We all know phytotherapy as the science that makes use of botanic origin products for the prevention and treatment of different diseases or pathologies. Its name comes from the Greek – Phytos and Therapy. Raw material are the traditional medicinal plants that since at least 40,000 years before Christ have been used as healing tools. According to the WHO, medicinal plants are those that have in one or more of their tissues substances or molecules that can be used for therapeutic purposes (veterinary phytotherapy).
Anciently, not only humans consumed medicinal plants to try to heal illnesses, but also animals were cured by searching for certain plant species. At a veterinary level, plants have become an important therapeutic coadjutant. Therefore, they are not going to solve a problem when it is serious but they can be the first source of fight against certain diseases that our pets can present.
Here are some of the most common medicinal plants given in veterinary phytotherapy and the benefits of each of them in both dogs and cats:
Curcuma: This herbaceous plant improves your pet’s stomach problems as its digestive properties will help improve the intestinal transit, the gallbladder, and the liver. Its frequent consumption reduces glucose levels and stimulates the production of anti-cancer substances in the body and its anti-inflammatory properties will allow the proper functioning of blood flow. So if your pet suffers from gases, fatty liver or osteoarticular problems ask your veterinarian for this wonderful plant.
Aloe Vera: A powerful immune stimulator for both humans and animals. The multiple benefits of this plant lie in the two substances it contains, Lignins (natural polymer) and Saponins (soluble plant substances) which make it suitable for problems of allergies, dermatitis, hair loss, wounds, and scars or hormonal imbalances. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, digestive, and nutritional are just some of the properties that make this plant so desirable in animal phytotherapy.
Milk Thistle: Its main flavonoid is the Silymarin, its power is such that it exceeds the Vitamin E in the production of free radicals which is ideal for the prevention of cellular aging. It is a plant commonly prescribed in cases of hepatitis, jaundice, liver or kidney damage, and leptospirosis (a zoonotic disease caused by leptospira bacteria that mainly affects the kidneys and liver) as it can not only prevent and relieve symptoms but can also repair the liver diseases of our pets.
Hawthorn plant: If your pet suffers from circulation, cardiovascular or arterial problems you should know this plant. Thanks to its flavonoids, amines, tannins, steroids, and triterpenes, this plant has vasodilatory properties that make it the perfect choice for all cases related to the heart and arteries, as well as counteracting stress problems and nervous disorders that may occur.
Dandelion: An article by the Spanish Society of Phytotherapy (SEFIT) highlights the use of this plant as an adjuvant in the treatment of urinary disorders in different species of animals. Its high content of iron, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene and phosphorus make dandelion the ideal plant to improve the flow of bile, regulate the liver, kidneys, and treat cases of cataracts, eczema and dermatitis.
Artemisia annua: Unlike the other plants that we already presented to you, it has been incorporated in veterinary phytotherapy during the last years, especially in the canines. Have you heard about Leishmaniasis? Well, it is an infectious disease caused by a parasite known as Leishmania infantum and transmitted through a phlebotome to dogs (its natural reservoir). It is a disease with very diverse symptoms such as dermatological problems, nail growth, joint inflammation, epistaxis, eye problems, apathy, loss of appetite, intestinal decomposition, and organic or renal failure among others.
Recent studies reveal how this Asian plant and its main molecule, artemisinin, help in the treatment of this disease in two ways: stimulation of the intracellular immune system and the intrinsic leishmanicidal capacity of artemisinin.
If you want to know more about this plant and its different benefits and applications please contact us here.