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 Post subject: Re: Horses and Herbs
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:05 pm 
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Oh sorry Josepha, no, I have never seen Poison Ivy, I don't know anything about it.

Shannan, I totaly agree with you on the nettles for butterflies, they are so important for them too, just goes to show how wonderfuly special they are.

I think you'll find in the case of the pony loveing the dandilions, that he obviously needed them. I have three horses, Jason never touches dandilion, Storm loves them, and Misty, my young shire was very neglected when she came to me, and had a bad liver,and all over bad health, and she's the one out of my three who goes potty for them, so I think they know what they need. Your Honey obviously just doesn't need them. I have dandilion tincture, and every now and again I realy crave that bitterness, so I have some, same for the horses.

Misty also right now is loveing Dogwood, all the horses love Dogwood, but Misty moreso right now.....will have to remind myself later what she's getting from it.

Lovely that your horses have such a lovely variety in their field, I love to see horses with hedgerow, instead of just boring post and rail, it offers both food and shelter.

Oh I too get lots of strange looks when hanging out in hedges with my horses, but in a funny way, people like to see it, a horse just grazeing the hedge, it is quite pleasing to the eye, in the mad ever rushing world we live in.

Well, we can keep this thread going, as the Autumn comes in, we can go over whats great for the horses then too, oh and please keep me posted on what your horses are going for, note it down, I'd love to hear.

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:27 pm 
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Hey Annie and Shannan:

In my new commitment to organization ;) , I merged your new topic about horses and herbs with this old topic, so we could have all of our herb conversations in one place! More please....

Two other more herby, less administrative thoughts:

After seeing how Circe liked nettle and doing some reading on it, I've started taking powder myself (in capsule form) and have also bought a whole bunch of it in chopped/dried form that I cook into my dog's food...

I'm looking forward to experimenting with adding it to teas (I don't like it all by itself). But Annie, you're so right, it's amazing! It's a wonder herb! Who knew?!!? A far cry from how stupid I thought it was when I was a kid and used to land in patches of it...man, it does sting...

And Josepha, poison ivy is very different. (Landed in patches of that as a kid, too, but luckily never had a reaction to it.) (Now, living out west, the issue is poison oak, which is very similar, and not an oak at all...ah, the helpfulness of common plant names...) ;) These plants have a toxin that cause a skin rash and are potentially really toxic. (A neighbor's grandmother told stories of she and her firends getting really, really ill after they burned a bonfire of poison oak as kids -- had the allergic reaction in their throats, eyes, etc. afterwords. Nasty! :ieks: ) I don't know of any redeeming feature to poison oak/poison ivy -- does anyone else?

Here's a wikipedia article on poison ivy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_ivy

Here's one on stinging nettle:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle

Nettles have hairy stems that prick, and the hairs have chemicals in them -- including a histimine, if I remember correctly.

And while I got into it regularly as a kid, I loved the fact that it's antidote lived right next to it, near the stream in our woods: jewelweed. (Which is also called, ironically "Touch Me Not" -- not because it hurts to touch, but because its seedpods explode whe you squeeze them -- very entertaining -- but the sap stops the sting of nettles, and even poison ivy. I just looked it up and realized that it's in the impatiens family -- I never knew that, but it makes sense!

http://www.altnature.com/jewelweed.htm

Annie, do you have jewelweed in England?

:)
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:55 pm 
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Location: Southampton, UK
We usually have Docks growing close to nettles...you rub the leaves on your nettle stings and it eases them.

Quote:
In Western Europe, dock leaves are a traditional remedy for the sting of nettles, and suitable larger docks (such as broad-leaved dock Rumex obtusifolius or curled dock Rumex crispus) often grow conveniently in similar habitats to common nettle (Urtica dioica) Recent research into the curative properties of the dock leaf by Dr. A. Cocklawn of BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Tallaght) has shown high levels chlorphenamine a powerful antihistamine, finally providing hard evidence for the medicative power of Rumex patientia.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dock_leaves

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Oh, cool, Claire! I didn't know dock could do this!

Thanks...I'm so consistently jazzed by how much knowledge there is in this group...
:D

Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:34 pm 
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Does anyone have information on Lemon Balm and horses?

