves, alternating on the stalk, are small and lance-shaped. The flowers, borne on stems growing from the branch tips, have five petals, usually blue in colour but sometimes white or pink. The fruits are small dry capsules composed of five lobes.

Parts Used: Seed, whole or ground into a meal.

Common Uses: The seeds contain fats and nutrients, and have been used as a food source for thousands of years. Flax seeds have proven to be incredibly versatile throughout history, having seen a wide variety of uses. They are often pressed into flax seed oil and are also made into breads, cereals, and muffins. Flaxseed is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and is high in a class of phytoestrogens known as lignans. It is also high in dietary fibre, protein, iron, calcium, manganese, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. The seeds can be eaten raw or toasted; added ground or whole to salads, morning cereal, and smoothies; or incorporated into baked goods.

Alternatives and Adjuncts:

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.

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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.