Western medicine does not treat the entire animal or human.
It directly address the problem, aiming to correct it as quickly
as possible. In contrast, holistic therapies address the health
of the entire organism by slowly and surely balancing the systems
of the body, strengthening the immune system, and preventing
Understanding the proper use of herbs involves
rethinking your understanding of how health care works (or
should work). In today's mainstream medical profession (Western
Medicine) the approach to health maintenance focuses on treating
symptoms. When a person, or animal, gets sick, the conventional
practice is to identify and suppress the symptoms of disease
to achieve immediate relief (quick fix). The long term well
being of the patient is not really addressed and to cure the
real dis-ease is actually not pursued, because, financially
speaking, if you actually cured the problem for good, the doctors
and pharmaceutical companies couldn't get any more money.
In using herbs in a holistic manner, we look
at what are the causes of the dis-ease. We take a curative approach and look for
the origin and purpose. Once this is addressed, we can work
toward reestablishing and maintaining the bodies' own ability
to heal itself.
use an herb, as just a replacement for chemical drugs, is not
the proper way to use them. Herbs are not used like drugs, to
suppress symptoms, but are used to support the bodies' own natural
healing mechanisms so that the body can heal itself. Do not
expect immediate results when using herds (such as all symptoms
of illness or worms gone in a day), give the herbs the time
they need to begin supporting the body properly.
always keep in mind that just because something is "natural"
or an "herb" does not mean it is totally safe to use
under every circumstance. Not all herbs are safe to use while
pregnant. Not all herbs are safe to use on a continuing basis.
Not all herbs are safe to use on all animals (or people). I
often get worried that trusting people, who want to use natural
products, are sometimes being told that it is safe to use them
in unsafe manners. Herbs
are wonderful and useful when used properly. It is up to YOU
to educate yourself about the herbs (and any other products)
that you are using on your animals (and yourself).
correct herbal doses for animals
following will work as a good starting point. Adjustments may need
to be made based on the particular animal.
to 1/4 the dose for an adult human. Dogs: Correspond to adult human dose according
to weight. Horse: 8 to 16 times the dose for an adult human. Goats: 2 - 2 1/2 times the dose for an adult
human. Sheep: 1 1/2 to 2 times the dose for an adult
human. Cow: 12 to 24 times the dose for an adult human. Swine: 1 to 3 times the dose for an adult human.
dosages might have to be increased later to achieve the results
you are looking for. An easy mistake is to think of dosing in terms
of absolutes. Watch the animal being treated, understand the herbs
you are using, and don't be afraid to change dosages if needed.
If you need to increase a dosage, do so in 10% increments to a maximum
of 50% above the starting dose. If the dosage needs to be decreased
(if, for example the animal begins vomiting) cut the dose in half.
usually require a dose 1 to 3 times a day.
I usually give herbal treatments every day until the situation is
"cured" to my satisfaction. Though, many people find herbal
treatments more effective when used 5-7 days in a row ("on")
and two days off, 5 days on, two days of, etc. You may want to experiment
and see what works best for your particular situation.
time it takes to see results from an herbal therapy varies greatly
and is dependent on the nature of the herb, the animal, and the
severity of the situation. Herbal therapy does not produce sudden
suppression of mere symptoms as with chemical drugs (which often
passes as a "cure"). Herbs can often cure (not suppress)
in weeks, but it is all dependent on the individual case. If some
results aren't seen after you have maintained the maximum dose for
more than 7 days, it may be time to try another herb or consult
your vet. How long to give the herbs depends on the specific animal
and varies according to the disease being treated. Exactly how long
to maintain an herbal therapy can only be determined through knowing
your own particular animal.
1) The Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook, a Home Manual by James
Green (The Crossomg Press, 2000)
2) Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford & Gregory L. Tilford (Bowtie Press, 1999)
to your animals
animals lovers don't need to be told this, we love our furry (or
scaly) friends and talk to them all the time. But what I am suggesting
is that you really look into their eyes and really talk to them.
Speak to them in full sentences like you believe they understand
you, because if you give them the chance they will. They can understand
much more then you know.
you have to treat your animals because they are ill, explain what
you are doing and why you are doing it to them. Explain that you
love them and want them to get better, and you are doing what
you are doing to help them.
you have to give some sort of unpleasant treatment, don't just
jump out of nowhere, surprise your animals and force the thing
down his throat. That is what is traumatic, not the actual thing
being forced into their mouth but the surprise and unexpected
action of the human.
