This page features herbs for horses beginning with the letters C-D.
Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold, is traditionally used externally for skin problems such as; inflammation, bleeding, wounds, bruising, burns, fungal problems, muscle strains, insect stings and bites. It can be used as a lotion, cream, ointment, poultice or compress.
Calendula has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Internally, Calendula is often used to help with ulcers, digestive problems, as a blood tonic, for stressed horses and for inflammation.
Carrots originated in Asia and were purple in colour, but over the years, they were modified until they became the carrot we recognise today.
Carrots are a very nutritious vegetable, providing essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of fiber and contain vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, biotin, beta carotene, potassium and thiamine. The beta carotene can be turned into Vitamin A in the system, which is used in the prevention of cancer.
People have claimed all sorts of health benefits from carrots. They have been used for their diuretic properties, to help with diarrhoea, as a liver tonic, for kidney stones, as an immune system tonic, to stimulate milk production and flow, to lower high blood pressure and to help maintain the alkaline balance in the body and as a general health tonic. Scientists have discovered the Falcarinol found in carrots has an effect on the development of cancer. There are also other substances in carrots that are useful for the prevention of cancer.
Grated carrot and pumpkin seeds have been used to help dispel worms.
As they are high in natural sugars they are not indicated for diabetes. Drinking too much carrot juice can turn the skin yellow, which isn’t supposed to be harmful. Something I have done myself. They can used to enrich the colour of your horse’s coat, along with pumpkin, making it a richer, more golden colour. Carrots are usually fed raw, but many of their nutrients are more easily unlocked when they are cooked.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine carrots are known as a warming food and are used to support the stomach and the spleen as well as for night blindness and for long term coughs. They are used to strengthen the kidney and expel Chinese version of wind and cold from the body.
Chamomile was originally called ‘Ground Apple’ by the ancient Greeks because it smells quite similar to apples. There are many different varieties of chamomile. The Roman (C. nobile) and German chamomile (C. recutita) are the two species used medicinally and have virtually the same properties and applications.
Chamomile is traditionally used for its sedative properties. (I know some riders who share a cup of chamomile tea with their horses.) Chamomile is also used as an external healing agent for inflamed skin conditions such as sweet itch or dermatitis. It has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic action and is useful for arthritis and other aches and pains.
Chamomile can be made into a compress for a mare with mastitis. The ability of chamomile to settle gut spasm is well documented and useful for the treatment of horses where digestive disturbance is evident such as flatulence or colic. It is often used with other soothing herbs to help support digestive problems.
Chamomile can be bought as an essential oil, which can be diluted and used externally for skin complaints, but an infusing of fresh or dried Chamomile is suitable as well. Chamomile is also available as a homoeopathic remedy.
Always introduce herbs gradually and watch for any allergic reactions.
Chaste Tree, also known as Monk’s Pepper or Vitex has often been used to help with hormonal issues in mares, stallions and geldings. I mares it can be combined with other calming herbs to soothe the ‘moody mare’. For stallions and geldings it has been used to help calm them as well.
It has also been used to support the digestive system, to increase lactation, for inflammation and swelling as well as for parasites. It is an herb that is commonly used for horses with Cushings disease
- Clivers (Galium aparine) is known for its diuretic action and as a blood cleanser or purifyer.
Clivers (Cleavers) or Goosegrass is known as a ‘blood purifier’. As it is a diuretic it is traditionally used for lymphatic, urinary, kidney and skin problems as well as for ulcers and tumours. It is a mild laxative and lowers blood pressure. It is also high in silica, a mineral which is beneficial for the coat, and needed to strengthen hooves and bones.
Clivers can be used internally or externally for skin problems such as greasy heel, psoriasis, hoof abscesses, windgalls or any filling in the legs.
As with many herbs, Clivers is considered to be a weed and if you are considering growing this useful herb it may be restricted by quarantine in many parts of Australia.
- Cowslip is a member of the Primrose family. The leaves have traditionally been made into ointments to help with wounds. The flowers have been widely used medicinally for their sedative (nervine) actions. They have also been used to help with fevers, for lung problems, arthritis and heart problems.
Cowslip is a natural diuretic and is good for the immune system. It is high in antioxidants and also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, anesthetic actions.
Cowslip is high in salicylants and is not good for any person (or animal) that is allergic to aspirins. It’s also not recommended during pregnancy, but has been use to stimulates lactation after a foal has been born. The occasional person can get contact dermatitis from touching this herb.
Cowslip has been made into a flower essence, which is used for comforting and to help when one is feeling vulnerable.