Like us humans, sometimes your dog just feels sick. Or he has an allergic reaction, or suffers from a nasty insect bite. There are ways you can treat him naturally, as long as you know what is OK to use and what is not.
Herbs don’t just taste great in your salad, casserole, or tisane; many of them also have strong healing properties. These can be applied to canines as well as to humans.
Here are some simple-to-grow herbs which can be helpful in treating a range of issues your dog might experience…
• Ginger. Ginger root is a strong medicinal which is great for settling nausea and vomiting. Make it into a tea.
• Valerian and Chamomile. These are very calming herbs. Not only will they help to tone down an overexcited dog, they are good for lowering blood pressure, alleviating allergies and asthma, and also for helping to eliminate parasites. Only a very small amount of Valerian is ever required; chamomile is safer in larger amounts. Brew some chamomile flowers into a tea or tincture.
valerian & chamomile
• Milk Thistle. Milk Thistle is a powerful liver tonic, which improves function and protects against damage.
• Calendula Flowers. These flowers are vibrant and easy to grow. They are good for treating cuts and grazes on both humans and dogs. With antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, the flowers can help heal wounds. Apply petals directly to the wound, or make a tea which cooled can be used as an antiseptic wash.
• Goldenseal. This herb is a very powerful natural antibiotic. It can be made into a tincture or tea for treating gastrointestinal ailments, as well as infected or weepy eyes.
A tea is made simply by steeping the herb in very hot water for up to ten minutes. Let it cool and strain off the leaves or flowers (or root if using ginger).
Always be certain that the herb is actually what you think it is – a mistake in plant identification could be catastrophic. If in doubt, always seek veterinary advice, and if your herbal remedies don’t help quickly, stop using them and seek professional vet assistance.