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Helpful Herbs
A Brief Overview
Herbs have a long history and have played an important role in the lives of people and animals for thousands of years. Whether we are conscious of it or not, herbs have always been part of our daily lives -- in cooking, for medicinal use, as fragrances and ingredients in cosmetics, etc. Herbs have also aided animals and humans for centuries by helping to enhance our overall health and well-being, and many herbs that were used by our ancient ancestors all over the world are still in use in the modern world.

Realizing that drugs can have unwelcome side effects and may sometimes mask symptoms, many people are starting to focus on herbs as a gentle alternative. In fact, the use of synthetic drugs such as headache or stomachache medicine is relatively new in history -- when you consider the thousands of years of usage of herbs within various folk remedies.

Many herbalists rely on the synergistic effects of herbs in their complete and natural form, rather than trying to extract and concentrate any one specific property. Among other things, this is viewed as risking fewer side effects than may be experienced using synthesized drugs.

Because herbs work on the body more mildly, humans and pets should experience less discomfort. Even animals who are sensitive to a synthesized drug may be able to tolerate the original herbal version. Furthermore, herbs can aid animals with chronic illnesses who must take medicine over a prolonged period. Even healthy animals can benefit from the ability of herbs to enhance the body's immunity. After all, the body comes with its own healing powers, and herbs can help support and strengthen the natural defense system.

However, though herbs are wonderful and work well for enhancing pets' health, you must be careful to select the proper herb for your cat or dog. For example, cats have a higher sensitivity to some herbs, which may even show toxic effects when given in large amounts or in concentrated forms such as essential oils. Please consult your holistic veterinarian first before using specific herbs for your pets (cats in particular).

Herbs are also felt to support and supplement conventional medicines, and so your holistic veterinarian may use herbal remedies along with conventional therapy or nutritional treatment.

Here are some herbs that HealthyPetNet (the company that provides holistic pet food and pet products) uses in their ingredients. Only a few of many beneficial effects for each herb are described. HealthyPetNet uses the extracts of herbs that are safe for animals in each product.

Alfalfa - This grass is rich in minerals and antioxidants, used by herbalists for generations for bone support. (Agility)

Aloe Aloe is used as an aid to soothe inflammation and itching due to allergies and insect bites. This herb is also good for healing burns and sores due to its soothing properties. (Soothing Mist)

Boswellia - Herbalists use boswellia to support many parts of the body including bone, lung and liver. Many holistic doctors agree that a healthy liver is paramount in supporting the health of any portion of the body (including the joints). Boswellia's aid in supporting joints is probably through its enhancement of blood flow and its remarkable ability to soothe. (Agility)

Chamomile - Chamomile helps with skin irritations such as wounds, infections, and burns. Since this herb is calm and mild, it can also help an animal with anxiety and nervousness. Products using chamomile (such as shampoos and lotions) are often very popular. (Soothing Mist)

Lavender - This is a very versatile herb, and you will find it widely used. Externally, lavender helps in soothing skin irritations such as rashes and insect bites. (Soothing Mist)

Marigold This herb is a commonly known garden plant with vivid orange or yellow-colored flowers. Marigold has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin irritations because of its soothing effects. (Soothing Mist)

Tea Tree Oil - Aborigines in Australia have used tea tree oil for thousands of years. This herb is great for soothing skin irritations such as cuts, burns, insect bites, rashes and so on. External use of Tea Tree Oil supports the body in many wonderful ways. (NOTE: Tea tree oil in a concentrated form CAN BE TOXIC to cats and small dogs. Please talk with your veterinarian first.)

Yucca - Yucca is used for promoting joint health. Yucca works as an anti-oxidant. The anti-oxidant in this herb combats free radicals that can damage joints. (Agility)

Special Note: Although every effort has been made to present healthy products and useful information to support your pets' health, the products and information contained within this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The contents of this site are not meant as a substitute for consultation with a trained veterinarian. If you are concerned about the health of your pets, you should ask your veterinarian for proper guidance suited to the specific condition of your pets. The owners of this website accept no liability for any consequences resulting from the use of products and/or information provided through this site. Please use your discretion when attending to your pets' health.
Special thanks to Fintan Darragh, Rich Bensen, Maggie, Jiji, and Mary Crissman for providing our pet pictures!
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