3 Reasons That You Should be Supplementing Your Horse with Medicinal Plants and Herbs

3 Reasons That You Should be Supplementing Your Horse with Medicinal Plants and Herbs

Posted by Elisha Edwards on 2019 Dec 19th

To optimize the health and wellness for horses every horse owner should consider adding medicinal plants and herbs to their horse’s health program.

When horse owners like yourself look for a solution to resolve a particular horse health problem, they have a number of different approaches they can take.

And there are usually a few key drivers that lead them to choose one approach over another.

  1. They want the health condition to be resolved quickly and permanently.
  2. It has to be affordable and cost effective.
  3. They want to make sure that it is safe for their horse.

But it is very common for horse owners to associate quick and permanent results with pharmaceutical drugs or medications because in most cases it is the only solution that is presented to them by their primary health care provider.

Meanwhile, the more natural options, such as nutrients and herbs, are left as a last resort even though they can be more affordable and cost effective.

Sometimes it is simply a lack of knowledge but other times natural can often be synonymous with “it might work, and if it does work it is going to take a while.”

Nothing can be further from the truth. One of the most natural, affordable, and effective solutions for resolving horse health problems are medicinal plants.

Let’s take a look at why they work so well, and why every horse owner should be incorporating them into their horse’s health program.

1) THEY PROVIDE THE FOOD VARIETY THAT DOMESTICATION HAS TAKEN AWAY FROM THEM.

In their natural environment, horses live on plants and forage; they are more connected to the outdoor environment than any other domestic animal.

They are masters at being able to select the right plants when they need them for good health, strength and vitality. They not only eat plants for palpability and calories, but they actually depend on them for survival.

A horse’s ability to choose from a wide variety of plants, grasses, leaves, roots, bark, and berries in their natural environment is critical to their health and well-being. For the domesticated horse, nutrient deficiencies are one of the leading causes of equine health conditions today. And despite the best efforts put forth by equine nutritionists, practitioners, and feed manufacturers to ensure they are getting a balanced diet; synthetic vitamin and mineral mixes and commercial feeds don’t come close to delivering the building blocks of life the way mother nature can and does.

But that’s not all, plants do so much more than deliver nutrition…

2) THEY HELP THEM HEAL AND RECOVER FROM A WIDE RANGE OF HEALTH PROBLEMS.

In addition to natural nutrition, each herb contains a unique combination of compounds that contain specific medicinal properties. Compounds, such as flavonoids, tannins, and coumarins, for example, don't just MAINTAIN good health, they actually work together to RESTORE good health during times of imbalance or illness.

There are hundreds of compounds found in plants that promote the normal function of every organ and system in the body. Here’s just some of the benefits that they can provide for horses:

  • Detoxify chemicals and toxins.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Strengthen the musculoskeletal system
  • Fight infection
  • Discourage parasites
  • Promote healthy digestion
  • Encourage nutrient absorption
  • Balance hormones.

There isn’t a natural remedy on earth that horses understand and respond to better than plants.

And the best part is...

3) SIDE EFFECTS ARE RARE.

Herbs provide horses with all the building blocks of life including vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids while at the same time providing the perfect combination of the planet's most powerful naturally derived compounds to stimulate and encourage healing.

Unfortunately, the high demand for a quick fix to many of the symptoms we see in our horses has led to many of these medicinal plant constituents being isolated, synthesized, and manufactured as pharmaceutical drugs.

Approximately 25% of the drugs sold in America are derived from plants.

Pharmaceutical drugs are usually comprised of a single plant constituent which has been identified to have potent medicinal properties. Once the desirable properties of a plant-based compound are identified, scientists then work to synthesize and manufacture it for our horses as a pharmaceutical grade drug. But there are problems with this…

Let’s take a look at the difference between plants and drugs…


Medicinal Plants

Pharmaceutical Drugs

Addresses the underlying cause

Treats the symptoms

Work with hundreds of other ingredients to restore balance

A single isolated constituent is isolated for one property to resolve one symptom

Side effects are rare and mild.

Side effects are common and often serious.

Constituents work together to promote wellness.

Cause of toxicity and imbalance

Provides natural nutrition

Deplete nutrients by impeding absorption and using nutrients to metabolize them.

When we dose horses with one isolated plant compound in concentrated amounts as a pharmaceutical drug, it can drastically change its action in the body as well as its efficacy. This can result in unwanted side effects, toxicity and nutrient deficiencies.

It has even been shown that some plant constituents significantly lose their efficacy when isolated and consumed on their own. In other words, they require their plant counterparts to deliver maximum benefit. Every constituent in the whole plant work synergistically with each other and this is what reduces side effects and eliminates the potential for toxicity and nutrient deficiencies.

In many cases, medicinal plants should be the first option to consider when approaching horse’s health problems, not the last.

After all, it was mother nature that gave us the tools to live, heal, and recover from disease - not the other way around.

Interested in learning more?

My online training, Healing Horses Their Way, goes in-depth into using herbs to help horses and so much more. Learn more here.


Meet Elisha

I am an animal lover, health consultant, scientist and educator. I am passionate about delivering safe and effective health care to all animals but horses and dogs have a special place in my heart. I believe that through education and awareness of natural animal health we can drastically improve their quality of life and longevity. I invite you to join me on my quest to make the world a better place for all of them.