Mable, our diabetic basset hound must have insulin shots
twice a day. She doesn't like the shots (who would), but when
it is time for them we say, "Mable, it's time for your shot. We're sorry, good girl,
but you have to have the shot or you'll get sick." She does
not run away, but waits for her shot. We say, "Here's you
shot" <give the shot> Then we very enthusiastically
say "Good Mable, yeah, you had your shot, now you get your vitamin
pill. YEAH." And the we give her her vitamin which she thinks
is a very special treat.
Oils and Cats
To put it in very simplified, not-technical terms:
Many of the compounds in essential oils are rapidly absorbed
orally, through the skin, and through inhalation, by a cat. These
are then metabolized in the liver. Cats are known to be deficient
in their ability to metabolize and eliminate certain compounds.
Lack of this important ability may result in slower elimination
and thus build up of the toxic compounds in the body, thus causing
liver damage. The development of liver damage can be a slow process
without any visible symptoms. Use extreme caution when using
essential oils around cats. Never use undiluted oils directly
on cats. If using oils in aromatherapy make sure the cat can
leave the room freely to get fresh air if he needs to.
above information is drawn from copyrighted material from The
Lavender Cat web site and is used with permission. Please
Lavender Cat for much more information pertaining to cats
& essential oils.
Oil & Cats:
I use lavender oil in
aromatherapy in my small home office all the time. Purknz (our 10 year old cat) often naps on the computer
monitor, which is 3 feet from the oil diffuser. He has never
shown any sign of problem from inhaling lavender essential
oil (or any of the other oils I use). When Junior (a two year
old cat) had his pelvis broken, I used lavender oil around
him in aromatheropy to help alleviate the stress, and it worked nicely,
with no problems. Lavender is a very safe oil and you can use
it with confidence, just make sure, the cat can leave the room
if he wishes (to get some fresh air). To be on the safe side,
I would not use undiluted lavender essential oil directly on
a cat, just as I would not use any type of undiluted essential
oil on a cat (better safe than sorry)
Tree Oil & Cats:
Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) has been reported to cause serious
side effects (tea tree toxicosis or hypersensitivity) in cats. There is no antidote
for tea tree oil toxicosis in cats and it can be fatal. Extreme care should
be taken when, and if, using tea tree oil with cats. Always
avoid using tea tree oil undiluted directly on cats.
note: Before I knew any better, I used straight tea tree oil
on Junior, our cat, with no ill effects that I know of. BUT,
I have no way of knowing if it caused any long tern liver damage
and now that I have learned more on the subject I would never
use it undiluted on him again (better safe than sorry).
Holistic Aromatherapy For Animals by Krisren Leigh Bell (Findhorm Press, 2002)
2) Tea Tree Oil Bible by Dr. Elvis Ali & Ken Vegotsky (Ages Publications, 1999)
3) Internet research: The
Lavender Cat , Essential
concerns about garlic
have personally never had a problem with any type of adverse
reaction due to administering garlic to my own animals, but
people have asked me if this is a issue they should be concerned
about, so I present my findings here:
toxic side effects from the consumption of garlic are is quite
rare in animals as well as humans, the possibility of harming
with garlic dose exist (just as the possibility of harming with
any herb, supplement or drug). The root of the controversy over
garlic is a dangerous misconception: the belief that more garlic
is always better. Moderation is the cardinal
rule of all herb use, and this applies strictly
to garlic, particularly when used in cats. When misused (used
excessively over an extended period) garlic may cause a disease
known as Heinz-body anemia. This disease is easily prevented with
common sense and a few precautions.
not give garlic to animals with preexisting anemic conditions.
begin reproducing new red blood cells until after 6 to 8 weeks
of age, so do not give garlic to young puppies.
The possibility of Heinz-body anemia is dose dependent, meaning
the more garlic fed, the greater the chances of a problem developing.
Most recorded instances of Heinz-body anemia in animals involve
the ingestion of large quantities of onions and other garlic
relatives, many of which contain much larger percentages of
enzyme-depleting constituents than a typical dose of garlic.