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-lemon-balm.html

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Oh...looky!

http://books.google.ca/books?id=xwp4fwE ... navlinks_s

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:01 am 
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Leigh, I have never heard of Jewelweed, I will look it up and see if we have anything similar here. I'm so pleased your tasteing the delights of the nettles :D

And Claire, I'm glad you found that on Docks treating nettle sting, it's something we all do as kids whilst screaming, but I never actualy read the proof of Docks takeing the heat out of nettle stings.....thankyou.

Karen, Lemon Balm is one of my favourites in my garden. You can make a tea of it leaves, best just before it flowers, I also tried last summer to make a fly spray for the horses as it does contain something very like Citronella, but it wasn't very sucessful. It is apparently excellent for depression, it's other name is Melissa, which is Greek for 'Honey Bee'.this is because it is supposed to be as healing as Royal Jelly. But I just love it as a summer tea, infused with some peppermint leaves......very cooling, and very invigorating.

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 2:32 am 
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I am growing some this summer...not much though. I think next year I will grow more. I dried a few leaves and had a tea today, all by itself. It was quite nice.

I think I need to find someplace to buy some here locally. I'll inquire. It just has such a wide range of uses that I think it may go on my list to grow every year. Is it better as a tea using fresh leaves or dried, or does it matter?

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:13 pm 
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I grew up with nettle tea... my grandfather's recepy for every bad thing :D
Got him and grandma through the war as well...

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:26 am 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
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Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Questions about herbs

I have just ordered a book on holistic medicine for horses which includes a section on herbs and have been doing some internet reading this last week and have lots of questions...I hope not too many and that somebody can tell me the answers, or at least where to find the answers.

There are some herbs which it seems are recomended for daily use. My first questions is,
1.is this wise? Is it better to give them daily to keep the immune system high (I guess) or to use them just when needed? The nettle, dandilion leaf, dandilion root, rosehip and camomile are the ones i have been looking at as, with the exception of camomile they all grown in abundance around our farm.

2.Are there any others that you would consider good daily feed?

3.Dandilion, rosehips and nettles all seem to be high in vitamin C, rosehips and nettles in vitamin B's and K and dandilions in vitamin A. Combined with the normal mineral granuals i give them each day does one not run the risk of overfeeding in certain vitamins and causing ”overdose” and therefore sickness? I can of course in the summer months when these plants are avaiable fresh, put some out for the horse to eat or not but I was thinking of collecting them, drying them and then adding to their food through the winter months when we have a meter of snow and they have no access to green stuff. It all starts getting very comlicated when one starts thinking about vitmain recomened daily amounts and where they are getting each one from etc etc I guess, in theory at least, it would be possible to free choice minerals and vitamins using dried and fresh herbs and plants, but it all seems so comlicated and difficult to get my brain around and far easier just to give them the granuals.

4.I understand that the dandilion is best collected either in the spring when the leaves are new and fresh or in the autum as they have lost their bitter taste by then and the flowers can be collected when they are flowering. And Rosehips when the flowers fall off in the autmn but what about nettles? I have read a couple of contradicting things. One place said to collect them when they are in flower which I understand means you will also get the seeds as well which are also very good for the horse, another to collect them when they are not in flower. Any ideas? When do you collect yours? What have you been recomened?

5.I was planning to collect and dry them (dandilions and nettles) and then put them in a grinder and store them in airtight plastic containers, different containers for different herbs. Is this fine? I ask because as I read things people are recommeneding storing them in glass jars etc and I started to wonder if there is a reason it has to be glass. I have read that storing them in aluminium decreases the amount of VitC.

6.My next question is about camomile. I drink camomile tea and think it is wonderful, I also use the tea to wipe of my kids insect bites and it seems to work well as an anti-inflamatory as well as stop the stinging/itching. I don't have easy access to camomile (not even sure if it grows this high up) so would tea work just as well for horses? I am thinking of both it's calming affects and its anti-inflamatory ones. There are many places selling the dried flowers to put in the feed, is this a better way of giving camomile? And does the anti-inflamatory work only if you put the tea or tincture on the outside of the horse or does it work if you feed the camomile to the horse? And if so, in tea form or is it better to give the flowers?

7.On the subject of tea, the rose hips are not yet ready being the middle of summer here, would rosehip tea work well for the horse? Also with both of the teas there is the option of ripping open the teabags and putting the stuff in their feed if it is better to actually feed them the dried product rather than the tea. Any thoughts or ideas? I am reluctant to buy these products from health food stores or online horsey places as the cost here is crazy. I was looking for dried nettles and they cost €20 for 1kg. Which seems rather extravagant to me...

