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View Full Version : Do Herbs really make a difference?



cyrus
19-02-12, 06:32 AM
I was just reading the thread that had rainscald and one on puffy legs.

I have used herbs now for a few years, and my appy who is 19 was struggling between 12 years on and off. He would stress founder if stabled , went close to foundering during EI, mostly from a severe trim to his feet. He was xrayed etc, and all was good in the feet.

He had muscle work- which cost me a years wage almost- but really rendered him more unrideable than rideable- he also had lumps all over his saddle area.
His legs would sometimes swell. The list went on to really show sub clinical laminitis. I went the barefoot ideas.

That took 3 years of boots and hobbling. His hips were supposedly stuffed from one vets opinion- and he was very crooked.

Herbs seem to always help- I have used ideas from Robert Mcdowell, Anglea Davidson, Country Park and Catherine Bird, plus a vet nutritionist to work out a diet last year ( again)

I still ride him- but he also has a couple of friends who keep him working in an effort to keep him trimmer in this green feed time we have had.

Do you use herbs? and have they helped or not?

This is my appy and a borrowed rider yesterday... for a big fat slow Appi QH at 19 he is doing OK now.
http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/cyrus44/2012-02-18112122.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/cyrus44/2012-02-18112142.jpg

http://i89.photobucket.com/albums/k206/cyrus44/2012-02-18112151.jpg

k123
19-02-12, 06:47 AM
herbs and plants are the basis for medicines, so yes they work. People need to realise they are not harmless just because they're 'natural'. More is not better. Can't remember where I read it, about someone over dosing their horse on apple cider vinegar. Recommended rate on all containers I've seen is max 100ml per day. That's under 1/2 a cup which is 125ml. They were giving 2 cups per day, which is 500ml.

Red Dun
19-02-12, 08:35 AM
cyrus - In the cases I have used them with so far, yes I have found they worked. Devil's Claw was brilliant when I had a long term pain case.

Herbs didn't work in a case when neither did conventional drugs, which I guess is to be expected.

I use Anita from Herbal Horse and she is wonderful and does specific liquid mix for the individual horse.

As K123 has said, herbs are the basis of modern medicine :)

He looks lovely. My appy is rising 26 and has recently been diagnosed with Cushings.

Winmara
19-02-12, 05:10 PM
herbs and plants are the basis for medicines, so yes they work. People need to realise they are not harmless just because they're 'natural'. More is not better. Can't remember where I read it, about someone over dosing their horse on apple cider vinegar. Recommended rate on all containers I've seen is max 100ml per day. That's under 1/2 a cup which is 125ml. They were giving 2 cups per day, which is 500ml.

Agree with you, although natural they can be fed wrong. Devils claw is one that can't be fed long term, Kelp can affect horses with thyroid issues etc. I always consult a professional when feeding herbs for something specific. I have added chamomile, Rosehip and brewers yeast to feeds but to the required amount in my herb book. They do work and work well when put together correctly ;):)

Bats_79
19-02-12, 10:51 PM
I've just had a filly heal (95%) from horrendous injuries in a matter of 10 weeks. She had 5 x 15ml procaine penicillin injections and the rest was all herbal, vitamin and natural remedy (and no bandaging).

I would never have a horse treated for injury or illness by veterinary means without maximum complimentary treatment.

cyrus
20-02-12, 07:20 AM
Thats a good age red dun- I hope it works out well for you fella :)

Red Dun
20-02-12, 09:04 AM
Thank you cyrus.

Flick_09
20-02-12, 12:09 PM
hmmmmmmmmmmm........................ :rolleyes:

There is a massive market for herbal stuff these days and a lot of ancedotal evidence that they work but very little robust scientific research into their effectivness - especially when dealing with horses.
Unlike modern drugs what research has been done looks intot he positive effects and doesnt assess all the potential side effects short and long term.

