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37 Herbs & Remedies For Fabulously Healthy Animals
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Horses with Arthritis can Benefit from Eating Hawthorn
Horses with arthritis can benefit greatly from eating Hawthorn, both the tops of the plant and
the berries. Its proper botanical name is Crataegus monogyna & Crataegus oxyacantha and it
is considered an extremely valuable medicinal herb.
Hawthorn berries are used extensively as a cardiac tonic and for increasing circulation which
is very important for horses with arthritis. The leaves and flowers are used for the same
purpose and it was known in the middle Ages as a symbol of hope and taken for many
Western herbalists consider it to be a “food for the heart” increasing blood flow to the heart
muscles and restoring normal heartbeat. It is a wonderful herb for the elderly senior horse
helping with circulation and strengthening the heart.
Hawthorn is also used for joint remedies for horses with arthritis as it increases circulation
and is great for helping rid the body of toxins which can build up in the joints. It is considered
an astringent, antispasmodic, cardiac, diuretic, sedative and tonic.
Hawthorn is also very useful in horses that have navicular syndrome as it dilates the blood
vessels. Often you can see horses with navicular or laminitis nibbling on the new leaves of
Hawthorn bushes if they are so lucky to have easy access.
Hawthorns are normally planted as a hedge and are perfect for creating a hedgerow
containing other edible herbs for horses. The sharp thorns protect the edible herbs from being
completely eaten to the ground by voracious horses but allow them to nibble any tasty
morsels within their reach.
Hawthorn is in fact considered a noxious weed in Victoria and South Australia and is native
to Europe, North Africa and West Asia. Hawthorn is very common throughout Victoria,
south east New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia where there is moderate to high
Hawthorn has been relatively well researched and its main medicinal benefit is due to its
bioflavonoid content. The active constituents relax and dilate the arteries, especially the
coronary arteries. This then increases the flow of blood to the heart.
Hawthorn is also considered to be highly antioxidant, which in turn helps reduce
degeneration of the blood vessels. It is used today for angina and irregular heartbeat but also
requires a few months to produce noticeable results. Like many herbs, hawthorn works in
tune with the body which requires time for change to occur.
Not only is this herb used for high blood pressure but it also raises low blood pressure and
herbalists have found it can restore blood pressure to normal. Combined with Ginkgo it is
used to improve memory by improving circulation to the head and oxygen to the brain.
The 2 species of Hawthorn are very similar, differing mainly in the number of seeds per fruit.
They are erect shrubs or small trees around 4-6 metres though can grow up to 9 metres. There