Veterinary Herbal Medicine
Consumers of both human and veterinary medicine have shown the desire for a variety of medical approaches. This is why medicine is turning to an integrated approach where different therapeutic tools are used. Most of them have an ancient tradition like phytotherapy (aka herbal medicine). It represents a synthesis of botany, history, ethnomedicine and pharmacology. When conventional treatments are both safe and effective, they should be used. Sometimes that does not happen like on a chronic condition or on an acute stage of a disease when the patient cannot tolerate the traditional medications’ side effects or need a different treatment plan to be cured.
Herbs are not simply unrefined drugs but complex medications that contain dozens of chemicals constituents. These ones have several actions that may benefit the patients through additive, antagonistic or synergistic effects. This is why the whole herb is preferred to the isolated active constituent that have been tapped by the drug industry to develop new pharmaceuticals. Lots of traditional medications have been produced after discovering the active principles present in the vegetal plants or even in mushrooms used for milleniums to cure and prevent diseases. You can find hundreds of examples from aspirin to vincristina (one of the most used antineoplastic drugs). Curiously the acetylsalycilic acid -the main principle of the aspirin- is contained in Spirea Ulmaria coupled with some mucillagines that protects the gastric mucosa which may be irritated from the acid. So it is amazing how nature created a medication whith an antinflammatory coupled with a gastroprotective drug, all in one!
Herbal medicine is not all about plants but also medical mushrooms and essential oils. Mushmrooms are considered real elixir of life that have been used in Asia among ancient polulations to preserve the body from a lots of diseases. Many mushrooms are able to modulate the immune system to fight infections and kill damaged and cancerous cells, provide with minenerals and vitamins that are more bioavailable that the inorganic ones, and bring prebiotics. Essential oils have a special influence on the nervous system and have a variety of use, from relaxation to wound healing and parasites control.
Nature made us lots of gifts and we have much to learn! I
Your horse, dog, cat or rabbit can truely benefit from herbal medicine, consult a veterinarian expert in phytoterapy!