Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Using herbal medicine to treat illnesses

Herbal medicine has been successful in treating illnesses in animals and people throughout the years and can be compared to folk medicine in many cultures. Wild animals are though to instinctively know the proper herbs when sick. A program called the Hoxsey Program was originated by a man who observed which herbs were eaten by animals under the conditions of certain diseases.

The scientific research on using herbs is about where vitamins were 10 years ago. Many companies don't want to invest in expensive research because most herbs lack the ability to be patented, nor are they under a FDA regulation as drugs and medications typically are.

Many modern pharmaceutical drugs are compounds considered to be active ingredients in herbs. Herbalists defend that the pharmaceutical ingredients and the whole plant are not the same due to unique and complex properties of the original substances.

It can be difficult to find fresh herbs that are pleasant tasting to dogs. Herb combinations have been developed for certain syndromes and made into pills or capsules. They can be obtained from many herbal companies and are generally classified as Western Herbs or Chinese Herbs. Chinese combinations have been around for centuries and have a long record.

As with any change in your dog's regimen, keep your vet informed regarding the medications, herbs, and supplements your pet may be taking. Some of these can interfere with the absorption or action of another. And remember if herbs are natural doesn't mean they can't cause adverse effects if used inappropriately.

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