The use of natural products has noticeably increased in recent years, giving special prominence to medicinal plants, thanks to their beneficial properties for human and animal health.
The use of plants to improve the quality of
life of people, alleviate the symptoms of different pathologies, and
prevent diseases has been known for thousands of years.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the term
phytotherapy began to be used to define the use of medicinal plants as a healing
method and, therefore, to distinguish it from conventional treatments that use
The importance of natural products is increasingly
growing as a measure of sustainability and environmental care. The use of efficient,
well-known medicinal plants to improve the health condition of people cannot be
separated from our pets, for which we seek the best options, as they are also
members of the family.
If the use of phytotherapy is becoming more and more
generalized, and some people even stand up for it to be part of the National
Health System, it is normal that the use of plants would also be appliable
to the care of our pets.
The benefit that our animals get from the use of these
treatments is the same benefit we get: antibiotic resistance is avoided, they
are a good option when normal treatments are no longer efficient, and they
include less toxic substances for our organism. This does not mean that the substances
used are harmless to animals. The active ingredients of plants may compete with
other allopathic treatments and have side effects in our pets, hence the
importance of using products which have been specially designed for them with
specific dosages for animals and their size and always under professional
supervision to select the best treatment for the animal.
What plants can help our pets and
Similarly to how we can use phytotherapy to treat a
wide range of pathologies in humans, there are numerous plants that can help us
care for our pets and improve their quality of life.
We can use plants such as Turmeric to relieve
joint discomfort in elderly or lame animals with mobility disorders
and continuous pain. The anti-inflammatory action of this plant improves the
quality of life of these animals, and together with Devil’s Claw and
Boswellia it reduces joint pain and the destruction of joint cartilage.
Other plants work on the digestive system, such as Purple
Loosestrife, which enhances the proper functioning of the intestinal membrane
and is a treatment for diarrheal processes even when we do not have a defined
diagnosis. Other common digestive processes in the veterinary clinic are vomiting,
nausea and abdominal pain, when the use of plants like Liquorice and Chamomile has
been known for hundreds of years.
Plants such as Thyme, Propolis, Anise, Eucalyptus, and
Gumplant have also been used to treat respiratory pathologies. These plants are
able to alleviate the most frequent symptoms, such as cough and nasal
Although the above-mentioned plants are known by a
large part of the general population, there are other more specific ones, and more
recent studies have proven that innovation and research in this field
have not fallen behind and make us see that phytotherapy is
increasingly implemented in veterinary medicine.
Examples of this development may include Maqui,
which is able to increase the quality and quantity of tears to treat eye
pathologies that affect the cornea and conjunctiva. And Artemisa
annua to increase the immune cellular response and help animals
face inner parasites such as Leishmaniasis.
In short, the use of medicinal
plants in our animals is an important therapeutic tool when administered in the
proper dosages and under veterinary supervision.