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Monday, 11 November 2013

Milk Thistle - Herbs for Dogs and Cats



Safe to use as a dietary supplement, alternative medicine
for most dogs and cats
In this article...
1. Milk Thistle
2. Health Benefits
3. Cautions

4. Side Effects
5. Drug Interactions
6. General Guideline for Daily Herbal Intake


1.0 Milk Thistle  
Also known by the name: Carduus marianus, Silybum mariamum, Silybum, Silybin, Silymarin, Silymarine, St. Mary’s Thistle, Marianus, Marianum, Our Lady’s Thistle, etc.

Milk thistle is an herbal plant that is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean regions – today it can be found growing wild in many places around the world including North America. I love to see the milk thistle in my meadows. Milk Thistle is much loved by butterflies.

Milk thistle has been used in traditional herbal medicine for thousands of years – its recorded use dates back to the 1st century. Over the centuries milk thistle was used for many ailments including disorders of the liver, kidney, spleen.

Medicinal Properties in Milk Thistle
The healing properties of milk thistle come primarily from:

  • The seed (the fruit) of the milk thistle that contains silymarin;
    • Silymarin:
      • Is a flavonol (antioxidant) that protects the liver from oxidation;
      • Blocks hepatotixic substances from crossing cell membranes – acting to protect the liver from toxic substances;
      • Stimulates cell regeneration. 
      • Silymarin:
        • Is stored in the liver where it contributes to regeneration and protection of the liver;
        • Which also in-turn works to protect the immune system and metabolism. 

Milk Thistle can be used in various forms:
  • Dry powder
  • Liquid
  • Tea - infusion
  • Tincture
  • Capsule
2.0 Health Benefits
A partial list...
  • Allergies – seasonal (allergic rhinitis);
  • Anti-inflammatory (liver, allergies);
  • Appetite loss;
  • Cancer – breast, cervical, prostate;
  • Depression;
  • Detoxification of the liver;
  • Diseases of the spleen;
  • Gallbladder problems;
  • Heartburn;
  • Improving liver function;
  • Liver disorders;
    • Cirrhosis of the liver;
    • Chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation);
    • Chronic inflammatory liver disease;
    • Damage caused by chemicals;

3.0 Cautions…

If your dog or cat:
  • Is pregnant or lactating do not use milk thistle;
  • Is allergic to the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family (i.e. arnica, daises, marigolds, etc.).

4.0 Side Effects...
In some individuals may cause:
  • Appetite loss;
  • Bloating;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Indigestion;
  • Intestinal gas;
  • Nausea,

5.0 Drug Interactions…
  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet drugs;
  • Estrogen;
  • Medications that are changed or broken down by the liver;

6.0 General Guideline...
Daily Herbal Intake Based on Dog’s or Cat’s Weight
Weight
Dry Powders


Teas
Capsules/Tablets
Tinctures
1-10 lbs
a small pinch up to 1/8 tsp
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
1 larger pinch - 1/8 to ¼ tsp
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches - 1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs 10-
2 pinches - 2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose



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4 comments:

  1. Can I feed Milk Thistle if I use Ivermectin?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you can, and it is important to note that there are natural alternatives to Ivermectin.

      Delete
  2. if my dog has acid reflux is it ok to give milk thistle? I am concerned as I saw the cautions about bloating, indigestion etc

    ReplyDelete

Note -

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Nutraceuticals and Alternative Medicines:

When choosing to use any of the items or protocols in the article above, it is your responsibility to ensure safe use of the item/protocol. Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines all have drug interactions, most have health issue contradictions, some have side effects. Use of substances and protocols are your responsibility. Prior to use of any substance or protocol make sure you do your research - check for all cautions, contradictions,interactions, side effects. If in doubt do not use the substance or protocol. If the substance, or protocol is contradicted for your animal do not use. If your animal has an underlying condition you are not aware of substances may conflict with that condition.

2.0 The Real Meaning of Holistic…

Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’. It is important to keep in mind that the supplement industry is just as unethical as BigPharma, the Food and Pet Food Industry, and unfortunately many veterinarians.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (i.e. an herb) you are using a natural substance, this is not synonymous with holistic.

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that - overall health, and wellbeing.

Please do not expect a natural substance to miraculously remedy a health or behavioral situation. A natural substance may be used to treat symptoms. However, if the factors causing the underlying issue are not properly identified, analyzed and addressed you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach that identifies root cause, seeks to remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues, and builds a complete, and detailed approach to immediate treatment, remedy, and maintenance of long-term health = holistic.

I offer extensive consultation services - Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness and Holistic Behavioral, for people that are serious about looking after their dogs and cats holistically. If you want to engage my services you can contact me via email or phone.

If you are looking for additional free advice, please refer back to the articles on my site, do not contact me via email or phone - personalized service is for my clients / patients only.

3.0
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Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

Karen
the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

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