Herbal Therapeutic Remedies

There are several different definitions of herb.

An Herb used in the culinary sense of the word refers to the leafy green part of the plant that either dried or fresh that is use in recipes.

Botanists, on the other hand, describe an herb as small seed bearing plant with fleshy, instead of woody. Examples might be ferns, and algae.

My question, became what makes a plant an herb? Keeping it simple, any plant that can be used either for culinary or medicinal purposes and be regarded as an herb.

Below are several of the herb that are commonly used and recommended.

Arnica Montana is used for speeding up the healing time for injuries, limping, and any kind of trauma, ~ emotional or physical. It is one of the best-known homeopathic remedies. It’s good for muscle aches, sprains, and strains.

This is most commonly distributed by a company called Boiron. (But, can also be ordered from homeopathic pharmacies by veterinarians.) You can buy these at your local stores that feature organic and natural remedies.

The only tricky thing about Arnica is that it is about the size of pretzel-salt or kosher salt, and that as a homeopathic remedy, it is very fragile energetically, so for it to be effective you can’t touch it. You have to get it into your pet’s mouth via the cap or a spoon, again without touching it. Because these pills are sugar-based, provided your dog is not lactose intolerant, you can put them in a tablespoon of vanilla ice cream, heavy cream or milk, and have your pet lick it. Or, you can crush it into a powder between the folds of a napkin and put into your dogs mouth. You can also put the powder into a tablespoon of spring or distilled water, and put just a little bit at a time into your dogs mouth. Those are just a few suggestions.

The suggested dose is 1-3 pills, every 4 to 12 hours, depending on the situation and the size of your pet. Stop when you see improvement.

These pills do not have to be swallowed. They just have to touch the mucous membranes (gums or tongue) to be effective.

Eyebright appropriately named – this herb is known for it’s healing abilities for irritated red eyes. This can be given as a capsule or used as a topical ointment. (I use the capsule.) You can use both simultaneously, as a double whammy to clear up mostly any reason for red irritated eyes without the use of antibiotics.

Milk Thistle – has long been known as a “liver herb” for both humans and pets. It contains a flavonoid compound called “silymarlin” which is also a compound. Together, they strengthen the liver cell resistance to harmful toxins and stimulate new cell reproduction. It is very effective in treating related issues like chronic inflammatory liver disorders (e.g. hepatitis) liver tumors or cancer, including skin problems brought on by a liver disease (Pancreatitis).

Because of the powerful antioxidant properties of the silymarin compounds, Milk Thistle is an ideal herb for detoxification for dogs who have been on medications – heavy doses of antibiotics such Doxycycline for tick disease or Rimadyl or Tramadol for arthritis, chemotherapy, heart worm medications, and even vaccinations.

If your dog gets diarrhea, simply reduce the dosage.

Dog’s Size Dose as % of adult human dose
5 lbs – 10%
5-10 lbs – 15%
11-20 lbs – 20%
21-40 lbs – 30%
41-70 lbs – 50%
71-100 lbs – 75%
100 + lbs – 100%

Slippery Elm – the herb to reach for at the onset of intestinal distress or diarrhea. It soothes and coats the intestinal wall.

St John’s Wort – commonly seen in meadows. It can be used to reduce muscle pain and injuries, reduce swelling and treat depression and anxiety.
In oil form it can be used on wounds, bruises, massaged on strains, sprains and varicose veins. (Did not intend to rhyme.)

The genus name for this plant is “Hypericum” which has a Latin meaning of “above” or “spirit”. At one time it was used to ward off evil spirits when placed over doorways, or burned to protect an area.

Called St. John’s Wort as some say it blooms on St. John’s Day which is June 24th; and others say it was his favorite herb.