I think the majority of us know, at least those of you who would find yourselves on our website, that herbal medicine is a powerful tool to help ensure health and wellness for ourselves and our families. If possible, we want to opt for natural solutions before depending on synthetic pharmaceuticals. Of course these have their place, however, we don’t want to over depend on these for several reasons which can be elaborated on in a future post. However, most of us who have several furry friends don’t realize that the same goes for them! Where possible, it’s best to have your herbal remedies ready to go incase of any issues that come up with your animals. If you can be prepared, you can often tackle the issue immediately, and be able to have it remediate itself before it becoming a larger issue that would require medical attention.
So! Let’s start off with just a few herbal remedies that you can start preparing so that they are ready and on hand for when the time comes that they are needed! Several of the herbs being used you can probably already find growing around you, or already have growing in your garden.
Flea Bath Soap
First up is for the farm dog! The main chemical you end up applying to them on a regular basis is flea and insect repellants. An herbal alternative to this is making a bath soap for them that you give to them once every 6-8 weeks. Lathering soap is something that many people don’t realize will kill fleas on it’s own, but adding a few other essential oils can make sure it really gets the job done. Using this too much can dry out your dogs skin, so keep to the recommended 6-8 weeks to ensure those fleas stay away. The recipe for this soap is
- 3 cups of castille soap
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of oregano essential oil
- 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
All you need to do is mix everything together well and store in a glass bottle. When you use it on your dog make sure you scrub well and make a nice lather, you want to make sure it makes direct contact with the skin to be effective. Rinse thoroughly and repeat as suggested. This should last you about 6 months.
Preventative Herbs for your Chickens
As an easy preventative measure for your chickens, you can incorporate herbs into their feed. If you need to treat something then you can also infuse herbs into their waterer. This will easily ensure that the whole flock is being treated 🙂
To start off with, here are some herbs you may wish to incorporate into your chickens feed a couple times a week:
- Thyme: antibacterial, and supports respiratory health
- Astragalus: immune-boosting
- Oregano: Antibacterial and high antioxidants. Fights infections.
- Garlic: Antibacterial, immune-booster
- Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidants that support skin and feather health
- Sage: Supports digestion, supports reproductive system
- Basil: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, supports digestion
- Calendula: Enhances egg yolk, high in vitmains
Then when it comes to treating your chickens through water infusions, there are several options depending on what you want to treat. To start off with for this post, we are looking at an infusion to boost their immunity. All you need to do is add these herbs to their waterer and keep covered. Then refresh the water every 12 hours, as the herbs will lose their potency. Quantities may vary depending on how many chickens you are treating, and the size of the waterer. However, this is general idea of the ratio and amounts you may wish to start with.
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2tbsp thyme dried
- 2tbsp oregano dried
This is a very simple infusion. You can feel free to add others herbs into as mentioned some of the benefits for the feed, however, this is a great starting place to generally give a little boost to your flock.
Herbal Healing Salves
One that can be used on all your furry friends, big or small, 4 legs or 2, is this wound healing salve. It is great to be used on any type of wound, irritated skin, and any other external area that generally needs cleansing and/or soothing. This salve is both antibacterial and antiseptic, so will ensure that the wound wont get infected. Use this salve directly on the area being affected. The ingredients for this are:
- 2tbsp chamomille-infused oil
- 2tbsp oregano-infused oil
- 2tbsp calendula-infused oil
- 1tbsp beeswax
- 1tbsp honey (ideally manuka honey for increased cleaning properties)
Create a double boiler and melt together the oils and beeswax. Once they are combined add it into your jar, allow to cool, and incorporate your manuka honey. You can keep it in this jar, or pour it into smaller salve tins for easier use. Keep it tightly sealed, and this stays good for about 6-12 months.
Antibacterial and Antiviral Tincture
Finally, we are making a tincture that is specifically for your livestock in order to help prevent and treat illness. This is quite a strong tincture, however, very effective against bacterial and viral concerns. The tincture recipe is as follows:
- 2tbsp echinacea root or leaves
- 1tbsp oregon grape root (don’t use this if you are making a preventative tincture. this is only for treating)
- 1tbsp thyme
- 1tbsp oregano
- 2 smashed garlic cloves
- 1 1/4 cup of glycerin
Combine all the ingredients and cover with the glycerin. Store it in a dark and cool place for around 1 to 1.5 months, and shake it up once per day. After this time strain the tincture into a glass dropper bottle, and store in a cabinet. administer by mouth, or into the waterer if treating an entire herd. Dosing will vary depending on size and quantity of animals.
These are just a few bits to get you started and inspired to use herbal remedies for your farm animals! As you can tell, generally incorporating things such as garlic, thyme and oregano can help prevent and treat illness in your animals. So at the least, keep these things growing and on hand!