How to Use Herbs

"I usually recommend herbs as a sprinkle on the dog's food... I prefer the sprinkles because:

  • "Sprinkles are ground fressh or dried bulk herbs. This gives the patient the benefit of all the herb's constituents, rather than just a few of the bioactive ingredients that result from tincturing.
  • "Whole herbs typically contain low levels of active ingredients, making the sprinkle an extremely safe way to dose the herb.
  • "There is some evidence that by placing the herbal ingredients on the tongue (or lymphatic tissue surrounding the tonsillar crypts) we stimulate an important "oral activity factor" that triggers the entire immune system. Capsules and pills bypass this important activating factor.
  • "Sprinkles allow the dog to select and choose the herb that may be just what he needs -- an innate ability that most, if not all, animals have...

"I tell clients to figure on at least a month to evaluate any possible benefits..." (Kidd, Randy. "Part II: Herbal Medicine." Dog World, Feb. 2004: 32-39).

"Nettle (Urtica spp.) is one of my favorites for treating any type of allergy.. The dried herb (easily accessed at the health food store) can be sprinkled onto your animal's food.. One-half teaspoon of the dried herb for each cup of food...

"Nettle is also thought to reduce the severity of an allergic response. If your animal won't eat dried nettle, you can steep it in hot water or salt-free meat broth, which is then added to your companion's food" (Tilford, Greg. "Herbs for Flea Relief." Whole Dog Journal, June 2003, 21-23).

Colby Glass, MLIS