Nature's Advil- Meadowsweet September 23 2019, 0 Comments
Walk into a field of Meadowsweet and inhale the sweet scent of this fragrant herb. Used for centuries to heal various ailments from rheumatism to digestive upset, this herb is sweet in many ways beyond its smell. This lovely, tall herb is a must-have in your horse’s herb chest- a great long-term alternative to NSAIDS and ulcer treatments, you’ll never want to be without it.
Plant parts and uses
Most medicinal uses of Meadowsweet use the plant’s flowers, flower buds, and leaves in a tincture or tea. Medicinal attributes of Meadowsweet include salicylic acid and tannins. Salicylic acid is the founding compound of aspirin, and it was actually an extract of the Meadowsweet herb that inspired the creation of aspirin. Tannins help reduce acids in the stomach and inflammation, making Meadowsweet an ideal support herb for digestive and joint pain.
Most common uses for horses
Meadowsweet is a popular herb for ulcer and joint pain mixtures, and is often combined with Devil’s Claw, Willow Bark, and Hawthorne as an anti-inflammatory. Meadowsweet makes a great alternative to equine pain killers like phenylbutazone and Equioxx; it has anti-inflammatory properties than can help reduce pain but don’t come along with long-term impacts to gut health. Also, Meadowsweet can help balance gut pH and reduce gastric mucosa inflammation and therefore aid in the healing of ulcers. Given that an estimated 50% of recreational horses have ulcers, this herb is an important one to keep on-hand. You can feed to your horse as a dried herb sprinkled on top of feed – follow instructions depending on whether you used cut or powdered herb- or make a tea, steeping a ¼ cup of cut herbs in warm water, which you can pour over feed.
Meadowsweet is native to the United Kingdom but grows well in North America in semi-shady, damp areas. Once established, Meadowsweet is a relatively hardy plant, as long as it is planted in rich, damp soil that is well-composted. You can harvest the flowers in the spring and summer, depending on your local weather patterns.
This is a re-print from the Herb Blurb Column I am writing in Equine Wellness Magazine, one of the largest publications in North America focused on natural and alternative therapies for horses. https://equinewellnessmagazine.com/