Oh dear, I fear I have asked too many questions in one place at the same time. Sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:24 pm 
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Hey Heather:

I think these are great questions!

I don't have answers to all, but here are some passing thoughts...

1. I use a mineral/vitamin supplement with my guys so they're always getting base levels of stuff (I use Platinum Performance). Kind of like taking a multi-vitamin every day. So -- I'm with you on using granules as a manageable daily practice. The kind I use was developed by vets not too far from me and they did a LOT of research into nutrition -- I figure they know more than me about this, and as a result I don't have to worry about daily recommended amounts.

2. I add herbs to their feed when I think they could use it -- like you, I'm inclined to add more when there is need, rather than baseline with it all the time. And I go though cycles as a good horsey mom -- for a while I'll be really diligent about making sure that they've got every little thing they might need and then I'll get busy/distracted and not fret so terribly much. So sometimes I'm just too lazy to think about lots of extra herbs in an ongoing way! ;) (And, I've discovered, after a point all of my fussing doesn't seem to make that much of a difference...)

3. When I use herbs, I feed them either fresh picked, if they grow on the ranch (or free choice when we're wandering and grazing by hand) or dried -- I don't bother with making teas. I figure that's not how they'd get the herb in the wild (am having a lovely image of a herd of horses sitting down to a pot of chamomile tea, though... :coffee: heehee! :funny: ) and see above for laziness confession. Dried or fresh topping their feed seems to work just fine.

4. As to your question about when to harvest -- my understanding is that herbs begin to lose potency when they flower, generally. But I'm not too hung up about it when it's stuff we're finding green on the ranch -- I figure it will work in whatever condition it presents itself.

I actually have bought dried nettle at this point (we have it growing on the ranch but I was...wait for it...too lazy to keep cutting it and letting it wilt ;) ...and, more legitimately, wasn't sure how long it would last in California summers when everything fries to a crisp). The stuff I bought was wildcrafted and cut before flowering. Also -- the stuff I've bought isn't ground; it's in bits and pieces -- full flowers for the chamomile, for example, and chopped bits for nettle, meadowsweet, etc. Good question about the plastic vs. glass jars -- I don't know the answer -- I've used glass jars because I love the look at home and have all of the herbs at the ranch either in plastic or in the foil bags they were shipped in. As much as I love the clear glass I use at home, I'm not actually sure if that might shorten the life of the herb -- I've always wondered if sunlight would be likely to cut into its potency...don't really know, though...

Hope some of my babblings are a little helpful, at least! For me, this is one of those places where lots of reading and then my own intuition seem to be a good combination...

Okay, on to other topics...now I need everyone else's help!

My beautiful Circe girl has two owies going at the moment:

1. She has rubbed her mane out completely to bare neck in the middle. :sad: She was rubbing a little before I left town, but has obviously been at it big time in my absence. So, I figure she's itching. I'm going to start feeding her nettle and chamomile again today and adding some milk thistle extract to top her feed (so, Heather, I'm not totally consistent in my herbal applications -- but I ended up buying milk thistle in extract form rather than dried form). Anyone else have any other suggestions about what might help with this?

2. She kicked out and has a swollen capped hock. :evil: I've got the vet coming today and will be using magnetic hock boots on her, but was looking around at herbal options as well....any thoughts?

Thanks!!!
:)
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:45 pm 

Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 8:29 pm
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Location: Kuusamo, Finland
Very helpful Leigh, thank you. I am with you on the lots of reading and personal intuition. Sometimes you just get that feeling to leave well alone and the horse will heal itself just fine and then other times you KNOW you need to do something. I have no idea where this comes from - is the horse communicating with us? But I do know that if I follow my gut it works out well, if there are other people there telling me what to do etc I lose all belief in my instinct and end up doing what they say and it usualy just stresses my horses out more and you end up with the feeling that it would have been better if you'd done nothing. This is what i love about hebs, they tend to go in the feed rather than on the horse and so you arenät messing around with a horse that relaly just wants to be left alone.

ha ha I can't believe you actualy cought dried netle rather than cut your own ones down...wait a minute, yes i can. And I am sure i would do the same thing mysekf if I could afford it. :funny:

I have started giving both my horses a cup of chamomile tea and a cup of rosehip tea in their feed each day. I actually empty the bags out into the hot water so they are eating the whoe stuff not just the water. But I only do this because I don't have access to chamomile (doesn't grow here aparantly) and the rosehips aren't ready for a few more months.

