Author: Christin Sander, Health Writer
Herbal remedies, combined with a proper diet and lifestyle, can promote the long-term health of your pet and even extend his or her lifespan. Some herbs are used to treat specific conditions and illnesses in the same manner as traditional medicine. Others are used as supportive tonics on an ongoing basis to promote healthy body functions and boost overall health and energy.
How are Herbs Given to Cats?
Herbs can be administered orally and topically via tinctures, tablets or capsules. Pills or capsules can be given when an herb can't be formulated into a tincture, however cats usually absorb liquid tinctures and formulations better.
Herbs for Cats
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that nourishes the blood and increases hemoglobin levels. It supports heart function and overall health. It is a natural anti-inflammatory and is used often as a tonic to aid recovery after illness.
Calendula, known better as marigold, is grown for its distinctive orange and yellow flowers. Calendula is excellent for healing the skin and treating minor irritation caused by flea bites and scratches. Ointments are made from the petals of the Calendula flower by crushing the petals thoroughly and mixing them into a paste with olive or coconut oil. The mixture is then applied to the affected area a few times a day.
Dandelion is extremely nutritious providing numerous vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, C and D, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Dandelion aids digestion and enhances liver function. Cats can eat the dandelion greens or the herb can be concentrated and made into a tincture.
Echinacea is a natural immunity booster with antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. Echinacea is used to keep cats healthy and resistant to illness. It also aids the lymphatic system. Holistic veterinarians often use Echinacea for cats with cancer to help boost their immunity so they can fight the disease.
Milk thistle has been used medicinally for over 2,000 years. It acts as a liver tonic and is used to detox and restore healthy liver function. Milk thistle supports immunity. It has the ability to scavenge free radicals and preserves the body's supply of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant stored in the liver. Glutathione depletes naturally over time, accelerating the aging process.
Siberian ginseng is a natural energy booster often used in the treatment of thyroid conditions. It regulates hormones and relieves fatigue. It is often used in older or weakened pets to reduce susceptibility to illness, build resistance, and restore energy.
Stinging nettle is a multipurpose herbal remedy used to treat arthritis, kidney disease and anemia. It's most often used as an allergy treatment for cats. It is a very effective antihistamine that relieves sneezing and congestion in cats with seasonal allergies.
Your pet's life can be greatly enhanced and even extended with the proper herbal remedies used for support. Cats are prone to sensitivities with many medications, making herbal treatments preferable whenever possible. Herbal remedies are free from side effects and chemicals that can be toxic to your cat's system.