A MORE NAT­U­RAL AP­PROACH

Your Horse (UK) - - Horse Care -

Ac­cord­ing to Hi­lary Page Self from Hil­ton Herbs, there is both re­search and anec­do­tal ev­i­dence to show that herbs can help min­imise the symp­toms of sweet itch. Use­ful herbs to con­sider in­clude the fol­low­ing, but con­sult your vet be­fore mak­ing any sudden di­etary changes. Steamed lin­seed has been known to al­ter the fatty acid pro­file of the horse’s hair and re­duce ir­ri­ta­tion. Lin­seed is a rich source of the es­sen­tial fatty acid al­pha linolenic acid (ALA), and re­search sug­gests that foods rich in ALA could re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and im­prove the clin­i­cal ap­pear­ance of sweet itch. Brewer’s yeast con­tains a range of B vi­ta­mins and amino acids that are said to help re­duce the horse’s al­ler­gic re­sponse to the Culi­coides midge. It also makes the blood un­palat­able to midges and is vi­tal for hair growth and the pro­duc­tion of cell mem­branes. Buck­wheat con­tains high lev­els of flavonoids and an­tiox­i­dants, such as quercetin, which acts like an an­ti­his­tamine and an anti-in­flam­ma­tory. Sil­ica is a ma­jor com­po­nent of hair so the rich sil­ica con­tent of di­atoma­ceous earth is what helps stim­u­late hair growth, hair strength and hair qual­ity. “How­ever, al­ways bear in mind that just be­cause a sub­stance is deemed ‘nat­u­ral’, it doesn’t mean it can be used ex­ces­sively,” warns Hi­lary. “Re­spect the in­struc­tions for use in the same way you would with con­ven­tional med­i­ca­tion. En­sure that all herbal sup­ple­ments and health­care prod­ucts are sourced from sup­pli­ers who can guar­an­tee top-qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and ex­pert for­mu­la­tions. “These sup­pli­ers should be able to pro­vide de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on prod­uct use and there’s a le­gal obli­ga­tion on man­u­fac­tur­ers to clearly state in­gre­di­ents on the pack­ag­ing.”

Turn­ing your horse out with a suit­able rug and noth­ing to rub on may help

Ap­ply­ing a suit­able prod­uct can h elp s ores t o h eal a nd e ase your h orse’s d esire t o r ub

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