Three Medicinal Herbs for Pet Health

October 27, 2019
Herbal medicine has been practiced throughout history. Today, we're going to show you how it can help you when it comes to pet health.

We’ve used medicinal herbs throughout history, since the moment we first discovered their amazing qualities. Although we generally think of them as something for human health concerns, medicinal herbs also help when it comes to pet health. Keep reading to learn more.

Medicinal herbs and pet health

Herbal medicine is a practice that human beings have been engaged in for thousands of years. Both traditional and current medical practices use plants or medicinal herbs to help treat health problems. The key to what gives a plant the beneficial effects we use it for is something called an active ingredient. 

The active ingredient in a herb is made up of a group of substances or molecules with a specific therapeutic effect on our bodies. There are also several different ways to extract that active ingredient from a plant.

So, just like we use them for our own health, there are some medicinal herbs that can help with pet health. But, before you start experimenting, it’s important to understand that not all these herbs are harmless. Some of the natural components in them could cause problems – or even be dangerous – for your pet.

An owner standing at a table with a mug of tea for their dog.

Like we always say, it’s best to talk to your vet before you start using any herbal medicines with your pet. They’ll be able to answer any of your questions about treatments, doses, and whatever else you might be wondering. If you still want to try them out after that, then you can follow these tips on how to use a few of them.

Medicinal herbs for pet health

Rosemary and juniper: healthy, aromatic herbs

Rosemary is a super common, well-known plant. It’s also more common than you might think in animal health. Why? Well, it’s actually a frequent ingredient in pet food, as a natural preservative. On top of that, rosemary is also a great source of vitamin B6, calcium, and antioxidants.

Plus, it can be a big help in treating flea problems in dogs. If you apply a rosemary infusion to your dog’s skin and fur, its antiseptic properties can help reduce the itchiness your dog is experiencing. 

A dog sniffing rosemary.

Juniper bushes (Juniperus communis) also have more health benefits than you might expect. Two of the most well known are juniper’s diuretic and antiseptic propertiesThese can both help with pet health if yours has a urinary infection, or a similar issue.

But that’s not all. You can also use juniper to treat issues that come with intestinal parasites. To be more specific, it has been shown to be highly effective in fighting certain types of parasites in cats.

Milk thistle: a big help for pet health

This is one of the most amazing medicinal herbs out there, which is also why it’s so great when it comes to pet health. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a flowering plant that’s common to many regions of the world. One of its active ingredients is the substance “silymarin”.

A close-up showing milk thistle flowers.

This chemical has a protective effect on liver cells, and this means that it can be very helpful in treating certain liver conditions. You can also give it to your pet to help its liver process and metabolize certain medications.

Other medicinal herbs that are good for pet health

We’ve mentioned three, but there are endless plants with genuine benefits for your pets. One of them is the universally amazing aloe vera. It has lots of benefits when you use it topically. Speaking of topical treatments, yarrow extract is also a great option, and is especially good for wounds.

In conclusion, we want to remind you that it’s vital to talk to your vet before you start with any kind of herbal treatment. By doing that, you’ll be making sure that your pet’s health comes first, and stays in good hands.

  • Wynn, S. G., & Fougere, B. (2006). Veterinary herbal medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  • Wynn, S. G., & Marsden, S. (2003). Manual of natural veterinary medicine: science and tradition. Mosby Inc..