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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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld

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

Important Note

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Alternative Medicines:

Safe use of items and protocols in the article above, is your sole responsibility.

Foods, herbs and alternative medicines have health issue, condition and conventional drug interactions. Safe use of all substances and protocol are your responsibility.

Before you use any substance or protocol do your research. Check for cautions, contradictions, interactions and side effects. Do not use substances or protocols not suitable to your animal's individual circumstances.

If your animal has an underlying condition substances and protocols may conflict.

2.0 Definition of Holistic…

Food, herbs, alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (ie. an herb) you are using a natural substance, not a holistic substance.

Holistic is not defined by use of one or several substances. Holistic is an approach.

Definition of “holistic” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press

Adjective

"relating to the whole of something or to the total system instead of just to its parts"

"Holistic medicine attempts to treat the whole person, including mind and body, not just the injury or disease."

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that health, and well-being.

3.0 Expectation a natural substance remedies a health or behavioral situation.

A natural substance used to treat symptoms. But, if factors causing the underlying issue remain you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach. It is necessary to identify root cause. Remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues. Holistic approach includes design, implementation to treat, remedy and maintain long-term health.

4.0 Leave a Comment

I review all comments and publish those deemed appropriate for this site.

I answer questions deemed appropriate when I have time to do so.

Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

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

karen@ottawavalleydogwhisperer.ca

1-613-622-1139
1-613-293-3707

00-1-613-622-1139
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