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Herbal Choices

Tracie smiling and stroking a horse in a poppie field
Horse in a poppie field

Zoopharmacognosy

 

Tracie has an NCFE Diploma for Consultancy in Applied Herbal Choices for Horses and Dogs

 

Sheree has an NCFE Diploma for Consultancy in Applied herbal Choices for horses.

 

What are the choices in Herbal Choices?

Zoopharmacognosy refers to the process by which animals naturally forage and self select plants and plant extracts to self medicate.   It is the subject of a number of scientific studies.

 

Equine-pharmacognosy allows Horses to choose remedies that they would do in nature. Pharmacognosy provides a behavioural method of helping animals. It involves offering choices of essential and macerated oils, and dried plants for self selection. Animals utilise the plant extract as they need it; via inhalation, ingestion or sometimes topical via massage.

Canine-pharmacognosy allows dogs to choose remedies that they would do in nature. Pharmacognosy provides a behavioural method of helping animals. It involves offering choices of essential and macerated oils, and dried plants for self selection. Animals utilise the plant extract as they need it; via inhalation, ingestion or sometimes topical. 

Seeing through your animals eyes

 

Observing your animals closely and seeing things from your animals perspective will help you understand more what their needs are both in choosing what essential oils etc they need AND in other areas of their lives.

 

Learn how your animal communicates and what their behaviour means and  everything about your relationship together will improve.

Listen with your eyes.

During a Herbal choices session BOTH you and the consultant will be closely observing your animals reactions to the offerings

 

The importance of ethology

 

It's also important to know their ethology. For example dogs sleep 14-17 hours a day. I am grumpy if I don't get the sleep I need.

 

Horses are herd animals, naturally claustrophobic, need to move whilst eating and as trickle grazers can eat up to 18 hours a day if given free choice. In the wild they will naturally travel up to 25 miles a day at a walking pace.

 

So it's important that we set up an environment that is suitable for their needs during Herbal Choices sessions.

How does it work?

Animals do not choose to overdose on pure raw plant oils and powders as long as certain rules and understandings are adhered to. Animals with a wide variety of issues have responded well to this method, including behavioural / emotional problems, physical problems, poor digestion, poor coat, skin problems and low immune system.

What can you expect in a session: Equines?

 

Starting with hydrosols and in line with the  known case history your horse will be offered a range of herbal oils known to help with the issues your horse is displaying. 

During a session positive reactions include: soft eyes, yawning, flehmen response, chewing mouthing, chin quivering, change in breathing, swallowing, whinnying, stillness, frequent passing in droppings and urination, stillness, blinking followed by closing of the eyes and possible head lowering. Ear pinning, ground pawing, anxiety followed by calm. 

As its individual choices one remedy does not suit all Horses. Horses guide the session by either inhaling, or taking it orally.  If the condition is advanced a more potent remedy will be chosen. It's not unusual for Horses with similar symptoms to select different remedies with similar results as it's the individual Horse's needs that are important, not a one size fits all approach. 

You will be given advice on the properties of the remedies that your Horse selects so that you can find out more and with this information you may be able to gather clues to share with your vet, behaviourist etc. Depending on what they selected, They may have loose stools. This is normal. 

What can you expect in a session: Canines?

Starting with hydrosols and in line with the  known case history your dog will be offered a range of herbal oils known to help with the issues your dog is displaying.

During a session positive reactions include: Changes in Breathing, or swallowing, puffing out cheeks, stillness, heavy or blinky eyes, Yawning, head lowering, pointing or looking at a particular body area. Air licking aromatics, slight anxiety restlessness followed by calm. Tail wagging, licking forelegs and self grooming.

You will be given advice on the properties of the remedies that your dog selects so that you can find out more and with this information you may be able to gather clues to share with your vet, behaviourist etc.

 

As its individual choices one remedy does not suit all dogs. Dogs guide the session by either inhaling, taking it orally, or rubbing themselves into it.  If the condition is advanced a more potent remedy will be chosen. It's not unusual for dogs with similar symptoms to select different remedies with similar results as it's the individual dog's needs that are important, not a one size fits all approach. 

Depending on what they selected, your dog may purge between 12- 24 hours after a session, sometimes they can bring up unwanted matter over a number of days. This is normal. They may also have loose stools. 

Negative Reactions all animals include: our animal’s body language indicates appeal or lack of appeal for the plants and oils they are being offered. It is therefore vital to be aware of their facial and body language responses whilst offering.

 

Lack of interest, walking away.

 

Aftercare all animals

 

He rules of offering

Remedies should never be forced onto your animal so don't disguise them in their feed and allow them the freedom to walk away from the offerings at all times.

How to offer the products

Hold the bottle firmly so your hand covers most of the bottle to prevent it from being snatched out of your hand and into your mouth.

Giving your animal physical space, offer the products as demonstrated by your consultant and as  listed below. If the condition is acute, offer 3 to 4 times daily. This will reduce in frequency. When your animal shows no further interest offer weekly or monthly to gauge if top ups are needed.

 

Offer a range of dried herbs at the same time in spaced shallow tubs. 

Make sure the oil is not phototoxic before applying it topically in sunlight.

Offer the bottle lower than his/her nose, as the volatiles rise up and out of the bottle and your horse can guide its dose more efficiently

What to avoid

Busy environment with too many distractions.

When you yourself are distracted and rushed, choose a time when you have the space and energy to carry on with the session until your horse indicates that he/she is done.

 

For a consultation on Applied Herbal choices for your dogs and or horses please contact us.

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