Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine for Animals

British Association of Veterinary herbalists (BAVH)

The first use of medicinal herbs dates back to prehistoric times, with herbs found in graves older than 60,000 years. There is a rich history of plant medicine in many cultures with some of the best-preserved traditions being Traditional Chinese Medicine. The world health organisation estimate that 70% of the world’s population use botanical medicine (Einsberg, 1998). It is no surprise that people have used the same plant medicine for animals under their care as long as human-animal relationships have existed.

In the late eighteenth century advances in science led to purification and isolation of many plant constituents with around a quarter of today’s pharmaceutical drugs having originally been derived from plants. Medical researchers believe it is safer and more effective to deliver doses of pure active chemicals. However, advocates of herbal medicine believe in a holistic approach and that the whole herb or its extract is more effective with fewer side effects.

Holistic Approach

Holistic medicine means treating the patient as a whole; mind body and spirit. By taking a truly holistic approach we must look both inwards and outwards. Looking outwards your holistic veterinarian may consider many things such as diet, exercise, environment, and life history as well as your interactions with your animal.

When looking inwards a holistic vet may consider the body as a whole with interactions and connections between all body systems. This is a different approach to modern medicine which is moving in a direction of specialisation such as cardiologists – this is a reductionist approach. Reductionism simply means looking at a piece of a system rather than the whole.

Holistic vets believe that the patient functions as a whole and each part is interrelated and inseparable from the rest.

Looking at the bigger picture will help your holistic vet to understand the root of the problem or disease rather than just the presenting symptoms.

What happens during a consultation with a Herbal Vet?

During your pets first consultation with a herbal vet, the vet will build up a picture of you and your pet’s health by:

  • Taking your pet’s full case history
  • Discussing your pet’s diet and lifestyle
  • Finding out about any medication or supplements you already use

This allows your vet to assess the underlying causes of your pet’s illness and formulate a mixture of herbs tailored to your individual needs. It may also be necessary to arrange for other tests to be done.

Your pet’s individual treatment plan will include herbal remedies and, where appropriate, dietary changes or nutritional supplements. Most herbal medicines are given in the form of a liquid tincture that is taken in doses of two or three times daily. Your Pet may also be prescribed herbal tea, tablets, ointment, cream or lotion.

Holistic Health Modalities

Animal Behvaviour

Essences for Animals

Herbal Medicine for Animals

Homeopathy for Animals

Obsalim for Animals

Natural Feeding for Animals


Body Work Therapies

Body Work - General- for Animals

Bowen Technique/Therapy for Animals

Canine Massage

Chiropractic - McTimony - for Animals

Craniosacral Therapy for Animals

Hydrotherapy for Animals

Galen (Canine) Myotherapy

Masterson Method for Horses

Osteopathy for Animals

Tellington TTouch for Animals

Physiotherapy for Animals

Therapeutic Equipment

Photizo Light Therapy for Animals

SCENAR for Animals

Read our blogs relating to the use of herbs

A sample of our blogs showing how acupuncture has been used for animals is displayed below

Supporting a Dog with Kidney Disease

Supporting a Dog with Kidney Disease

Jack is my 15-year-old Jack Russell. He is incontinent and has kidney disease, but it’s not the end of the world. Supporting Jack has been significantly helped by integrated vet care which treats him as an individual with his own specific needs. As well as a mix of conventional and complementary treatments such as herbs, homeopathy and nutraceuticals, this individualised medicine approach has included tailoring his diet. Jack’s excessive drinking and incontinence have become much reduced. We have also incorporated several tricks into making life as easy as possible for him and for us.

Healing Stinging Nettles

Healing Stinging Nettles

Once prized as a valuable source of food, medicine and material to make cloth and cord, the nettle (Urtica dioica) is now largely seen as a troublesome weed to be vigorously cut, strimmed and sprayed to control or kill it. We asked Caroline Hearn of Hedgerow Hounds to tell us about its uses and healing properties in Healing Stinging Nettles.

Acupuncture Saves Frieda the Rabbit

Acupuncture Saves Frieda the Rabbit

We asked vet Dr Carole Parsons of Pet Therapy Mobile Acupuncture to tell us about Frieda the rabbit who was faced with being put to sleep when her arthritis worsened and acupuncture was tried as a last resort

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