Equine health trends in recent years have focused more and more on natural remedies and ingredients. One of the main natural avenues for horse health has been through herbal supplements, as equine owners seek the benefits of a variety of aromatic plants for their horses and ponies.
Many horse owners buy herbs, spices & other plant-based ingredients to mix directly into feed or create concentrated tinctures. Additionally, to promote horse nutrition, equine supplement makers have launched their own herbal supplement products, providing end users with easy-to-use mixtures, dosing recommendations, and assurances of palatability and safety.
Here are five nutritious spices and herbsthatmake great foundations to herbal horse supplements. As always, Olam’s products offer the highest standards in safety, traceability, and sustainability.
Garlic is one of the most popularherbs for horses included in supplements. Garlic can be a good booster for the immune system, and it has been found it effective at controlling viruses, microorganisms, fungi and other parasites.
Garlic is also a fantastic natural fly repellent, as horses that consume garlic emit an odor that repels biting insects such as flies. Many supplement makers create blends of garlic and other bug-control ingredients such as diatomaceous earth or vinegar in a convenient pelleted or loose format.
Having gained a reputation as a golden superfood in recent years, turmeric has become a popular herbal supplement for horses as well as for pets and humans. Turmeric is often included in supplements for horses’ skin health, for example for horses that suffer from eczema. With anti-inflammatory properties, it is also included in joint support supplements, especially for aging and arthritic horses and ponies. Black pepper is often included in turmeric supplements, as key compounds in pepper help uptake of curcumin, one of the main health-promoting compounds in turmeric.
Ginger is a great herbal supplement for horses, with multiple beneficial properties. Known to be helpful to the digestive system, it is often included in supplements that promote good digestion and circulation. Ginger can also help prevent pro-inflammatory cytokine activity and as such can be useful for inflammatory conditions. Finally, with its fragrant flavor, horse owners can mix ginger with warm water and feed as a soothing, warming feed in cold months.
Thyme is typically included in horse supplements to support respiratory function. Offering respiratory support can be especially valuable for horses in drydusty conditions or those on restricted turnout, for example during cold winters, that are more affected by spores.
Many horse owners feed their horses paprika for natural coat color enhancement. Regardless of the coat’s color, horse owners report richer, shinier coats after supplementing with paprika. However, paprika should not be fed to competing horses, as paprika contains small amounts of capsaicin, a banned substance in competitions.
Note: Please consult a nutritionist or veterinarian before including any aromatic plants in a horse supplement formulation.