Animals can get the sniffles, sickness, and disease just like we humans can. Natural and holistic remedies do not only exist for humans! There are many natural and holistic remedies for the animals as well. Many of the same healing properties we derive from plants, trees, and herbs are also beneficial to our beloved pets.
Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet will allow us to explore several different herbs that can safely be used to help heal cats and dogs. Before we continue it is important that I let you know that not ALL medicinal plants and medicines are safe for our furry friends so before you decide to treat them with anything new I recommend always doing your research!
5 Best Herbs For Pets
1. Chamomile: Chamomile can relieve anxiety for cats and dogs just as it can humans. Because this herb is so mild it is even safe to use for puppies and kittens. Not only does chamomile ease anxiety but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help inflammation caused by flea bites, tick bites, hot spots, and allergies, just to name a few.
Chamomile also has antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antispasmodic properties that are all effective for healing our pets. These medicinal properties produced by chamomile have the ability to heal wounds, calm anxiety and stress, ease upset stomachs and relieve mild pain. A little chamomile before a car ride to the vet can help if your pet gets car sick and anxious. Note: Cats should only have small doses of chamomile or it can cause vomiting and diarrhea
2. Garlic: Garlic is a well-known go-to herb for natural and holistic healing. However, there are ongoing debates as to whether garlic is truly safe for pets. Garlic is a member of the Allium genus, a branch of the lily family tree. Excessive amounts of garlic are said to possibly cause oxidative damage to pets’ red blood cells which can cause Heinz Disease and anemia. However, a study performed back in 2000 and another one following up in 2004 show garlic has the potential to promote animals’ immune functions, as well as prevent heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Garlic has the ability to improve the immune functions within the bloodstream. Garlic is known for its antimicrobial and antibiotic properties that are both beneficial in treating viral, fungal, and bacterial infections, and it also has the power to kill and expel parasites, as well as detoxify the liver.
3. Catnip: It may come as a surprise to you that catnip is not only for cats, but it is great for dogs too. Catnip is a member of the mint family and holds many of the same healing benefits as some of the other members of the same family, such as peppermint and spearmint. When cats smell catnip it makes them a little crazy but when it is ingested it actually causes a calming effect for both dogs and cats. It is similar to the effects produced by chamomile, which means it is also good for anxiety. As with other herbs on this list, catnip can cause diarrhea and vomiting if too much is consumed. Catnip is great for upset stomach, anxiety, and motion sickness. This herb has been used to aid digestion in humans, cats, and dogs alike.
4. Dandelion: The root and leaves make great medicine -- not to mention dandelion makes some tasty drinks! Roots and leaves both contain vitamins A, B Complex, C, D, E, and K, along with many minerals. The diuretic properties found within dandelions make them great for cleansing the kidneys, bladder, and liver. This makes dandelion a great natural choice for treating bladder infections, as well as Urinary Tract Infections. The anti-inflammatory properties help ease mild pain, including arthritic pain. The same healing benefits apply to humans, too!
5. Licorice: Some animals amazingly like the taste of licorice root! This is great because it is beneficial in helping heal coughs -- including kennel cough. Licorice is good for helping treat Addison’s Disease and is good for treating various skin conditions. The Glycyrrhizin naturally stimulates the body’s adrenals and produces anti-inflammatory effects. Licorice root produces corticosteroid type actions and helps relieve pain, itching, and inflammation, and it promotes cell growth. This herb can help alleviate ulcers, upper respiratory issues, and gastrointestinal disorders as well.
These 5 herbs are great for healing your pets! The list is actually much longer but this is 5 of the best found in the medicine cabinet. Aside from these herbs there are many essential oils that are good for your pets such as neem oil for the antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. As I mentioned earlier in this article, it’s always good to do your own extra research before giving anything new to your pets and even yourself. I hope today’s walk through the medicine cabinet finds you well and in a good way. Happy Healing!