Good tip about the flowering. I need to get out and cut more nettles down really as they are in flower now. with nettles thought it is probably good to get them whilst they are flowering so you get the seeds as well. I think with the dandilions I shall wait until the beginning of autum before going for the leaves and roots if only because I then get the full season of flowers from them. the horses are loving them (went and picked a big bucket full the other day and am adding a handful to each feed).

Interestingly, since i have started feeding them herbs, about a wekk now, I have noticed a change. In Jelli, my hard keeper, the weight is starting to build well, she is looking healthier and although she has managed to cut herself a heck of a lot this week, they cuts are healing up fast. she must have fallen yesterday morning as she had holes in both her knees at breakfast time and was covered in blood. I just spread a little skin healing cream on (which quickly melted off in the heat and didn't keep the flies away as i had hoped) and by that afternnon it was no longer fresh bloody but starting to heal well. Today they look about 3 or 4 days old and, even though they are on a bendy moving part, are fine. No sign of any infection and not paticularly tender - she will let me touch them. I am very impressed.

Re circe complaints. The mighty nettle could help once again. Here are a few quotes I have added to my little herb book I am compliing from things scattered aorund the net.

Quote:
When applied externally, nettle sooths insect bites, stings, and burns. Nettle leaf infusions, creams, and ointments are used in the treatment of eczema and other skin conditions.

A decoction of nettle root makes a good hair rinse. Use for falling hair, dandruff, and as a general conditioner.

Nettle leaves are anti-inflammatory. Nettle compresses are used for painful joints, gout, neuralgia, sprains, tendonitis, and arthritis.


From all my readings is also seems that Comfrey is very good for healing in general, regardless of what it is that needs healing. It helps grow new cells, both bone and flesh and good for inflamtion


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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:57 pm 
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heather wrote:


[...]

From all my readings is also seems that Comfrey is very good for healing in general, regardless of what it is that needs healing. It helps grow new cells, both bone and flesh and good for inflamtion


I can attest to the healing power of Comfrey applied directly to sores and wounds. There is a caution though, a funny one.

I used to keep a quarter acre garden to feed a large family and some friends, and in it I had a little area devoted entirely to herbs, mostly medicinals.

And one day, after suffering for some weeks with a sore on my leg that ulcerated and refused to heal, and me someone that always healed very quickly, I gave up and picked a nice fresh young Comfrey leaf, washed it under the garden water faucet, and applied it over the wound and bound it on with an Ace (elastic) bandage.

I looked at it two days later (well, got to shower some time, yah know) an by golly it was healing beautifully, except for one small problem: the cellular structure of the Comfrey and my wound were too compatible. I was green.

Yep. I had that green patch on my leg for many years. Thus one might say that I am, or at least for that time was, part vegetable.

Seems I've read somewhere that this is not unusual, and a caution about using comfrey directly over a wound. I don't recall any harm from it though. I certainly had none, just the quick healing.

Donald

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:09 am 
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Heather, thank you!

Helpful to see more on nettles -- this really is the wonder herb, I think! And comfrey -- I'd not thought about that! Excellent.

And Sir Donald...

:ieks:

You were the Green Knight, huh...???... :green: or perhaps :alien:

That is totally fascinating!!

:)
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Herbs for Horses
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:09 am 
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Leigh wrote:
Heather, thank you!

Helpful to see more on nettles -- this really is the wonder herb, I think! And comfrey -- I'd not thought about that! Excellent.

And Sir Donald...

:ieks:

You were the Green Knight, huh...???... :green: or perhaps :alien:

That is totally fascinating!!

:)
Leigh


Naw, just a happy hippy whose friends thought it was "out of sight," and "far out," that he was part plant.

We were big into "plants," in those days. ;) 8)

It was pretty funny to see that leaf stuck to me by cellular intermingling though.

The big story on nettles is the folic acid content. Very high, along with about 15% digestible plant protein, one of the highest of all plants.

Lack of folic acid has been blamed for the increase in the incidences of spina bifida, a very serious birth defect. I used to feed it, dried, to my Nubian goats. Made their lovely milk even sweeter for some reason.

Oh, and as far as I'm concerned spinach or chard are insipid cousins to this rich tasting plant when steamed a bit and topped with a pat of butter, or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a good quality olive oil splash.

I haven't found the local nettles patch but I will, soon. Yum.

:funny:

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