Respiratory issues, including COPD, are complex and have a variety of actions and reactions that come together to make breathing difficult.
Fortunately, homeopathic remedies are available for each of the symptoms your horse may display, without the side effects of long-term traditional medical treatments. Many products on the market offer a combination of components to treat a variety of symptoms. It may be necessary to try herbs and supplements independent of one another to pinpoint exactly which remedy is most effective for each individual horse.
The assistance of a holistic health care professional can be especially helpful in treating respiratory conditions, but look for these key components:
Coltsfoot leaves (Tussilago farfara) Known historically as the "cough plant," coltsfoot can have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-catarrhal (eases inflammation of mucous membranes) properties and can be useful for respiratory tract disorders, particularly to relieve coughing.
Elder flowers (Sambucas nigra) Have been used throughout history for upper respiratory tract infections and are widely reported to be beneficial for colds and flu. Elder is a pungent, cooling herb that can have anti-catarrhal and anti-inflammatory effects, making it useful for respiratory tract disorders.
Elecampane or Culver’s Root is widely used as an expectorant and cough suppressant. The herb also has anti-bacterial properties that can protect the sinus and guttural pouch from infections.
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is a small annual herb native to Europe. The flowering eyebright herb has been used since the middle ages as a bronchial dilator. Eyebright should not be fed to breeding stallions.
Fenugreek, also known as Bird’s Foot , is distilled from the dried ripe seeds of the plant and has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that can reduce the production of thick mucous.
Garlic (Allium sativum) A pungent herb with antimicrobial, expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. All these make it a good choice for respiratory disorders.
Ginger Root – One of the first medicinal agents to be recorded in Chinese history, Ginger effectively removes congestion from the lungs and modulates the immune system.
Lemon (Citrus limon) The peel of this citrus herb is aromatic and cooling. Its anti-
inflammatory properties can help to clear bronchial congestion.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) This sweet and soothing herb has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years. Its anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties can soothe irritated lung tissues and help to expel mucus.Licorice root should not be fed to pregnant mares.
Marshmallow Leaf – A lubricating agent, valuable for maintaining healthy mucous membranes and balancing fluids in the body.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare) Traditionally used for colds and flu, this is an aromatic, warming herb. It can also have an expectorant action to relieve congestion. Oregano should not be fed to pregnant or lactating mares.
Plantain Leaf – A leafy dried product that is especially helpful in reducing allergic reactions within the respiratory tract. Mixed into a paste with distilled water, it can also be directly applied to insect bites.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) Sage is an astringent, antiseptic herb with a camphor-like aroma, which can have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and expectorant effects. Sage should not be fed to pregnant mares.