Useful Herbs for an Equine Cough
Autumn and winter can be a miserable time whene around. It’s a time when there are colds and viruses circulating freely amongst our horses. Herbs can be a wonderful natural remedy for an equine cough and can be used as a preventative as well as a remedy. If we remember that most modern medicine originated from herbal medicine we know we are in good hands a perfect remedy when your horse has an equine cough. There are four different categories of herbs that are commonly utilised to help combat an equine cough as well as the common cold and we will discuss the different herbs as we go. To start with prevention we must first look at boosting the immune system so it is better able to fight off any bugs. Herbs such as Rosehips which contain vitamin C are wonderful for overall health and they are said to improve strength in the hooves as well. Kelp is another general herb which is brilliant for its natural composition of vitamins and minerals. It is stacked full of goodness and can easily be added to your horses daily feed. Herbs that directly stimulate the immune system to fight the infection are used during and possibly even to prevent colds when given prior to the obvious signs of illness. Echinacea and Asian ginseng are two examples in this category. They are ideally given at this time of year when you know bugs are circulating and the herbs can quietly be working before the bugs start flying. Herbs that promote a mild fever, hence sweating (known as diaphoretics) may be useful when horses have colds and viruses as this helps fight the infection. Because a fever is a sign of the immune system working, it may be that diaphoretics are also immune stimulators like the first category. Elder, boneset and yarrow are three examples. The third category of helpful herbs includes herbs that may directly kill the viruses that cause colds, based on test tube studies. Goldenseal, myrrh and usnea are examples. These herbs have been shown to work directly on viruses so can also be helpful when your horse is unwell. Finally, some herbs are used just to alleviate symptoms such as sore throats. These herbs tend to be high in mucilage and are soothing and anti-inflammatory or have tannins that are astringent. Marshmallow and mullein are two examples. Symptom-relieving herbs may have other active constituents and mechanisms of actions. As you can see in the following list, many herbs fit in more than one category, such as goldenseal (immune stimulating and antiviral). Immune-stimulating:
Asian ginseng, astragalus, boneset, echinacea, eleuthero, goldenseal, hyssop, linden, schisandra, wild indigo.
Boneset, elder flower, hyssop, linden, yarrow.
Symptom-relieving Astringent (soothe sore throat):
Blackberry, blueberry, red raspberry.
Mucilage (soothe sore throat):
Marshmallow, mullein.
Reduce nasal stuffiness:
Eucalyptus, peppermint.
Relieve aches and pains:
Miscellaneous sore throat relief:
Sage, yarrow.
Therefore when it comes to helping your horses through winter and with the dreadedhis year, think about the wonderful array of possibilities in natures medicine chest.s the perfect remedy.The results can be very fast and very satisfying when you know you are feeding natural goodness to your horses.



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