Last Updated on April 9, 2022 by Allison Price
It is important to boost your horse’s immunity system during stressful situations such as travel, training, illness, or injury. It is as easy as adding an herb to their diet to boost their immunity. Echinacea is the best herb to support your horse’s immune system.
Echinacea, which is second only to garlic for immune-support, is one of the most sought after herbs. Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower or White Coneflower, is a perennial that grows in backyard gardens every summer. Echinacea Angustifolia is the most popular species, while Echinacea Purpurea is the most common.
Native Americans have used Echinacea for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. However, this plant has only been widely used outside the USA in the last 100 years. The root is the most commonly used. However, the stems, leaves and flowers are also useful and can be beneficial.
Echinacea is used in Medicine
Echinacea has been used traditionally to treat colds, infections, and coughs. Even Native Americans have documented the use of the herb in horses. Most horses will happily graze the herb because it is a range plant.
Echinacea can be used as an immuno-stimulant. It also has antimicrobial properties. It aids in the prevention of infection, disease, and fever. Most respiratory infections are caused by viruses and are transmitted via the air.
Studies have shown that echinacea is effective in preventing and fighting common illnesses such as upper respiratory infections and the flu. It has been proven to reduce the severity and duration of these conditions if it is given early.
Echinacea for Horses
The Equine Research Centre in Guelph (Canada) conducted research into the effects of echinacea on horses. This study monitored both white and red blood cells. A significant increase in white blood cell levels was observed, which indicates an improvement in horse’s ability fight infection and disease.
Shipping stress is a problem that we often see in performance horses. Horses that are transported or hauled can suffer from a weak immune system, which makes them more susceptible to infection. Echinacea can be combined with other herbs like cat’s claw and osha to boost your horse’s immune support.
Echinacea can be used topically in veterinary medicine to treat skin conditions and rashes. Echinacea can also be used as a flower essence and homeopathic ingredient. Although echinacea has a high safety margin, the German Commission E monographs warn that echinacea preparations should not be used internally by people with autoimmune diseases such as cancer. The animal health community has also taken this precaution.
Spring and fall are great times to provide extra immune support for horses, just as humans struggle at certain times of year. These times are when viruses and bacteria spread quickly. Echinacea is a safe and effective tool that you can use to help your horses when they travel, train hard, or come in contact with other horses.