Five Top Herbs for Dogs and Cats

The Ayurveda herbal medicine system uses many herbs that are also familiar in Western herbal medicine. Here are some of the most common herbs used in preparations for dogs and cats. The Sanskrit name is followed by the common English name, then Latin name. You can read more about these herbs and other ingredients in the Himalaya range of herbal medicines for cats and dogs at our Herb Finder.

 Ashwaganda

Winter Cherry, Withania somnifera Dunal (Solanaceae)

Literally translated, the Sanskrit name for Winter Cherry, Ashvagandha, means ‘the smell and strength of a horse’. Winter Cherry is a nervine tonic, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It boosts the immune system and promotes overall wellbeing.

Key therapeutic benefits:

  • Antistress and adaptogenic properties that improve physical and mental fitness and helps with daily stress management
  • A powerful antioxidant, which scavenges free radicals in cells that are responsible for premature aging
  • Proven anti-inflammatory, which helps in the management of inflammatory joint disorders.

Found in Himalaya pet products: Immunol, Anxocare

Amalaki

Indian Gooseberry, Emblic Myrobalan, Emblica officinalis (Gaertn.), Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Euphorbiaceae)

Amalaki is revered in Ayurveda. It is one of the three key ingredients in the formulation Triphala (see below), a tonic of three herbs that provides overall support for digestive function.
The fruit is an important source of vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. It contains three times the protein concentration and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than apples.

Researchers at the Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Japan, called Emblic Myrobalan a very useful antioxidant to support normal oxidative stress levels during the body’s natural aging process.

Key therapeutic benefits:

  • As a rejuvenative herb, it nourishes body tissues and accelerates the cell regeneration process
  • As a powerful antioxidant, Emblic Myrobalan helps scavenge free radicals linked to premature aging
  • It helps in building the body’s immune system and provides resistance against many diseases, especially those of the respiratory tract

Found in Himalaya pet products: Anxocare, Digyton

Guduchi

Gulancha Tinospora, Tinospora Gulancha, Tinospora cordifolia

Guduchi is a part of the rasayanas (traditional rejuvenators and important daily tonics) category of Ayurvedic plants. The herb supports the normal function of the immune system by maintaining optimal levels of white blood cells like macrophages. The plant is also used in dyspepsia and various types of fever.

Key therapeutic benefits:

  • Helps increase the effectiveness of the protective white blood cells and builds up the body’s own defence mechanisms
  • Useful as a diuretic, helps to remove urinary stones and assists in the management of urinary disorders including urinary tract infections
  • Helpful in treating liver damage, viral hepatitis and alcohol, medical or chemical poisoning

Found in Himalaya pet products: Anxocare, Digyton, Himpyrin, Immunol

Brahmi

Indian Pennywort, Centella, Gotu Kola, Centella asiatica (Linn.) (Urban), Hydrocotyle asiatica (Linn.) (Apiaceae)

Brahmi is a nervine tonic that enhances learning, academic performance and improves mental ability. It acts as an anti-anxiety agent, calms restlessness in children, and is used as a nootropic, a drug that enhances cognitive ability.

Key therapeutic benefits:

  • Promotes intelligence, particularly the power of retention. It relieves nervous irritation or agitation. It is used traditionally for enhancing memory and for treating psychosis, epilepsy and anxiety.
  • Elevates the level of cerebral glutamic acid and temporarily increases the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) level in the brain. It is believed that the endogenous increase in brain glutamine may be helpful in the learning process.

Found in Himalaya pet products: Anxocare

Triphala

Not one herb but a combination of three in a gentle herb tonic.

Triphala is a combination of Amalaki (Embilica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula).

This combination of plant and flower ingredients promote healthy absorption and assimilation of nutrients, bolster the gastrointestinal tract and keep the body feeling properly nourished and balanced.

Triphala is known as the gentle herb tonic helpful in digestion and supporting regular bowel movement.  It is a combination of Amalaki and Bibhitaki and Haritaki – three fruits that work synergistically to bolster the gastrointestinal tract.  By promoting health absorption and assimilation of nutrients, Triphala helps keep the body feeling properly nourished and balanced.

 

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