One of my favorites: Calendula officinalis. Also known as pot marigold, calendula is part of the sunflower family. This flower is a power house! The parts used for medicinal purposes are the flowers. Medicinal activities include: anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, liver stimulant, antibacterial, astringent, wound healing, increases lymph circulation, anti-fungal, etc.
Uses in minor cuts, insect bites, abrasions. Using a salve or ointment infused with calendula provides soothing relief to pain and swelling while healing wounds with its anti-microbial properties. These properties make it useful for treating burns, eczema, poison Ivy, sunburn. A water infusion may be used for an eyewash for conjunctivitis. Tinctures are helpful with treating inflammation of the digestive or urinary tracts. The list goes on!
Although calendula is one of the safest herbs, it is know to stimulate menstruation, so it should be avoided during early pregnancy. It also may contain a small amount of salicylic acid, that is potentially toxic to cats. Even though this compound is likely confined to the leaves and stems of the plant, it’s presence should be taken into consideration before long term use for cats.
**As always, consult with your veterinarian or a holistic veterinarian before introducing herbal remedies, especially if your pet is on medication.
Catnip. We all know what catnip is, especially if you have cats! Catnip is know to have an “intoxicating” effect on cats when sniffed due to an ingredient in catnip called nepetalactone, but it does not effect all cats. Some cats do not experience the euphoric response to catnip.
But, did you know there are many benefits to catnip, other than making your cat high? Catnip is part of the mint family. The parts used in herbal preparations are the leaves, stems, and flowers. When used as an herbal remedy, it helps with expelling intestinal gas, helps alleviate vomiting, it’s a diuretic, a sedative, and antispasmodic. Catnip is a gentle gas reliever and antispasmodic for easing upset stomachs. It also helps calm nervousness and promotes restful sleep. It can be given for travel related stress or other prolonged periods of stress. Who know catnip was so useful?!
So, catnip is not just for cats! Many animals can benefit from catnip. While catnip is safe, there are cautions with using catnip, though, such as using sparingly with pregnant animals. You should always consult with your veterinarian or holistic veterinarian before using any herbal remedies if your pet has a specific condition.