Herbs for Animals
Most people know humans have successfully used healing herbs for thousands of years.
But, did you know that many of the same natural remedies can help your pet?
Yes, many of the same herbs, used the right way, help animals heal from a variety of ailments.
In fact, animal experts actually have recorded observations of animals in the wild seeking certain herbs to help with illness or injuries.
Actually, using herbal medicine for pets simply provides animals with more pure and powerful versions of what they’d find in the wild.
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal Medicine includes the use of naturally occurring substances from plants and animals to help heal the body.
There are two main schools of thought concerning herbs:
- Eastern Herbal Medicine, also called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
- Western Herbal Medicine
Eastern Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbs work in much the same way as acupuncture by affecting the flow of Qi or the Yin and Yang of the body.
If one of these forces is out of balance, we use herbs to help bring the body back to balance.
Chinese herbal medicine bases itself on diagnosing the patient as a “whole picture”.
In other words, formulas are unique based on the patient’s:
- Emotional temperament
- Cause of disease
- Duration of disease
- Overall body constitution
For example, in Eastern herbalism, three people with a headache may be diagnosed in three different ways and take three very different formulas.
Also, roughly 25% of Western herbs are found in the Eastern herbal formulas. However, they are used differently.
Western Herbal Medicine
Western herbal medicine focuses mainly on single or separate symptoms such as headache, insomnia, constipation, etc.
Often, practitioners recommend a single herb to alleviate the symptom.
For example, Western herbalism would lead you to take:
- Echinacea for colds
- Ginkgo for memory
- St. John’s Wort for mild depression
One herb or a small group of herbs is used for each symptom, somewhat like Western drugs.
And, the same formula is used for all patients with the same symptoms.
Herbal Medicine for Pets: How Does It Compare to Traditional Drugs?
In Western medicine, the equivalent to herbal medicine would be pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, heart medications, and anti-inflammatory medications.
Eastern herbal medicine is usually a combination of several different herbs.
The herbs are blended together in order to achieve a certain goal after an Eastern medical diagnosis is made.
Therefore, Eastern herbal blends require a TCVM veterinarian’s Eastern medical diagnosis.
Western herbs, on the other hand, do not require a veterinary diagnosis.
In addition, they usually single-herb formulas instead of a combination of ingredients.
Also, veterinarians use Western herbs to treat the Western symptoms of a disease.
Herbs take roughly two weeks to start working, and approximately six weeks to reach the desired effects upon the body.
Are you interested in using herbs to help your pet reach optimum health potential?