Top 10 Herbs for Horses
As you all can tell, we like to do things naturally around our ranch. So feeding our horses sugar treats is just not gonna happened!
We have 10 favorite herbs we love to mix into blends for their everyday needs as well as they make a wonderful treat for them as well. Purchase HERE
It’s exciting that these 10 we were able to grow ourselves, or grow naturally around the ranch.
You have to keep in mind horses in the wild can choose the foliage that their bodies need and domestic horses do not always have that opportunity. That is why we created a special “Thyme Out” pasture where they can roam the area and feed freely. In this pasture we have planted :
Calendula, This flower is so beautiful! The deep orange and yellow pedals form a wonderful contrast, which makes your garden stunning! Its nickname in the middle ages was Mary Gold or Marigold. Calendula is so gentle it soften given to children for upset stomach. It’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties make it particularly useful for treating heartburn or stomach issues in horses. For teens it is great to fight off acne breakouts. I will make a lotion to put on the horses when there are skin irritations or rain rot. It is also contains an anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal which is wonderful for wound healing
Helichrysum, This herb is amazing! It is often and more commonly used as an essential oil but it is quite expensive. This oil has literally stopped bleeding and prevented scaring on me and my horses for different scrapes and cutes. Like yarrow, it almost gave a clotting like way as it absorbed the blood and stopped it quick. Love this herb. It is known for its restorative properties and can assist in the healing of scars, acne, dermatitis stretch marks and abscesses. The herb is often put into a tincture form to be more user friendly. Wonderful herb and OIL if you can swing the cost, so worth having at your farm. Especially in your first aid kit!
Marshmallow-Althea officinalis-The marshmallow root is specific for digestive disorders, while the leaf is for respiratory or urinary problems. It is ideal for burns, minor wounds or eczema. If you add a powdered slippery elm bark will further enhance theses actions of drawing out properties of infections. I like to use this for when my horse has diarrhea. If your horse has any digestive disorders this herb is for you! This plant is very easy to grow and makes a beautiful look to your garden with its lilac color bell like flowers.
Meadowsweet– Filipendula ulmaria -is a mild yet effective anti-inflammatory herb. It has been used for several centuries to treat body aches and pains, including arthritis and joint pain. In horses it helps relieve the pains that come with age especially in the winter months.. It has also been used as a digestive remedy for acid indigestion or peptic ulcers. It protects the inner lining of the stomach while providing the anti-inflammatory benefits of silicates. As a tea use about a ¼ cup to start and can give up to 1/3.
Valerian.-Valerian officinalis Wonderful herb to have in our horse garden. It puts out beautiful blooms in pretty pinks or white flowers and attracts butterflies too. It calms horses and controls spasms, making it very good in colic situations.
Naturally growing in the pasture:
Yarrow is a perennial. Yarrow can be an efficient diuretic as it helps promote urine production and flow assisting in the removal of excess fluids and toxins and helping prevent urinary tract problems caused by standing around in stall during the winter months. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties as well as astringent tannins. The silica also found in this plant helps repair damaged or worn out tissues in the body. Made into a tea, yarrow stimulates appetite and improves digestion. Tea recipes below.
Stinging Nettles, Urtica dioca One of my favorite herbs and one that grows naturally around our area. This herb is rich in iron, which can often be a mineral lacking in an equine diet. Nettles also contain histamine, serotonin, potassium, silica, vitamins A and C, and a whole bunch of other minerals. It’s one of the most widely used plants that know of and it strengthens and supports the whole body. Nettles support the immune, respiratory, urinary and reproductive systems, and can help the body fight allergic responses. Also, nettles will strengthen hoof and coat healthy. You can add about a ½ cup to your horses daily feed.
Plantain, You may have this growing in your back yard. We do, by the wagon full! This herb has been known to heal headaches, and rubbed in you hands and put on bee stings, bug bites, scrapes, or rashes will help ease the pain and pull out the toxins. It is one amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic. I keep a gallon Mason jar FULL of dried Plantain as it is most of my horse’s blends and is a great herb to give them often.
Red and White clover.-Trifolium- This herb has the effect that can be used to calm anxiety and reduce irritability . Horses especially love the red clover tops a ffew every day can make a workd of difference. Our horses love this stuff and they find it all over our ranch. I try and harvest as much of it as I can.
We also have our share of Dandelion, which is awesome to harvest and make treats as here in Minnesota they don’t last long.
Each of the herbs has different medicinal properties and I purposely planted a few of them because of the needs our horses can benefit from. We dry them, and put them in jars to keep all year round to feed our horses, use in blends, and of course use ourselves in teas, cooking, tinctures, and skin salves. This is the BEST part of herb growing and harvesting, having them all year round!
We also will purchase these herbs as we they are harder for us to come by but are needed to make some of the blends the horses need for good health. Our one horse especially needs some additional herbs as he suffers allergies. Let me tell you, our first year doing all natural herbs, he had NO coughing His eyes still will get gunk in them but once I give him the needed herbs in a day or two he is all cleared up. SO amazing! I just LOVE it!
10 Purchased Herbs needed for blends:
Comfrey –Symphytum officinale (don’t use more than 14 days) This is a herb I only use if my horse is dealing with diarrhea, cough, bronchitis. But it has been a wonderful treatment for inflammation; arthritis wounds and bruises as well. This is an herb you need to be cautious of how much you give. I do use it in a blend so little is used.
