Alisa is a Natural Wellness Consultant in Bisbee, Arizona, and has studied natural health and herbal protocols formally and informally for more than 15 years. She is working toward her credential to become a board certified Traditional Naturopath. Alisa has also studied holistic care for animals. She works with Bisbee Chiropractic and Natural Health Center and is the owner of Love Your Pet Natural Therapies.
Herbal medicine for pets and people is becoming more and more popular, as we discover (or rediscover) effective natural medicines that are safer than pharmaceuticals. You can successfully treat your animal companion with herbs, but make sure to consult with your veterinarian as some herbs are contraindicated for certain conditions and medications. The following herbs are commonly found in most kitchens, or can be readily obtained at your local grocery store. Whenever possible, use organic and/or wild craft herbs.
A healthy pet is a happy pet!
Photo by Carlos Porto/ Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net
Aloe vera (for internal or external use): Use this herb to soothe upset digestive tracts and to help restore mucous membranes. Also helpful for external minor cuts, burns, rashes and irritations.
Cayenne: As a natural anti-inflammatory, cayenne is very helpful for arthritis and general inflammatory condition. It also stimulates digestion and helps the body metabolize other herbs.
Chamomile: This nervine helps settle down almost all bodily functions so it can be helpful with stress, diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, respiratory infections and the like. It can be administered as a capsule, mixed in with food supplement, as a tincture or even as a strong tea.
Echinacea: Great for infections, echinacea can be taken alone or with other infection-fighting herbs like goldenseal and garlic. In the case of an infection that does not improve, or if the cause of the infection is unknown, it's important to consult with your veterinarian.
Garlic: Most pets tolerate garlic well, but use it cautiously until you can determine if your pet has an intolerance of garlic. Used for pest control, infections, general immune system support, and as a digestive aid.
Lavender: Known mostly as an aromatherapy, lavender essential oil is also helpful for mild wounds, cuts and skin conditions. Lavender can also be (very sparingly) used internally for situations that require calming, such as digestive upset, nervousness, etc. Editor's Note: Lavender should not be used either internally or externally with cats due to potential liver damage.
Nettle: An effective relief for arthritis pain and an anti-inflammatory, nettle has also been extensively used for allergies.
Peppermint: Used as a strong tea, or as an herb added to food, peppermint is an excellent digestive calmative and a gentle anti-inflammatory.
*Please Note: The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat an ill animal. Use any of the above in conjunction with appropriate veterinarian advice and not as a substitute for medical support. Use caution, especially if your animal is on a special diet or any medication. For specific information on how any of above herbs can be used for your pet, please feel free to contact Alisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.