Herbal Veterinary Medicines - Information on Alternative Treatments

Go down

Herbal Veterinary Medicines - Information on Alternative Treatments

Post by Katy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:57 am

This is another sticky I did up for BYP, so still contains BYP links. I will try and copy those posts over here gradually, but at the moment, sending people there for information is a great option.

Herbal Veterinary Medicines - Alternative Treatments - Scroll down for Links

Herbal Medicine has been used for thousands of years to support and treat animals, and is increasing in popularity today. For many reasons animal owners are choosing herbal treatments and therefore it is appropriate to have information here to inform people about the topic. After weighing up the risks and the benefits some of us may choose these treatments. When conventional treatments are both safe and effective, I believe they should be used. However, there are times when that is not the case and herbal treatments offer an alternative.

I plan to post information on various herbal treatments and link those pages here. As I am not a Herbalist, the best I can do is to access the best possible sources, preferably writings from those who are involved in research and teaching within the area in reputable universities and organisations. Then people can make their own choices. I am happy to be corrected if (perhaps I should say 'when') I make an error. I will also include a small number of treatments that don't fit under the banner of 'herbal' as they have become commonly used in the poultry world.

Firstly, some introductory comments. Then the links.

The Myth of 'Natural'
Popular modern herbalism has achieved much of its popularity through claims such as its therapies are safer, holistic, or more 'natural.' Many promoters of natural herbal products promote the myth that they are somehow superior to the same products produced synthetically in a lab. No scientific basis exists for such claims. A chemical is a chemical. The word 'natural' implies only the source and does not indicate that the product is superior. It appears to be used mostly as a marketing term. Nor does 'natural' imply that herbal medications are safe. Many people think that herbal medicines, because they are natural, are harmless. Nothing could be further from the truth. The toxic potential of an herbal remedy does not depend on its origin; rather it is related to the pharmacologic characteristics and dose levels of its active ingredients.

Use of Whole Plants
Herbalists tend to use products that contain several different constituents. The rationale for this is that the use of the whole plant allows the plant to work synergistically, that is, the effect of the whole herb is greater than the summed effects of its components. There is some uncertainty here.

Lack of Quality Control
Herbal products intended for preventive or therapeutic use present problems for quality control. Purchased products are not regulated in the same way as regular treatments, labels are often inadequate, often the contents and potency are not accurately described and it's virtually impossible to know what the animal is being given. Many environmental factors such as soil type, altitude at which the plant is grown, seasonal variations in temperature, humidity, day length, rainfall, shade, dew, and frost, may affect the levels of components in any given lot of plant material. Even other factors such as insects, infections, planting density, plant species, and plant genetic factors have important roles in the variability of herbal products. Herbal products may also be contaminated, adulterated, or misidentified. This seems to be a particular problem in herbal preparations from Asian sources (eg heavy metals).

Possible Reactions and Interactions
It is also worth noting that although most herbal medicines are generally considered safe, herbal medicine presents a greater risk of adverse effects and interactions than is associated with any other 'alternative' therapy. Allergic, toxic and other reactions are a possibility. Eg. germander with acute hepatitis, ephedra with fatal cardiovascular events, and comfrey with veno-occlusive disease. (Essler, 2000) For this reason I will attempt to include toxicity information in the posts. As always, the BYP disclaimer applies:

All threads listed in this Index are the opinions of caring forum users. Backyard Poultry takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained within, and if in doubt, always refer your poultry queries and problems to your vet.

Links to Herbal Treatment Pages

Herbal Treatments

Aloe Vera







Milk Thistle


Slippery Elm



Other Alternative Treatments

Apple Cider Vinegar - A Review of the Facts and the Myths - Main Post/Conclusions
Apple Cider Vinegar - Acidity Discussion/background - Appendix A
Apple Cider Vinegar - Avian Digestion/background - Appendix B

Diotamaceous Earth (DE)

A-Z Herbal/Alternative Index by Condition
These are quick references - go to Herbal Treatment pages for further information including dosages, contraindications and potential drug interactions.

Abscesses - Aloe Vera

Allergies - Aloe Vera

Analgesic - Aloe Vera

Arthritis - Turmeric

Bruises - Comfrey (see page for caution)

Burns - Aloe Vera

Cancer/tumour preventive - Garlic, Turmeric

Coccidiosis - Wormwood (?), Turmeric (?) see reference pages

Colic (mild) - Cinnamon

Dermatitis - Aloe Vera

Diarrhea - Cinnamon, Neem

Digestion (upper digestive tract only) - Apple Cider Vinegar

Digestive upsets - Cinnamon, Slippery Elm (no research)

Eye Wash - Chamomile

Feed Conversion Improvement - Cinnamon, Turmeric, Garlic

Fungal Infections - Aloe Vera

Glucose control - Neem

Immunity - Neem, Apple Cider Vinegar (negligible), Echinacea

Inflammation - Turmeric

Laxative - Aloe Vera

Liver protection - Turmeric, Milk Thistle

Parasites (external) - Neem

Rheumatism - Neem

Skin Inflammation - Aloe Vera, Chamomile

Skin Infection - Neem

Thrush (oral) - Apple Cider Vinegar, Echinacea

Worms - Garlic (reduces worms), Neem, Wormwood (reduces)

Wounds - Aloe Vera, Neem, Chamomile

Wynn, S.G. & Fougere, B.J. (2007) Veterinary Herbal Medicine. Mosby Elsevier. Sydney
Ritchie, Harrison & Harrison (1997) Avian Medicine: Principles and Application. Abridged Ed. Wingers Publishing Inc. Florida

Posts : 130
Join date : 2011-09-30
Location : Morayfield QLD


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum