Natural herbs for horses are an important part of natural horse nutrition. Herbs can help your horse’s body utilize nutrition and aid digestion. Herbs have been around a long time and many cultures such as the gypsies and Native American tribes have used them to help their horses.
There are many herbs that are used on horses but the ones we will focus on now are the ones that pertain to nutrition and digestion. We will discuss herbs that you can use individually and those that you can purchase as a prepared herbal supplement for your horse. Keep in mind that is is best to muscle test any product you feed your horse to make sure it is ideal for them. To learn more about muscle testing, click here.
What are some individual herbs for horses?
Herbs have different functions. Three types of natural herbs for horses that help with utilizing nutrition and aiding digestion are:
- An alterative herb helps the body utilize nutrition and eliminate wastes.
- A bitter herb helps the digestive processes and works mainly on the liver.
- A digestive tonic herb aids digestion.
Five herbs that help with these functions are:
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) helps digestive conditions and are a great source of potassium. You can grow dandelions and offer your horse a few fresh leaves every day.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperata) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata) help relax the muscles of the digestive tract. You can grow mint very easily and offer your horse fresh leaves.
- Burdock (Arctium lappa) stimulates digestion. The powder form should be used.
- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) helps horses that have problems with digestion and nutrition, especially those that have lost their condition. You can give one cup of the dried herb. This is not to be used on pregnant mares because it stimulates the uterine.
- Garlic (Allium sativum) can promote healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and may help increase appetite. Click here for more information on garlic.
There are companies that carry a complete line of individual natural herbs for horses such as Hilton Herbs and Glenbrook Farm Herbs.
What are some prepared herbal supplements for horses?
There are a number of horse herbal products on the market. Some products that help with digestion are:
- Digest by Hilton contains Slippery Elm, Gotu Kola, Marshmellow, Licorice, Meadowsweet, and Milk Thistle. These herbs help support the horse’s natural absorption of nutrients.
- Digest Plus by Hilton contains Fenugreek, Slippery Elm, Marshmellow, and billions of equine gut bacteria. This product is considered a probiotic.
- Old Timer by Wendals Herbs , another source of natural herbs for horses, contains Dandelion, Fenugreek Seed, Garlic, Marshmellow, Mint, Nettles, Oregano, Seaweed, and Thyme. This product is especially good for the older horse.
- Spearmint Salt Lick by Wendals Herbs contains minerals, salt, and spearmint. This salt lick promotes appetite and aids digestion.
Natural herbs for horses have helped many horses but with any new product, you should monitor your horse. If your horse is sick, injured, on any medication, or you have any concerns, you can check with your vet prior to feeding the herbs. Please see the disclaimer. If you are concerned after you feed your horse herbs, consult your vet. If you have a competition horse, be aware that some natural herbs for horses are considered illegal, so doublecheck before you feed any herbs. NEED DISCLAIMER PAGE