Herbal medicine has existed for thousands of years and can be traced through many different cultures. It has helped to heal countless numbers of people throughout the ages. Today, herbal medicine still has much to teach us. This article examines herbal treatments for pets and their place in modern animal health care.
Modern veterinary science pushes the benefits of vaccination and medication for many illnesses. But the vaccination and medication approach has largely failed our animals. Our pets are no more protected from disease and illness than they used to be.
Herbal treatments for pets, like homeopathy are marginalized because of "lack of scientific proof". But this is caused by a Catch-22 situation. I'll explain what I mean by that statement.
Scientific research into the efficacy of health treatments is increasingly driven by the private sector. Profit hungry pharmaceutical companies are averse to funding research into the health benefits of herbal treatments because plants cannot be patented. Therefore they see herbal research investment as too great a risk and would rather invent new drugs that they can patent.
But without this research into herbal treatments there can be no body of scientific evidence. Because of this no-win situation herbal treatments are unlikely to become mainstream any time soon.
Sick dogs and cats will instinctively seek out herbs in the wild to address their own health complaints. Modern living for our pets severely limits the opportunity for this behaviour.
Many minor ailments and common conditions can be treated using herbal remedies. Digestive upsets, worms, fleas and ear mites can all be treated. Herbal remedies can also be used to support pets with more chronic conditions as well as boost the immune systems of healthy animals.
I do not argue that herbal medicine for pets can treat all health conditions. More severe conditions and illnesses need veterinary treatment. Always make sure that you tell your vet about any supplements or herbal treatments that your pet is taking.
Use common sense and strike a balance between when you should use herbal treatments for pets at home and when you should go to the vet. A holistic approach to your pet's well-being will bring health and happiness to your four legged friends.