Author: Patricia Bratianu RN PhD RH-AHG
Mange is a disease caused by mites. The mites are microscopic. They burrow under the skin, causing itching and inflammation. The actual inflammation is an allergic reaction to the mites and their feces. A scabicide medicine must be applied or administered to rid the cat of the mites. The mites are contagious to other cats, but not humans. Due to the inflammation and intense itching, cats develop bald patches. These can easily become infected.
Healing from mange takes time. Natural remedies can help to support immune function, prevent infection and promote healing.
There is a group of herbs classified as adaptogens. Adaptogens are helpful whenever the body is stressed. Many of the ancient tonic herbs such as ginseng and holy basil have been revered for millennia due to their ability to restore health and prolong life.
One of the best adaptogens is an Indian herb called ashwagandha. It can be helpful in the treatment and recovery from mange because it, like all adaptogens, helps the body to tolerate stress without so many ill effects. It has potent anti-inflammatory effects that reduce itching and hasten healing.
Another herb that is useful to treat mange is echinacea. Echinacea improves immune function; it has been shown to fight both viral and bacterial infections. While mange itself is not an infection, but an infestation, secondary infections occur due to decreased resistance and constant scratching of the affected area by the cat. Echinacea will prevent and treat infections while improving your cat’s general resistance to disease.
Alteratives are herbs that support the health of the liver, bloodstream and entire body. It may seem odd initially to use herbs that treat the liver and blood for a skin condition such as mange.
The liver is a detoxifying organ, as is the skin. The skin’s ability to remove toxins is reduced when disease is present. The liver has to pick up the extra detoxification work. It is already working hard to rid the body of toxins from the disease and the inflammatory process. Improving liver function helps to clear the skin.
Improving circulation helps with detoxification and supports healing and regeneration of healthy skin tissue. Two outstanding alteratives are dandelion and milk thistle.
Dandelion reduces inflammation. It is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are used up at a faster rate than normal when your cat is ill. Dandelion helps to replace those needed nutrients. Ashwagandha , mentioned previously, slows the loss of vitamin C which is one of the vitamins used up at an accelerated rate during illness.
Milk thistle is a very safe herb that possesses a multitude of healing benefits. It is another alterative.
PetAlive has a product called Immunity and Liver Support. One to two capsules taken twice daily will benefit your cat by reducing the irritation caused by mange, preventing nutrient loss and providing the optimum environment within the body for healing to occur.