The Equine Herbalist started in Epsom in 1996, supplying local racehorse trainers and stables with custom made products. In July 2003, we launched our on-line store supplying the whole of the UK and relocated to Somerset, the home of cider vinegar.
Our products are formulated by our fully qualified medical herbalist Suzanne Woodward DBTh MRH, MURHP, a member of the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners and The European Herbal Practitioners Association. Suzanne is a graduate of Dominion College, the leading herbal college of North America, known for famous herbal students such as Jethro Kloss and Dr Christopher. In the UK, Suzanne furthered her studies with the late Dr. Hewlett Parsons and obtained the Diploma in Botano Therapy from the General Council and Register of Herbal Consultants (now the IRCH), in 1994.
Unlike other equine herbal companies, our products have been developed from sound herbal knowledge, extensive research into herbs beneficial for equine feeding and our experience working with horses.
Three herbs (from our database of toxic herbs for horses) unsuitable for equine feeding, that could cause serious health problems for a horse. Yet, they are included in many leading brands of equine supplements. This proves that no research or care has been taken when formulating the product.
Equisteum arvense - Horse Tail. This plant contains the toxin thiaminase, which inactivates thiamin (Vitamin B1) and causes thiamin deficiency. Symptoms of equisteum poisoning include loss of condition, diarrhoea and muscular weakness. The name horse tail came about due to its stiff horse tail appearance
Juglans nigra - Black Walnut Used as a horse wormer by ignorant people who have copied human wormer formulas. Black Walnut is extremely toxic for horses, resulting in Laminitis which occurs within 8 hours of giving either an aqueous extract or introducing the shavings as bedding. Other symptoms include; filling and pitting edema of the legs, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, a raised temperature and pounding digital pulses. Read more about the toxic effects: www.equine-natural-health.co.uk/rq5.htm
Withania somnifera - Ashwaganda. This herb is closely related to Belladonna, Datura and Henbane, all members of the Solanacae (nightshade) family, all contain tropane alkaloids used for sedation. They work by blocking the parasympathetic nerve activity. Atropine a tropane alkaloid is derived from Belladonna. Atropa Belladonna being used as an anaesthetic. The Latin name somnifera meaning to sleep describes the nature of Withania somnifera most aptly. The plant also contains large amounts of nicotine known to constrict the coronary arteries. No studies have been done on safe usage for horses. The sanskrit (common name) Ashwaganda literally means 'stinking horse'. Perhaps, this name lead to the mis-guided idea that this was a safe herb for horses?
We shall be publishing an article 'Herbs Unsuitable for Equine Feeding', in the popular alternative/complementary health resource for horses - Equine Natural Health
At Epona Herbs - The Equine Herbalist cares about the well being and health of your horse.