Recorded cases of allium poisoning typically involve onion doses exceeding
0.5 percent of the animals' body weight. This means that a
healthy 60-pound dog (goat) would have to eat a whole 5-ounce
onion, or several cloves of garlic, just to start the Heinz-body
process. Since red blood cells are regenerated quickly, this
large dose would have to be repeated several times on a frequent
basis to cause permanent harm.
are more sensitive to the side effects of garlic, so they require
more caution and attention with its use. Watch for digestive
upset and behavioral changes, and if your cat simply doesn't
want any garlic, don't force him. Animals know their needs better
then we do.
defense of garlic, be aware that several other foods can cause
Heinz-body anemia as well; large amounts of turnips, kale, rape,
or anything rich in vitamin K may lead to the disorder.
conclusion, remember, that just like humans, no two animals are
exactly the same: what is fine for one, could be detrimental
to the another. Before using garlic in a therapeutic way, make
sure you know your own animals. Small doses of garlic added to
an animals diet is probably going to be of more benefit than
harm. But just remember: don't overdo it. Use common scene and
moderation and to have respect for garlic, as you should with
1) Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford & Gregory L. Tilford (Bowtie Press, 1999)
2) The Merck Veterinary Manual, 7 ed., (Rahway, NJ.: Merck & Co., 1991)
about how I produce my tinctures
proper Tinctures is an exacting science. Some people use a "folk"
method of making Tinctures and some use the more scientific pharmacological
method of extracting the herbs. I use the latter method; standards
set out by the official US Pharmacopoeia.
The components of an each herb are a combination of water soluble
elements and alcohol soluble elements. Each herb had different
combinations of components, and so to extract the maximum "essential
qualities" from each herb you really need to use the proper
combination of alcohol to water. People who use the "folk" methods
use vodka as the alcohol/water extractor (menstrum). This is because vodka is 40% alcohol and 60% water.
By using Vodka, all their herbs are extracted with the same ratio
of alcohol to water, meaning, not everything that can be extracted
is actually extracted. I use the more exacting scientific method
mixing a menstrum of using pure grain alcohol and diluting it the
proper ratio to extra the most from the herb. Some herbs contain
elements that are mainly alcohol soluble and some water soluble.
The amounts of alcohol:water used are adjust accordingly to create
the highest quality tincture. May some herbs want 70% alcohol,
maybe some want only 22% alcohol. (at least 22% is needed to
properly preserve the tincture)
are some "low alcohol" tinctures on the market. These
are made replacing the alcohol extract with glycerin. Glycerin
will extra some of the alcohol soluble elements, but it really
dose not work as well as alcohol. Because I want my tinctures
to be of the highest quality and have the maximum herb essence,
I do not use glycerin (or Vodka).
Some herbs are better extracted dry, some fresh. Each has their
own specific ratio needed of alcohol to water and herb to Menstrum. Each herb has a specific ratio. Using more dry
isn't necessarily better and adding more may not necessarily
make a stronger extract. It's using the proper ratio that is
key to a quality product.
is there a disclaimer on some of products offered on this site?
protect you as well as me. A statement or "disclaimer"
is required by law when a manufacturer makes a structure/function
claim about a dietary supplement. The FDA say only drugs can "diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease". The supplements on this
site are not drugs; they are herbs. The FDA doesn't recognize
that herbs actually do anything and considers them "dietary
supplements". Because the supplements are not drugs, the
law says that if a dietary supplement label/description includes
a claim, it must state in a "disclaimer" that FDA has
not evaluated this claim. The disclaimer must also state that
this product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or
prevent any disease," because only a drug can legally make
such a claim.
* Disclaimer:The products offered on this web site are not intended to diagnose,
cure, mitigate or
prevent any disease.
information and statements presented on this site have not been
evaluated or approved by the
Food and Drug Administration. The use of herbs and essential
oil for the prevention, treatment, mitigation or cure of disease has not
been approved by the
therefore make no claims to this effect.
are not veterinarians or doctors. The information on this site
is based on the traditional and historic use of herbs as well
as personal experience and is provided for general reference and
educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe
or promote any direct or implied health claims. This information
is and products are not intended to replace professional veterinary and/or medical
advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat
any health problems or illnesses without consulting your vet and/or
doctor. We present the products on this site and the information
supplied here without guarantees, and we disclaim all liability
in connection with the use of these products and/or information.
Any person making the decision to act upon this information is
responsible for investigating and understanding the effects of
their own actions. Please
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