Herbs have been widely used for their health-giving properties for centuries. Some contain high levels of naturally occurring substances called napthoquinones, which have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, insecticidal, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic (fever reducing) properties.
Horses and herbs Horses need herbs to utilise certain nutrients and to regulate their digestive and immune system. Equines evolved over thousands of years as foragers, grazing for up to 16 hours a day on a wide variety of grasses, herbs, succulents and even tree bark.
But by domesticating the horse, man has interrupted that process.
The modern equine is stabled, grazing inferior pastures, suffering the stresses and strains of competition, breeding and travelling, given hard feed and sometimes intermittent access to forage.
So to promote the correct functions within the body, sometimes we need to supplement the horse’s diet. Herbs can help with the following: Regulating the digestive system Some herbs can help stimulate the muscles in the gut to increase the absorption of nutrients.
This supplies the body with more energy and promotes optimum growth.
Other herbs can correct bacterial disorders in the gut — following infection or the use of antibiotics — as well as improve cleansing. Protecting the liver, purifying the body The liver works to detoxify the body, particularly during times of stress and infection when waste and toxin levels increase.
This in turn suppresses the immune system. Herbs can help to protect and stimulate the liver during times of heavy load, offering maximum protection when the body is most vulnerable.
Extra energy Some herbs help to boost energy within the body by stimulating the metabolism of carbohydrate in the liver. This in turn promotes the release of enzymes and hormones that assist all the processes within the body that are vital for good health. A healthy, balanced body will have more energy because it wastes no resources fighting infection and disease.
Resistance to stress Physical and mental stress both produce poisons that attack the body causing exhaustion and a reduced immune system, among many other problems.
Herbs have been long used to combat the physical, biological and chemical effects of stress, thus improving the body’s resistance to the stresses placed upon it. IMPAIRED IMMUNE SYSTEM