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Dogs + Alternative Therapies

  • The herb ephedra, known in Chinese medicine as Ma Huang, comes from the plant species Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina. The active ingredients in herbal ephedra are bronchodilating alkaloids, including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine.

  • Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is an herb that has mild antimicrobial (antiseptic), anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. As the name suggests, it appears to have a special effect on the eye.

  • Most omega fatty acid supplements are made primarily from fish oil or flax seed oil (see the separate handouts on these products in this series), although some products may include other oils such as evening primrose oil, hemp oil, or borage oil.

  • Most commercially available fish oils are derived from coldwater fish, primarily menhaden, but also salmon and trout. These oils are rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

  • Flower essence therapy or flower therapy was developed by physician Edward Bach during the 1930's. During his years in practice, Dr. Bach developed the belief that people could be grouped based upon their emotional states, and that these emotions were the root cause of many of their diseases.

  • Ginger is a well-known tropical herb whose root is used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine. The fresh root may be used, or it may be prepared as a tincture, powder, tablet, or tea.

  • Ginkgo is an herbal remedy made from the leaf of the ginkgo tree, Ginkgo biloba, which is one of the oldest species of tree in the world. The ginkgo nut is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the treatment of respiratory disorders.

  • There are three different herbs commonly called Ginseng, namely Asian or Korean Ginseng (Panax ginseng), American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Siberian "Ginseng" (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The latter herb is actually not ginseng at all, but the Russian scientists responsible for promoting it believe that it functions identically.

  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are complex molecules composed of proteins and sugars, and are found in a variety of bodily tissues, including the blood plasma, joints, and the mucosal (mucous membrane) lining of a variety of organs, including the gastrointestinal tract and the bladder. Various compounds exist. Heparan and dermatan coat the urinary tract of cats while glucosamine and chondroitin constitute the major GAGs in the joint.

  • Hawthorn, derived from various species of Crataegus, including C. oxyacantha, and C. monogyna, is one of the oldest known and best researched plants in western herbal medicine. It has been used in Chinese medicine to enhance digestion for centuries, and more recently as a means of lowering blood cholesterol.