Echinacea, a useful immune boosting Herb

Echinacea, (Echinacea angustifolia, E.purpurea)

I remember being given Echinacea by my mum when I was growing up, it was in a liquid form & I seem to remember it not having the most appetising flavour going!!

In his last shiatsu session, Louise felt that Jasper’s immune system was a little down, nothing serious, just a case of an older horse, trying to get through a very hard cold winter & having a bit of winter blues. So I thought I’d get him some echinacea just in case he felt he could do with the boost. Needless to say he’s not shown a blind bit of interest, he had a good sniff the first day I offered it too him, but obviously he feels that he doesn’t need it right now. Fortunately one of the sources I use is and they do a 100g size of their herbs which is great to see if your horse is interested as its not to expensive & you’re not left with a Kg of something your horse doesn’t need or want.

Echinacea is indiginous to north america where it is known as Purple coneflower, although it is now cultivated in europe as well. It can be a useful pre-winter boost, or is particularly useful after an illness, where it will help boost your horses immune system & get them back to form again. It has even shown to be successful with horses suffering post-viral syndrome. If your horse is kept on a yard where there has been a contagious disease outbreak, giving echinacea to your horse can help as it is both an effective anti-viral & antibacterial agent.

It can also be used externally as a poultice on wounds & skin complaints.

Catherine Bird, in her book a healthy horse the natural way, suggests echinacea should only be feed for short periods of time, as its effectiveness diminishes after about 3 weeks of continuous use. She also suggests avoiding use if your horse has a weak or irregular heartbeat as echinacea could exaggerate these problems.

Until next time

With Love

Fiona & Jasper

P.S If you are interested in finding out more about herbs & their use with horses I recommend the following books

A Modern Horse Herbal, by Hilary Page Self

A Healthy Horse the Natural Way , by Catherine Bird


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