Consult with your TCVM practitioner to learn more about how herbs can contribute to your pet's overall health.
Points To Keep In Mind:
1) Herbs are slower acting than drugs and may take time for the herb to become effective- weeks to months.
2) Side effects can also occur like diarrhea, vomiting and constipation. Some herbs should not be given if an animal is pregnant.
Chinese herbs originate primarily from plants, but also some minerals and animal products *. Different parts of plants, such as the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds, are used. In TCM, herbs are often combined in formulas and given as teas, capsules, liquid extracts, granules, or powders.
Chinese herbalists have classified medicinal materials according to their taste. Taste was understood to have a relationship to the effect of the herb when ingested. This relationship was seen as having great importance in guiding the combining of herbs within formulas. In most traditional text books, taste was the first property of an herb to be mentioned, helping to orient the reader to the information that followed. There are five flavors—sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and acrid (sometimes called pungent or spicy).
The other classification refers to the Four Properties/Energies - cold, hot, warm and cool. For instance, ginger is considered warm. Your veterinary herbalist will decide which herb to use to counter the condition that your pet is experiencing.
*- Due to the impact of certain endangered animals, the products we use to treat our pets at Orcas Veterinary Service do not contain any animal origin. They are in compliance with FDA cGMP regulations and are based on the pharmaceutical standards.
The other classification of herbs is the direction - ascending, descending, etc.
For instance: Ginseng (Ren Shen) is considered warm, has a sweet and bitter taste, has an ascending effect and works on spleen, lung and heart meridians. Astragalus (Huang Qi) is slightly warm, and sweet. Targets lungs and spleen to tonify (Strengthen) Qi.
Herbs and spices have been around for centuries. The earliest recorded history of herbs used in China dates back to 165 BC. Egyptians preserved their mummies in herbs and spices as well. In the 5th century B.C., Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, listed approximately 400 herbs in common use. Herbs have played a crucial role in cooking and for it's medicinal uses. There are three main medicinal herb traditions: 1) Western, 2) Ayurvedic (India) and 3) Traditional Chinese Medicine (Offered at Orcas Veterinary Service)
Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on a belief that your health is the result of constant battling between opposing forces (yin and yang). When these forces are in balance, you feel healthy. When they’re out of balance, you feel ill. Treatment approach is to re-establish balance with the intent to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms. Herbs are used to move Qi (energy) as well as tonify Yin and Yang. Yin and yang are equal yet opposing forces that occur in all naturally occurring phenomena. For instance, Yin corresponds to nighttime, cold, or resting of the body. Yang, on the other hand, corresponds to daytime, heat, and activity of the body. Whenever Yin or Yang becomes deficient or excessive, the balance of the body is lost, and disease results. Herbs (and acupuncture) are used to restore this natural balance.