Holistic medicine is a method of healing that considers the whole person - mind, body, and spirit - when treating an ailment. It’s a practice that uses both traditional and alternative therapies to treat illnesses and promote overall wellness in people. Some owners also take a holistic approach when caring for the health of their pets, using natural remedies as opposed to or in conjunction with conventional Western methods that rely more heavily on prescription medications. We discussed a few holistic ingredients that can improve pet health in a previous blog, and today we’re taking a closer look at three herbs that can help improve your pet’s well being and keep them healthy, naturally.
Aloe vera has been used medicinally for thousands of years, with records of its use dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Today this plant is widely used for sunburn relief, but also has been known to alleviate heartburn and potentially lower the risk of breast cancer. Aloe vera has great health benefits for your pet as well, especially for helping to rejuvenate and hydrate their skin. When applied topically, this plant can be used to help soothe skin irritation with its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. The aloe vera plant can help ease your pet’s discomfort from skin allergies, infections, and other diseases. It’s an at home first aid kit that can live happily on a shelf in your living room.
Licorice root super healthy for your pet, and they’ll enjoy the taste of it too. One of the uses of licorice is to help treat arthritis, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice helps quell respiratory issues as well, as it soothes mucous membranes which can lessen the effects of colds and allergies. Some say licorice can improve the effectiveness cof other herbs when taken in unison. This root can also help improve digestive issues like stomach ulcers and gives the immune system a healthy boost.
Licorice is often used in commercially available pet food recipes: it is present in only about 0.5% of all dog and cat foods. Here are a few recipes that contain licorice:
Last but not least, we have ginger. This herb is excellent at settling your dog or cat’s upset stomach. It has numerous benefits related to the digestive system, including helping to reduce gas and nausea. Like licorice, ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory which aids in lessening inflammatory-related illnesses like arthritis. Some studies have even shown it to possess cancer-fighting properties. It seems this herb can truly do it all.
Ginger is present in 3.5 % of all commercially available pet foods. Some good choices include:
Holistic healing is a part of the puzzle
Much of holistic healing is about considering the underlying causes of or the long-term prevention of a disease, rather than treating symptoms. In certain circumstances, the right medical care for your pet might not strictly involve conventional methods. Often, herbal remedies can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine to give your pet the best care possible. While Western medicine is certainly useful and can be life-saving for your pet, it doesn’t hurt to consider natural approaches as well.
Each situation is unique; if you're considering using an herbal remedy to help bolster your pet’s health, discuss with your veterinarian to ensure the right treatment best suited to your pet’s needs.