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Natural Canine Health Symposium


Top 5 Cleansing Herbs

Clumber SpanielToxins can build up in our dogs over time. Spring and summer are the perfect time to consider cleansing your dog’s body from the inside out. Here are five useful cleansing herbs that have been used for centuries.

BURDOCK
Burdock is known for its ability to cleanse the skin and for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects. The root contains cleansing constituents which include a bitter, crystalline glucoside lappin, the the flavonol quercetin, fixed and volatile oils and tannic acid.

What does it treat?
Skin conditions, dandruff and acne all respond well to burdock.

How does it work?
The first method of action is on the excretory system. By stimulating the release of toxins from the body, it cleanses the blood of impurities and facilitates toxin elimination through the skin. The second method of action is directly on the skin. It acts specifically on the body’s largest organ to speed the healing of the skin.

How do I use it?
Burdock comes in many forms including capsules, dried herbs, liquid extracts, teas and tinctures. It is mainly taken internally, although if the skin is unbroken, a topical treatment may be applied by soaking a cloth in the tincture or tea.

Precautions
Burdock may interact with medications for diabetes. Burdock should not be given to pregnant or nursing dogs.

NETTLE
Stinging nettles are hard to miss, especially if you’ve been stung by one. The leaves and stems contain active ingredients including formic acid and histamines.

What does it treat?
This herb has been used to treat arthritis and allergies.

How does it work?
Nettle has varying methods of action. The histamine in the plant works to decrease inflammation which can help arthritis and allergies.

How do I use it?
Nettle is widely available as tinctures, capsules, extracts and dried herbs.

Precautions
Nettle should not be given to pregnant dogs. It may also interact with NSAIDs.

PSYLLIUM
Psyllium is taken in the form of husks derived from the seed of this shrublike herb. Each plant may contain up to 15,000 gel-coated seeds, each encased in the husk where its cleansing ability is contained.

What does it treat?
The psyllium husk is taken internally and acts directly in the large intestine to absorb toxins. It can also relieve constipation and diarrhea.

How does it work?
When psyllium contacts water, it swells and sticks together to help move waste products through the intestines.

How do I use it?
Mix 1/4 to 1 tsp. psyllium seeds with a cup of water and mix with your dog’s food. Start with smaller doses and work your way up.

Precautions
Psyllium interacts with many drugs and may be contraindicated for dogs with kidney disease.

DANDELION
Dandelion is widely available in most areas.

What does it treat?
Studies have shown that the root may improve liver, gallbladder and intestinal health.

How does it work?
This natural diuretic helps the kidneys excrete water and salt. Dandelion also contains potassium.

How do I use it?
Dandelion root can be used as a dried herb or tincture.

Precautions
Because dandelion is a diuretic, it may interfere with some drugs.

MILK THISTLE
Milk thistle seed contains the flavonoid silymarin.

What does it treat?
Slymarin is helpful for the repair of damaged liver cells and may offer protection for new liver cells.

How does it work?
This popular herb is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Silymarin helps to prevent liver cell damage by toxins and it also encourages liver cells to create more bile. This increase in bile aids in digestion and nutrient absorption.

How do I use it?
Milk thistle can be used as a dried herb or tincture.

Precautions
This herb may interact with some drugs and hormone-related cancers. It should not be taken by pregnant or nursing dogs.

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