Herbal medicine for dogs and cats works on the same principles as herbal medicine for humans – whether it’s western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Auyurveda or even the herbal medicine of the First Peoples of Australia.
Humans have used plants as medicine in most cultures around the world. In fact, plants are the precursors to many conventional pharmaceuticals – which can be based on extracts from plants or on synthesised “active” ingredients that originally came from plants.
Made from Whole Plants
Herbal medicine is made from whole plants, which means it doesn’t just have healing properties. In many cases, herbal medicines are highly nutritious, and provide quality supplementation to diet.
When it comes to using herbal medicine to treat our pets, it’s best to choose a brand or product that has specifically been developed and tested for safety and efficacy for pets. While most herbal medicines are safe and non-toxic, there are some herbs and some quantities that can be harmful for your pets, or can be contraindicated (not compatible) with their conventional medication.
Herbal medicine generally works more slowly than a traditional pharmaceutical, and requires some patience to see results. However, a holistic approach has many benefits and advantages too. While many conventional pharmaceuticals are designed to treat the symptoms – such as a skin infection – many of the herbal medicines that are available on the market today have a polyherbal formulation (a combination of herbs) that also work to address the underlying causes of the illness or condition.
Developed for Pets, Safe and Effective
One of the great advantages of herbal medicines that are developed especially for pets is that they can be administered alongside conventional medications. When of sufficient quality and proven efficacy they can often be used as stand alone treatment in many cases depending upon the illness. Sometimes pharmaceutical medicines can be the cause of unwanted side effects – and this is especially the case in chronic, long term illness or compromised health – a herbal medicine can help address and reduce those side effects for the pet.
Integrated Health Care for Pets
This integrated approach to veterinary care – the combination of conventional veterinary science and other forms of treatment such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy – is becoming more common as pet lovers seek out the best natural options for our fur friends. Ask your vet to recommend a combination of therapies for pet’s optimal health.