Arnica has to be one of the most reasearched herbal treatments out there, but the FDA has recently reclassified it as a 'dangerous' substance and strongly recomends not using it especially for extended periods of time. Becasue recent research suggests that the potential negative/side effects of its use out weigh any benefits it has.

Miruz
20-02-12, 12:20 PM
very little robust scientific research into their effectivness

Why would they do scientific research into something that can't be patented and they can't charge a fortune for after the research is done? Scientific research has a certain monetary skew to it. In this capitalist world if it doesn't have a good chance of earning someone a lot of money they won't bother with it. Anecdotal evidence is the best we'll ever have until the almighty dollar doesn't underline everything.

I've seen herbs work wonders with my mum's dog who is allergic to practically everything on the planet. I was totally skeptical at first but I've seen an unwell dog living on cortisone turn into a happy dog with no hint of illness and not needing cortisone.

Bats_79
20-02-12, 12:22 PM
Why would they do scientific research into something that can't be patented and they can't charge a fortune for after the research is done? Scientific research has a certain monetary skew to it. In this capitalist world if it doesn't have a good chance of earning someone a lot of money they won't bother with it. Anecdotal evidence is the best we'll ever have until the almighty dollar doesn't underline everything.

I've seen herbs work wonders with my mum's dog who is allergic to practically everything on the planet. I was totally skeptical at first but I've seen an unwell dog living on cortisone turn into a happy dog with no hint of illness and not needing cortisone.

Absolutely.

Bats_79
20-02-12, 12:27 PM
hmmmmmmmmmmm........................ :rolleyes:

There is a massive market for herbal stuff these days and a lot of ancedotal evidence that they work but very little robust scientific research into their effectivness - especially when dealing with horses.
Unlike modern drugs what research has been done looks intot he positive effects and doesnt assess all the potential side effects short and long term.

Arnica has to be one of the most reasearched herbal treatments out there, but the FDA has recently reclassified it as a 'dangerous' substance and strongly recomends not using it especially for extended periods of time. Becasue recent research suggests that the potential negative/side effects of its use out weigh any benefits it has.

There is scientific proof to show that anitibotics have long term dangerous effects, the same with bute and many other products yet they are widely prescribed and frequently over dosed.

I've got a horse with a sinus issue - no amount of antibiotics helps him but he gets immediate relief from Vit C, Vit E, protexin and garlic. IMMEDIATE but the antibiotics do nothing.

That's called anecdotal evidence and it has been good enough to get the human race to the 20th century and the equine world well into the 21st. Sometimes it is more than good enough.

And by the way - herbalists (equine or human) that are any good do not recommend long term treatment with any strong herb such arnica and devil's claw.

OakyPoke
20-02-12, 12:35 PM
I've taken my TB off his Chammomile several times. He gets about a tablespoon pinch per day.
All I know is that on it he's a happy loving boy. Off it he gets cranky - as in starts displaying agitation if not fed on time, agitated when rugged etc. It just seems to take the edge off him a bit. I was told once it does something to help soothe/balance PH in the gut.
Not sure, but it does seem to work and at 20 bucks a bag - which lasts me a few months - why argue?

Flick_09
20-02-12, 12:38 PM
Yes, but bute and Anti-biotics can not be bought over the counter (ok bute can depend on your vet :cool:) and have to come with strict user guidlines and warnings on the packet etc and be prescribed by a qualified professional.

Last lot of Arnica I looked at in a shop just said 'Arnica for external use only' Nothing on dose, time of use etc or the potential downsides to its use.
Loads of treatments that were used for ages based on antecedotal evidence have also been shown to be complete codswallop, cause more damage than good and the patients survival was due to luck/stubbornes more than the treatment.

I'm not saying that herbs don't work - I use Olbas Oil when ever I have a blocked nose/ head cold - I'm just very very skeptical.
Personally I'd rather stick to standard scientific research and results (and I'm equally skeptical about that and research stuff thoroughly)