Catherine McDowell - McDowell's Herbal Treatments
Detoxification can be confusing. This is because the word detox is applied very loosely and can mean different things to different people. I feel that you can break down the idea of Detoxification into several areas:
Fasting - Keeping up nourishing fluids are essential, and herbal teas like Chamomile, Rosehips, Ginger and Peppermint are ideal.
Clean Foods – Keep to whole foods and eliminate foods known to cause inflammation containing wheat.
Colon Cleansing - Colon Cleansing is very useful for constipation and inflammation. Herbs like Wormwood help to make the lining very unattractive to parasites, and the lovely slippery elm powder will add a pre biotic benefit as well as protect an irritated GIT from ulceration.
Organ Support - Good kidney and liver function are obvious choices to support well with herbs. St Mary’s thistle, Dandelion and Fennel are commonly prescribed for liver and pancreatic support, whilst Elecampane, Nettle, Rue and Hawthorn may be prescribed for lung strength and heart health.
Blood Cleansing - Certain herbs nourish the metabolic process to increase elimination and stimulate the immune functions of cleaning up viral debris, bacterial debris and of our own cells that are dying off all the time. Consider herbs like Echinacea, Garlic, Horsetail, Red Clover and Burdock.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
Treating this condition from a herbal point of view, we need to settle the metabolic disturbance that has resulted in an inflammation in the walls of the bowel and most likely also within the pelvic cavity itself.
The dog's digestive system was probably always sensitive and originally reacted to something in the diet, probably a chemical or preservative. The process of inflammation then made the system even more reactive and the weakening that took place created the ideal host for an infection which thrives in such conditions. The waste products of infection are now building up in the blood and tissue surrounding the bowel and the situation will progress with more and more antibiotics and steroids hoping to hold the symptoms at bay while the system heals itself.
The way out is to treat the dog for the underlying causes and the current symptoms together, involving the following program:
Put the dog on a convalescent diet consisting of only 5 meals per week and each of them is nothing more than raw meat, pulverised bones, or whole bones preferably with the meat still on the bone to reduce the speed at which your dog eats, added to this some pulverised vegetables and some rosehips and chamomile tea. The two fasting days are to give the digestive system a complete rest. No treats, no commercial dog food, but water and teas.
Only by allowing your dog to fast and have an empty digestive system for most of the time can their system heal properly and clear the toxins that have built up. Herbal preparations are able to assist this detoxing, and the Animal Botanical liver formula is a good example for this purpose, given with the teas and slippery elm powder.
CANINE DIARRHOEA IBS/IBD SUPPORT
Diarrhoea can set up a pattern of physical irritation in the gut which is self-perpetuating. Eventually causing damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal system generally and especially in the colon. To break such a pattern requires a comprehensive approach to return the whole of the metabolic balance to normal and to reduce the over-sensitivity in the gut.
Treatment, therefore, must include provision for reducing overactivity in the liver where bile is produced, support for the nervous system that triggers peristalsis and healing for the damaged lining.
My herbal treatment involves two recommendations:
Firstly a course of Slippery Elm Bark Powder. One dessertspoon daily mixed into a paste with cold Chamomile Tea and to be given for a continuous period of 12 weeks. Slippery Elm provides a protective lining to the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal system, and in 12 weeks will completely heal an irritated lining.
Secondly, a herbal mixture to support the healing is made up from the following ingredients; Blue Flag, Chamomile, Passion Flower, Vervain, Slippery Elm, Rhubarb, Yarrow and St Mary's Thistle with the Bach Flower Remedies Aspen, Rescue Remedy, Scleranthus and Wild Oat.
This mix is taken at a dose rate of 20 drops twice daily in ½ a cup of cold chamomile tea and mixed into feed The treatment must be maintained initially for at least 3 months and most folks find that when they have finished with the Slippery Elm they generally benefit further from maintaining the herbal tonic as a supplement for longer, usually until their circumstances have completely changed.