Alteratives have blood purifying qualities. These enhance liver, kidney, spleen and bowel function by accelerating tissue restoration. Alterative herbs also encourage the flow of bile, which helps digestion and combats constipation, and they comprise of nutrients essential for sustaining good health. They are also beneficial in treating muscular cramps and spasms. Examples include Burdock, Garlic, Nettles and Cleavers.
These help to eliminate worms from the digestive tract . Some such as Garlic can be safely used as a deterrent to ward off infection by parasites. Worms damage the health and kill more dogs than all other canine diseases put together. If these parasites are not treated, they can be transmitted to children and adults. Hence, a regular dewormer treatment program is crucial to avert chronic and costly health problems.
Herbal remedies in this class help to get rid of surplus mucus and catarrh. They are especially useful in dealing with rhinitis, sinusitis and coughs. Herbs include include Sage, Thyme, Golden Rod and Garlic.
Herbs such as Peppermint, Agrimony, Cranesbill and Meadowsweet can help settle diarrhea. Some herbal remedies help soothe the gut such as Peppermint, whilst herbs such as Agrimony are used to produce a binding action.
Remedies in this category help reduce inflammation and pain and have a wide number of applications ranging from helping with arthritis, soothing sore skin and healing the lining of the bowel. Examples include Chamomile, Meadowsweet and Marigold, Feverfew and Yucca,
This group of herbs help prevent and help with the removal of stones and gravel in the urinary system. Some examples include Buchu, Bearberry, Parsley Piert and Stone Root.
Herbs in this group help fight infection, either by helping to destroy invasive organisms or by boosting the immune system. Examples include Garlic, Echinacea, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme.
Herbs which alleviate spasms are called anti-spasmodics and are used to help relieve pain and the discomfort connected with colic and indigestion. Skullcap and Valerian are good examples.
Tannins are the main elements of most of the herbs in this class and work to firm up tissue. They can also help by reducing discharges and secretions and will help limit bleeding. Examples include Agrimony, Slippery Elm Bark and Bearberry, Raspberry and Yarrow.
Bitters, as you would think, have a bitter taste and stimulate the appetite and aid digestion. Barberry and Gentian are some examples.
These are heart or cardiac tonics that aid the heart and circulation. Some of the herbs in this group such as Foxglove are very powerful and very toxic if not used under supervision. Other herbs such as Hawthorn are less powerful , but are still valuable medicinally.
Herbs in this family help prevent colic and the related abdominal pain. They incorporate volatile oils which energize the digestive system, relax the muscles of the stomach and encourage digestion. Aniseed, Garlic, Dill, Peppermint and Valerian are included in this list.
Cholagogues and Choleretics
Herbs in this category encourage the output of bile from the liver or discharge of bile from the gall bladder. Bile helps stimulate the digestive process and is also a natural laxative. Herbs with these properties include Gentian, Barberry, Fringetree, Dandelion, Milk Thistle and Peppermint.
The principal action of demulcents is to protect and soothe mucous membranes. This action is particularly valuable where mucous membranes are inflamed and will allow healing to take place. Familiar examples include Marshmallow, Parsley piert, Oats, Slippery Elm bark, Liquorice and Couchgrass.
Diuretics increase the excretion of water from the body and therefore increase the production of urine. Their most familiar role is that of helping in the treatment of heart failure and in treating urinary tract disorders including kidney disease and bladder problems. Herbs with diuretic actions include Buchu, Dandelion, Juniper, Parsley Piert, Golden Rod, Bearberry, Cleavers, Yarrow and Burdock.
Emollients are similar to demulcents but are used externally to soothe and protect skin. Many of the herbs in this category are also used internally as demulcents. Examples of herbs with emollient properties are Comfrey, Liquorice, Mallow, Marshmallow and Slippery Elm.
This familiar group helps loosen and remove excess mucous from the airways. Some herbs irritate the airways helping to release mucous, while others loosen up any mucous so that it can be dispatched with less effort. Some also help combat viruses and bacteria, as they have an antiseptic action. Examples include Aniseed, Coltfoot, Peppermint, Garlic, Liquorice and Thyme.
The herbs in this class support the liver and are useful in treating a variety of liver conditions. Most will also help increase either the production or flow of bile. Barberry, Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Cleavers and Cascara are included within this group.
Herbs with this property can help lower blood sugar and are sometimes prescribed to help in the treatment of dog diabetes. Garlic, Fenugreek, Chicory and Nettles can be included under this category.
In this category are a number of herbs which can help relieve constipation. Some act to help stimulate and empty the bowel, others help to soften the stool. Examples include Dandelion, Barberry, Cascara, Rhubarb Root and Cleavers.
Nervines act on the nervous system. Some are stimulants, others strengthen the nervous system generally and some tone it down. Ginseng, Oats, Hops, Valerian, Skullcap and Rosemary are good examples.
Herbs such as Valerian, Skullcap, Chamomile and Hops have actions that can help calm the nervous system and help reduce stress. They are especially useful in treating anxious and nervous animals or those with behavioural problems.
As the name indicates, remedies in this category can help stimulate the body by supporting some of the basic physiological procedures. Examples include Cayenne, Garlic, Ginseng, Peppermint, Mustard and Rosemary.
There are a great many herbs which have properties as tonics. They act across the spectrum of body systems helping to fortify and preserve specific organs and body functions. Examples include Agrimony, Bearberry (also known as Uva ursi), Cleavers, Garlic, Parsley, Raspberry and Skullcap.
Vulneraries work by helping to heal minor wounds, sores and cuts and are used externally. Some of the best known remedies contain Calendula (Marigold), Aloe vera, Arnica, Comfrey, Garlic and Yarrow.