Allergy management through food.
Digestive health is the key to the kingdom, 60% of the immune system/lymph system surrounds the digestive tract. This is the super fast highway for exposure to foreign substance and toxins. The immune response is tied back to the health of the gut, so it’s time we addressed the problem, not the symptoms.
The horse’s digestive system is a highly developed system that works effetely, until you add stress into the mix. Stress takes on many shapes and forms including physical stress, emotional stress, chemical stress, metabolic stress, and nutritional stress. All of these forms of stress cause inflammation that leads to immune compromise.
Once inflammation is started, digestion deteriorates, nutrients are less absorbed, disease and toxins can enter the blood stream leading to allergies, infection etc. The modern equine diet is more pro-inflammatory and most horses eat a diet which relies on heavily processed foods which are missing live enzymes and supplemented with synthetic minerals feeding inflammatory feeds/by-products does not help a horse’s intestines to heal. Try adding in more wholefoods and look to see if there are any inflammatory foods in the diet.
1. Antioxidants also called phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plants, fruits and vegetables which have shown tremendous value in controlling inflammation and reversing negative health issues. They support the body’s immune system, aid digestion; help the respiratory system repair and the cardiovascular system.
Sprouted seeds provide the best and most natural form of antioxidants excellent sources for your horse are whole sprouted oats, sprouted alfalfa, sprouted mung beans, wheatgrass & barley grass (unsprouted grains are acidic to the body).
soaked hemp which is an excellent protein 1 cup daily.
chia seeds which are an great omega source 2-4oz daily,.
Spirulina- mineral rich can be very helpful for allergies 1-2 tsp daily.
Nettle in a dried or tea from I like to use it in a strong tea to dampen down feed start with small amounts.
Chamomile tea for relaxing, dampen down feed with it.
For much more information on sprouting your own antioxidants go to my blog at www.equineherbalist.ie or purchase my book Seeds to feed the most comprehensive guide to sprouting seeds for your horse available from my wed site.
2. Digestive enzymes specifically from sprouted seeds and sprouted grasses they improve digestion and will help with the absorption of nutrients, and have anti-allergy benefits. Check out my Free eBook "FOOD THERAPY FOR HORSES" at www.equineherbalist.ie.
3. Pro/Pre-biotics help reduce pathogens and toxins thus reducing inflammation and adding digestion. Plenty of forage and rolling in the muck.
4. Herbs for stress can be used; theses are called Adaptogen herbs- examples, aswaganda, ginseng, maca etc. The idea of Adaptogens that they are only used for short periods of time, because ideally you need to remove the stress/stressful situation- not continue with it.
Other things to consider (the use of milk thistle seed powder can be beneficial)
- No excessive use of oils
- avoid soy & corn
- no molasses
- Watch for excessive sugar in the diet
- Liver support, using a herb like milk thistle seed powder use 10-40g daily for 4-6 weeks try and start before the allergy is a problem.
Keep it real Rachel Kelly