Chamomile Flowers-matricaria chamomilla-theses little flowers are filled with medicinal purpose! High in phosphorus and calcium, they strengthen and regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. Chamomile is one of the gentlest sedatives, and it can be used in all cases of anxiety, sleep issues, and hyperactivity. In addition it can treat allergic reactions both externally and internally. I have the essential oil as well. Again having the oil helps to treat something more quickly than the herb.
Lemon Balm making this into a tea you will only want to use 1/8 cup. I like to use it in blends more than individually. This herb helps with those tummy issues.
Peppermint (we had too much rain this year and our harvest didn’t make it) This is a herb that is often chosen first to treat colds and flu. It attacks and alleviates multiple symptoms at the same time. Wonderful for headaches for you and for horses it helps sooth muscles and congestion. This is one herb that I have as an oil to easily apply onto my horses and they love the smell. Essential Oil works faster into the body than dry herbs, one reason I keep this oil on hand. I use this herb often in tea blends as well.
Raspberry Leaf – (they adore this stuff plus the bunnies like it too) Rubus idaeus- The leaves of the common raspberry plant have been used for centuries as strong female tonic. They can help strengthen and tone the uterus to aid in fertility, pregnancy, and foaling. In additions to is strong uterine benefits, raspberry leaf is is a good astringent herb, and can be used effectively in anything “loose” like wet cough, bleeding gums, or diarrhea. Give about a ½ cup for any thing containing these conditions.
Fenugreek Seeds-Triganella foenum-graecum- My horses love this stuff! I add it to most blends just because the flavor will make them it up the blend. These little seeds help to strengthen the respiratory system, mucus membranes, and the sinus incase of upper respiratory infections. I will add about 2 tablespoons to my horses feed when any of the above issues arise and of course in my cough blend as well. This makes for a wonderful tea to pour over their feed. Those cold fall and winter mornings brings a little extra NAY!
Rose Hip: Rose Hips are known to be a rich source of bioflavonoid, pectin, vitamin E, selenium, manganese, and B vitamins. It also contains trace amounts of mf magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon. Recently Roe Hips have become a popular natural treatment for arthritis. It is a wonderful ingredient in blends to help with colds and flu like symptoms for humans so they help the immune system in horses as well. This is a MUST have herb to keep on hand!
Echinacea- This herb is one you need to keep on hand! It is full of medicinal purposes. Here is a link for you to read ALL the wonderful benefits!
Corn silk –Zie mays- the stringy white by product off corn is usually thrown away is a diuretic. It has long been used to treat chronic inflammation of the urinary tract and kidneys. Many use it as a tea to help bladder and kidney infections.
There are so many others, but these are foundational for most of my blend recipes. I give them individually too as needed and for our herb basket that our ministry uses to help folks who come to our ranch understand natural living.
Any of these herbs can be made into a tea. Blend a couple or make individually. Yarrow and Rose hips we make often individually and put into their feed. Especially on cold winter mornings.
Tea Time: Purchase Here
Use ½ Cup of dried yarrow flowers, stems are fine too placed in a tea strainer. Using a quart mason jar, POUR boiling water OVER herbs to the bottom of the jars rim. Let steep for an hour. Pour over horses feed and mix.
Relaxing Mint Blend:
3 Cups Nettle
1 Cup Marshmallow
1 Cup Plantain
1 Cup Parsley
½ Cup Calendula
½ Cup Peppermint
½ Cup Goldenseal
Mix and place in a sealed bag and keep in a cool dark place. I don’t use glass jars around the ranch but found these bags work great!
Boosting Immune System:
This is a ranch favorite and MUST for our conditions in Minnesota!
2 Cups Nettle
2 Cups Meadowsweet
2 Cups Echinacea
1 Cup Goldenseal
1 Cup Marshmallow
½ Cup Comfrey (don’t use more than 10-14 days in a row)
½ Cup Coltsfoot
½ Cup Rose Hips
½ Cup Hibiscus Flower
Mix and place in a sealed bag and leave in cool, dark area.
BOO BOO Blend:
2 Cups Plantain
2 Cups of Comfrey
2 Cups Marshmallow
½ Cup Chamomile Flowers
½ Cup Marjoram (essential oil is a wonderful oil to have on hand)
½ Cup Peppermint (essential oil, must have around the ranch)
Mix the blend and place in bag. I also will make this into a tea and place wet herbs on wound wrapping it in a cloth. You can make a salve with this as well.
2 Cups Lemon Balm
2 Cups Plantain
1 cup Parsley
1 cup Peppermint
½ cup Devils Claw (pain reliever and anti-inflammatory)
Mix blend and keep in sealed bag.
Cough Blend: ( We give this blend once a month for one week in their feed during allergy season to prevent coughs. Worked so far)
4 Oz Dog Grass root
4 Oz Dandelion Leaf
4 Oz Dandelion Leaf
4 Oz Elderberries
8 Oz Red Clover Flower
8 Oz red Clover Leaf
2 Oz Licorice root
2 Oz Ginger Root
Mix blend. Give 1-2 Oz day in feed. You can add warm water to it as well.Elecampane ½-1 tsp 4 times a day for a wet or dry cough
Remember when you purchase from the links you help us do what we do here on our ranch. We put ALL proceeds towards our ministry. Thank you and enjoy!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,