Nutritional Facts

HERBS: SMALL PLANTS – BIG HEALTH BENEFITS

May 18, 2020   |   Categories: Nutrition

By now, we are all aware that herbs have more uses than just in culinary pursuits.  Herbs are used also for both aromatic and medicinal purposes.  The volatile or essential oils which come from herbs give each plant its distinctive scent.  Often the therapeutic usage of herbs can support the health of our canines.  However, it must be made clear that herbs should be given to your dog in controlled amounts, as various planet species can be toxic.

When formulating dog food, it is essential to incorporate foods that contain special flavorings that have health-related properties.  By including such ingredients, they add to the palatability of the food (make it taste great) and promote the holistic health effects each component contains.  When formulating Do Only Good (D.O.G.) Pet Food, I included the following herbs knowing they would aid in both these endeavors.

Many of you may consider the dandelion to be merely an unwelcome weed in your lawn. In fact, dandelions are an ancient medicinal herb. Its botanical name taraxacum officinale comes from the Greek, taxaxos (disorder), and akos (remedy). The leaves of dandelions are rich in potassium, a key mineral the body needs to help regulate its various systems, especially the digestive system, where it aids the kidneys, gallbladder, and urinary tract to function correctly.

Chamomile (another ancient herb) also helps the digestive system, especially aiding in relieving gas pain from the intestines and stomach.  Chamomile’s essential oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.  This herb also bears the flavor and fragrance of apples, which makes it highly delicious for dogs.

No doubt, rosemary is familiar to everyone and has a long and storied history about its medicinal powers, however little was backed by scientific research.  There are compounds found in rosemary’s volatile oil called Monoterpenes.  They give rosemary its scent and taste as well as containing antibacterial properties and aiding the respiratory, digestive, and cardiac systems. Rosemary also contains rosmarinic acid.  This acid is an excellent source of antioxidants that helps to decrease inflammation, allergies, and inhibits infections.

Another great source of antioxidants for your pet is green tea.  Green tea is rich in catechins (natural antioxidants), which support a healthy digestive tract, help lessen inflammation, and fights free radicals.  Besides being easily absorbed by the body, Green tea has an appealing flavor and freshens breath.

Another wonderful herb which freshens breath is peppermint.  It contains essential minerals and is rich in vitamins A, and C.  Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid (just like rosemary), which has natural anti-inflammatory properties and helps alleviate allergic conditions.

Remember, if you are growing herbs in your home garden, be sure you should keep them away from your pets.  Many herbs in their natural state can be harmful to our companion animals. However, when added to a nutritional regime in proper proportions, herbs can be a welcome addition to your pet’s diet.

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