Holistic Additions to a Traditional First Aid Kit
(This list is not all-inclusive. Other first aid treatments such as cotton batting, Vetwrap, bandages, leg wraps, anti-inflammatories, and much more are of course also included!)
Below are a few suggestions for holistic additions to a traditional equine first aid kit. These are merely a sample of the many alternative options available to horse owners seeking a more holistic approach to equine care. Remember to consult your veterinarian, experienced hoofcare provider, or nutritionist before adding any new herbs or treatments to your regimen. MotorQueue Natural Hoofcare is not responsible for any adverse reactions or complications from treatment - always seek professional advice before dosing!
Chaste Tree Berry and Saw Palmetto. For supporting the metabolic horse (Chaste Tree for mares, Saw Palmetto for geldings and stallions). Chaste Tree Berry can also be used for helping the hormonal mare, along with Raspberry Leaf.
Licorice. Licorice has estrogenic activity and has been used to help increase fertility in mares.
Chamomile. A sedative for horses that are high strung due to nervousness or stress. Chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and vasodilatory properties and is effective at treating muscle soreness during and after exercise.
Comfrey. Comfrey contains allantoin, which stimulates cell production. It has been used for decades to heal bones, cartilage and connective tissue. Comfrey is also anti-inflammatory and is used as a treatment for arthritis. I also use this in poultices.
Devil’s Claw. The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Devil’s Claw have been reported to be equal to cortisone and phenylbutazone without the noted side effects such as gastric ulceration. Devil’s Claw is often used to aid in the healing of degenerative bone disease and developmental orthopedic disease. There is conflicting evidence on giving devil's claw to horses with gastric issues - some use it as treatment, some say it should not be used on an ulcery horse. While it does not cause gastric ulcers, caution should be used if a gastric issue is suspected, and should be treated accordingly first.
Nettle. Nettle is a mildly strong stimulant of the circulatory system and is therefore recommended for laminitis or arthritis. Nettle is a rich source of sodium and has a stimulatory effect on the circulatory system. Nettle is excellent for horses competing in very strenuous or power-demanding activities.
Marshmallow, Aloe Juice, Licorice, and Slippery Elm. Marshmallow has expectorant, relaxing and mucilaginous properties which make it valuable for use in herbal mixtures designed for horses with coughs and respiratory congestion, as well as for healing stomach ulcers. Aloe juice is second to none for helping with digestive issues, and I have used it successfully to heal stomach ulcers and soothe gastritis issues practically instantaneously. Slippery elm is another mucilaginous herb that I use in conjunction with marshmallow, licorice, and aloe juice for healing stomach ulcers.
Echinacea. Echinacea is fast becoming one of the most popular herbs used in equine diets and is one of the most effective immuno-stimulants for horses available. Echinacea provides antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, immuno-stimulant and wound healing properties. Echinacea has proven to be highly effective as a prophylactic against infection in show and race horses that are constantly exposed to viruses and bacterial agents.
Rosehips. An excellent source of copper; especially useful for horses struggling with hoof quality or thin soles.
Note: Homeopathic remedies should ONLY be used under the direction of an experienced homeopath!
Rhus toxicodendron. For arthritis with swelling and heat, prevention of scar tissue, some neurological conditions.
Ruta graveolens. For joint inflammation, sprains, tendon issues, and bone bruises.
Arnica. For general inflammation issues. Awesome for getting rid of lumps, bumps, and bruises!
Traumeel Ointment. A miracle in a tube! Absolutely paramount in any first aid kit, holistic or otherwise. I was skeptical until I was accidentally smashed in the leg with a crowbar. I could hardly walk, but the day after applying Traumeel ointment, my bruise was half gone and I felt great! Following this, I was hit in the head and the back of the neck with a flying set of hooves. I didn’t apply any ointment to my head as I didn’t want it in my hair, but I applied some to my neck – and the difference in the two wounds was astounding. A highly-recommended must have!
Rescue Remedy. A must have in any kit. It is actually a combination of five essences:
Cherry Plum, Clematis, Impatiens, Rock Rose, and Star of Bethlehem. In combination these remedies are an effective and expedient treatment for first-aid use, emergencies and associated stress. It was created to solve temporary states of inner stress. It can help the horse who doesn’t trailer well, is separated from the herd, feels stress in certain environments, as well as ease the trauma of a sudden injury, a colic episode, and the like.
Lavender Oil. Common therapeutic uses include burns, jnflammation, cuts, wounds, , nervous Tension, infections, bacterial conditions, arthritis, muscular pain and spasms, as well as for controlling internal parasites. Lavender essential oil's unique floral aroma and its relatively safe and gentle action make it one of the most important essential essential oils. Aromatherapists name lavender as an indispensable oil. It is second to none for burns, it is antiseptic and analgesic and it helps prevent scarring. Good addition to a balm or salve for sore, tired muscles, as it relieves inflammation and pain.
Equine Herbal Dewormer. A special blend of 12 herbs, including fennel, garlic, hyssop, hops, wormwood, thyme, pumpkin seeds, sage, blue vervain, stevia, beta glucan, olive leaf, pau d'arco, and red clover. Used for 5 days every month, during the full moon cycle. Use in conjunction with regular fecal exams and paste dewormer as needed - please inquire for more information!
MOP Detox. For emergencies or for twice-yearly general detoxing. Formulated to assist horses suffering from liver toxicity. In many instances liver malfunctions are due to toxins being present in the body, and the liver is often being overworked to rid the body of these toxins. In this day and age horses are introduced to an infinite number of toxic sources in the process of fulfilling basic needs; dewormers, antibiotics, poor quality grains, roughages and water are where the majority of these toxins are introduced into the body. By either force feeding or free choice feeding MOP Detox you may support the body in absorbing toxins. Main ingredient in MOP Detox is bentonite clay; this can also be purchased here and used in the same way. Additional herbs contained in MOP Detox: Garlic, Parsley, Elder Flowers, Primrose, Vinegar, Papaya, Thyme, Yarrow, Peppermint, Violet Leaves, Chickweed, Goldenseal, Pennyroyal, Buckthorn, Black Cohosh, Dandelion, Geranium, Ginger, Juniper (Berries), Licorice, Clover.