instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

The Horse Lover's Blog

Equine Herbal and Energetics

Horses are herbalists by definition. A horse on pasture, a rough, 'weedy' pasture like mine, has many opportunities to self-medicate. After a bad colic, my old mare Josey spent days wandering the edge of the hay field nibbling at goldenrod, an aromatic carminative. In late autumn, the horses somehow eat rosehips from the detestable wild rose that is trying to take the pastures. In spring they adore dandelions, even the flowers and rubbery stalks. Dandelion is a classic spring bitter, and horses seem to crave it at that time.
At the moment I'm not needing to intervene in anybody's herbal regimen, but in the past I've had some issues to treat, so I was interested in the new book, EQUINE HERBAL AND ENERGETICS, by Stacey Small and Andrea Baldwin. But perhaps because I had no immediate horse treatment needs, I was a bit disappointed at first, and inclined to notice things I didn't like about the book. It could have used a better copy-editor, for instance, and it didn't seem to me that I was learning anything new.
That was because I was ignoring an important aspect of the book, even though it was right there in the title. "Energetics."
Truthfully, I suspected the whole idea was hooey. Herbs have many powerful constituents, I get that, but this whole idea that some are heating and some are cooling just did not make sense to me. My body, however, had other ideas.
Earlier this spring, my psoriasis and hot flashes suddenly went crazy. It didn't make sense, but in a book about herbal teas for people, I ran across a story of an herbalist who gave herself a good case of rosacea with too many heating herbs. Could I be doing that? For the first time I turned seriously to EQUINE HERBAL AND ENERGETICS; specifically, to the chart titled Energetic Temperature of Herbs. It fits on one page and is clear, color-coded, and highly illuminating. And there was the answer.
As a daily part of my diet, I was including the excellent, multi-healing, but warming herbs ginger, garlic, astragalus, anise, turmeric. I used a lot of valerian to help me sleep. It was all catching up with me.
Since de-emphasizing the heating herbs and seeking out cooler alternatives--hops, elder, fennel, mint--and starting to take gotu kola, my psoriasis has cooled down and the hot flashes have diminished, even though it's now summer. And I have a far greater respect for herbal energetics, and for this new book. I have yet to use it on a horse's ailment, but should the occasion arise, I will take the thermal properties of any remedy seriously.
Bottom Line: this is a useful book to add to your library, no matter what species you are treating. Combined with one or two others, it will give you the tools you need to improve health, and could solve a few mysteries. Read More 
Be the first to comment